Research ( part-time)
Course duration: 3-6 years (part-time).
This course is located in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. Find out more about our research.
Whether you’re developing social policy, running a business or are a minister of religion, this innovative part-time doctoral course will deepen your understanding of the spiritual and ethical dimensions.
This course is located in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Find out more about our research.
Developed and run in partnership with the Cambridge Theological Federation, our course begins with an in-depth introduction to practical theology’s key debates, methods and thinkers; and to advanced research methods. This is delivered through two taught modules, available through either blended or distance learning, each assessed by a 7,000-word assignment. On satisfactory completion of the taught modules, you will develop your research proposal and then complete a 60,000-word dissertation.
Throughout the programme, you will benefit from the support and guidance of world class theologians; and from high-quality supervision and research training. There are a number of research seminar days each year, as well as a three-day summer school, but with an independent study commitment of 6-8 hours per week it’s possible to combine the course with a job.
Personal faith commitment isn’t necessary – and you’ll be able to tailor your research proposal to reflect your personal and/or professional interests.
Course Leader: Dr Andrew Todd
Theologians from Anglia Ruskin University and the Cambridge Theological Federation will support the taught stage of your course and we’ve supervisors available nationally and internationally to support you in preparing your thesis. The University provides a full programme of research training.
In the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, we use our expertise and connections in Cambridge and beyond to nurture creativity through experimentation and risk-taking, and encourage critical thinking, in order to educate, entertain, inspire and understand, as well as to improve people’s lives.
In some cases extra costs known as bench fees will be charged for a postgraduate research degree. These are to cover additional/exceptional costs directly related to a specific research project.
Some examples of these costs are (the list is not exhaustive): equipment hire, access costs to specialist equipment/workshops, volunteer expenses, specialist tissue/cell culture, specialist reagents or materials, specialist software, access to specialist databases, data collection costs, specialist media, recording or digital storage needs.
We charge bench fees in bands. They may apply for every year of your course. These bands are the same for full- and part-time students.
If you have to pay bench fees this will be made clear at your interview, and stated in your offer letter.
For 2021/22 the bench fee bands are:
Part time: £1,000
Full time: £1,800
You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in instalments – though you won't need to pay until you've accepted an offer to study with us. Find out more about paying your fees.
ARU's academic excellence was recognised in 2021, as part of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), an exercise which assesses the quality of academic research. Sixteen areas of our work were classed as generating world-leading research. The results showed that we're making a significant impact on the societies we live in.
We welcome UK and international students from many walks of life, including the various faith ministries, industry and business, government and public services. You’ll be able to research the aspects of practical theology most relevant to your life, vocation or profession and will gain practical theological knowledge, along with the skills to apply it.
You’ll normally need a Masters degree in a related subject, plus appropriate professional experience that will allow you to successfully complete the programme. If you do not have a Masters degree, we may still consider you for admission to the Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Research with the possibility of subsequent progression to the Professional Masters or Professional Doctorate provided you have at least a 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) and appropriate research and professional experience.
We’ll carefully evaluate your academic and professional background and, where appropriate, invite you for interview.
You'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.
Studying during COVID-19
Due to national restrictions all universities in England, including ARU, are only able to provide face to face access to research resources in limited circumstances where access can be justified under movement restrictions. Visit our restrictions page for details. All assessments and supervision are currently conducted online.
In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic and related Government guidance, your research programme will be framed, wherever possible, to be conducted away from campus and in line with movement restrictions. For some types of research attendance on campus will be essential for some activities, and these activities will need to be undertaken in a COVID-19 safe manner in line with our risk management procedures.
In the event that there are further changes to the current restrictions that are in place within the UK due to the pandemic, we may need all of our researchers to work online only at short notice to remain in line with Government guidelines and ensure the continued safety of our students and staff.
We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.
If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.
If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.
Part-time research ()
Part-time research ()
Part-time research (6 years)