Research by Distance Learning

The School of

Divinity, History, Philosophy & Art History

Maintaining a tradition of teaching & learning dating back over 500 years

Research by Distance Learning

All our postgraduate research degrees may be studied by distance learning, either full-time or part-time: PhD Divinity, PhD in Religious Studies, PhD in History, PhD in Art History, PhD in Philosophy, and the MTh and MLitt degrees by research. This may be especially suitable for those in full-time employment, or for whom relocating to Aberdeen would be difficult. Distance Learning students receive the same level of supervision as on-campus students, with supervision meetings normally conducted online or by telephone. Distance learning students have access to the University Library and resources, and are welcome to visit the campus (a student visitor visa may be required). 


Before you apply

Before you apply, you should contact a potential supervisor to discuss your research proposal and the feasibility of conducting your project at a distance. You and your potential supervisor should discuss whether your research can be undertaken completely at a distance or whether some campus trips will be necessary, especially with regards to acquiring necessary research skills.

You are welcome to visit Aberdeen before the start of your research to become acquainted with your supervisor and the university. If you are interested in undertaking a PhD via distance learning but are uncertain who to approach, please contact the Postgraduate Administrator.

Making an application

You can make your application for a PhD or research masters online. Please read the FAQ page to help you complete your application form.

Alongside your application form, you will need to upload the following supporting documents online:

  • Copies of your undergraduate and graduate degree certificates
  • Academic transcripts for your undergraduate and graduate degrees.
    The transcript, which lists all of the classes taken and marks gained, must be requested by the student. You should therefore get in touch with the University where you gained your degree, and arrange for this to be sent to you.
  • Two academic references; either the details of your referees provided on your application form or uploaded online with your application.
  • Your research proposal
  • If English is not your first language and you have not studied previously at an institution in the UK, you will need to demonstrate your proficiency in English by taking an IELTS, TOEFL or PTE academic test.

If you need to send some of your supporting documents at a later date, you can upload your supporting documents online after you have submitted your application. Please note that your application will not be processed until all supporting documents have been submitted.


Full fees apply.

Application queries

If you have any queries, please contact the Postgraduate Administrator at or alternatively call +44 (0) 1224 272199.