Graduate Diploma in Theology
The Graduate Diploma programme is a University of Bristol award that is normally studied over one year. This is a programme that enables graduates in another subject to acquire competence in theology that, in turn, enables them to pursue postgraduate study in theology. It is open to independent students as well as to those training for ordination; the programme is suitable as the first of two or three years of training for ordained or lay ministry as it encourages students to make connections between their classroom-based learning, the experience they bring to the course, and the practical skills and experience that they will learn through placements or context-based engagement.
In order to be considered for this programme, applicants must have an upper-second or first-class honours degree in an appropriate academic subject. It is a demanding, intensive course that is suitable for those who have continued in an academically demanding environment since completing their earlier degree. It involves preparatory reading and study.
Options for study
The programme is modular in structure and involves achieving 120 credits of study over one year: this includes a minimum of 80 credits at final year BA (Hons) level (i.e. Level 3 of Trinity's units).
Units of study are divided into subject areas and students are free to construct a programme that reflects the area(s) of theology which are of particular interest to them.
Students who are training for ordination within the Church of England and/or Christian leadership in another church are likely to have a more prescribed pathway that ensures a rounded training in Christian ministry. For students who are ordinands of the Church of England, there are additional requirements that further shape the pathway of study.
Context-based or college-based tracks
The Graduate Diploma in Theology may be studied by both college-based and context-based students. Context-based students gain 20 credits in integrated learning each year for their engagement in context and are exempt from certain assessments in practical theology. College-based students who are training for ordination will be assessed in practical theology units but not in the Community Placement that forms part of the experiential training of the programme.