The main aims of the Graduate Diploma are (1) to provide a route toward postgraduate study in Theology & Religious Studies for those with a previous degree in another subject, and (2) to provide a programme of study for those with a degree in another subject who wish to acquire a competence in Theology & Religious Studies for any other purpose.
Those admitted will have a university degree (normally a 2.1 or equivalent), demonstrating a
developed ability to study at university level as shown by success in another subject, and will be judged capable of making a quick and successful transition to advanced study in Theology & Religious Studies. The specific courses taken in the Graduate Diploma will be designated in light of the individual student's declared focus (e.g., the intended focus for postgraduate study).
A good performance in the Graduate Diploma can serve as a basis for admission to masters
10) Programme Outcomes:
• Acquisition of a body of knowledge in one or more areas of Theology & Religious
Studies, including that delivered in upper-level undergraduate courses.
• Development of methodological abilities appropriate to the designated focus-area in
Theology & Religious Studies.
• Acquisition of relevant focus-area-specific skills in Theology & Religious Studies
• Strong performance in the Diploma provides a basis for application for postgraduate
study in the focus-area.
(a) Knowledge, understanding, and intellectual skills:
The specific body of knowledge a student acquires will depend upon the focus-area or
concentration chosen within the programme. All students, however, should acquire knowledge
and understanding of the following:
• elementary through advanced knowledge of the focus-area
• key issues, ideas, figures, approaches, methods, and results pertaining to the subjects
chosen for concentration
• acquaintance with historical, textual, and interpretative approaches to Theology &
Religious Studies Among key intellectual skills, the following are emphasised:
• reading a variety of primary texts and related scholarly publications with understanding
• analysis of, and critical engagement with, texts, ideas and issues
• developing and deploying a coherent argument for a position
• ability to identify a research question, formulate an approach to it, and conduct sustained,
How this is accomplished:
• lectures and seminar sessions in level 8 courses, and more typically intensive seminar
format in level 10 courses
• in level 10 courses students deepen their knowledge and understanding of selected and
more tightly-focused topics, texts, issues, etc.
(b) Subject-specific/practical skills
• research skills, including use of libraries and computer-accessed material, relevant indexes
and bibliographical tools
• oral and written presentation of ideas
• proper documentation of academic writing in the subjects studied
• ability to engage issues involving the intersection of religious belief/commitment and
(c) Transferable skills
In addition to the items listed under "(c)" above, the following:
• enhanced ability to organise time and meet deadlines
• enhanced ability to organise thoughts and present them in a time-delimited setting
• ability to digest new information and acquire a familiarity with a new subject
• computer skills such as word-processing, email, use of on-line library catalogues, and
We assess these learning outcomes through a variety of requirements and measures. The
School of Divinity has a written assessment policy and this is published annually in the Undergraduate Students Handbook. The following assessment measures are representative:
• Essays and related written work in courses demonstrate knowledge of assigned/chosen
topics, engagement with subject, analysis of texts/issues, research and use of relevant
scholarly resources, coherent written discussion, proper format/presentation skills, word- processing ability.
• Class and seminar discussion demonstrate and develop oral presentation skills and refine
• Written examinations test knowledge, ability to develop coherent discussion of a
question/topic within a delimited time-frame, and originality of thought.
11) Programme Structure and Features:
Each student declares an interest and focus-area (e.g., Biblical Studies, Systematic Theology, Ecclesiastical
History, Practical Theology, or some focus in Religious Studies), and the courses that comprise the Graduate Diploma are chosen as appropriate for the declared focus.
The Graduate Diploma comprises a minimum of 140 credits, at least 100 of which must be at Level 10
(Honours courses). In addition, those offered admission will be given a reading list in advance of the
commencement of their first semester of courses, to help them acquire some preparatory acquaintance with relevant matters. The specific items on the reading list will also depend on the declared focus-area.
12) Other items:
• All students are assigned to a member of academic staff who acts as the student's Director of Studies,
responsible to give academic advice on courses and programme requirements, and to assist in other ways toward success in the programme of study.
• The historic New College site includes a world-renowned library in Theology/Religion, classrooms for
lectures and seminars, staff offices, student computing facilities, student common room, and a capacious eating area (hot and cold lunch food served weekdays in term).
• Students also have access to all University facilities and services (e.g., other University libraries,
health services, counselling and chaplains, etc.)
• An Undergraduate Students Handbook is published annually, giving information on all degree
programmes, facilities, assessment policy, and other matters.
• The requirements and items that will be assessed toward the final mark in any course are clearly stated
in the relevant course description for each academic year.
• Students are given written comments/feedback on their coursework submitted for assessment, and
academic staff keep regular office hours for student consultation