Admissions Policy

The formal admissions policy for St Augustine’s College of Theology.

As a prospective student applying to study with us at St Augustine’s, you may wish to take a look at our admissions policy. 

If you have any questions or concerns around your application or the admissions process, get in touch with our admissions team and they will be able to offer you help, support and guidance.

Who oversees the admissions process?

  1. Admissions decisions will be made by the Director of Studies (Programme Director) in consultation with the Principal (or their acting substitutes).
    Where applicable, St Augustine’s College of Theology may consult staff from diocesan teams responsible for the delivery of the relevant programme, in line with the Service Level Agreement in place.
  2. The Management Committee (otherwise known as the Board of Studies) shall monitor the admissions processes and may issue guidance on such processes.

What are the standard academic entry requirements?

  1. Standard entry qualifications permitting admission to the programmes are:
    1. For the Diploma or Certificate of Higher Education, 2 A levels at grade E or above, or equivalent or higher qualifications.
    2. For the BA, 3 A levels at grade E or above, or equivalent or higher qualifications.
    3. For the Graduate Diploma, a Diploma of Higher Education or equivalent in theology and/or ministry, or a 2:1 degree in any subject.
    4. For postgraduate awards, either:
      1. a 2:1 degree (or other equivalent level 6 qualification, e.g. a Graduate Diploma) including a substantial element of theology and/or ministry
      2. a 2:2 degree in any subject and an additional qualification at level 5 or above in theology and/or ministry at 2:1 standard or equivalent
      3. a 2:1 degree in any subject and an additional qualification at level 4 or above in theology and/or ministry.
  2. Applicants for a postgraduate award who do not meet the standard entry qualifications may be conditionally admitted based on their academic and/or ministerial potential (see point 8 for more details).
    Such admission will be conditional upon satisfactory completion of the first module in the postgraduate programme to a standard that demonstrates potential to complete a postgraduate qualification.
  3. Applicants for an undergraduate award, especially mature applicants, who do not meet the standard entry qualifications may be admitted to the Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE). If St Augustine’s College of Theology believes that the student is capable of undertaking these awards, they will be allowed to progress from the CertHE to higher awards if their performance is satisfactory. Likewise, other students admitted to lower awards may be permitted to progress to higher awards if their performance in the lower awards has been satisfactory.

What are the language requirements?

  1. Applicants whose first language is not English will be asked to provide evidence of English language ability. You must be able to fulfil both of the following requirements:
    1. Successful completion of a comprehension and writing assessment conducted by St Augustine’s College of Theology
    2. Successful completion of an external language test, as required by Durham University, e.g. An IELTS score of 6.5. See Durham University’s Common Awards entry requirement for more information.

External English language tests are undertaken at the potential applicant’s own expense.

How are admissions decisions made?

  1. Admissions decisions are based as appropriate on previous qualifications, evidence from church selection processes, sample work, interviews and references.
  2. Admissions decisions are made on the basis of merit and potential. This merit and potential may not just relate to the academic award per se, but also with regard to the contribution that an applicant can make to and the benefit they may gain from the learning community at St Augustine’s College of Theology.
  3. In making admissions decisions, St Augustine’s College of Theology staff shall take every care in accordance with the Equality Act 2010 to avoid unlawful or unjust discrimination.
  4. Before an offer is finalised, at least one reference will be taken up. The exception to this is in the case of those who have been recommended for training for ordained or licensed lay ministry, who therefore come with the commendation of their diocese (or equivalent in other denominations).
  5. The reasons for all admissions decisions, and supporting evidence as appropriate, shall be recorded and held by St Augustine’s College of Theology and made available to Durham University on request.

Further conditions relating to admission

  1. Admission to programmes of training for licensed church ministry (lay or ordained) may be made conditional on the candidate subsequently gaining the sponsorship of their diocese for ministerial training (or equivalent in other denominations).
  2. If an applicant is found to have provided false or misleading information (whether in formal application processes or in other ways), this is sufficient grounds for refusing admission or withdrawing offers already made.

Feedback, complaints and appeals processes

  1. Feedback on admissions decisions is given on request only.
  2. If an applicant has a complaint following the provision of feedback and is unable to resolve this informally, a formal complaint may be made.
    Formal complaints should be submitted in writing to the Principal. A complaint is defined as a specific concern relating to a procedural error, irregularity or maladministration in the admissions procedures or policies.
    A written response shall be given to the complaint within one month of its receipt.
  3. If a complaint cannot be resolved internally, it will be referred to Durham University. For more information, visit the Durham University Complaints and Appeals page.
  4. Appeals, defined as a request by an unsuccessful applicant for a formal review of the outcome of an admissions decision, will not be considered.
  5. Applicants will not be discriminated against in any further application should they request feedback or make a complaint under these policies and procedures.

Circumstances around the closing of admissions

  1. St Augustine’s College of Theology, in consultation with partner dioceses (where applicable), may close admissions to any programme when it believes it has recruited to its capacity. However, it must ensure that fair treatment is given to all who have applied prior to the closure of admissions. This may include taking into account (in addition to merit and potential, as in section 8 above) factors such as:

    • when the application for admission was made
    • when the applicant made themselves available for interview
    • when the applicant would be in a position to confirm acceptance of their place.
  2. If further places become available following closure of admissions, St Augustine’s College of Theology shall either offer those places to those who had previously applied (ensuring they are all treated fairly) or reopen a fair admissions process.

Version 1.1 (written and/or reviewed, May 2021)

Key contacts relating to the admissions policy: