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Before applying, applicants for CCS Postgraduate Scholarships and Bursaries must be aware of the following points:

a. To be eligible for consideration, the applicant will be registered in, or applying to, the Department of Theology and Religion[1] at Durham University, and the applicant’s research topic will be in the area of Catholic Theology / Catholic Studies. The following areas of Catholic Theology / Catholic Studies will be considered:

  • Constructive Catholic Theology;
  • Catholic Historical Theology;
  • Interpretation of Scripture in Catholic Tradition;
  • Catholic Social Thought and Practice;
  • The History of Catholicism;
  • Lived Catholicism;
  • Social-Scientific study of Catholicism;
  • Franciscan Studies.

If you are unsure whether your area of research would be considered, please do get in touch.

[1] See footnote #3 below.

b. Note for applicants from the MA in Theology and Religion (V8K407): To be eligible for consideration applicants must opt to pursue an informal pathway in Catholic Studies by undertaking the following:

  • Classic Texts in Christian Theology THEO 43430

And at least two of the following modules: (DL denotes an online Distance Learning module)

  • Modern Catholic Theology: From Newman to Ratzinger THEO 41630
  • Classical Franciscan Theology module code tbc
  • Catholic Theology: A Preliminary Tour (DL) THEO 45930
  • Catholic Social Thought (DL) THEO 46230
  • The Theology of Thomas Aquinas Selected Topics (DL) THEO 46330
  • Conceiving Change in Contemporary Catholicism (DL) THEO 46030
  • Twentieth Century Catholic Theology (DL) THEO 46130
  • High Medieval Franciscan Theology (DL) THEO 46530
  • Faith and Reason (DL) THEO 46430

Applicants from the MA in Theology and Religion (V8K407) must also pursue a dissertation with a clear link to Catholic Theology / Catholic Studies as outlined in (a) above.

c. It is important that new candidates for postgraduate programmes in the Department of Theology and Religion complete their online programme application by the deadlines given above as CCS Scholarship/Bursary applicants must have been formally offered a place on an eligible programme of study before their application for a CCS Scholarship/Bursary can be considered.

d. Eligible current Department of Theology and Religion students who have not previously been in receipt of a CCS Scholarship or Bursary may apply for 2024-25. It is expected that these applicants will have regularly participated in CCS seminars and events during their registration in the Department of Theology and Religion.

e. All tuition fee only scholarships and bursaries will be awarded on the basis of demonstrated financial need, coupled with excellent academic performance.

f. Receipt of any CCS Scholarship or Bursary implies that recipients will share regularly in-person in the academic programme of the CCS through participation in such things as: the thrice-termly Catholic Theology Research Seminar (CTRS), CCS Staff-Student Research Conversations, the annual Bishop Dunn Memorial Lecture, the CCS Friends’ and Benefactors’ events, the Early Career and Postgraduate Conference, and other such events organised by the CCS for the CCS community. Where appropriate and where compatible with students’ other academic commitments, students may be asked to participate in the planning and delivery of such activities.

g. Following application and during the period of any award, receipt of any other scholarship, bursary, or financial assistance towards the cost of tuition fees and/or associated living costs must be declared to the CCS Manager and may lead to a reduction in (and in extreme circumstances total cancellation of) the level of the scholarship/bursary award. Failure to declare any such additional assistance will automatically carry the penalty of total cancellation of any CCS Scholarship/Bursary award. 

h. With the exception of the FCJ and Louis Lafosse Scholarships, due to the limited funding available, support cannot be given towards maintenance costs, just help towards tuition fees.

i. Priority will be given to applicants who are pursuing a research topic in the area of Catholic Theology / Catholic Studies, who demonstrate financial need, and who can demonstrate their ability to meet their own maintenance costs (with the exception of the FCJ and Louise Lafosse Scholarships) and any shortfall in tuition fees.

j. With the exception of the FCJ and Louis Lafosse Scholarships, awards are made for one full academic year and do not imply commitment to renewal for future years of study.

k. That said, priority will be given, where possible, to students who have already been in receipt of a CCS Scholarship or Bursary during the previous academic year and who have at least one further year of study to pursue. Further awards are subject both to sufficient funds being available and to a satisfactory progress report being received from the student’s primary supervisor prior to the meeting of the CCS Scholarships Committee in June.

Please direct any queries to: Mrs Theresa Phillips, CCS Manager, Department of Theology and Religion - +44 (0) 191 334 3952 or

[1] See footnote #3

[1]Applications from students on the DThM programme are only invited after the first taught phase of the programme.

[2] First year IPhD students who are undertaking the Catholic Studies pathway of the MA may apply.  Other students are only eligible to apply after the taught MA phase.

[3] In exceptional circumstances, a PhD candidate’s primary supervisor may be located in another academic department at Durham University other than the Department of Theology and Religion.  However, at Masters level (including the first year of any proposed I-PhD) candidates must be pursing the MA in Christian Theology (Catholic Studies) (V8K607) within the Department of Theology and Religion to be eligible to apply.