University of Chester

Programme Specification
Theology GradDip
2020 - 2021

Graduate Diploma


Theology (KEDS)

University of Chester

King's Evangelical Divinity School.

King's Evangelical Divinity School, eCampus: Distance Education

Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time and Part-time


Not Applicable

4 Years

Variable - Variable



17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Arts and Humanities Theology & Religious Studies

Theology and Religious Studies

Theology and Religious Studies Subject Assessment Board

Friday 1st March 2019

To offer a graduate diploma in the study of Christian Theology with focus in the core disciplines of Theology and Biblical Studies thereby enabling students from other disciplines to undertake bachelor level courses in another subject.

To serve as a basis for theological study upon which students may take further postgraduate courses in theology and religion

To enhance academic skills in various complementary methods of study including historical, systematic, linguistic, and hermeneutical thereby enabling students to recognise and understand nuanced viewpoints from various positions.

To enable students to enhance transferable skills in written communication with particular emphasis on developing, evaluating and documenting a coherent argument.

At the end of this course, students will be able to

  • Demonstrate comprehension and critically analyse a range of themes, debates and methods of theology, especially at the point where Biblical Studies and Theology intersect, together with related disciplines, notably hermeneutics, the humanities and social sciences, and evaluate a range of critical scholarship associated with these disciplines.  (TH6601, TH6602, TH6603, TH6605, TH6606, TH6608, TH6610, TH6611, TH6613, TH6620, TH6621)
  • Demonstrate a thorough, critical and nuanced understanding of important aspects of theology and biblical studies concerning key issues, concepts, methods and assumptions together with an ability to evaluate and interpret them. (TH6601, TH6602, TH6603, TH6605, TH6606, TH6608, TH6610, TH6611, TH6613, TH6620, TH6621)
  • Demonstrate a capacity to identify and interpret differing concepts and cultural influences; and evaluate and interpret these with a recognition of their complexity.  (TH6601, TH6602, TH6603, TH6605, TH6606, TH6608, TH6610, TH6611, TH6613, TH6620, TH6621)

At the end of this course, students will be able to

  • Demonstrate awareness and critical assessment of theological and biblical contributions to debate in the public arena about, for example, values, society, politics, ethics and apply suitable academic methods of study to review, consolidate and extend theological and biblical knowledge and understanding. (TH6601, TH6602, TH6603, TH6605, TH6606, TH6608, TH6610, TH6611, TH6613, TH6620, TH6621)
  • Discuss and demonstrate critical comprehension of the theology of the Bible and its articulation by interpreters in different historical periods and in different social or geographical settings; evaluate and describe with accuracy, nuanced and thoroughness important debates in written assignments. (TH6601, TH6602, TH6603, TH6605, TH6606, TH6608, TH6610, TH6611, TH6613, TH6620, TH6621)
  • Apply a number of complementary methods of study to review, consolidate and extend their knowledge and understanding. (TH6601, TH6602, TH6603, TH6605, TH6606, TH6608, TH6610, TH6611, TH6613, TH6620, TH6621)

At the end of this course, students will be able to

  • Communicate in an appropriate academic context using precise and appropriate terms with full and accurate references, within a structured and coherent argument. (TH6601, TH6602, TH6603, TH6605, TH6606, TH6608, TH6610, TH6611, TH6613, TH6620, TH6621)
  • Demonstrate advanced abilities to organise personal independent study projects. (TH6601, TH6602, TH6603, TH6605, TH6606, TH6608, TH6610, TH6611, TH6613, TH6620, TH6621)
  • Understand the need for critical viewpoints and the means of identifying and reflecting upon diverse opinions. (TH6601, TH6602, TH6603, TH6605, TH6606, TH6608, TH6610, TH6611, TH6613, TH6620, TH6621)

At the end of this course, students will be able to

  • Engage critically in academic projects and assignments which sustain and evaluate an argument, largely through independent enquiry, and which draw on a range of scholarly resources including research articles and primary sources. (TH6601, TH6602, TH6603, TH6605, TH6606, TH6608, TH6610, TH6611, TH6613, TH6620, TH6621)
  • Show independence in thought, and critical self-awareness about one's own beliefs, commitments and prejudices.   (TH6601, TH6602, TH6603, TH6605, TH6606, TH6608, TH6610, TH6611, TH6613, TH6620, TH6621)
  • Demonstrate understanding of the need to write and present critical viewpoints with brevity and efficiency.  (TH6601, TH6602, TH6603, TH6605, TH6606, TH6608, TH6610, TH6611, TH6613, TH6620, TH6621)

The Graduate Diploma is offered through King's Evangelical Divinity School. The entire programme is available to students working part-time and is delivered through online distance learning.

