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Bachelor of Divinity (BD) - University of London International Programmes

Is this programme for me?

Religious beliefs provide a sense of purpose, a source of values and a way of life for many people. The University of London Bachelor of Divinity (BD), is one of the oldest and most highly respected Theology courses in the world. It will enable you to wrestle with complex issues which go to the heart of who we are as human beings. Christianity will be your main focus, with options to study other religions and/or specialise in areas such as the philosophy of religion and ethics, church history or science and religion.

This programme will enable you to:

  • study questions which are of fundamental human concern, e.g. the purpose of human life, or what happens to us when we die.
  • gain a deeper understanding of individuals and communities who have been influenced by religious belief and understand how these beliefs have shaped societies
  • develop your skills in understanding, analysing and constructing different types of argument, and to present a clear written account of your findings.

Study options

You can choose to study for a full BD, a Diploma of Higher Education in Theology or a Certificate of Higher Education in Theology. The Diploma and Certificate enable you to gain a University of London award in theology, without committing to a full degree. Also, if you do not meet the entrance requirements for admission to the degree, you may still be eligible for the Certificate. If you obtain the Diploma or Certificate in Theology you may transfer your registration to the BD and automatically be credited with the courses passed.

You will be able to produce clear written accounts of your knowledge and arguments, analyse texts, and study questions which are of fundamental human concern.

Prestige and career progression

The programmes have been developed by Heythrop College, a specialist College of Theology and Philosophy within the University of London. The skills you will gain are valuable in many walks of life. The ability to understand and analyse complex ideas and to produce a coherent written account is essential in many contexts. Theology is particularly useful not only for those working with one of the churches, but also for those in the teaching profession, the social services, or other occupations that are concerned with people and their values. The managerial and organisational levels of the voluntary sector are also particularly interested in those with theological expertise.


Minimum 3 Years

1st Year

. Introduction to the New Testament in English
• Introduction to Old Testament
• Christian Doctrine
• Philosophy of religion

2nd Year:

• Reformation and society
• Christian ethics
• Islam
• Second Temple Judaism

3rd Year:

• Liturgical studies
• Church, Ministry and Sacraments in Early Christianity
• Buddhism
• Dissertation


Entrance Requirements


To be eligible for the Bachelor of Divinity (BD) and Diploma of Higher Education in Theology you must:

  • normally* be at least 17 years old and either have passes in:

- two subjects at GCE 'A' level plus at least three further subjects at GCSE/GCE 'O' level (at not less than grade C or a 'pass' if taken prior to 1975) or
- three subjects at GCE ‘A’ level (with one ‘A’ level at not less than grade D) or
- three subjects at GCE 'A' level, plus one further subject at GCSE/GCE 'O' level (at not less than grade C) or
- two subjects at GCE 'A' level and two further subjects at GCE 'AS' level and

  • The University reserves the right to request applicants to provide evidence acceptable to the University of oral and written competence in English before an offer of registration can be made.

For the Certificate of Higher Education in Theology, you must:

  • normally* be aged 18 or over by 1 September in the year of registration and
  • have a minimum of three subjects at Grade C or above at GCSE/GCE 'O' level or an equivalent qualification and
  • Grade C or above at GCSE/GCE 'O' Level English language or, within the past three years, to have passed at the required standard a test of proficiency in English recognised by the University.


*Applications will be considered from applicants who do not meet the normal minimum age requirement for admission. Each application will be considered on an individual basis, and the decision taken at the discretion of the University of London.

Note: applicants with other qualifications not listed above and/or suitable work experience will be considered by the University on an individual basis. There are many other acceptable qualifications [pdf: 6pgs, 91KB], both from the UK and overseas, which the University accepts instead of British 'O' and 'A' levels.

If you do not satisfy the criteria for automatic acceptance we will still consider your application on an individual basis under our Special Admissions procedures. If we cannot accept you with your current qualifications and experience, we will advise you what qualifications you could take in order to become eligible in the future. For further details please visit University of London - International Programmes by clicking Here.



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