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Degree type


Course length

9 months full-time, 21 months part-time


Durham City

Program code


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Course details

This course is intended for those who hold a Bachelor's degree in another discipline, but who wish to acquire a knowledge of Theology and Religion at a level which would permit them to undertake further study in the subject.

The dissertation module is a core module on this course and you have to choose one module from the following optional modules: Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion or Gospels and Canon or Classic Texts in Christian Theology and another two modules from a range of optional modules availale varies from year to year

Examples of optional modules:

Optional modules in previous years have included two choices from:

  • Aramaic
  • Biblical Theology
  • Paul and His Interpreters
  • Conceiving Change in Contemporary Catholicism
  • Liturgy and Sacramentality
  • Christian Gender
  • Principles of Theological Ethics
  • Social, Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion
  • Twentieth-Century Catholic Theology
  • Anglican Theology in Context
  • Gospels and Canon
  • Middle Egyptian
  • Patristic Ecclesiology
  • Classic Texts in Christian Theology
  • The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament
  • The Bible and Hermeneutics
  • Ecclesiology and Ethnography
  • Catholic Social Thought
  • Doctrine of Creation
  • England's Religious Revolution 1640-62
  • The Thought of Thomas Aquinas in Context
  • Religion in the Neo-Liberal Age
  • Christianity in the Second Century
  • Faith and Reason
  • World and Image: Classic Foundation for Christian Visuality
  • Introduction to New Testament Greek
  • Christian Fundamentalism and the Modern World
  • Advanced Hebrew Texts
  • Literature and Religion
  • Ritual, Symbolism and Belief in the Anthropology of Religion
  • Christian Northumbria 600-750
  • High Medieval Franciscan Theology
  • Theology, Nature and Environment
  • Modules from the MA in Theology and Ministry
  • Modules from the level 3 modules or level 1-2 language modules offered by the Department of Theology and Religion
  • Modules from another Board of Studies
  • Modules from the level 1-2 language modules by the University's Centre for Foreign Language Study
  • Extended Study in Foreign Language


You will receive on average 7.5 hours of timetabled contact per week. This will include a combination of lectures, seminars, and tutorials. Timetabled contact is only the beginning of your learning. It provides a starting point for your development as an independent learner. Typically, classroom teaching and learning will form nearly 25% of the time you will spend on your studies, you will be expected to spend the remaining 75% of your time on independent research.

You can opt to write a dissertation (40 credits), a large research project that would count for a third of your marks. This gives you the opportunity to engage at an advanced level with creative cutting edge research at the forefront of the discipline, working on a topic of your choice. For the dissertation, you will have a supervisor who will guide and discuss your research with you.

In addition to this, the department also has an extensive programme of research-related activities that you are warmly encouraged to attend. These include research seminar series and public lectures from high-profile guest speakers and visiting scholars. The University also frequently hosts eminent and well-known visiting speakers.

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirement is a BA (Honours) degree (UK 2:1 or equivalent, for example, a GPA of 3.7 on a scale of 4.0 scale), but applicants from non-traditional backgrounds or with other qualifications may be considered subject to interview and a review of written work.

The diploma is an ideal course to take if you are wanting to transition from another discipline to theology and religion, which you might wish to pursue at MA level. It is also ideal if you have already studied theology and religion to first degree level in another country, and wish to become familiar with the critical approach to these subjects that is typical in British public universities.

The University will contact the referees named in your application directly. Please ensure that your referees are able to provide a reference in a timely fashion. If you are also applying for a Durham MA bursary, please ensure that your referees understand that their references will be used both for admission and for a very competitive funding process.

English language requirements

Fees and funding

The tuition fees for 2023/24 academic year have not yet been finalised, they will be displayed here once approved.

The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities

Theology and Religion

Graduates enter a wide range of career areas, including law, government, marketing, business and finance, industry, charity work, teaching, media, the clergy and journalism. Employers include: Linklaters, Kirkland and Ellis, Coltraco Ultrasonics, the Home Office, Durham Police and Jaguar Land Rover.

Department information

Theology and Religion

The Department of Theology and Religion is where ‘belief’ and ‘beliefs’ are taken seriously, respected and studied, whether those beliefs are atheistic, humanistic or religious. Our home, Abbey House (pictured right), is next door to Durham Cathedral, and is a beautiful and inspiring place to pursue research in theology and religion.

For more information see our department pages.


  • World Top 10 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2022
  • 3rd in The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2023
  • 3rd in The Complete University Guide 2023
  • 3rd in The Guardian University Guide 2023


For a current list of staff, please see the Theology & Religion Department pages.

Research Excellence Framework

  • 4th in the UK for Research Power (REF 2021)
  • 91% research graded world-leading or internationally excellent (REF 2021)


Library facilities for Theology and Religion in Durham are extensive, and the holdings at the Bill Bryson Library are only the beginning.

Our next-door neighbour, Durham Cathedral, houses another theological library: The Sharp Library, which focuses on modern and pastoral theology. Additionally, the Meissen Library, located on level 3 of the Bill Bryson Library, is the largest collection of German-language theological materials in Britain.

Some of the College libraries (notably St. Chad's College and St. John's College) hold extensive theological collections and the Department has some library resources of its own, in particular in Hebrew and Jewish studies.


Find out more:

Apply for a postgraduate course (including PGCE International) via our online portal.  

Visit Us

The best way to find out what Durham is really like is to come and see for yourself!

Join a Postgraduate Open Day
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 17:00
Find out more
Self-Guided Tours
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 16:00
Find out more

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