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  1. Covid-19 update
  2. Common Awards Team Update
  3. Upcoming Deadlines
  4. Congregation - June 2022
  5. Student Survey - May 2022
  6. New Postgraduate Programmes in Liturgy and Worship
  7. Curriculum Updates
  8. TEI Invoices
  9. Assessed Conversations
  10. TEI Forum - April 2022
  11. Webinar Series
  12. Seedcorn Grants: 2022 Call for Applications
  13. Boards of Examiners
  14. TEI Management Committees
  15. Annual Conference for Theological Educators 2022
  16. Further Information


1. Covid-19 Update

At this time, the University is not expected to introduce a Covid-19 safety net policy for 2021/22. On 4th March 2022 TEIs were sent an email communication with information on ways in which TEIs can already respond if teaching and learning is covid-affected, and a summary of the Serious Adverse Circumstances process. Please ensure that this communication is sent to Common Awards students and TEI staff, and please let the Common Awards team know if you have any questions around this.

The Covid-19 pages of our website have also been updated to include guidance on 2021-22.

In addition, as government restrictions have eased, the Common Awards Management Board recognises that TEIs are having to make decisions on Covid-19 in ways which are not mandated by national guidance. Members of the Board wished to reassure you that it is acceptable for TEIs to make different decisions based on the needs and circumstances at their own institutions.


2. Common Awards Team Update

The Common Awards team has now returned to office working on Fridays, with a view of this increasing to Thursdays and Fridays from the end of April. On these days you can reach the team on 0191 334 3180 or 0191 334 3139.


3. Upcoming Deadlines/Key Dates

30th March - Durham’s Common Awards Team announces the results of the Student Representative Election

4th  April - TEIs to submit student email addresses for the Common Awards Student Survey

6th April -  Common Awards Webinar: Reproductive Loss and Theological Silences

8th April - Deadline for Seedcorn Grant applications

25th April - Congregation Registration opens

26th April - TEI Forum

3rd May – Common Awards Student Survey opens

27th May – TEIs to submit Curriculum Development requests for programme and module changes

27th May – Congregation Registration closes


4. Congregation

The deferred 2022 and 2021 Congregation Ceremonies for Common Awards students are scheduled for 27th June 2022. This date has been confirmed and we expect the ceremonies to go ahead as scheduled. However, please be aware that the situation may change at short notice. We will ensure to contact TEIs if the situation does change. 

In mid-April TEIs will be contacted with lists of students eligible to attend the ceremonies (those who successfully completed the BA, MA, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate in 2021 and 2022). These should be the same lists you confirmed in October, but we would ask that you please double check the accuracy of the lists and then circulate invitations to the Graduation Ceremony to your eligible students. TEIs will be provided with template letters to be able to populate student information and circulate to their students. TEIs will also be sent ‘attendance information’ to share with students.  

There are two graduation ceremonies for Common Awards students (as detailed below). Please ensure that you contact students with the correct information pertaining to the ceremony they will be attending.

Students will be asked, via the invitation letter you will circulate, to complete a registration form with the University to confirm their attendance at the ceremony. Students will also have the option to defer their ceremony attendance. All students attending ceremonies at the University will be allocated a maximum of 2 guest tickets.

Students will also be invited to a Common Awards Celebration Event taking place in Durham after the second ceremony.

For your information, any students who have already registered to attend a Graduation Ceremony with the University (e.g. January 2020) but deferred this to a later ceremony (for instance, with the intention of attending a ceremony in July 2020) will be contacted separately by the Ceremonies Team at the University to be invited to the ceremony in 2022. You will not be required to contact students who have deferred their attendance. 


  • Students eligible for the deferred 2022 graduation will be invited to attend the graduation ceremony at 1.45pm on 27th June 2022, at Durham Cathedral.  
  • Students eligible for the deferred 2021 graduation will be invited to attend a graduation ceremony at 3.45pm on 27th June 2022, at Durham Cathedral. 

Registration for Common Awards students will open on 25th April and close on 27th May 2022

TEI Staff 

Members of staff in TEIs are also welcome to attend the Common Awards graduation ceremonies. The registration link will be circulated in April. 

