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Doctor of Philosophy

Abbreviation: PhD CRICOS code: 037861E Accredited through UD
3 years full-timeUp to 8 years part-time
Available to both domestic and overseas students

The Doctor of Philosophy is a higher degree by research in divinity or one or more of its associated disciplines. The purpose of the Doctor of Philosophy is to qualify individuals who apply a substantial body of knowledge to research, investigate and develop new knowledge, in one or more areas of investigation, scholarship or professional practice.

Course outcomes

Graduates of the Doctor of Philosophy:

  1. have a substantial body of knowledge at the frontier of a field of work or learning within divinity or one or more of its associated disciplines, including knowledge that constitutes an original contribution to the field
  2. have a substantial knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to the field of work or learning
  3. have expert cognitive, technical and creative skills to use intellectual independence to think critically, analyse and evaluate existing knowledge and ideas, undertake systematic investigation, reflect on theory and practice to generate original knowledge within divinity or one or more of its associated disciplines, and demonstrate expert understanding of theoretical knowledge and to reflect critically on that theory and its application
  4. apply knowledge and skills with intellectual independence, and with responsibility and accountability, to plan and execute an ongoing program of original research, and to understand explicit and implicit ethical considerations to the formulation of a research project
  5. have skills to present cogently a complex investigation of originality or original research for external examination against international standards, and to communicate research results to peers and the community.

The course of study for the Doctor of Philosophy consists of:

  1. Submission of an annual report throughout the duration of candidature.
  2. Satisfactory completion of confirmation of candidature.
  3. Where relevant, satisfactory completion of requirements of the Human Research Ethics Committee.
  4. Attendance and participation in a minimum of 8 hours of research seminars at the University and either a University Research Conference or a research conference approved by the candidate’s College during each year of candidature. Satisfactory completion of these requirements must be certified by the College on the candidate’s annual report.
  5. Presentation of at least one seminar or conference paper of no less than 20 minutes’ duration prior to submission of the thesis.
  6. Preparation of a thesis for examination.

PhD candidates present their research in a thesis of not more 100,000 words which is examined by at least two external examiners.

Entry requirements

To be eligible for admission an applicant must satisfy the SGR Committee that he or she has completed one of the following awards at the University of Divinity to the specified standard, or an equivalent award in divinity or its associated disciplines at another higher education provider recognised by the Academic Board to an equivalent standard:

  1. a Masters by research with a 75% average, or where a mark is not available, examiners’ reports which indicate to the satisfaction of the SGR Committee that the candidate is adequately prepared for doctoral research; or
  2. a Masters by coursework with a 75% average; or
  3. a Graduate Diploma with a 75% average; or
  4. a four year undergraduate degree with Honours with a 75% average.

An applicant must also satisfy the SGR Committee that he or she has completed a research essay or thesis of at least 12,000 words graded at or above 75%. The research essay or thesis may have been completed either within one of the awards listed above or as part of another program of study.

Upon admission, the applicant becomes a member of the School of Graduate Research.

Key admission policies 

Where the first language is other than English, please see the English language proficiency requirements in the Admissions Policy.

ALC operates with a policy of credit transfer and recognition of prior learning (RPL); see the Credit Policy.

Study modes

  • The Research Methodologies unit is taught face-to-face, by workshop and/or online.
  • Supervisor meetings can be held using electronic means where required.


  • Yes—this course is registered for FEE-HELP.

Overseas students

  • Yes—this course is available for overseas students.
  • CRICOS code: 037861E


  • The Doctor of Philosophy is an accredited AQF level 10 course of the University of Divinity (UD).
  • For further information, see UD course informaton for Doctor of Philosophy.