Religious Studies

Religious Studies


Religious studies focuses on explaining the origin and function of religion and not on evaluating the truth of the beliefs of religion.

It is a distinct area of study from Divinity, and considers practices as much as beliefs, Western and Eastern religions as well as ancient and modern ones.

September and January start dates available

Our Research

Students who decide to study a topic related to religion, myth, or ritual are supervised by experts in the field of Religious Studies. Whether you are interested in theories of religion, Gnosticism, ancient Greek religions, or the social scientific study of religion, Aberdeen offers the opportunity to make use of our exceptional resources as you work on your thesis.

Research Interests

Theories of Religion, Theories of Myth, and Theories of Ritual

Explore Theories of Religion, Theories of Myth, and Theories of Ritual

Gnosticism - Ancient and Modern

Gnosticism taken as an ancient, long dead religion and in Gnosticism as also a modern, even perennial, world view.

Gnosticism - Ancient and Modern

Ancient Greek Religion and the Near East

Supervision can be offered in any aspect of Ancient Greek Religion, in particular, from a cultural or historical perspective. The current research interest of the supervisor is Greek and the Near East.

Supervisor: Dr Samantha Newington

Ancient Greek Religion and the Near East

Entry Requirements

Normally, the minimum entrance requirement for admission to the PhD is a degree with Second Class Honours (Upper Division) in an appropriate field, or equivalent. It is preferable that you hold a Masters in the chosen area of study as well.

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.
  • 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.

International Applicants

Fees and Funding

View the tuition fee rates

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

1st in Scotland for Research Impact

In the most recent (2014) Research Excellence Framework, Religious Studies was ranked 1st in Scotland for Research Impact, thereby confirming its reputation for outstanding scholarship.


There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers and Employability Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Career Opportunities

  • Advisor
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  • Military Sector
  • Researcher
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What our Alumni Say

Nathalie Pilard

Nathalie Pilard

Nathalie Pilard

Job Details
Associate Lecturer in Religious Studies
Graduated 2013

Belonging to the academic RS community (notably by sharing offices with postgrads) strongly created a sense of solidarity that prepared me for the relationships with colleagues in other RS departments.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

School of Divinity, History, Philosophy and Art History
University of Aberdeen
50-52 College Bounds
AB24 3DS