Students in a class
Course Title Diploma of Higher Education in Theology, Ministry and Mission (Common Awards)
Awarded by Durham University
Qualification Dip HE
Level 5
Credits 240 (minimum 90 credits at Level 5 and maximum 150 credits at Level 4)
Length of course 2 years full-time
3-4 years part-time
Entrance requirements Entry to this programme is flexible, depending on the student’s experience, employment and education. In general, applicants – especially those with little or no employment history – should have at least two A-levels or equivalent. However, for mature students, relevant work experience may be considered in lieu of formal academic qualifications. Applicants will need to demonstrate their potential to benefit from a Diploma (HE) in Theology, Ministry and Mission.

In general, up to a maximum of 80 credits (1/3 the total 240) of accredited prior learning (APL) may be granted to students who have evidence of, or can demonstrate learning that fulfils the relevant learning outcomes of the Diploma programme (by completing a portfolio of work, for example).

Students for whom English is a second language require an IELTS score of 6.5. Please note that TOEFL results are not accepted by Durham University.

Students who have successfully completed the Diploma are eligible to apply to continue to the BA (Hons) in Theology, Ministry and Mission programme.

Overview The Diploma provides an education in theology, ministry and mission in and for a variety of contexts. Many students prepare for professional ministry and mission within churches, including recognised lay and ordained ministries in the Anglican, Methodist, Baptist and United Reformed churches. The programmes serve institutions representing Anglican, Methodist, United Reformed, Baptist, Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, as well as being open to students from other denominations.

The course prepares people for lay ministry and mission in the world, including those who wish to be more fully equipped for Christian life and service in the world, or simply more informed about the Christian faith. Some students will be preparing for ministry and mission among children and young people within and beyond ecclesial structures. Typically, students will be preparing for service in third sector and statutory organisations as well as in churches.

The Dip HE aims to offer education that is accessible to students with a wide range of educational backgrounds and professional and personal circumstances: many will be mature students, many will be employed and therefore studying part time, many will be in active ministry, while still others will be pursuing the programme as full time residential students.

Teaching The Dip HE offers a rich variety of subjects taught by a wide range of teachers. Many subjects are team-taught by teachers from across the Cambridge Theological Federation but some draw on the talents of people with expertise from outside the Federation. The course incorporates a variety of modes of learning and teaching, including traditional full-time residential learning, part-time and part-residential learning.
Assessment Summative assessment (coursework for credit) may take the form of essays, portfolios, presentations, independent learning projects and language examinations. In addition, formative assessment (in-course feedback which is unmarked and not for credit) is undertaken during the course of all modules to support student learning. The specific mode of formative assessments varies from module to module.
Suitable for Ordinands in combination with other qualifications
Independent students
More details Cambridge Theological Federation Common Awards Programme Regulations
Durham University Common Awards website

From September 2012, every undergraduate course of more than one year’s duration will have a Key Information Set (KIS). The KIS allows you to compare 17 pieces of information about individual courses at different higher education institutions.

However, please note that superficially similar courses often have very different structures and objectives, and that the teaching, support and learning environment that best suits you can only be determined by identifying your own interests, needs, expectations and goals, and comparing them with detailed institution- and course-specific information.

We recommend that you look thoroughly at the course and University information contained on these webpages and consider coming to visit us on an Open Day, rather than relying solely on statistical comparison.

You may find the following notes helpful when considering information presented by the KIS.

  1. The KIS relies on superficially similar courses being coded in the same way. Whilst this works on one level, it leads to some anomalies. For example, Music courses and Music Technology courses can have exactly the same code despite being very different programmes with quite distinct educational and career outcomes.
  2. Any course which combines several disciplines (as many courses at Cambridge do) tends to be compared nationally with courses in just one of those disciplines, and in such cases a KIS comparison may not be an accurate or fair reflection of the reality of either. For example, you may find that when considering a degree which embraces a range of disciplines such as biology, physics, chemistry and geology (for instance, Natural Sciences at Cambridge), the comparison provided is with courses at other institutions that primarily focus on just one (or a smaller combination) of those subjects.
  3. Whilst the KIS makes reference to some broad types of financial support offered by institutions, it cannot compare packages offered by different institutions. Different students have different circumstances and requirements, and you should weigh up what matters to you most: level of fee; fee waivers; means-tested support such as bursaries; non-means-tested support such as academic scholarships and study grants; and living costs such as accommodation, travel.
  4. The KIS provides a typical cost of private (ie non-university) accommodation. This is very difficult to estimate as prices and properties vary. University accommodation can be substantially cheaper, and if you are likely to live in College for much or all of the duration of your course (as is the case at Cambridge), then the cost of private accommodation will be of less or no relevance for you. The KIS also provides the typical annual cost of university accommodation and the number of beds available. Note that since most universities offer a range of residential accommodation, you should check with institutions about the likelihood of securing a room at a price that suits your budget. Knowing the number of beds available is not necessarily useful: it may be much more important to find out if all students are guaranteed accommodation.
  5. Time in lectures, seminars and similar can vary enormously by institution depending on the structure of the course, and the quality of such contact time should be the primary consideration.
  6. Whilst starting salaries can be a useful measure, they do not give any sense of career trajectory or take account of the voluntary/low paid work that many graduates undertake initially in order to gain valuable experience necessary/advantageous for later career progression.

The above list is not exhaustive and there may be other important factors that are relevant to the choices that you are making, but we hope that this will be a useful starting point to help you delve deeper than the face value of the KIS data.