Academic Procession 

Members of staff in TEIs who hold an undergraduate degree are eligible to participate in the academic procession for the Common Awards students. You will be able to indicate your interest in participating on the staff registration link which will be circulated in April.


5. Common Awards Student Survey 2022

The 2021/22 Common Awards Student Survey will run from Tuesday 3rd May – Friday 27th May 2022. The survey will be entirely managed and analysed by Durham, with TEI-specific results shared with each TEI over the summer. The survey will be available to all students registered on Common Awards programmes in 2021/22

TEIs are reminded of the following deadlines in relation to the Student Survey:

Sharing information with students: ASAP

Please contact your students using the email text provided in the previous email (dated 8th March), to give them the opportunity to confirm if they do not wish to have their email addresses shared with us. 

Providing student data to Durham: 4th April 2022

  • Student Emails: please use the report available in Moodle (at the bottom of page with other registration reports for Durham (Student Survey List)) to provide the Common Awards Team with a list of email addresses (excluding any students who have opted out) for current Common Awards Students by 4th April 2022
  • Multi-Centre TEIs only: please ensure that you indicate which TEI centre each student should be allocated to, noting that no student can be allocated to more than one centre (by 4th April 2022). If no centres are indicated – which will be the norm for most TEIs – all students will be allocated to the TEI. Where centres are indicated, we will provide TEIs with centre-specific data (as long as response rates are high enough).


6. TEI Invoices

All TEIs should have received invoices at the beginning of March. The invoices are based on a snapshot of student records data from 1st December; all changes communicated to us before 1st December will have been reflected in the invoices. Please note that payments are expected within 30 days.

If there are any questions or queries regarding invoices, please contact the team as soon as possible.


7. Postgraduate Programmes in Liturgy and Worship

The Common Awards Management Board and Quality and Standards Committee have approved the introduction of two new postgraduate programmes, available for delivery from 2022/23:

Please contact the Common Awards Team as soon as possible if you would like to offer these programmes.


8. Curriculum Updates

The programme specification for the MA in Contemporary Christian Leadership has been amended to add module TMM 46120 to list A.

The module descriptors for modules TMM 46120 Advanced Church Planting in Perspective and TMM 3861 Church Planting in Perspective  have been revised to ensure a strong focus on leadership.

They replace any previous versions so please could we ask that you ensure the updated versions are shared with all staff and students.

In addition, there are 7 new modules which have been approved for delivery from September 2022. They are:

Which category each module fulfils can be found here: Level 6 Modules - Durham University, Level 7 Modules - Durham University

The T5 Core Mapping Document (a core list of modules and the programme learning outcomes they meet, which can be found in the Templates and Forms section of the website) will be updated shortly.


9. Assessed Conversations

On 14th February we held a webinar exploring the relatively new 'Assessed Conversation' assessment type, in which students respond orally to questions from a tutor. We heard from several TEIs in which assessed conversations are already in use, and discussed responses to some of the practical challenges involved.

If any member of staff wants access to the recording made of the webinar, please contact Mike Higton on


10. TEI Forum

The TEI Forum is due to take place on 26th April. This will be held virtually, due to difficulties in finding a suitable venue in Durham (related to staffing shortages in hospitality staff). It is hoped that Durham will be able to host to October 2022 TEI Forum in-person.

Please use this booking form  to register your attendance by 22nd April.

Please also contact Lucy Dallas (Chair) directly with any agenda items.


11. Common Awards Webinar Series

The next webinar is entitled: ‘Reproductive Loss and Theological Silences: A Theological Dialogue’ and will take place on Zoom on 06 April at 1pm.

Tickets are available here

The webinars are aimed at Common Awards students and staff but open to others with an interest in the subject areas addressed. Each webinar will include leading scholars and/or faith practitioners who will offer diverse insights into a range of topics that will directly relate to the core modules taken by Common Awards students.

