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Course content

This programme is intended for students who hold a BA (Honours) degree (UK 2:1 or equivalent, for example, a GPA of 3.7 on a scale of 4.0 scale) 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.

Course structure

Five or six optional modules

Optional Modules

Optional modules in previous years have included:

2 choices from:

  • Landscapes of Worship in Contemporary South Asia
  • Literature and Theology of the Old Testament
  • New Testament Theology
  • Topics in Christian Ethics
  • Death, Ritual and Belief 
  • The Making of Modern Christianity: Medieval and Reformation Europe
  • Christian Theology: Essential Questions I 
  • Christian Theology: Essential Questions II
  • God, Freedom and the Soul
  • Philosophy and the Christian Tradition
  • One further 20 credit module offered by the Department of Theology & Religion at Levels 1 or 2

Plus 3 or 4 choices from:

  • Aramaic
  • Biblical Theology
  • Advanced Greek Texts
  • New Testament Ethics
  • Issues in Old Testament Studies
  • The First Urban Churches
  • Religion and Film
  • Emotion and Identity in Religion
  • The Sociology of Conservative Protestantism
  • The Postmodern God
  • 1 Peter and the Petrine Tradition (English)
  • 1 Peter and the Petrine Tradition (with Greek)
  • Christian Tradition and the Practice of Politics
  • The Letters of John and the origins of Gnosticism (English)
  • The Letters of John and the origins of Gnosticism (Greek)
  • The Historical Jesus
  • Reading Greek Sources about the Historical Jesus
  • Jesus Christ in the Twentieth Century
  • Faith and the Experience of War in the Christian World
  • Religions in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Religious Difference in the Reformation World
  • Thomas Aquinas: Background, context and Legacy
  • Religion, Media and Popular Culture
  • Graduate Diploma Dissertation

Course Learning and Teaching

As a student on the Graduate Diploma, 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 one 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 all this the Department also has an extensive programme of research-related activities that you are warmly encouraged to attend. These include several 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.

Career Opportunities

A significant number of our graduates find employment in academic institutions (universities and seminaries) around the world.

Others go into teaching, church ministry, the caring professions, and many other professional fields.


Visit the Theology and Religion - GradDip page on the Durham University website for more details!

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