Entry Requirements

The entry requirements for studying at St Mellitus College are as follows:

  • The College will only consider applications from students who will be 18 by the time they enrol.
  • Aptitude for study appropriate to the level of the qualification applied for (see below for further details with respect to each programme).
  • Language aptitude according to University (or equivalent) policy if English is not the first language.  See the Learning and Teaching Handbook – Durham University.
  • International students would need to acquire a Visa for the entirety of the course before applying, as we are unable to offer sponsorship.
  • Students need to be proficient computer and internet users to study on our programmes.

  • Adequate ability to understand and communicate in written and oral English. Where the college feels that the student does not meet this criterion, evidence of an English language proficiency test will be required.

Click on the below headings for additional entry requirements for specific programmes and to view the full Admissions Policy click here.

Additional Criteria for Undergraduate Students

  • Undergraduates will normally have three A Levels (grade C/grade 4 or above) or equivalent for direct entry on to a BA, two for entry onto a Diploma and one for entry on to a Certificate (see below for possible exceptions).
  • For the Graduate Diploma, because the programme takes place alongside students taking the final year of their BA in Theology, Ministry and Mission, the College is responsible for ensuring that successful applicants can demonstrate sufficient prior aptitude for theological study such that they will not be disadvantaged by entering study at St Mellitus College at this level. Applicants must normally have a 2.1 degree or a Diploma (HE) in Theology with a substantial proportion of their graded credit at Merit/Upper Second level. However, especially for mature students, prior professional experience will be taken into account as well as educational qualifications.

Additional Criteria for MA Students

  • Submission of a degree level academic paper no less than 2,000 words as part of the application process.
  • A 2.1 degree is normally required for direct entry to any MA (see below for possible exceptions).
  • For the MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission, the BA should be in Theology or an equivalent subject (such as Religious Studies) and have contained substantial study of Theology up to level 6.
  • Applicants with a Graduate Diploma in Theology or an equivalent subject will be considered, and the College will look to satisfy itself at interview as to whether the candidate has adequate preparation and grounding for study at MA level.
  • Consideration will also be given to the agreed number of students for the academic year. At present this is 20 per centre per programme per year. Please note that this means that places will not simply be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. In many cases, students will be invited to join a waiting list, and final decisions will be made on the basis of the aptitude of students for the programme relative to one another, based on the criteria set out above. Final decisions will be communicated to students by 31 July.

Additional Criteria for Ordinands

  • Recommendation for training from a Church of England Bishops’ Advisory Panel or equivalent from a different church (with agreement from a Church of England Bishop). This process includes an assessment of the candidate’s educational aptitude for training. 
  • Share the College’s commitment to ‘Generous Orthodoxy’ i.e. working and worshipping together with ordinands from across the breadth of the Church of England and beyond.

Additional Criteria for LLMs

  • Recommendation from the appropriate diocesan advisory process to train as a Licensed Lay Minister.

Additional Criteria for Beginning Theology

Beginning Theology is an access course designed to provide a foundation for further study. It is broadly aimed at level 3 study (AS / A-level equivalent) and therefore priority on the course is given to applicants who fit one or more of the following categories:

  • Those without sufficient qualifications to access Higher Education
  • Those for whom English is a second language - A reasonable (Intermediate) standard of written and spoken English is necessary to participate fully in the course. Students whose first language is not English will be encouraged and supported in improving their English language skills.
  • Those from a minority or underprivileged socio-economic background and have not had the opportunity to study before
  • Those who have been referred by their vocations adviser or DDO to undertake some theological study as part of the Church of England’s discernment process 

As Beginning Theology is designed as an access course we may recommend other programmes that are run at St Mellitus College if we feel that due to their current level of education or other factors Beginning Theology will not be the best fit. For example, if an applicant already holds a degree and is not in one of the categories above it is likely that they will be directed to one of our accredited undergraduate or postgraduate programmes.

Whilst there are no formal entry requirements we only consider applicants who:

  • Are regularly-attending members of a church. They should be able to demonstrate their involvement in a range of church activities such as mission, community outreach, ministry or leadership.
  • Show a commitment to faith and to growing in understanding of the Gospel. They should be willing to commit to regular attendance at teaching sessions and completion of assignments.
  • Are at least 18 years of age when the course begins.


  • Where the requirements for aptitude for study appropriate to the level of the qualification applied for are not met, the College may at its discretion choose to offer places to students who can evidence: 
    • having passed the educational criteria associated with the Bishop’s Advisory Panel.
    • equivalent academic potential, normally after the satisfactory completion of an academic admissions test, such as the submission of a book review (usually 2000 words).

If there is any doubt about the candidate’s aptitude for study at the desired level, as noted above, the College may offer the candidate the chance to commence on a lower award.