Place, pilgrimage, culture and performance

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 lives are lived out in specific localities, from busy urban neighbourhoods to rural and coastal communities. We are particularly interested in historical or ethnographic research oriented towards experiences of locality and the development of spatial approaches to religion. Current research in this area includes ethnographic study in Glastonbury, work on urban/religious affect among social movements, research on pilgrimage and research about shifts in the sites of religion in the cities.

We have considerable expertise in the performance of religions and their manifestation in material and visual cultures. This dovetails with our interest in lived and vernacular forms of religion, and non-religion – i.e. we focus on what people do, how they do it, and on the sensuality of the materials they use. Current research in this area includes a project exploring Rastafari in London and Rome.

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.


street parade of worshipers

How to apply

Get in touch

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

Dr David Robertson
Email: FASS-ReligiousStudies-Enquiries

Apply now

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