University of Bath Featured Professional Doctorate Programmes
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Professional Doctorate in Religion (DRel)


About This Professional Doctorate

Course Description

This doctoral programme introduces you to issues that relate to you as a professional minister embarking on research. You will also addresses issues related to your ministry.

The learning style is informal and collegiate. There is a strong emphasis on enabling you to develop your writing. You will also focus on critically engaging with key ideas, and developing a research project. The collegiality continues into stage two as you write your doctoral thesis. At this point there will be extended opportunities to share ideas and issues with fellow students and supervisors.

An unusual feature of this DRel is that the taught modules are shared with professionals from various backgrounds who are studying for the Professional Doctorate in Education and the Professional Doctorate in Ministry. You will see how broad theoretical ideas can be applied to specific contexts, and how to apply concepts and ideas to the questions you'd like to explore. In addition, you will use the tools of practical and empirical theology to foster reflection and ensure that your research brings together both empirical and theological insights.

Course structure

Modules include:

  • Identifying and articulating issues in professional practice (45 credits)
  • Contextualising issues in professional practice (45 credits)
  • Researching issues in professional practice (45 credits)
  • Influencing and impacting on issues in professional practice (45 credits)

Teaching and assessment

Teaching is geared to doctoral students. Most sessions consist of seminar-style dialogue and debate. You'll be expected to read the set material in advance and staff will work with you to engage with the ideas and discourses that suit your interests and needs.

We consider that as a doctoral student, you will learn best by doing. This will include producing drafts that help you to form your writing style and distinctive researcher voice.

In year one you will have fixed points at which you need to submit drafts of your two 8,000-word essays. You will then receive detailed feedback from your course leaders and supervisors. The following year, and the thesis stage, will follow a similar pattern.

The four compulsory taught modules are delivered two per year, in the first two years, over a four-day teaching block – one in February and one in May. Outside of these times there are half-days and online contact which enables you to keep in touch and gain regular feedback.


Visit the Professional Doctorate in Religion (DRel) page on the York St John University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Admission to the programme will be decided by an interview panel, and no candidates will be admitted solely on the basis of previous awards or professional experience. The normal minimum entrance qualifications will be:

- An upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent)
- At least two years of relevant professional experience

All candidates must also currently be in a professional role that is relevant to this award. The relevance of past and current experience to a particular award will be judged at interview.


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