Doctor of Philosophy

Summary information

Course title

Doctor of Philosophy






  • Australian Lutheran College
  • Catherine Booth College
  • Catholic Theological College
  • Jesuit College of Spirituality
  • Morling College
  • Pilgrim Theological College
  • St Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Theological College
  • Stirling Theological College
  • Trinity College Theological School
  • Whitley College
  • Yarra Theological Union

Overseas students


AQF level

Level 10 – Doctoral Degree

Study mode

  • On campus

Study load

  • Part-time
  • Full-time


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 2018 the tuition fee for a year of study in the PhD is $16,752 (full-time) or $8,376 (part-time).

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

Detailed information

What is this course about

The Doctor of Philosophy is a higher degree by research. 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 discipline or the profession
  2. have a substantial knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to the field of work or learning.
  3. have cognitive skills to demonstrate expert understanding of theoretical knowledge and to reflect critically on that theory and its application
  4. have cognitive skills and use of intellectual independence to think critically, evaluate existing knowledge and ideas, undertake systematic investigation and reflect on theory and practice to generate original knowledge within divinity or one or more of its associated disciplines
  5. have expert technical and creative skills applicable to the field of work or learning, including the management of significant amounts of information, effective use and differentiation of primary and secondary resources, and identification and application of appropriate research resources such as computer programs, libraries, the internet, archives, databases or interviews
  6. have communication skills to explain and critique theoretical propositions, methodologies and conclusions
  7. have communication skills to cogently present a complex investigation of originality or original research for external examination against international standards, and to communicate research results to peers and the community
  8. have expert skills to design, implement, analyse, theorise and communicate research that makes a significant and original contribution to knowledge and or professional practice within divinity or one or more of its associated disciplines.
  9. have sufficient psychological strength to work with a high degree of independence on a research project and to engage strategies to cope with the stress accompanying such a project and its necessary deadlines
  10. have the capacity to balance independent initiative and response to constructive criticism, and to learn from others.
  11. apply knowledge and skills with intellectual independence
  12. apply knowledge and skills with initiative and creativity in new situations and/or in further learning
  13. apply knowledge and skills with responsibility and accountability
  14. apply knowledge and skills to plan and execute an ongoing program of original research.
  15. apply explicit and implicit ethical considerations to the formulation of a research project.

Follow on study


Admission dates

Domestic students: Applications for admission to commence in second semester 2017 close on 15 April 2017 and applications for admission to commence in first semester 2018 close on 15 November 2017.

Overseas students: Applications for admission to commence in first semester 2018 close on 15 April 2017 and applications for admission to commence in second semester 2018 close on 15 November 2017.

Admission criteria

To be eligible for admission an applicant must satisfy the Research 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 Research 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 Research 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.

How to apply

How to Enrol

Course structure

PhD candidates present their research in a thesis of not more 100,000 words that is examined by at least two external examiners. All candidates must attend a minimum of 8 hours of research seminars each year at the University and either a University Research Day or a research conference each year.

Academic dress

Academic gown

Black Doctoral gown faced with hood colour


Black velvet bonnet


Cherry Red

Where to get further information

Enquiry information