Doctoral Programme in Catholic Theology

Curriculum (2009W)

Doktorin/Doktor der Theologie (Dr.theol.)

Duration/ ECTS-Credits
6 semesters / 180 ECTS-Credits

Mode of Study

German / English

Admission Requirements 
Relevant diploma or master's degree or equivalent and Language Certificates

Faculty of Catholic Theology

Qualification Level
Doctorate (Third Cycle)
ISCED-11: Level 8, EQF/NQF: Level 8

0221 Religion and Theology

Study Code
UC 780 xxx | UC 796 100 xxx

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Information on the Curriculum (2009W)

The complete version of the curriculum reflects the currently valid version of the curriculum. It is for informational purposes only and is not legally binding. The legally binding version of the curriculum, including any amendments, may be found in the University of Innsbruck Bulletins.

In order to determine which version of the curriculum is applicable in your case, see the Catalogue of Studies,
 available at:
Section: Current Curriculum version.


Relevant master's or diploma degrees at the University of Innsbruck:

Proof of general university entrance qualification:

With the exception of § 64 par. 5 UG 2002, the general university entrance qualification for admission to a doctoral programme shall be demonstrated by the completion of a relevant diploma programme or master's programme or another relevant programme of at least the same level of higher education at a recognised domestic or foreign post-secondary educational institution. To compensate for substantial subject-related differences, supplementary examinations may be prescribed, which must be taken by the end of the second semester of the doctoral degree programme.

The rectorate may determine which of these supplementary examinations are prerequisites for taking examinations provided for in the curriculum of the doctoral degree programme.

Modules and Dissertation

Compulsory Modules60 ECTS-CreditsDissertation 120 ECTS-Credits
Specialisation in the Subject of the Doctoral Thesis20 ECTS-Credits Philosophy of Science6 ECTS-Credits Didactics of Science and Participation in Scientific Discourse6 ECTS-Credits Extension in further Subjects12 ECTS-Credits Plurality and Unity in Theologic Subjects 14 ECTS-Credits Doctoral Thesis Defense2 ECTS-Credits The dissertation is an academic thesis which – in contrast to a diploma or master‘s thesis – serves to prove the student's ability to cope with scientific questions in an independent way. The dissertation agreement defines the subject area from which the dissertation topic is to be chosen, the dissertation topic. Subject areas are: Philosophy, Old Testament studies, New Testament studies, Church History and Patrology, Dogmatic Theology, Ecumenical Theology, Fundamental Theology, Religious Studies, Moral Theology, Christian Social Ethics, Liturgical Studies and Sacramental Theology, Pastoral Theology, Canon Law, Catechetics and Religious Pedagogy. The student has to propose a team of supervisors, consisting of at least two people (dissertation committee), and to nominate one of them as the main supervisor. It is permissible to also propose supervisors (with the exception of the main supervisor) from subject-related fields. Only one of the chosen supervisors can also be consulted as a reviewer. Prior to beginning the work, the student has to communicate the dissertation topic and names of the supervisors in writing to the Director of Studies. Topic and supervisors are considered as accepted, unless the Director of Studies vetoes them by means of a decree within one month after the receipt of the proposal.

Qualification Profile and Skills

The Doctoral Programme in Catholic Theology enables graduates to pursue independent, creative scientific work, which is documented by the dissertation as an independent piece of research achievement.

The programme is integrated into the school research centers or other research projects so that it leads to professional reflection on current questions of theology, carried out in interdisciplinary cooperation with different fields of theology and in dialogue with other sciences.

The Doctoral Programme in Catholic Theology aims at achieving the following key qualifications:

  • competence to conduct independent theological research;
  • specialized knowledge in the field of the dissertation and one additional subject;
  • integration of this knowledge into the overall context of theology;
  • independent development of theological concepts and hypotheses;
  • competence in the theory and didactics of science;
  • skills of self-organized learning, of professional discussion on expert level, and of interdisciplinary dialogue;
  • competence to present one's research results and knowledge in academic and non-academic contexts;
  • competence to reflect on the relevance of the academic theological discourse for the life of church and society;
  • development of an academic theological capability of discernment through the integration of the knowledge gained into one's personality.

Expected Learning Outcomes for the Doctorate

Graduates are qualified junior scientists. They are proficient in the methods used in research in the field of their respective subject of disseration and are able to discuss and analyze such methods critically and to participate in their further development. Junior scientists have the expertise to independently develop and conduct substantial research projects and are qualified to reflect on these processes from the perspective of scientific theory.

Future Prospects: Occupational Profiles and Career Opportunities

The Doctoral Programme in Catholic Theology qualifies graduates to teach at universities and other academic institutions and forms highly qualified scientists for academic careers or important positions in church and society. It promotes advanced competence in the history and theory of science with respect to the chosen theological subjects and enhances the students' political sensitivity for the role and significance of theology in ecclesial, academic and social contexts.

Interview with a graduate: Dr. Juliana Troy, 2013 (year of graduation)
"People who do not have solid knowledge of theology and have not reflected upon and tested their 'own' theology will have a difficult time doing theology with others."
To the interview

Information about examination regulations, assessment and grading

Examination regulations

The examination regulation is an integral part of the curriculum, detailed information can be found under the paragraph examination regulations.

The grade distribution table is a statistical representation of the distribution of all successfully completed examinations in a given programme of study or subject (based on all registered students for the programme or subject). The grade distribution table is updated in regular intervals.

Austrian grading  scheme Definition  %-age
 1 EXCELLENT:  Outstanding performance 62.3= 100%
 2  GOOD:  Generally good, but with some errors 25
 3 SATISFACTORY:  Generally sound work with a number of substantial errors 9
 4 SUFFICIENT:  Performance meets the minimum criteria 3.7
 5 INSUFFICIENT:  Substantial improvement necessary; requirement of further work

December 2021

Overall classification of the qualification

Not applicable
Explanation: An overall classification (mit Auszeichnung bestanden/pass with distinction, bestanden/pass, nicht bestanden/fail) – is awarded only for examinations that conclude a programme of study and consist of more than one subject (an examination of this type is not specified in the curriculum of this programme of study).


Defensio dates
Winter semester 2023/2024:
Di, 3 October 2023 (deadline for registration Di, 12 September 2023)
Di, 24 October 2023 (deadline for registration Di, 03 October 2023)
Di, 30 January 2024 (deadline for registration Di, 09 January 2024)

Summer semester 2024:
Di, 5 March 2024 (deadline for registration Di, 13 February 2024)
Di, 19 March 2024 (deadline for registration Di, 27 February 2024)
Di, 25 June 2024 (deadline for registration Di, 04 June 2024)

Winter semester 2024/2025
•    Di, 8. October 2024 (deadline for registration: Di, 17. September 2024)
•    Di, 22. October 2024 (deadline for registration: Di, 1. October 2024)
•    Di, 28. January 2025 (deadline for registration: Di, 7. January 2025)

Summer semester 2025
•    Di, 4. March 2025 (deadline for registration: Di, 11. February 2025)
•    Di, 25. March 2025 (deadline for registration: Di, 4. March 2025)
•    Di, 24. June 2025 (deadline for registration: Di, 3. June 2025)

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