Context Based Courses

Most students on this Pathway will take the Durham University Common Awards Certificate and Diploma, but other courses are available and programmes can be tailored to most people's personal circumstances and needs.

A wide range of modules are available under the Common Awards scheme. At Cuddesdon they are grouped, so as to provide a rich and rounded curriculum, into the following three areas: (1) Biblical Studies, (2) Doctrine, History, Liturgy and Ethics, and (3) Pastoral Studies. To give examples from each, there are modules in ‘Introduction to the Bible’, in ‘Sacramental Theology and Ministry’ and in ‘Leadership, Theology, Ministry and Mission’.

As with all Church of England training for Christian ministry and mission, admittance onto one of these programmes will depend on your prior qualifications – including whether or not you have studied theology formally before – and your age when you begin training. It will be possible to make a claim for Accredited Prior Learning (APL) on a case by case basis for undergraduate programmes. The credits gained in the successful completion of a Common Award programme will provide a foundation for further study as well.

Certificate and Diploma in Theology, Ministry and Mission

The Certificate taken in Year One comprises 120 credits at Level 4, leading on to the Diploma in Year Two to gain a further 120 credits at Level 5, totalling 240 credits over two years. The learning at Level 4 is introductory, whereas at Level 5 it is pursued in greater depth.


Year One (Certificate): Modules in Bible, Church History, Doctrine, Worship, Spirituality, Mission, Pastoral Care, and Theological Reflection.

Year Two: (Diploma)Modules in Old Testament, New Testament, Doctrine, Sacraments, Ethics, Leadership, and Reflective Practice.

Assessment of each paper is by means of coursework (essay, written reflection, etc.) or by oral presentation (seminar presentation, sermon, etc.).

Teaching and Learning

These programmes are delivered through a variety of teaching and learning methods (e.g. lectures, seminars, placements, etc.). These are supported by your own preparatory reading, and may also involve class discussions and activities to complete outside of class.

For learners with specific learning needs, e.g. dyslexia, and for those who are returning to full-time education following a long gap, support is available.

Entry Requirement

Normally a minimum of one A-level or equivalent (Certificate) or two A-levels or equivalent (Diploma).

For mature students, relevant work experience will be considered in place of formal academic qualifications.

For more details please see Durham University Common Awards Programmes.