Taught course

Theology and Religion (GDip)

Durham University · Department of Theology and Religion

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.

Months of entry


Course content

Our Graduate Diploma in Theology and Religion offers you the opportunity to pursue your interest in this significant and fascinating feature of human existence even though your undergraduate degree may have been in another subject.

This highly flexible conversion course gives you the control to select from a wide range of optional modules based on your intellectual curiosity and career aspirations. Successful completion enables you to go on and study for an MA in the field of theology and religion.

We are a recognised global leader in the exploration of theology and religion and you will be able to choose from topics as diverse as Hebrew prose texts, the links between science and theology, New Testament ethics and the globalisation of Christianity.

Within the Department, we offer a breadth and depth of theological and religious expertise through the Centre for Death and Life Studies, the Centre for Catholic Studies, the Michael Ramsey Centre for Anglican Studies and the International Centre for Moral Injury.

You will also benefit from highly effective cross-departmental and interdisciplinary links between the department and, for example, the University’s Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and the Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Studies. We also work in partnership with external theological institutions.

This course gives you the means to explore the aspects of theology and religion which interest you, regardless of the subject of your graduation degree, delivered in the inspirational environment of the city of Durham itself where the magnificent Cathedral is evidence of the city’s own major religious role over nearly two millennia.

Course structure

This course does not feature compulsory modules and instead comprises six optional modules chosen from an extensive range of subjects.

Examples of optional modules:

  • Literature and Theology of the Old Testament
  • New Testament Theology
  • Syriac
  • Hebrew Prose Texts
  • Death, Ritual and Belief
  • Creation and New Creation: Imaging God
  • Reading the New Testament in Greek
  • Science and Theology: Exploring the Interface
  • Religion in Contemporary Britain
  • Atheism, Belief and the Edge of Reason
  • Topics in Christian Ethics
  • Early Christian Doctrine: Trinity and Christology
  • Christ and the Human Mystery: Imaging God
  • Myth and Meaning: The Structural Analysis of Mythology
  • Research Project and Colloquium in Theology and Religion
  • God and the Universe of Faiths
  • Catholic Theology in the Modern World
  • Sacred India: Land, Politics and Identity
  • The Reformation and its Legacy
  • Medieval Theology and Spirituality
  • Sects, Prophets and Guru’s
  • Jewish Religion in Antiquity: Belief Systems, Ethics, Political Conflicts
  • Faith, Identity and Power in Latin America
  • Create, Image, Enact: Christian Theology and the Arts
  • Augustine of Hippo
  • Introduction to the theology of Bonaventure
  • Emotion, Religion and Identity
  • Theology and Culture in Atlantic History
  • Aramaic
  • Advanced Greek Texts
  • Issues in Old Testament Studies
  • New Testament Ethics
  • Religion and Film
  • Emotion and Identity in Religion
  • Christian Fundamentalism and the Modern World
  • Christian Tradition and the Practice of Politics
  • John and the Archheretics: The Gospel of John, the Letters of John and the Origins of Gnosticism (in Greek)
  • Jesus Christ in the Twentieth Century
  • The Historical Jesus
  • Religious Diversity in African Contexts
  • Thomas Aquinas: Background, Context and Legacy
  • Religion, Media and Popular Culture
  • Picturing Biblical Texts
  • The Globalisation of Christianity
  • Theology, Nature, Environment
  • Faith and the Experience of War: Byzantium and Eastern Orthodoxy
  • Medieval Theology and Spirituality
  • The Reformation and Its Legacy
  • Competing Gospels: Jesus inside and outside the Canon
  • Performative Theology
  • The Cross of Christ
  • The Thought of St Bonaventure
  • Tractarians and Modernists – Catholic Retrievals
  • Sacred India

Information for international students

If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take a pre-Masters pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

For further information see the course listing.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • GradDip
    part time
    21 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    9 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Recruitment and Admissions