Doctor of Philosophy Programme Faculty of Catholic Theology

Faculty School of Catholic Theology
Duration / ECTS-Credits 6 semesters / 180 ECTS-Credits
Academic Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Qualification Level
Doctorate (Third Cycle)
ISCED-11: Level 8, EQF/NQF: Level 8
ISCED-F 0221 Religion and Theology
Mode of Study Full-Time
Study Code 
UC 094 xxx | UC 794 140 xxx
Information on the Curriculum (2009W)*
Language of Instruction German / English
Admission Requirements
Relevant diploma or master's degree or equivalent and Language Certificates

* 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.

University of Innsbruck Bulletins »



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 Modules
30 ECTS-Credits
150 ECTS-Credits

Academic Core Competences for the Dissertation Topic
12 ECTS-Credits

Theory of Knowledge and Sciences and Didactics of Sciences
10 ECTS- Credits

Active Participation in Scientific Discourse
6 ECTS- Credits

Doctoral Thesis Defense
2 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 topic has to be chosen from the fields of philosophy or Catholic religious pedagogy and is to be defined in the dissertation agreement.

The student has to propose a team of supervisors, consisting of at least two persons (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.

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 Doctor of Philosophy Programme School of Catholic Theology is a joint study programme of Catholic Pedagogy of Religion and Philosophy at the School of Catholic Theology. It specifically deepens and consolidates the graduates' communicative and interdisciplinary competences, as well as their understanding of the theory of science and didactics; special consideration is given to basic human questions of ideology and a responsible treatment of faith and religion in the public life of the church and of society. The programme guides students towards independent and creative practical academic work and is meant to be the first step of an academic career.

The focus of the programme includes the acquisition of:

  • knowledge in the disciplines required for a successful pursuit of the dissertation;
  • competences in self-perception and self-assessment;
  • competences in the area of academic teaching and learning as well as the presentation of academic results in public;
  • linguistic, communicative, as well as planning and managerial competences.

Depending on the topic chosen for the dissertation, the dissertation will focus on questions of philosophy or religious pedagogy.

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 Doctor of Philosophy Programme School of Catholic Theology qualifies graduates for professional careers which require the application of special academic knowledge and methods:

  • to pursue academic careers, to teach at universities and other academic institutions, and to conduct academic work, especially in an interdisciplinary context and/or in basic research,
  • but also for occupational fields which require academically well-founded orientation knowledge, the special competence of critical analysis and the ability to take an argumentatively plausible and academically responsible position, as well as theological judgment and didactic competences. 

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.

Description of the applied grading system (including the grade distribution table) »

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
 Outstanding performance
= 100%


 Generally good, but with some errors
 Generally sound work with a number of substantial errors
 Performance meets the minimum criteria
 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). 

Information about the Programme (in German only)

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)

Forms (in German only)

Contact and Information

Examination Office
Standort Universitätsstraße 15 Piktogramm barrierefreier Zugang

Dean of Studies
Priv.-Doz. Dr. Liborius Olaf Lumma

Information for students with disabilities

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