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Tel: 020 8240 4219

Current Opportunity: Doctoral Studentship in New Testament

Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible, School of Education, Theology, and Leadership

Applications are invited for a fully-funded full-time three-year PhD studentship at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London, to begin on 1st January 2014, though the start date is negotiable. The successful candidate will work under the supervision of the Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, Prof Chris Keith, on a topic addressing any aspect of the social history of early Christianity.  Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the Synoptic Gospels, Gospel of John, historical Jesus, scribal culture of early Christianity, social-scientific criticism, social memory theory, the narrativization of violence, and the reception history of New Testament practices and tradition in the first three centuries.   

The studentship will provide full-time PhD student fees of £4,040 p.a. and a bursary of £13,000 p.a. Applicants should have a good first degree in a relevant discipline, as well as an established knowledge, preferably at MA level, of New Testament studies.  Proficiency in Hellenistic (Koine) Greek is required.

The successful applicant will also be linked with the work of the Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible, which aims to establish St Mary’s as an international leader in the application of social-scientific criticism to biblical traditions and texts. Possible roles include aiding in conference organisation and limited undergraduate lecturing. For these reasons, it is highly recommended that the successful applicant be located within Greater London area during their studies. Visit the CSSSB webpages for more information about the Centre.

To apply, please download and complete a PhD studentship application form and send it together with a current CV to:

Claire Tapia
St Mary’s University
Waldegrave Road
Strawberry Hill
Twickenham TW1 4SX

Email: claire.tapia@smuc.ac.uk 
Tel: 020 8240 4164




Research Degrees at St Mary's

A research degree involves defining your own area of research enquiry, working closely with a team who will guide and support you. You should, however, be aware that a research degree is very much an independent piece of work and as such requires the ability to structure and manage your own time.

We offer the opportunity to study for an MPhil or PhD, working on your research project alongside highly experienced researchers.

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

An MPhil is normally in the region of 40,000 words in length and is usually completed within two years full-time and four years part-time.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

A PhD is normally in the region of 80,000 words and no more than 100,000 words, and is usually completed within three years full-time or six years part-time.

In both cases you will be examined through your thesis and by viva voce examination. All students who have not already completed a relevant Masters degree, or other appropriate postgraduate research methods training, are required to complete a suitable research methodology course early in their registration as part of their programme of study. This will provide you with a firm grounding for your research project.

These programmes offered are awarded by the University of Surrey.


You should have a good first degree and/or Masters, and  academic interest that closely coincides with the academic expertise of a member of staff. If you are an international student* (not from the UK or the EU), there are other eligibility requirements.

How to Apply

All potential research students must discuss their proposal with the member of academic staff in one of the Academic Schools.

School of Arts and Humanities

Contact Lance Pettitt at lance.pettitt@smuc.ac.uk

School of Education, Theology and Leadership

Contact Jane Renowden at jane.renowden@smuc.ac.uk

School of Sport, Health and Applied Science

Contact Charlie Pedlar at charles.pedlar@smuc.ac.uk

School of Management and Social Sciences

Contact Lise Georgeson at lise.georgeson@smuc.ac.uk

Following that discussion, if we can support you in your research, one of the following options will be offered with appropriate forms provided:

Pre-registration with St Mary's

This is a preparatory stage to develop your proposal for application to full registration.

Full registration with St Mary's and the University of Surrey

If the academic staff consider that your proposal is sufficiently developed they may advise application to full registration. Once approved by St Mary's and the University of Surrey, your research can begin.

More information about the application process can be found in the following documents:


Fees vary depending on mode of study, area of study and student status, i.e. whether you are full-time or part-time, which subject you are studying and whether you are a UK, EU or International student. Annual fees for the MPhil / PhD programmes of study can be found on the Home and EU students fee page and on the International students fee page.