Cutting-edge research into religion in an international and interdisciplinary environment.

Degree programme objectives

The objective of the doctoral degree study programme in the Study of Religions at Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts, is the systematic preparation for academic work in the study of religions or related fields. The programme involves original and creative work under the guidance of a supervisor. Students go through all stages of the research process, from designing a research project proposal, through collecting and analysing data, to publishing the results and writing a dissertation.

The curriculum is organized on the basis of a credit system, offering the possibility for individual choices concerning the study timeline and thematic modifications, including opportunities for fieldwork and study stays abroad. The core of the curriculum consists of four doctoral seminars in which students finalize their dissertation project, read and discuss complex theoretical texts, improve their academic writing, decide about their publication project, become acquainted with the peer-review process and other practical and ethical aspects of academic publishing, and write their dissertations. During their studies, students submit at least one academic book review related to their dissertation project, one grant application, and one article concerned with the central topic of the dissertation. They develop their presentation skills and participate in at least one local and one international conference. In other courses, they deepen their competence in theory and methodology and participate in further theoretical, methodological, subject-oriented, or language courses according to their speciality and dissertation project. Under the guidance of their supervisor, they participate in teaching undergraduate students, thereby gaining valuable teaching experience.

The doctoral programme in the study of religions is open to graduates with a Master’s degree in the study of religions or a related discipline, particularly sociology, anthropology, history, or psychology, who intend to develop their academic skills and pursue a career in academia.

The profile research areas of supervisors at the Department for the Study of Religions at Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts include evolutionary and cognitive approaches to religion; digital and computational research into religion (network analysis, geographic information systems); non-religion and atheism; religions of the Roman Empire, early Judaism, and early Christianity; nonconformist movements in medieval Christianity; medieval Christian missions to Asia and Christianity in India; the visual culture of Buddhism; Czechoslovak Oriental Studies in the 20th century; ancient Chinese texts; Japanese Buddhism; discourse analysis of online media; field research in contemporary religiosity; and the dynamics of sacralisation and disenchantment in the modern world.

The doctoral programme in the study of religions at Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts, benefits from the expertise of the oldest department for the study of religions in the Czech Republic, which is well-established and internationally recognized. Among comparable doctoral programmes, it stands out in virtue of its focus on strong interdisciplinary research, its emphasis on transferable skills, its involvement of students in team projects, and its extensive network of international contacts in the profile research areas, which enhances the chances for graduates to obtain positions in academia and/or submit successful post-doctoral projects.

Study plans

Admission Procedures
Přijímací řízení do doktorských programů - akad.rok 2022/2023 (zahájení: podzim 2022)
Submission deadline until midnight 30/4/2022

  • Information on entrance examinations designed for this degree programme

    Application dates: January 1 – April 30, 2022.

    Deadline for the submission of additional materials: May 15, 2022.

    Additional materials:

    • CV (including a list of publications);
    • dissertation project proposal (using the form).

      Please send the additional materials in DOCX or PDF format to the department (religion@phil.muni.cz). All documents are to be inserted to the e-application ("Documents section") at the same time, deadline May 15, 2022. Applicants are requested to include their full name and application number in all attached documents.

      The admission exam is based on the candidate’s presentation of the dissertation project proposal, followed by a discussion.

      Note: The M.A. diploma (official copy; for education obtained outside of the Czech Republic also its nostrification) is required upon inscription in studies. It is not required for the admission exam.

  • Evaluation criteria valid for the applicants applying for a place on this degree programme

    Success limit: 80 points (max. 100 points).

Studies

  • Objectives

    The objective of the doctoral degree study programme in the Study of Religions at Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts, is the systematic preparation for academic work in the study of religions or related fields. The programme involves original and creative work under the guidance of a supervisor. Students go through all stages of the research process, from designing a research project proposal, through collecting and analysing data, to publishing the results and writing a dissertation.

    The curriculum is organized on the basis of a credit system, offering the possibility for individual choices concerning the study timeline and thematic modifications, including opportunities for fieldwork and study stays abroad. The core of the curriculum consists of four doctoral seminars in which students finalize their dissertation project, read and discuss complex theoretical texts, improve their academic writing, decide about their publication project, become acquainted with the peer-review process and other practical and ethical aspects of academic publishing, and write their dissertations. During their studies, students submit at least one academic book review related to their dissertation project, one grant application, and one article concerned with the central topic of the dissertation. They develop their presentation skills and participate in at least one local and one international conference. In other courses, they deepen their competence in theory and methodology and participate in further theoretical, methodological, subject-oriented, or language courses according to their speciality and dissertation project. Under the guidance of their supervisor, they participate in teaching undergraduate students, thereby gaining valuable teaching experience.

