Graduate Diploma in Bible and Theology Graduate Diploma

Course Overview

The School of Theology, Religious Studies and Islamic Studies has a long and distinguished history of teaching and research in the area of Biblical Studies and Christian Theology, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

The Graduate Diploma in Bible and Theology is fully distance learning and is available as a full-time or part-time programme of study. The programme comprises of six taught modules (20 credits each); the topics covered in the modules ensure that students examine a wide and inclusive range of approaches to the Bible and to historical and contemporary theological themes. Furthermore, the Graduate Diploma is designed to prepare students for admission to postgraduate studies, for example the MA in Biblical Interpretation or the MTh in Christian Theology.

The Graduate Diploma is delivered through the University's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and students are supported throughout their studies through regular access to their module tutors, normally by email or Skype.

We are currently in the process of developing VLE module discussion forums to ensure that students, though studying individually, feel included in the University's wider academic and learning community.

Key Features

  • The programme has been created and designed by a team of established teachers and researchers in biblical and theological studies and it also builds on the School's successful record in providing distance-learning programmes.
  • A Study Skills module is offered to help build up the confidence and expertise of those who may have been away from formal study for some time.
  • Students are introduced to a wide range of themes from the Hebrew Bible and New Testament as well as the most significant questions raised by key theologians, past and present.
  • Students will have access to a range of online biblical and theological resources, accessible through the University's Learning Resources Centre.
  • The Diploma offers students, currently involved in teaching, pastoral or other professional work, the opportunity to update and refresh their knowledge of the Bible and Christian theology in the light of contemporary scholarship.
  • The Graduate Diploma prepares students for postgraduate studies in Biblical Interpretation and Theology.
  • Assignments are structured in such as a way that students begin with small and manageable tasks, which are increased in length as the Diploma progresses.


  • Study Skills and Research Methods in Bible and Theology (20 credits)
  • Interpreting the Hebrew Bible (20 credits)
  • Travelling with Luke: A Journey through Luke-Acts (20 credits)
  • Modern Christian Theology: Texts and Traditions (20 credits)
  • Jesus through Faith and Culture (20 credits)
  • Independent Project (20 credits

Students begin the Graduate Diploma programme with a Study Skills module designed to equip them with the necessary skills and methodologies to undertake study at level 6. This module will familiarise students with terminology, concepts, methods and the contemporary intellectual discourse prevalent in biblical and theological studies.

Students then complete four subject-specific modules, which aim to provide them with a detailed knowledge of contemporary approaches to a range of biblical and theological topics. The first of these, Interpreting the Hebrew Bible,presents an overview of the Hebrew Bible and selects specific narrative units as case studies to which historical and literary approaches are applied. The second module, Travelling with Luke: A Journey through Luke-Acts,offers the student an overview of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles and, again, specific narratives are chosen as case studies to which sociological, literary and feminist perspectives are applied. Having engaged critically with the Bible, students turn to exploring key theological themes in the module, Modern Christian Theology: Texts and Traditions which aims to provide students with a detailed knowledge of the development of different traditions within European Christian theology during the twentieth century. Students then move on to the final taught module, Jesus Through Faith and Culture, based on biblical and theological interpretations of the significance of the life of Christ. One of the aims of this module is to ensure coherence between the biblical and theological aspects of the programme and to encourage the blending and integration of biblical and theological approaches when exploring a shared theme.

The final module is the Independent Project module, for which students will be expected to write a research dissertation, 5,000 words in length, based on independent research. Students are expected to research a topic of their own choosing and write their dissertation under the guidance of a designated supervisor.

Course Tutor(s)

  • Dr Kathy Ehrensperger
  • Dr Robert Pope
  • Dr Catrin H Williams


A variety of assessment methods are used. Students begin with a series of short assignments but the length of the assessments increases as the student's confidence grows with the help of tutor feedback. Through a range and variety of assignments, the student is prepared and equipped for the type of assessment used at postgraduate level.

Career Opportunities

The Graduate Diploma can provide an in-service opportunity and refresher course for professionals involved in teaching at various levels, in ministry and chaplaincy work, and also for those in the creative industries for whom the Bible is seen as a cultural focus within the arts. It is also is the ideal programme to prepare students for postgraduate studies in Bible or Theology.

Related Courses

  • MA Biblical Interpretation
  • MRes Biblical Interpretation
  • MTh Christian Theology
  • MRes Christian Theology
Graduate Diploma, Graduate Diploma Award
Full-time Study Mode
1 years Duration

Entry Requirements For This Course

Entry Criteria

Each application will be considered on its own merits, though students will normally be expected to hold a Bachelor's degree in a subject other than Theology or Religious Studies. The School also welcomes applications from students with an equivalent and appropriate professional qualification or significant and relevant professional experience.

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