Theology at Queen’s offers students the opportunity to explore the breadth of theological thinking, both past and present, and specialise in any area of Theology (Biblical Studies, Systematics, Church History, Practical Theology) or pursue any theme of particular theological interest.

Whilst the core of the Bachelor of Divinity degree is biblical studies, including the original biblical languages (Hebrew and Greek), students may also explore historical, systematic or practical areas of Theology.

Divinity Degree highlights

In the most recent National Student Survey (2016), 98 per cent of Queen’s University Theology students said they were satisfied with the teaching on this course.

Global Opportunities

  • You will have the opportunity to take part in field trips to Belgium or Italy as well as elsewhere in the UK and Ireland. Erasmus exchanges (typically one semester long) are available in Budapest (Hungary) and Kampen (the Netherlands) or you may avail of the Study USA programme.

World Class Facilities

  • In addition to all the facilities at Queen’s, your College will provide all its students with bespoke library, study and recreation facilities.

Internationally Renowned Experts

  • By its very nature, and of necessity, Theology is authentically rooted in and focused on its immediate community setting: accordingly, all College staff are experienced and active practitioners in the Irish and British contexts. In addition, some enjoy international recognition and exposure, or have practised/taught or published, in Europe, North America or the developing world.

Student Experience

  • Theology students gave a 100% overall satisfaction rating for their degree in the most recent National Student Survey results (2016).
"You have the opportunity to learn from some world-renowned scholars at Union Theological College and there is a real sense of community." Graham Mullan, Bachelor of Divinity

Course content

Course Structure

Stage 1
Compulsory modules
• From Paradise to the Promised Land: exploring the Pentateuch
• Early Church History
• Introduction to Theological Thinking
• Introduction to Jesus and the Gospels
• Introduction to Pastoral Theology

Optional modules
• Introduction to Biblical Languages
• Biblical Texts
Stage 2
Students will take a total of 120 CATS at Stage 2, with at least 20 CATS being taken from four of the five groups below. All modules in Stage 2 are 20 CATS. Note: not all modules are available each

Group 1 – Old Testament
• Old Testament Selected Texts
• Old Testament Historical Books
• Biblical Theology

Group 2 – New Testament
• New Testament Epistles A
• Revelation

Group 3 – Theology/Philosophy
• The Christian Doctrinal Tradition
• In Search of the Good Life: Ethics from Plato to Postmodernity
• CS Lewis: Christian author and apologist

Group 4 – Church History
• Christianity in Ireland since the Reformation
• Church History Project: Boyne Valley Fieldtrip

Group 5 – Practical Theology
• Youth Ministry 1
• Study of World Religions
• The Theology and Practice of Pastoral Care
Other optional modules
• Biblical Hebrew Texts
• NT Greek Texts
Stage 3
Students will take a total of 120 CATS. Students are permitted to take up to 40 CATS from Group 1 Independent Research. Note: not all modules are available each year.

Group 1 – Independent Research
• Placement Theological Reflection
• Dissertation
• Research Project
• Double Dissertation

Group 2 – Old Testament/New Testament
• Old Testament Theology
• Old Testament: The Megillot
• Old Testament Prophetic Texts
• John
• The Epistle to the Hebrews
• Romans

Group 3 – Church History/Theology/Philosophy
• Western Christian Spirituality
• Trends in Modern Theology
• Current Issues in Philosophical Theology
• Church History Fieldtrip to World War I Battlefields
• Oral Church History
• Christianity in the Sixteenth Century
• Christianity in the Nineteenth Century

Group 4 – Practical Theology
• Missiology
• The Church, Ministries and Society 3
• Issues in Practical Ecclesiology
• Youth Ministry 2
• Reconciliation Studies 1
• Spiritual Theology for Pastoral Ministry

Group 5 – Biblical Languages
• Aramaic with Set Texts
• Advanced Hebrew

People teaching you

Dr Joan Rahilly
Director of the Institute of Theology
Institute of Theology

Contact Teaching Times

Large Group Teaching
6 (hours maximum)
hours of lectures
Medium Group Teaching
6 (hours maximum)
hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week
Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial
2 (hours maximum)
hours of tutorials (or later, project supervision) each week;