    The doctoral programme in the study of religions is open to graduates with a Master’s degree in the study of religions or a related discipline, particularly sociology, anthropology, history, or psychology, who intend to develop their academic skills and pursue a career in academia.

    The profile research areas of supervisors at the Department for the Study of Religions at Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts include evolutionary and cognitive approaches to religion; digital and computational research into religion (network analysis, geographic information systems); non-religion and atheism; religions of the Roman Empire, early Judaism, and early Christianity; nonconformist movements in medieval Christianity; medieval Christian missions to Asia and Christianity in India; the visual culture of Buddhism; Czechoslovak Oriental Studies in the 20th century; ancient Chinese texts; Japanese Buddhism; discourse analysis of online media; field research in contemporary religiosity; and the dynamics of sacralisation and disenchantment in the modern world.

    The doctoral programme in the study of religions at Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts, benefits from the expertise of the oldest department for the study of religions in the Czech Republic, which is well-established and internationally recognized. Among comparable doctoral programmes, it stands out in virtue of its focus on strong interdisciplinary research, its emphasis on transferable skills, its involvement of students in team projects, and its extensive network of international contacts in the profile research areas, which enhances the chances for graduates to obtain positions in academia and/or submit successful post-doctoral projects.

  • Learning Outcomes

    After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:

    • understand complex theoretical texts in the humanities and the social sciences;
    • connect the general/theoretical and empirical/practical aspects of research in the humanities and social sciences;
    • use selected methods of data collection and data analysis in the humanities and social sciences on an advanced level;
    • design and conduct complex, systematic, original, methodologically sound, and theoretically relevant research in the study of religions;
    • clarify the theoretical foundations of their research;
    • place the results of their research in the context of the international state of research on the topic;
    • understand the practical and ethical aspects of research and academic publishing;
    • write high-quality and relevant academic texts meeting international standards;
    • communicate the acquired knowledge and experience in teaching, lectures, and publications;
    • apply teaching experience and organizational skills in practice.
  • Occupational Profiles of Graduates

    Graduates are qualified for positions in teaching and research in the study of religions and related fields; in non-governmental organizations focusing on minorities or intercultural translation; in state administration where the position requires knowledge of different cultures, religions, and ethnic groups and decision-making based on facts; in education; in the media; and in the translation of literature in the humanities and social sciences. They are also able to prepare grant applications in the public and private sectors.

    In academia, graduates can offer outstanding and state-of-the-art orientation in the contemporary study of religions with respect to major recent international developments in theory and methodology; interdisciplinary thinking; skills relating to theoretically founded and empirically precise research; and experience in research, as well as teaching, publishing, and preparing grant applications and projects.

    Employers outside academia will benefit from graduates’ analytical skills, their ability to work on demanding and long-term projects, their independent and critical thinking, and their skills in the preparation of well-founded materials for decision-making.

  • Practical Training

    The curriculum does not include any obligatory third-party practical training. The whole study is oriented towards the practical aspects of the research process.

  • Goals of Theses

    In their dissertations, Ph.D. candidates present research results obtained under the guidance of their supervisors. The dissertation has to contain original, significant, and published or forthcoming results. It can be either a monograph or a set of related published or forthcoming articles with an introduction and commentary. The length of a monographic dissertation is between 180,000 and 270,000 characters including spaces (100–150 standard pages). A dissertation composed of articles is not defined by required length but must contain at least three lead-author publications, or two lead-author publications together with other two publications as co-author. The publications must be published or accepted for publication in journals indexed in the Scopus or Web of Science databases with the exception of one, which can be an article in a journal not indexed in these databases, a book chapter or a paper in proceedings. This set of publications must be provided with (1) acknowledgements or preface, explaining in a detailed way the candidate's authorial input and containing bibliographic citations of the publications; (2) comprehensive introduction in the topic, and (3) conclusion summarizing the results. Whenever results of collective work are used as part of dissertation, the MUNI Study and Examination Regulations (art. 31.4.b) also requires a „statement issued by the supervisor, attesting to a student’s authorship of the indicated parts of the thesis and evaluating his/her contribution“. In practice, this statement should be part of the supervisor's assessment submitted as part of the thesis defence.

  • Additional Information

Basic information

Abbreviation
D-RL_
Type
doctoral degree programme
Degree
Ph.D.
Length of studies
4 years
Language of instruction
Czech Czech

Faculty of Arts
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Programme guarantor