The programme is designed particularly for part-time students (though it may be possible to take it full-time) and you will be encouraged to use your professional, voluntary or ministerial practice as the foundation for your structured research in practical theology.
The DPT is suitable for all those actively involved in professional or substantial voluntary work across a range of contexts and institutions, who want to examine the implications of action guiding beliefs, values, and ideologies (‘theologies’) for their practices, and vice versa. A variety of social science and other methodologies can be used to research practice and contexts.
It consists of three introductory modules and a final dissertation, permitting a staged approach to research. Assessment is by a portfolio of work including a literature review, a publishable article, a research proposal and a final 50,000-word dissertation.
You will be supported throughout by regular supervision, seminars, and workshops with peer and academic engagement. There will also be a summer school drawing together professional doctoral students in practical theology from other universities offering this programme.
At Birmingham you also have the option of studying languages, free of charge. Almost no other UK University offers you the opportunity to learn the intense graduate academic language skills which you may need to pursue your research.
Why study this course
At the heart of professional doctorates like the DPT is a dynamic relationship between theory and practice. All doctoral research represents a contribution to knowledge and understanding within a particular academic discipline. The professional doctorate also generates evidence- or practice-based research that informs and enhances understanding and options for action in a particular professional/institutional context.
Throughout the DPT programme you will helped to:
- Analyse case studies
- Acquire relevant research methods
- Identify appropriate research questions
- Design research strategies
- Develop communication and dissemination skills
- Make use of peer/academic support and critique to improve your work
Moreover, the University of Birmingham is an excellent centre for the study of religion and culture. It has built up good relationships and partnerships with Birmingham's many different communities, and such a rich cultural mix means that it provides an ideal setting to study the relations between Religion and Culture. The city is recognised as one of the most multicultural cities in Europe, with representation from most religious traditions.
Fees and funding
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2015/16 are currently as follows:
Home / EU £4,052 full-time; £2,026 part-time
Overseas: £13,195 full-time; £6,597.50 part-time
For part-time students, the above fee quoted is for year one only and tuition fees will also be payable in subsequent years of your programme.
Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments.
Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.
Learn more about postgraduate tuituion fees and funding.
Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To be eligible for these awards, candidates must hold either an offer of a place to study or have submitted an application to study at the University. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.
International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.
Normally a 2:1 degree in a relevant discipline is required for entry. Candidates will also require a suitable base in practice to be accepted on this course
We welcome applications from:
- Public sector professionals in health, education and social services
- Active members of caring professions such as psychotherapy, counselling, nursing, social work, community development
- Those involved in religious ministry in parish, congregational, or chaplaincy settings
- People working in charities, non-governmental organizations, in the cultural industries, or in the arts
- Those involved in industry or business wishing to deepen their understanding of the ethical and theological dimensions of their practice
Learn more about entry requirements
We accept a range of qualifications; our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.
English language requirements
You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:
How to apply
Before you make your application
Please refer to our
six step process
on applying for PhD, MA by Research and MRes opportunities for Arts subject areas.
For applicants to the PhD Distance Learning study mode only:
As part of the application process for the distance learning study mode, we will ask you to provide evidence to demonstrate that you have the time, commitment, facilities and experience to study for a PhD by Distance Learning. Please be prepared to provide evidence, and details, of the following:
Examples of your postgraduate research experience and ability to work independently e.g. papers/presentations at professional and academic conferences or publications in professional journals or previous completion of an independent research project, etc.
Full reasons (academic and personal) for registering for the distance learning mode of study rather than by standard full or part-time on-campus options. In particular, how you will be able to carry out your project in your chosen location.
Access to local library facilities (where needed)
Access to IT facilities
Access to communications, including e-mail and visual communication media e.g. Skype and Facetime
Access to facilities to support any study-related disability (where appropriate)
You can upload this information at the time of application - when asked to provide supporting documentation - or via your applicant portal once you have submitted your application.
When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages