Doctoral degrees

The doctoral degree (Ph.D., professional or higher doctorate) (UNESCO ISCED level 8) is a senior academic award that signifies a degree of command of the subject concerned such that the recipient can operate at the highest professional level. In the European education system, it usually occupies a minimum of three years full-time postgraduate study (or part-time equivalent) following a bachelor’s degree, or two years following a master’s degree, though these minima are frequently extended.

The Western Orthodox University offers multiple options to earn a doctoral degree. All such options can be completed fully by self-paced distance learning, with no physical attendance required for supervision or assessment.

As well as the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), the Western Orthodox University awards the Doctor of Theology (Th.D.), Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.), Doctor of Narrative Studies (D.N.S.), Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) and Doctor of Music (D.Mus.) as first doctoral degrees.

For entry to a doctoral programme, a bachelor’s degree or equivalent credential is a requirement, and a master’s degree is usual. However, candidates without a master’s degree can (as is usual in the British/European education system) be admitted to the doctoral programme on a probationary basis.

Admission to a higher doctorate (including Doctor of Letters (D.Litt) and Doctor of Canon Law (D.Can.L)) and to the Doctor of Divinity programme for bishops does not require formal academic prerequisites, but in each case, the candidate will be expected to show that their background is at least at a commensurate level to that of a Ph.D. holder.

ABD and transferring incomplete doctoral work to the University

Some candidates following an American-style doctoral programme are required to complete both coursework and a dissertation. The acronym ABD (all but dissertation) refers to those who have completed the coursework component satisfactorily at another university but for whatever reason have yet to complete the dissertation component. We can offer these candidates the opportunity to transfer in their existing doctoral credits and then complete their dissertation with us.