Learning and Teaching

As in other Schools at Queen’s, undergraduate students in the Institute of Theology form a diverse cohort drawn from across the local community and beyond: all are suitably qualified students, without regard to personal religious commitments. While Theology is taught collaboratively with Union Theological College, associated with a particular religious denomination, the Theology curriculum itself is non-denominational in character, fully quality-assured by both Queen’s and the College and reflective of the scope of Christian Theology generally. You will be simultaneously a Queen's University student and a Union College student: you will enjoy all that the University has to offer; and you will receive your tuition from subject-specialist staff in a warm and friendly College community ideal for personal enrichment. Union College’s academic expertise and library resources are especially geared towards biblical studies and biblical languages at the core of the Bachelor of Divinity degree.
From the outset, Theology students enjoy a variety of contexts, environments and methods for their learning:

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E-Learning technologies

Like all Schools at Queen’s, Theology uses a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online for resources, information sharing or other virtual classroom activity.

Field trips

An integral part of your language learning will be a field trip to inspect priceless early biblical manuscripts. In addition, Practical Theology incorporates a field trip at level 1, as do Church History modules at levels 2 and 3. All of these trips connect class-room experience to material and cultural realities and Theology to everyday experience.


While lectures introduce basic information and analysis of new topics, as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading, workshops in biblical languages (and biblical studies modules generally) provide initiation, practice and development in interpretative skills and strategies. All these classes also provide opportunities to ask questions and gain advice or feedback on assessments.

Personal Tutor

Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor during Levels 1 and 2 who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development.

Self-directed study

This represents a very important part of life as a Queen’s student; private self-directed reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation are the foundation of academic achievement.


Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students). These offer the best opportunities for face-to-face feedback as students engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic. You and your fellow-students can ask your questions and assess your progress and understanding in a supportive learning environment, as you make presentations and other contributions to these groups.

Specialised independent study

Following your compulsory study of the biblical languages at levels 1 and 2, in your third year you may further develop your expertise through optional advanced modules. There is also opportunity for you at level 3 to specialise in any area of Theology, through a supervised dissertation or a research project whose topic you get to choose.

Youth ministry projects and placements

Through the Practical Theology department Theology students continually reflect upon the practical dimension to their studies. Youth ministry modules make especially strong connexions beyond the university between Theology and the life and experience of young adults in today’s society or world.


Details of assessment are outlined below

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Students are assessed in a variety of ways, in line with the particular learning objectives of each module and the skill-set associated with it. Biblical languages gear assessment to continuous learning. Otherwise, the diet of assessment includes coursework (such as written assignments or projects), presentations and end-of-semester examinations. Theology’s Student Handbook, provided for all students as part of their first year induction, specifies the number and nature of assessments in every Theology module you might take, while you will receive fuller information at the start of every module.


Your study and learning in Theology will provide you with valuable feedback throughout your course at Queen’s. It will come from various sources: as you progress, those who teach you (module co-ordinators, lecturers and tutors) or advice and support you (personal tutors or advisers of study), and even your fellow-students, will offer you feedback about your work.
In advance you will receive guidance and advice on the standards you should aim for, or the pitfalls you should avoid, or be given model answers or exemplars to help you shape your own work. Then after the event, feedback will come in a variety of forms:

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Question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, or in small group settings like seminars or tutorials.

Formal written comments and marks relating to coursework that you have submitted, whether individually or as part of a group.

Formal or informal feedback posted online or emailed to you.

Face-to-face verbal comment – typically when you make an appointment to chat to a member of staff about some specific aspect of your work.

Comments or references relating to any placements you do.

Analysis and comment relating to what you achieved through practical classes.

Support and guidance which you can seek from Queen’s staff in specialist support services such as Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.

Once students have reviewed their feedback, they are encouraged to further improvements to the quality of their work. As a university student, it will be your responsibility to reflect, in detail and depth, on all the feedback that you receive and to identify and implement improvements that you can make to enhance the quality and effectiveness of your work.

Union Theological College benefits from a high staff-to-student ratio: you will soon know your lecturers and tutors well and find them approachable and supportive. In this context, as an independent learner you can take the initiative at any time to seek further customised feedback (over and above the ways already mentioned), confident that this will help your progress.

Entry Requirements

Entrance requirements

A level requirements

Irish leaving certificate requirements

Access/Foundation Course
Successful completion of Access Course with an average of 65%.

All applicants
There are no specific subject requirements to study Theology/Divinity.

Those returning to education after a break will be considered individually on their own merits.

Selection Criteria

In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance notes on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.

How we choose our students

Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by individual University Schools. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.

Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form, which is considered by the Selector for that particular subject or degree programme along with a member of administrative staff from the Admissions Service. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.

Last year, applicants for the previously comparable BTh and BD programmes must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade C or better (to include English Language). Performance in any AS or A-level examinations already completed would also have been taken into account and the Selector checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects can be fulfilled.

Offers are normally made on the basis of 3 A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The minimum acceptable is two subjects at A-level plus one at AS though applicants offering this combination will be considered on an individual basis depending on the degree for which they have applied. The offer for repeat applicants is set in terms of 3 A-levels and may be one grade higher than that asked from first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.

Applicants offering two A-Levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification), or one A-Level and a BTEC Diploma/National Diploma (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected.

Applicants offering other qualifications, such as BTEC Extended Diplomas, Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, the International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate or an Access course, will also be considered.

The same GCSE profile is usually expected of those applicants taking a BTEC Extended Diploma qualification or a Higher National Certificate (HNC).

The current entrance requirements for applicants offering a BTEC Extended Diploma are successful completion of the BTEC Extended Diploma (180 credits at Level 3) with 100 credits at Distinction and 80 credits at Merit. For applicants offering a HNC, the current requirements are successful completion of the HNC with 8 Merits.

For those offering a Higher National Diploma, some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile but, to be eligible for an offer, at least half of the units completed in the first year of the HND must be at Merit level and remainder Passes. Applicants must successfully complete the HND with Merits in all units assessed in the final year. Any consideration would be for stage 1 entry only.

Applicants offering Access/Certificate in Foundation Studies courses will be considered individually on their own merits and for entry last year, the standard set was an overall average of 65% in Level 3 modules.

The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of the previously comparable BTh and BD degrees, these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.

A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking 4 A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.

Applicants are not normally asked to attend for interview, though there are some exceptions and specific information is provided with the relevant subject areas.

If you are made an offer then you may be invited to an Open Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.

If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions Service (admissions@qub.ac.uk), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.


For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements

An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

  • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.


INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.

These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.

INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)


Career Prospects

Gaining your degree from Queen’s Institute of Theology will put you in a strong position among UK Theology graduates. The excellent standards of our education are recognised by employers who value the quality of our programmes and recognise the skills of our graduates.

Employment after the Course
• Social and community workers
• Teachers (primary and secondary)
• Civil servants
• Lawyers
• Journalists and media commentators
• Christian Ministry
• Youth work

Graduate employers include DEL, PCI, Lloyds Banking Group, Housing Executive, Health and Social Care Trust.

Employment Links
Theology at Queen’s liaises closely with employers to offer guest lectures and on-site visits, amongst other activities. Theology students also take part in tailored employability and skills workshops, developed with the Student Guidance Centre.

Professional Opportunities
The analytical and communication skills that are essential to theology are also recognised as important attributes for careers in many other areas, so there are job opportunities in many fields for successful graduates. Holders of a Theology degree will have demonstrated through their studies a capacity for assessing problems, exploring solutions and presenting the results of their work in a variety of media.

Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Prizes and Awards

Top performing students are awarded a scholarship by the Institute of Theology.

Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills

In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees


Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.

Additional course costs

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

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Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.

If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.  

Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.  

Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Divinity costs

There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.

How do I fund my study?

There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.

Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.


Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.

How and When to Apply

How to Apply

Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).  Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/apply.

When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2018 from 1 September 2017.

Advisory closing date: 15 January 2018 (18:00).

Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.

Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.

The Institution code for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.

Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/

Apply via UCAS
After an offer is made this will be notified to applicants through UCAS. Confirmation will be emailed by the Admissions and Access Service and this communication will also include Terms and Conditions (www.qub.ac.uk/Study/TermsandConditions) which applicants should read carefully in advance of replying to their offer(s) on UCAS Track.

Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students

  1. Applying through UCAS
    Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2018.
  2. Applying direct
    The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
  3. Applying through agents and partners
    The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.

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