BD, DipHE, CertHE
Available to study anywhere in the world
The study of religion provides an opportunity to consider questions which are of fundamental concern, both for individuals and societies - questions about the meaning and purpose of human life, and the values by which we live.
At Level 4, a course introducing you to the study of religion is complemented by modules covering key texts and traditions of the Abrahamic religions. At Levels 5 and 6 the choice of courses includes biblical languages and texts, texts in English, Christian history and doctrine, Buddhism, philosophy of religion, religion and science, and religion and global politics. Level 6 includes the dissertation course, which offers you the chance to focus in detail on a topic of your choice.
By studying this programme, you will:
- gain a deeper understanding of individuals and communities who have been influenced by religious belief
- examine your own answers to some of life’s important questions
- be able to analyse texts and arguments
- be able to produce clear written accounts of your knowledge and arguments.
Programme structure, courses and specification
Bachelor of Divinity 12 courses:
Three compulsory Level 4 courses plus a choice from a further Level 4 course or a Level 5 course, seven elective courses (at least two from Level 5 and three from Level 6), and one dissertation.
Diploma of Higher Education in Divinity (DipHE) 8 courses:
Four compulsory Level 4 courses, and four elective courses from Level 5 and Level 6.
Certificate of Higher Education in Divinity (CertHE) 4 courses:
Four compulsory Level 4 courses.
This programme has one intake date per year: October.
Please note the deadlines have changed from previously published information.
How you study
Independent study with online support
We supply learning materials which are specially designed for distance learning. When you register, we will give you access to your Student Portal which gives you access to a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and the Online Library.
In the VLE, you can access your study materials, including videos or podcasts, reading guidance notes, and discussion forums.
The Online Library provides access to over 100 million academic electronic resources including books, journals and conference proceedings.
All essential and further readings are provided either as scanned book sections or articles on the VLE module page or through the online library. The only exception is the optional course Texts in Hebrew, for which you would need to purchase a small number of textbooks.
We are committed to delivering an exceptional student experience for all of our students.
You will have access to support through:
- The Student Advice Centre - provides support for application and Student Portal queries.
- An Online Tutor for every course - provides academic support through the VLE discussion forums and messaging service
- TalkCampus - a peer support service that offers a safe and confidential way to talk about whatever is on your mind at any time of day or night.
Most courses are assessed by means of a combination of coursework (40%) submitted in February and a 1-5 hour examination (50%) taken in May. You can also be given credit for contributing to the discussion forums (10%). The Dissertation course is assessed by means of an 8,000 - 10,000 word dissertation. Exams are held in May each year.
For direct access to the BD or DipHE, you will usually meet the following criteria:
- Age 17+ by 30 November in the year of registration.
- Satisfy our General Entrance Requirements.
- Meet our English language requirements
For direct access to the CertHE:
- Age 18+ by 01 September in the year of registration.
- Three GCSEs (Grade A*-C / 9-4) or equivalent.
- Meet our English language requirements.
For access by Performance based admission:
If you do not meet the academic requirements for direct entry, you can apply for the CertHE via the Performance based admission route.
To be eligible to register you must:
- normally be aged 18 or above by the registration deadline of the year in which they will be entering; and
- satisfy the English language requirements.
To be admitted onto the CertHE Divinity, you must pass the FHEQ Level 4 module Religion, meaning and value [DT1150].
What if I do not meet the above criteria?
Even if you do not meet the standard requirements, we will consider each application on its own merits. Our Admissions Panel will consider whether any alternative/incomplete qualifications or work experience you have are suitable for entry to the programme. If we are unable to issue you an offer for either the BD, DipHE, CertHE or performance based admission routes then if available we will advise on further alternatives such as our International Foundation Programme or on additional qualifications you need to take in order to meet our minimum entrance criteria.
I don’t meet the entry requirements. What can I do?
English language requirements
You need to demonstrate a good level of English to be admitted to our programmes. We accept a range of evidence, including proficiency test scores. If you don’t have evidence but believe you can meet the standard, we may consider your case.
Do I hold the English requirements?
We set minimum basic computer requirements because your study resources are accessed via the Student Portal and it is vital that you can access this regularly. For this degree, you will also need Adobe Flash Player to view video material and a media player (such as VLC) to play video files.