This webinar will be an opportunity to engage with Dr Karen O’Donnell who will be discussing key themes in her latest book entitled: The Dark Womb: Re-Conceiving Theology through Reproductive Loss (SCM Press, 2022). The book explores the complexity of the miscarrying body and its potential for theological revelation. She offers a re-conception of theologies of providence, prayer, hope, and the body as she reimagines theology out of these messy origins.

Dr O’Donnell will be joined by Prof Susannah Cornwall, Professor of Constructive Theology at Exeter University. Prof Cornwall has done a great deal of work in contextual theologies, particularly those relating to sex, gender and sexuality. Her publications include Un/familiar Theology: Reconceiving Sex, Reproduction and Generativity, (Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2017), Theology and Sexuality (SCM Press, 2013), Controversies in Queer Theology (SCM Press, 2011), Sex and Uncertainty in the Body of Christ (Routledge, 2010).

The webinar will be hosted by Anupama Ranawana, a theologian and political economist with several years of experience working in academia and international development. Her research and teaching expertise and interests are focussed on gender and justice, decolonial thought, diversifying research methodological practice, religious thought in the Global South, faith and international development and the intersections between racial and climate justice. She holds advanced degrees in Theology and International Politics. She teaches a module on Global Justice for the Queens Foundation, is a research advisor for Christian Aid, and is primarily working on a monograph on Asian feminist theology and literature at the University of St Andrews.

You can find the recordings of previous CA webinars here.  


12. Seedcorn Grants: 2022 Call for Applications

We are currently open for applications to the 2022 round of Seedcorn Grant Applications. The deadline is 8th April 2022. Please read our Seedcorn Grant-Call for applications, and use our Seedcorn Grant-application form.

We are interested in proposals in any relevant area of research, but for this round we will give priority to projects in two areas:

  • Theological education in the climate crisis
  • Diversity, inclusion and belonging

Further information on these, and our current research theme can be found on the Common Awards website.


13. Boards of Examiners

  • The Overarching Board of Examiners are due to be held on September 1st (Summer) and December 1st (Winter), 2022. We therefore ask that TEIs hold their own Board of Examiners no later than 5th August 2022 (Summer) and 4th November 2022 (Winter). This allows the Common Awards Team enough time to process the data received from TEIs, and resolve any queries, before the Overarching Board of Examiners. Thank you.
  • TEIs are reminded not to recommend classifications at their Board of Examiner meetings; this remains the responsibility of the overarching Board of Examiners.
  • Please note that the Board of Examiner guidance on the Common Awards website has been updated to clarify how the role of the Secretary affects quoracy, and that the template membership list has been updated to allow TEIs to specify if the Secretary role is being performed by an academic member of staff or a member of support staff. TEIs may use this template from 2022-23.


14. TEI Management Committees

TEIs are reminded to use the TEI Management Committee reporting template cover sheet when returning minutes to the Common Awards team. This helps us to identify any issues which need a response from the team or which need to be highlighted to the Common Awards Management Board. It also helps us to highlight any student feedback from the TEI student representatives which is appropriate for the Management Board to consider. The template can be found on our Templates and Forms web page. Thank you.


15. The Annual Conference for Theological Educators 2022

We are collaborating with the Theological Educators’ Network to host the Annual Conference for Theological Educators, in-person at College Court, the University of Leicester between 4-6th July 2022. We aim to offer online participation or live streaming options for some elements of the conference, for those who are unable to attend in-person.

The conference will run from Monday 4th July to lunchtime on Wednesday 6th July, and is free to Common Awards staff (all core and associate staff who are or expect to be involved in teaching or assessing Common Awards programmes in the designated Common Awards TEIs). Parts of the conference will also be made available to Common Awards students.

The theme of the Conference is Learning for the Whole of Life, picking up from the 2021 Research Symposium on the same theme.

Speakers and panellists include Walter Moberly, Taskeen Adam, Nick Shepherd, David Heywood, Eve Parker, Ali Gray, Helen King and Stuart Foyle.

Further information including the full programme and booking link will be sent to TEIs by the end of April.


16. Further Information

The full 21/22 academic calendar is available here.


With thanks,

The Common Awards Team