To complete the target award of Graduate Diploma, students complete ONE core module and FIVE electives to attain 120 credits. (To exit with the intermediate award of Graduate Certificate, students complete ONE core module and TWO electives to attain 60 credits.)

Graduate Diploma

There is ONE required core module:

TH6601 Biblical Theology (Core module, 20 credits)

Students then choose any FIVE optional modules:

TH6602 The Bible, Culture and Historical Theology (optional, 20 credits)

TH6603 Theology of Romans (optional, 20 credits)

TH6605 Christian Ethics and the Bible (optional, 20 credits)

TH6606 Evangelicals, the Bible and the Public Square (optional, 20 credits)

TH6608 The New Testament Use of the Old Testament (optional, 20 credits)

TH6610 Controversies in Systematic Theology (optional, 20 credits)

TH6611 Thought and Expressions of the Messianic Jewish Movement (optional, 20 credits)

TH6613 European Christians, Zionism, and The Modern State of Israel (optional, 20 credits)

TH6619 Independent Study Project (optional, 20 credits)

TH6621 Studies in the Minor Prophets (20 credits)

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
TH6601 6 Biblical Theology 20 Comp
TH6602 6 The Bible, Culture and Historical Theology 20 Optional
TH6603 6 Theology of Romans 20 Optional
TH6604 6 Liberation Theologies and their Use of the Bible 20 N/A
TH6605 6 Christian Ethics and the Bible 20 Optional
TH6606 6 Evangelicals, the Bible and the Public Square 20 Optional
TH6608 6 The New Testament Use of The Old Testament 20 Optional
TH6610 6 Controversies in Systematic Theology 20 Optional
TH6611 6 Thought and Expressions of the Messianic Jewish Movement 20 Optional
TH6613 6 European Christians, Zionism, and The Modern State of Israel 20 Optional
TH6619 6 Independent Study Project 20 Optional
TH6621 6 Studies in the Minor Prophets 20 Optional

Graduate Diploma: 120 completed credits needed to achieve the target award.

Graduate Certificate: 60 completed credits needed to achieve the intermediate award.

Students applying for the Graduate Diploma programme must already have obtained at least a 2.2 or equivalent in an honours degree in any subject. An IELTS score of 7.0 is required where English is not the applicant's first language.

The school recognises the place of prior learning (APL) and prior experiential learning (APEL) in the recruitment of students to this programme.

All candidates must complete an application form and satisfy KEDS' entrance requirements. All candidates must supply an appropriate reference and may be interviewed by the Programme Leader or nominated substitute.

Graduate Diploma students are expected to have attained the skills indicated for QAA Level 6 before proceeding with this programme.

This section reflects the QAA Subject Benchmark Statement for Theology and Religious Studies revised for 2014. The benchmark statements have been used as a foundation for the design of this programme and the following discussion identifies the appropriate benchmark applications, mapped, illustratively, against modules in the programme.

TRS Benchmark - subject knowledge and skills

- A broadly based core together with the wider context required for the subject area covered by the programme in question, and specialised study in depth of some aspects of the field. This implies not just the mastery of data but also the setting of these data within a theoretical framework, which includes critical analysis and debate about how to understand and structure the raw data into a coherent whole. (All modules.)

- One or more religions, ancient or modern, including the origin, history and developed or present character of each. (All modules relate to Christianity. TH6611, TH6613 relate also to Judaism)

- The reading, analysis and interpretation of texts, sometimes in the original languages, particularly texts that have been sacred or significant to one or more practising communities. This study will often focus both on the historical context which generated the texts and on hermeneutical questions concerning their meaning and application for the appropriate community of believers in the present, or for other readers today. (All modules but esp. TH6602, TH6608)

- Engagement with some of the major religious thinkers, prophets, teachers, ascetics, mystics, healers, or leaders through their extant work or subsequent influence (esp. TH6601, TH6606, TH6611.

- The application of a variety of critical methods of study, often adapted from those of other subjects in the humanities and social sciences, to the study of texts, practices, religious communities as social and cultural entities, or their diverse material culture and art forms. (All modules, esp. TH6601)

- The history of the particular discipline(s) covered by the programme, including the major theories, movements and thinkers. (All modules, esp. TH6602)

(vi) Ethics, morality and values. All religions have certain expectations in these areas, and the student will include them in the study along with other aspects of the religion. (TH6605, TH6610)

TRS Benchmark – qualities of mind (#3.2)

- The ability to understand how people have thought and acted - and continue to think and act - in contexts other than the student's own; how beliefs, doctrines, traditions and practices have developed within particular social and cultural contexts; and how religious traditions have changed over time and continue to evolve in the contemporary world. (All modules but esp. TH6602, TH6610, TH6611, TH6613.

