Master of Philosophy [MPhil]

CRICOS code: 077752A (Accredited through UD)


The Master of Philosophy is a higher degree by research. The purpose of the Master of Philosophy is to qualify individuals who apply an advanced body of knowledge in a range of contexts for research and scholarship, and as a pathway for possible further study.

Changes to the award

A revised version of the regulation and determination for this award comes into effect on 1 September 2017 affecting all currently enrolled students and all students admitted for a 2018 commencement. See

Course outcomes

Graduates of the Master of Philosophy:

  1. have a body of knowledge that includes the understanding of recent developments in a field of study within divinity or one or more of its associated disciplines;
  2. have an advanced knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to the field in which the research has been carried out;
  3. have cognitive skills to demonstrate mastery of theoretical knowledge and to reflect critically on theory and its application
  4. have cognitive skills to investigate, analyse, and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories, including the management of significant amounts of information, effective use and differentiation of primary and secondary resources, and identification and application of appropriate research resources such as computer programs, libraries, the internet, archives, databases or interviews
  5. have communication and technical skills to present a coherent and sustained argument, and to disseminate research results to specialist and non-specialists audiences
  6. have communication and technical skills to design, implement, evaluate, analyse, theorise and disseminate research that makes a contribution to knowledge within divinity or one or more of its associated disciplines
  7. have sufficient psychological strength to work with a high degree of independence on a research project and to engage strategies to cope with the stress accompanying such a project and its necessary deadlines
  8. have the capacity to balance independent initiative and response to constructive criticism, and to learn from others.
  9. apply knowledge and skills with initiative and creativity in new situations or in further learning

10. apply knowledge and skills with a high level of personal autonomy and accountability

11. apply knowledge and skills to plan and execute a substantial piece of research

12. apply explicit and implicit ethical considerations to the formulation of a research project

13. apply established theories to different bodies of knowledge or practice

14. apply knowledge and skills to generate and evaluate complex ideas and concepts at an abstract level

Follow on study

Graduates may be eligible for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy.

Course structure

There are two streams in the Master of Philosophy. All candidates must complete a postgraduate unit in Research Methodologies.

The MPhil by major thesis requires submission for examination of a thesis of 40,000 words.

The MPhil by minor thesis requires completion of two postgraduate coursework units and submission for examination of a thesis of 25,000 words.

A thesis submitted for the MPhil is examined by two examiners external to the University of Divinity.

Entry requirements

  • To be eligible for admission an applicant must satisfy the Research Committee that he or she has completed one of the following awards at the University of Divinity to the specified standard, or an equivalent award in divinity or its associated disciplines at another higher education provider recognised by the Academic Board to an equivalent standard:
    • a Masters by coursework with a 75% average; or
    • a Graduate Diploma with a 75% average; or
    • a four year undergraduate degree with Honours with a 75% average.
  • An applicant must also satisfy the Research Committee that he or she has completed a research essay or thesis of at least 12,000 words graded at or above 75%. The research essay or thesis may have been completed either within one of the awards listed above or as part of another program of study.
  • Where the first language is other than English please see the English Language Requirements Policy and Procedures.

For published information specific to this course, including the associated regulation, go to the Master of Philosophy.

ALC operates with a policy of credit transfer and recognition of prior learning (RPL); see the Course Credit Policy.


  • 3 years part-time
  • 18 months full-time

Study modes

  • In the MPhil by minor thesis, the postgraduate coursework units are taught either face-to-face or online.

Course updated: 10/04/2017 11:03am