Research Degrees in Religions and Philosophies
Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time
The SOAS Religions and Philosophies Department offers a vibrant, stimulating, and interdisciplinary research environment. We provide individual research supervision in a wide variety of religious traditions and comparative and interdisciplinary topics. Supervisors are experts in their fields and thoroughly familiar with the religions, cultures, languages, and geographical areas they specialize in.
In addition to individual supervision the Department offers research training at various levels: an obligatory research writing workshop which prepares year 1 MPhil students for their upgrade to the PhD level; a weekly seminar for PhD students in years 2 and 3 to discuss work in progress and receive feedback before submitting their thesis; a departmental research seminar in which both staff and students present papers on their research projects and discuss them in an interdisciplinary setting. Students also have the opportunity to attend seminars, lectures, and conferences offered by the various specialist Centres relating to their particular fields. These centers run regular evening lecture series, workshops, and conferences which host visiting speakers from other universities in Britain, Europe, and globally.
As you think about commencing your PhD with us, we invite you to contact a potential supervisor in your area of interest, ideally with the first draft of your project proposal. This member of staff will then advise you on your project and on any questions you might have before making your application.
A SOAS PhD degree has to be completed within a maximum of four years. A draft of the thesis must be ready at the end of year 3; during year 4 the student is on continuation status, also referred to as an 'extension of writing up'; the completed thesis must be submitted until September 15 of year 4 of registration.
All first-year research students are registered for MPhil status. The outcome of a mini-viva at the end of term 3 conducted by the three members of the student’s supervisory committee determines whether they will be (a) upgraded to PhD candidate status, (b) continue as MPhil candidates, (c) need to revise his or her proposal, or (d) should terminate registration.
In the first year, students develop their specific research projects and plans in consultation with the three members of their supervisory committee. Individual supervisions, the obligatory departmental research writing workshop, and generic core writing courses help students prepare their upgrade submission materials which have to be submitted by the submission deadline in May.