Philosophy of the Programme

There is no society that does not focus on their past, present and future in their daily life experiences. This is why religion comes in handy to explain issues, which are difficult to explain using our limited comprehension of the activities that take place in this world. There are many challenging situations in this world hence, the main goals of religion include describing, explaining the diversity of religious knowledge practices and values that humans are involved in their daily life experience.  

Rationale of the Programme

The modern Kenyan society is deeply religious with a wide diversity of religions. Most people are concerned about the challenging role of religion in the contemporary society. Religion has been used to make people. The common person has been left in abeyance to focus on the many unfulfilled needs that are promised by religion, while certain members of the clergy have used religion either to develop business empires or even ascend to top political positions in this country. Many public and private higher academic learning institutions have developed undergraduate and post graduate programs to address the need to acquire higher knowledge in Religious Studies. Over the years, there has been diversity in approaches in training students in these institutions although emphasis has been laid on mere advanced research leading to the writing of either a PhD thesis or dissertation. The current PhD program has been developed so as to provide advanced academic content and methodology to enable the student deal with the challenging dynamic knowledge in the contemporary society.

Objective of the Programme

The goal of this programme is to equip students with advanced knowledge and skills in Religious Studies; develop world class scholars with innovative research and analytical competencies in Religious Studies: and build personnel capacity in the field of Religious Studies.


The common regulations for admission requirements for PhD in the University of Nairobi shall apply.

Minimum Admission Requirements

 Applicants must be holders of a Master’s degree in Religious Studies, or any other relevant discipline from the University of Nairobi or any other institution recognized by University of Nairobi Senate.

Regulation of Credit Transfers and Exemptions

The common regulations for credit transfer and exemptions of the University of Nairobi shall apply.

A student shall be allowed to seek credit transfer or exemptions for up to one-third of the total taught course units provided that they are equivalent to those offered by the University of Nairobi and were taken at equivalent level of study from an institution recognized by the University of Nairobi Senate.

A student seeking credit transfer or exemptions shall send a formal application to the Registrar, Academic Affairs through the Dean, Faculty of Arts and Chairperson of Department, justifying the request, and attaching relevant supporting documents


Grades for transferred course units shall be entered in the candidate’s transcript while the exempted course units shall be entered as ‘exempt’.

Credit transfers in case of exchange students shall be applicable only to specific Memoranda of Understanding or Agreements signed in advance between the University of Nairobi and the collaborating universities/institutions for joint programmes.

Intermission of Studies

A student may intermit studies at any time for good cause in writing to the Director, Graduate School through the Dean, Faculty of Arts and Chairperson of Department.

During the period of intermission, the student shall be required to keep his/her registration current by paying such intermission charges as the Graduate School may from time to time determine. Such charges shall reflect the period of intermission, which shall not exceed three consecutive semesters.


The degree programme shall consist of course work, examination and thesis.

The programme shall be covered in a minimum of six (6) and a maximum of ten (10) semesters for full-time students and fourteen (14) semesters for part-time students from the date of registration.

Each candidate shall be required to successfully complete a minimum of eight (8) course units during the first and second semester of the first year of study.

In addition, candidates shall be required to take a thesis, which shall be equivalent to eight (8) course units.

Each course unit shall have a minimum of 45 contact hours, and shall be covered within a semester of 15 weeks.

Each student shall be required to take a minimum of two (2) and a maximum of four (4) course units in one semester.

On successful completion of coursework, the student shall present a research proposal for approval in a departmental seminar.

After approval of the research proposal, the student will undertake supervised research, write and submit a thesis within the remaining period of the programme.

The minimum period for the research thesis after approval of the proposal is four (4) semesters.


Contact Person


P.O Box 30197-00100, Nairobi


Tel: 020-4913219

Physical location: Gandhi Wing, 3rd Floor, Main Campus


Programme Structure and Duration

Schedule of intakes

Programme intake is once every year in September with the course duration
taking Two Academic Years



1. Face to Face

The methods of instruction shall be interactive and shall consist of lectures, lecture-discussions, class presentations, seminars, tutorials,, student-teacher consultations, supervised independent study, group projects, guest speakers, or any combination of these


2 Open Learning and e-Learning (ODEL)

The Open, Distance and E-Learning programme will run for a minimum period of seven (6) semesters and maximum of fifteen (15) semesters of fifteen (15) weeks each. This module is largely home and or office based and includes:

Written Self Instructional Study Modules. This includes;

1. Study course materials e.g. booklets

2. Relevant Literature

3. Interactive devices and self-tests

4. Mediated Technical Learning Materials for example: Audio Visual; E-Learning

5. Limited face to face sessions to provide overview of the course at commencement of semester, mid semester and revision period before examinations

6. Support Study centers at the University of Nairobi:

7. Access to information through computers at the University of Nairobi and other resource centers

8. Use of libraries at the University of Nairobi and other institutions

9.  Orientation

9.1Orientation on ODeL delivery

9.2 Study, reading and computer skills

9.3Time management and techniques of handling assignments

9.4 Mentorship, guidance and counseling

9.5 Emphasis on satellite centers that serve as a link between the University and the student in the following manner; registration, collecting reading materials, collecting results and programmes, examination information, posting timetables and holding session meetings

Attachment Opportunities

PhD in Religious Studies graduates have wide range of career and attachment opportunities from Religious Institutions, government and non-governmental organisations; civil society organisations; international development agencies; academic and research institutions, Churches, Mosques and other religious institutions.

Career Prospects 

PhD in Religious Studies graduates can get employment  in various government departments, non-governmental organisations; civil society organisations; international development agencies; academic and research institutions, Churches, Mosques and other religious institutions.

  Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Totals
Tuition 192,000 192,000 192,000 576,000
ICT SERVICES - (PER YEAR) 7,000 7,000 7,000 21,000
THESIS EXAMINATION 0 0 50,000 50,000
REGISTRATION (PER SEMESTER@2250) 4,500 4,500 4,500 13,500
ID CARD ( PER YEAR) 1,000 1,000 1,000 3,000
CAUTION - (ONCE) 5,000 0 0 5,000
MEDICAL FEE (PER YEAR) 6,500 6,500 6,500 19,500
ACTIVITY-( PER YEAR) 2,000 2,000 2,000 6,000
LIBRARY (PER YEAR) 5,000 5,000 5,000 15,000
STUDENT ORGANISATION(PER YEAR) 1,000 1,000 1,000 3,000
EXAMINATION (PER UNIT @1000) 0 0 0 0
Grand totals 224,000 219,000 269,000 712,000