Summary information



Colleges where it can be studied
  • Australian Lutheran College
  • Catholic Theological College
  • Eva Burrows College
  • Morling College
  • Pilgrim Theological College
  • St Athanasius College
  • Stirling Theological College
  • Trinity College Theological School
  • Whitley College
  • Yarra Theological Union


Overseas students


AQF level

Level 10 – Doctoral Degree

Study load
  • Part-time
  • Full-time
Study mode
  • Online
  • Blended (combination of Online and Face-to-face)
  • Face-to-face

The standard full-time duration of the Doctor of Philosophy is three years. The Doctor of Philosophy must be completed in not less than two years and not more than eight years from the date on which the course is commenced.

Cost of study

In 2021 the tuition fee for a year of study in the PhD is $18,384 (full-time) or $9,192 (part-time).

Fees are subject to change from year to year. For more information about fees, please visit the Fees page.

Detailed information

What this course is about

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 learning 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.
Follow on study


Admission dates

Domestic students:

  • Applications for admission to commence in first semester 2021 close on 15 November 2020
  • Applications for admission to commence in second semester 2021 close on 15 April 2021

Overseas students:

  • Applications for admission to commence in second semester 2021 close on 15 November 2020
  • Applications for admission to commence in first semester 2022 close on 15 April 2021
Admission criteria

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:

a)   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

b)   a Masters by coursework with a 75% average; or

c)    a Graduate Diploma with a 75% average; or

d)   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.

How to Apply

Course structure

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.

Academic dress

Academic gown

Black Doctoral gown faced with hood colour


Black velvet bonnet



Where to get further information

Enquire about this course

  • Please select the relevant student option. If you intend to apply for admission as an overseas student, refer to the field "Overseas students" in the summary information provided at the top of this page to check if it is possible for this course.