PhD in Philosophy and Religious Studies

Duration: 4 years
Medium of Instruction: English


  • The programme offers high quality and research-intensive education in philosophy and religious studies leading to a PhD in philosophy.
  • PhD students write dissertations and conduct research projects in a variety of areas. Current fields of expertise include comparative philosophy, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, Chinese philosophy, political philosophy, and critical theory.
  • Students are being prepared to undertake academic careers in philosophy and religious studies as well as related fields.


  • The programme is highly international and diverse, both in terms of its faculty as well as its student community. PhD students are encouraged to spend part of their study period at international partner institutions.
  • The research-intensive programme organizes a number of high-calibre international events such as lectures, conferences and workshops each academic year.
  • The programme has been successful in securing PhD-student funding either through scholarships or assistantships in UM.

Programme Intended Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the program, successful learners in the programme will be able to:

    1. Compose a work of original research built around a clearly articulated thesis and constituting a contribution to a particular field of either philosophy or religious studies.
    2. Formulate a thesis expressing an interpretation of the thought of a particular figure in the history of either Western/Chinese philosophy or religious studies, or the solution to a particular problem in contemporary philosophy, or a novel approach to a topic in religious studies.
    3. Produce original work, which is suitable for publication in reputable philosophy or religious studies academic venues.
    4. Evaluate and synthetize scholarly and research-based literature.
    5. Design, write, and conduct original research projects in at least one field within the areas of philosophy and/or religious studies.
    6. Implement flexibility of approach, problem solving, and critical analysis.
    7. Disseminate the results of scholarship by oral/written communication to a variety of audiences.
    8. Convey the relevance and value of their research to national and international communities of scholars and collaborators.

Graduation Requirements

  • A coursework plus thesis requirement of 24 credits:
    • 3 courses (which is equal to 6 credits) taken over 2 semesters;
    • Doctoral Thesis (18 credits) starting from the 3rd semester.
  • In order to graduate, the student must complete all coursework, pass the qualifying examination within 2 years after his/her initial registration, pass the thesis proposal assessment to achieve PhD candidacy within 4 years after his/her initial registration at UM, and submit and successfully defend the required PhD’s thesis.

Entry Requirements

Please refer to the website of the Graduate School for details.

Career Prospects

The majority of PhD graduates pursues academic careers after graduation. In recent years our graduates have been exceptionally successful. The placement record of our young PhD programme is currently at 100%. Graduates have taken on academic positions at institutions including the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, University of Saint Joseph (Macau) and Sun Yat-sen University.