Study of Religions

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

What will you learn?

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.

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.

Further information

Career opportunities

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.

Admission requirements

Data from the previous admission procedure (1 Aug – 30 Nov 2021)

Application dates: September 15 – November 30, 2021.

Deadline for the submission of additional materials: December 15, 2021.

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 ( All documents are to be inserted to the e-application ("Documents section") at the same time, deadline December 15, 2021. 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.

Criteria for evaluation

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

Study information

Provided by Faculty of Arts
Type of studies Doctoral
Mode full-time Yes
combined No
Study options single-subject studies Yes
single-subject studies with specialization No
major/minor studies No
Standard length of studies 4 years
Language of instruction Czech
Doctoral board and doctoral committees

Do you have any questions?
Send us an e-mail to

doc. PhDr. David Zbíral, Ph.D.



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