Undergraduate Certificate in Theological Studies
Undergraduate Diploma in Theological Studies
Bachelor of Theology
These three courses together constitute a coherent programme of studies. Admission is either to the Bachelor of Theology (BTh) or to the Undergraduate Certificate in Theological Studies. Students who successfully complete the Certificate may be able to progress onto the BTh or to the Diploma. There is no direct admission to the Diploma. All three may be studied either Full-time or Part-time.
The Undergraduate Certificate in Theological Studies is designed to provide an introduction to Theology, Christian Ministry and Religious Studies. The Bachelor of Theology (BTh) provides an opportunity for in-depth study of these disciplines.
The courses aim to enhance connections between theological study, a wide variety of professional practice, and practice-based learning.
The Certificate introduces students to the study of theology as a subject discipline, bringing together cognate strands of theology, especially biblical studies, historical and systematic theology, practical theology, and religious studies. The course is designed to equip students for further study in theology, including to progress to the BTh or the Diploma. Students take six papers from a range of introductory options. Assessment is by essay, project, or written examination.
By the end of the course, you will have had the opportunity to acquire a sound, accurate knowledge and understanding of the beliefs, practices, texts and history of the Christian tradition. The course will include study of the Bible and of the development of Christian doctrine in its historical context and in the thought of modern theologians, and through reflection on contemporary church and religious practice. You will be able to make connections between faith and modern intellectual developments within their cultural contexts, and, where appropriate, to reflect on your own professional practice.
Students who wish to continue their studies may be able, depending on their results in the Certificate, to continue to the Diploma in Theological Studies or to the Bachelor of Theology.
The Diploma builds on the introductory level knowledge and skills acquired in the Certificate. You will develop a broader knowledge and understanding of beliefs, practices, texts and history of the Christian tradition, and, where appropriate, other world religions, together with knowledge and understanding of advanced theological, biblical, and religious concepts and language. You will have developed greater connections between faith and modern intellectual developments within their cultural contexts, and, if you wish, reflected on your own professional practice. There is no direct admission to the Diploma.
In addition to the six introductory papers taken for the Certificate, Diploma students take a further six papers including at least one biblical paper, one history/doctrine paper, and one practical theology/religious studies paper. Assessment is by essay, project, portfolio, or written examination.
Bachelor of Theology
The Bachelor of Theology (BTh) builds on the introductory level knowledge and skills acquired in the Certificate. For students admitted direct to the BTh, the syllabus for the first year (if studied full-time) or first two years (if studied part-time) is the same as that for the Certificate. You will develop a broad knowledge and understanding of beliefs, practices, texts and history of the Christian tradition, and, where appropriate, other world religions, together with knowledge and understanding of advanced theological, biblical, and religious concepts and language. You will also have the opportunity to focus on an area or areas of Theology of particular interest to you, including through writing a sustained piece of theological reflection or a dissertation. You will have developed significant connections between faith and modern intellectual developments within their cultural contexts, and, if you wish, reflected on your own professional practice.
In addition to the six introductory papers taken for the Certificate, BTh students take a further twelve papers including at least one Biblical paper, one history/doctrine paper, and one practical theology/religious studies paper. They may also undertake a piece of individual research culminating in a dissertation, project, or reflection. Assessment is by essay, project, portfolio and at least two written examinations.
The courses are taught by two of the Permanent Private Halls of the University of Oxford, (namely Wycliffe Hall and Regent’s Park College), in conjunction with the Department for Continuing Education. The Halls are committed to shared delivery of the course, with all options available to all students, regardless of their collegiate affiliation, and of the affiliation of those delivering the teaching. Individual Halls may offer additional teaching to their students, typically in small group tutorials.
The Certificate papers cover Introductions to the Old and New Testaments, to Christian Doctrine, Spirituality, Ministry and Worship, and the Study of Religion. You may also study the History of the Church, Contemporary Mission and Culture, the relationships between Christian Faith and Philosophy and Science, and elementary Biblical Hebrew or Greek.
For the BTh, the papers include further studies in the majority of these subjects, together with opportunities to focus on Ecclesiology, Theologies of Salvation, a significant theologian, the role of the Ordained Minister, or World Religions. You will also have the opportunity to write either a sustained piece of theological reflection arising from your experience or professional practice, to write a theoretical based dissertation, or to undertake a project and write a project report.
Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme: The syllabus and teaching of Certificate are aimed at first-year undergraduate level and students will be awarded 120 Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) points at FHEQ Level 4 on successful completion of the Certificate. The BTh does not carry CATS points.
Level and demands
How much work is involved?
Teaching: There are normally 20 contact hours for each of the papers you take (languages may be more). Some of the teaching will be shared across all the students, and some of the teaching will be delivered by the individual college. The full timetable of teaching will differ in the different colleges but it will be taught midweek during the day on certain days of the week. It is necessary to attend a minimum of 75% of all class teaching.
Private Study: In addition to the contact hours, you can expect to work for around 200 hours of private study for each paper. Study may include background reading, preparation for seminars and classes and work on assignments. Assessment: You will be set one short formative piece of work in your first term (formative work means you will receive feedback on your work, including areas for improvement, and often a mark, but this will not count towards your final mark for the qualification, and does not appear on your academic transcript.) The method of assessment varies between the papers: some are assessed by essay, project or portfolio of work, others by written examinations. A few offer a choice of method of assessment. There will be an opportunity to submit assignments three times during the year, and one option to sit the written exams each year (which will take place in Trinity Term [i.e. the Oxford summer term]).
Academic advice and support will be provided by the Course Director in your Hall. Each Hall will provide integrated study skills support within the course programme covering time management, reading for academic purposes, the use of electronic resources and internet sites relevant to theology and religious studies, taking notes, writing and presenting assignments. In addition, the Department for Continuing Education runs a programme of Study Skills workshops designed to enable you to develop and improve the skills needed for effective study. For full details of the Study Skills programme please contact +44 (0) 1865 280892. Introductions will be provided to the University libraries and their facilities.
Your course tutors will give detailed feedback on course work essays, including the first draft of work to be submitted for assessment, in the form of a summary of strengths and weaknesses, comments on some of the points made, and verbal discussion of the broader issues and surrounding questions.
For advice and information on other educational opportunities, credit transfer, students with disabilities and sources of funding please contact the Department’s Registry on 01865 280355 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Who should apply?
This course is taught in certain of the Permanent Private Halls of the University in the context of those pursuing different vocations. An indication of vocational experience in the field of Christian ministry is therefore relevant but not necessary. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate an approach to their study which includes demonstrable skills of critical analysis, wide contextual knowledge and the ability to manage their own time.
For admission to the Certificate applicants will normally be expected to have five GCSE passes at grades A-C, one of which must be in English Language, and two passes at Advanced Level (A2).
For direct admission to the B.Th., applicants should normally have either a good first degree (or equivalent, e.g. a GPA of 3.5 or higher) in a different subject or three good A levels at A2 level.
Exemptions from these requirements for mature applicants or those otherwise qualified can be considered.
English language requirement
All teaching at the University of Oxford is carried out in English, and tutors must be convinced that you have sufficient fluency in written and spoken English to cope with your course from the start. Therefore, all non-native English-speaking applicants (other than those who have been educated in the medium of English language during their two most recent years of study) must satisfy the following requirements:
- IELTS: overall score of 7.0 (with at least 7.0 in each of the four components) or
- TOEFL (paper based): overall score of 600, with a Test of Written English score of 5.5 or
- TOEFL (computer-based): overall score of 250, with Test of Written English score of 5.5 or
- TOEFL (internet-based): overall score of 110 with component scores of at least: Listening 22, Reading 24, Speaking 25, and Writing 24 or
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): grade A or
- Cambridge Certificate for Proficiency in English (CPE): grade B or
- English Language GCSE, IGCSE or O-level: grade B or
- International Baccalaureate Standard level (SL): score of 5 in English or
- European Baccalaureate: score of 70% in English.
The fees will be £4,500/£9,000 (EU students part/full time) or £7,650/£15,295 (non-EU students part/full time). Fees for the course are collected via the college with whom you matriculate and will be invoiced on a termly basis. The college is responsible for establishing your fee status (Home, EU or overseas) and will request financial assurances from you to ensure that you are able to cover fees and maintenance over the duration of the course.
Funding and financial assistance
Individual Halls may be able to offer financial assistance to students. For information, please visit the Halls'websites. Information on student loans, with a particular emphasis on part-time students, can be found on the Department’s website: www.conted.ox.ac.uk and follow links to ‘students'and ‘sources of funding’. We regret that students on these courses are not eligible for the Department’s bursaries.
Terms and conditions
Terms and conditions for applicants and students on this course
Sources of funding
Information on financial support