- The appreciation of the complexity of different mentalities, social behaviours and aesthetic responses, and of the ways they have been shaped by beliefs and values, and conversely, how beliefs, sacred texts and art forms have been shaped by society and politics. (All modules.)

- Sensitivity to the problems of religious language and experience, and to issues of multiple and conflicting interpretations of language and symbols, texts and traditions. Simplistic, literalising or doctrinaire explanations are less likely to be advanced by a student of Theology and Religious Studies. (All modules)

- Appreciation of both the interconnectedness of and internal tensions within a system of beliefs and practices. (TH6610, TH6604)

- Basic critical and analytical skills; a recognition that statements should be tested, that evidence and arguments are subject to assessment, that the interpreter’s role demands critical evaluation. (All modules)

- The ability to employ a variety of methods of study in analysing material, to think independently, set tasks and solve problems. (All modules.)

(h) The capacity to give a clear and accurate account of a subject, marshal arguments in a mature way and engage in debate and dialogue with respect for the opposite case or different viewpoint. (All modules.)

TRS Benchmark – generic skills

The Statement also lists these generic (transferable) skills acquired through the study of Theology and Religious Studies:

empathy and imaginative insight, with a tolerance of diverse positions
independence of mind and initiative
capacity for reflexive learning, understanding how they learn
commitment to lifelong learning
ability to attend to others and have respect for others' views
capacity to modify, suspend or otherwise change position when warranted
ability to gather, evaluate and synthesise different types of information
analytical ability and the capacity to formulate questions and solve problems
writing skills, including clarity of expression, citation of relevant evidence and authorities and accurate referencing presentation skills, both oral and written, supported by appropriate technologies
technological and media literacy, including the generation of documents and other
resources, electronic communication and interaction in various forms and accessing
information from a variety of sources
awareness of the importance of contemporary media as both a resource for study
and a medium for theological and religious discourse
teamwork skills
ability to engage critically with the meaning of documents and recognise that
meanings may be multiple
ability to read texts in a different language, where appropriate.

A range of learning and teaching methods are used within the context of distance learning / online eCampus (sometimes called "blended learning"). Learning and teaching are thus structured in the following ways:

Distance learning (or open learning) in which students are supplied with recorded lectures, audio interviews, written study notes, guided reading, and other suitable material. This material is provided online via the eCampus but where necessary can also be provided through post. The learning is supported by individual contact with tutors by e-mail, eCampus interaction, and where appropriate, telephone and/or face-to-face meetings. Students are also encouraged (but not required) to partake in educational conferences.

Occasional conferences which are organised in order to give students the experience of a wider range of scholarship and the possibility of participating in academic discussion and debate with a wider peer group.
Supervision of dissertations involving regular contact with a supervisor by e-mail, telephone, face-to-face, or by post.
Research seminars which are organised where appropriate to give students working on dissertations the experience of presenting and discussing their research in a peer environment.

Tutorials as appropriate for students embarking on the dissertation phase of the programme.
At level 6, students develop a greater responsibility for their own learning, both independent and collaborative. There is encouragement to articulate personal engagement and response in the context of respect for views of others; and with appreciation of complexity, ambiguity and uncertainty.

As a graduate diploma, the expectation is that students would have gained an undergraduate degree in another academic discipline and will therefore be familiar with standard patterns of graduate assessment. The modules are typically assessed in a 4,000 word essay. However, assessment methods are chosen for fitness of purpose with the modular learning outcomes and so some may vary from this prevailing pattern.

A wide range of careers are pursued by people who have studied at King's. These typically include Christian pastoral ministry and related paths within the church but also encompasses a wide range of nonreligious careers. The programme is also suitable for students intending to proceed to Masters level studies / doctoral research or further academic study.

The skills developed in this programme include:

Cultural understanding
Open-mindedness: less likely to judge others and more likely to listen
Researching and interviewing skills through fieldwork
Confidence in own abilities
Academic, intellectual and social development
IT skills
Writing skills
Organising own workload and meeting deadlines
Working independently

It is the policy of King's Evangelical Divinity School to recognise and encourage the variety of contributions that are made by all who work and study at the college. King’s does not turn down applications on confessional grounds, accepting students from a variety of religious and nonreligious backgrounds. The school complies with existing equality legislation, aiming to provide equality of opportunity for all prospective students.

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