Contemporary religion in historical perspective

Qualifications Duration Start dates Application period
(MPhil also available)
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
February and October January to April
PhD (MPhil also available)
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
Start dates
February and October
Application period
January to April

Religious Studies at the OU has considerable internationally recognised expertise in two key areas:

  • Religious history, particularly pertaining to the 19th and 20th centuries and Protestant evangelicalism in the UK and elsewhere. Current research includes work on religious toleration and peace, education and mediation.
  • Lived, improvised and vernacular forms of religion, spirituality and non-religion. Current research includes work on indigenous and vernacular traditions in Europe and globally, including festivals, pilgrimages and eco activism.

We welcome applications in areas that correspond with current staff research interests. We look for detailed and well-thought-out proposals, which set out specific research questions and outline the originality of your topic or approach. We encourage you to discuss your ideas informally before submitting an application.

Entry requirements

An MA in religious studies or related discipline. Each application is considered on its own merits. If you are not a UK citizen, you may need to prove your knowledge of English

Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

UK fee International fee
Full time: £4,786 per year Full time: £12,146 per year
Part time: £2,393 per year Part time: £6,073 per year

Some of our research students are funded via the Open-Oxford-Cambridge Doctoral Training Partnership and The Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership; others are self-funded.

For detailed information about fees and funding, visit Fees and studentships.

To see current funded studentship vacancies across all research areas, see Current studentships.


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How to apply

Get in touch

If you have an enquiry specific to this research topic, please contact:

Dr David Probertson
Email: FASS-ReligiousStudies-Enquiries

Apply now

If you’re interested in applying for this research topic, please take a look at the application process.