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Key information

Qualification type

Postgraduate Certificate

Subject areas

Religious Studies

Course type


Course Summary

The PGCert is a short (60 credit) course, primarily aimed at theology graduates serving in ministry who are considering further study or are looking for an element of continuing professional development.

PGCert students take two modules: a compulsory module on hermeneutics and epistemology, which is common to all our postgraduate programmes, and one elective, which can be a taught module, an independent research project, or a guided reading module.

There are two pathway options for students, either to take both modules in one year, or one module in each of two years.


The programmes offer a rich and varied learning experience which encompasses lectures, seminars, language classes, field trips, placements and a range of formative and summative assessments. Through these assessments, the College aims to provide all students with an equal opportunity to demonstrate their achievement of Threshold Learning Outcomes (at module level) and Programme Learning Outcomes. Underlying all of the College’s programmes is a commitment both to information and to transformation, and a belief that the sub-disciplines within Theology are integrated within the framework provided by scripture, which can and does speak into every area of life.

The programme aims to

  • Enable students to focus in appropriate depth on particular aspects of biblical, theological, pastoral and/or cross-cultural studies in which they have a prior interest; or enable students to explore new areas within the discipline, building on their prior knowledge and experience;
  • Provide opportunity for students to reflect upon and integrate their prior theological studies and their experience of Christian ministry in the process of engaging critically with new learnings and to model this in the way in which teaching and learning are provided;
  • Provide students with a range of biblical, theological and pastoral studies at postgraduate level, which are at, or informed by, the forefront of those fields of study;
  • Strengthen and sharpen students’ intellectual and practical skills and develop in them the graces of the Christian theologian in order that they should be more effective in Christian ministry;
  • Develop students as lifelong theological learners and equip them to harness and apply the fruits of such theological study in their diverse ministries;
  • (Where desired) provide an opportunity for sustained reflection on and engagement with a theological or ministerial topic through an independent research project.

Different course options

Full time | Oak Hill Theological College | 1 year | SEP

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date



After introductory reflections on epistemology and hermeneutics, the module will progress in two movements. The first will establish the theological and epistemological foundations for our hermeneutical explorations. Here we will examine Christian accounts of human knowledge of God and creation in the light of the creator-created distinction, the fall of humanity and redemption, using biblical and other material. We will describe and examine key proposals for a sound epistemology in the western tradition, considering objections to these proposals from Sophism, Scepticism, Nihilism and post-modernism. And we will evaluate the hermeneutical and theological implications of these epistemologies, as well as their objections, using worked examples and scenarios. From this theological and epistemological foundation, the second part of the module will focus on hermeneutics in the stricter sense. Here we will describe and examine various hermeneutical approaches, devoting particular attention to their epistemological underpinnings, theological implications, and conception of the relationship among author, text and reader. We will focus on specific hermeneutical issues, such as dual authorship, semiotics, the situated-ness of the reader and the relationship between interpretation and theology. And we will discuss fitting strategies for Christian appropriation of hermeneutical disciplines in order to nurture Christian faith. Together, these theological, epistemological and hermeneutical discussions will provide a backdrop for the module assessments. For the seminar paper, students will describe and critically evaluate a major objection to human claims to knowledge, indicating possible well-framed Christian responses to that objection. For the exegetical paper, students will explore a passage relating to the knowledge of God but will use and critically evaluate different hermeneutical techniques in doing so. And for the event and written account, students will present sophistic

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

Students need to pay £3,700 for Pathway A. This fee is for 2018 - 19 entry; there may be slight increase in the fee for 2019 - 20 entries. Registration Fee: £735 per year.

Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

To be confirmed

Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

The normal entrance requirement is a UK Honours degree in Theology (classified 2.2 or above). Normally, broader degrees in Religious Studies and other subjects will not provide an adequate grounding for this programme. Students without a degree in Theology may qualify for admission if they are able to demonstrate both academic ability and sufficient other theological background. Applicants must also satisfy the College that they have a sufficient command of spoken and written English to meet the demands of the programme. An applicant whose first language is not English will be expected to reach, at the point of application to Oak Hill College, a suitable minimum level of English language. We therefore require all applicants whose first language is not English to take an Academic IELTS test and achieve an overall score of 7.0 or above, with no less than 6.5 in each component.