More about computer requirements.
Can I transfer credits from other awards?
If you have studied material as part of a previous qualification that is comparable in content and standard, you might be exempted from the equivalent course for the University of London degree. This is known as Recognition of Prior Learning (APL), Credit Transfer or Exemption. For the Bachelor of Divinity, you can apply for up to four Level 4 courses.
Please note if you wish to be considered for discretionary recognition of prior learning for the 2020 intake, then you must formally apply and submit your request by: 15 October 2021.
Recognition of Prior Learning
If you have studied material as part of a previous qualification that is comparable in content, level and standard to our Divinity modules, you might be exempted from the equivalent course of the University of London degree. This is known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or Exemption. You will not need to study or be assessed in the module(s) to complete your award.
To be considered for RPL you should make a formal request within your application when applying online. Alternatively, this can be done through an online enquiry, once you have submitted your application.
You may apply for RPL for up to 120 credits.
We do not normally recognise prior learning completed more than five years before your registration on this programme.
Note: that all discretionary RPL requests must be submitted by the dates specified for November intake, in the year that you apply. Once submitted, we must receive all required supporting evidence by the deadline stated.
Further information on rules regarding RPL is covered in the Recognition of Prior Learning section of the appropriate Programme Regulations and Section 3 of the General Regulations.
RPL and Performance based admission
If you wish to enter the CertHE programme via the Performance Based Admissions (PBA) route, you may apply for recognition of prior learning at the point of application. Any approved RPL will be formally applied to your record once you have been successfully admitted onto the full CertHE programme.
To enter the CertHE via the PBA route, you must first register for and pass the FHEQ Level 4 module Religion, meaning and value [DT1150]. We will not recognise or accredit prior learning for this module as part of this entry route as it must be passed in order to progress onto the CertHE Divinity programme.
If you do not successfully pass the Religion, meaning and value [DT1150] module and therefore are not admitted onto the CertHE Divinity programme, any application fees paid for discretionary RPL are non-refundable.
The Programme Fees below refer to the 2023-2024 session only and apply to students registered on the programme from 2020-21 onwards. These fees are effective from 06 February 2023.
Students who registered for the first time in 2019-20 or earlier can view their programme fees here.
Disclaimer: Currency conversion tool.
*The indicative totals have been calculated assuming the programme is completed in the minimum time (i.e. 3 years) with no examination resits.
*The online examination administration fee is charged for each examination paper held online, including resits. This does not apply to any coursework submissions.
If you wish to purchase hard copy textbooks you will need to budget for these. The study materials for all modules except Texts in Hebrew are available online, either as scanned chapters or in the Online Library.
Please note: all student fees shown are net of any local VAT, Goods and Services Tax (GST) or any other sales tax payable by the student in their country of residence. Where the University is required to add VAT, GST or any other sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the fees shown during the payment process. For students resident in the UK, our fees are exempt from VAT.
Further information on Sales Tax
Your payment provider may apply additional transaction fees. (If in doubt, please check with them before making a payment.)
Further information about fee payment options can be found in the “How to pay your fees” link above.
The programme can help to prepare you for a variety of career paths. For example, with further training, you could become a teacher, social worker, counsellor, police officer, journalist, or lawyer.
What do employers think of our graduates?
In some countries, qualifications earned by distance and flexible learning may not be recognised by certain authorities or regulators for the purposes of public sector employment or further study. We advise you to explore the local recognition status before you register, even if you plan to receive support from a local teaching institution.
Dr Elizabeth Burns is Director of the University of London distance learning programmes in Divinity and Reader in Philosophy of Religion. Elizabeth has a BD (specialising in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics) from King’s College London, a PhD from Queens’ College, Cambridge, a PGCE in Post-Compulsory Education from Suffolk College, Ipswich, and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Elizabeth taught Philosophy of Religion at Heythrop College, formerly the University of London, from 2000-2017, where she was Dean of Undergraduate Studies from 2003-2008.
Read more about Dr Elizabeth Burns and our academic staff for this programme.
Funding your study
Without the cost of moving to London, studying for your University of London degree anywhere in the world represents excellent value for money. However, there are additional sources of support depending on where you live and how you choose to study.