Study this programme anywhere in the world and receive a fully accredited University of London degree


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.

Student sitting on floor reading in library
Study the Divinity programme with academic direction from the University of London wherever you are in the world.

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 details

Programme structure, courses and specification

Bachelor of Divinity 12 courses:
 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.

View programme structure

Key dates

Application deadline 01 October 2021
Application for Recognition of Prior Learning deadline 01 October 2021
Registration deadline 30 October 2021

How you study

New updates to the programme have taken place for the 2020–2021 academic year, including new and revised modules and enhanced academic support and the addition of online tutors to support you through the study experience.

Independent study

We supply learning materials which are specially designed for distance learning. You will also have access to a significant range of online resources, including a fully supported Virtual Learning Environment and online library.

Study materials

All essential and further readings are available online for each course (with the exception of Texts in Hebrew).

Online support

When you register, we will give you access to your Student Portal. You can then access your University of London email account and other key resources:

  • The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Here, you can access electronic copies of your study materials, where available, as well as forums to discuss course material and work collaboratively with others.
  • The Online Library provides access to over 100 million academic electronic items comprising E-books, E-journals, conference proceedings, etc. In addition, students can request items which are not held in the library via the library's Inter-Library loans service with the British Library.
  • Senate House Library provides free reference access for all registered distance and flexible learning students.

Student Support

We are committed to delivering an exceptional student experience for all of our students, regardless of which of our programmes you are studying and whether you are studying independently or with a Recognised Teaching Centre.

You will have access to support through:

  • The Student Advice Centre – provides support for application and Student Portal queries.
  • 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.


Modules are assessed by a variety of methods. For some courses this will involve a combination of coursework and a written examination. Others are examined solely by one three hour unseen written examination. The Dissertation course is assessed by an 8,000-10,000 word dissertation.

Exams are held in May each year. You can sit your exams at one of 400 approved examination centres located all over the world.

More about exams.

Entry requirements

For direct access to the BD or DipHE, you will usually meet the following criteria:

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?

Computer 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: 01 October 2020.

More about Recognition of Prior Learning.


The programme fees below refer to the 2021–2022 session and apply to new students who registered on the programme in 2020-21 or later. Students who registered for the first time in 2019-20 or earlier can view their programme fees here.

Academic year 2021-2022

Application fee (non refundable)


Module fee


Other fees (as applicable)  

Application fee for accreditation of prior learning per course, BD only)

£ 113

Late registration fee (non-refundable) £100
Indicative total* BD: £12717
Indicative total* DipHE: £8307
Indicative total* CertHE: £4107
Individual courses taken on a stand-alone basis 2021-2022
Application fee (non-refundable) £ 107
Composite fee (registration and one examination attempt) per module £1000
See details below for costs you may incur with parties which are external to the University of London, for example, examination centre charges and locally imposed taxes. You should budget for these accordingly.

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.

From 2021–2022, the programme will be phasing in a new composite fee structure. This will mean that fees will be paid on a modular basis, with each module fee inclusive of module registration and examination fee. The indicative total given above has been calculated with the move to a composite fee structure taken into account: From 2021–2022 the composite fee for a module will be £1,000.

More about programme fees.

Additional Costs

You will also need to budget for:

  • Textbooks (could extend to around to £150 per year)
  • Exam centre fees, which are paid directly to the venues where you sit your exams.

How to pay your fees.

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.

Career opportunities

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.

Academic leadership

Programme Director

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 on the SAS website.

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.

More on funding your study.

What our students think


agreed the reality of the programme was what they expected or better.


were satisfied overall with the quality of the programme.


agreed the flexibility of the programme met their needs.

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