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University of Otago
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Diploma in Theology (DipTheol)

This course is available

On-Campus, Online

Level of Study



1 year

Next start date

Expected Jul 2023


University of Otago


The aim of the Diploma in Theology (DipTheol) is to offer a one-year course which will enhance knowledge and understanding of the main sub-disciplines of theology. A student who has completed a DipTheol may apply for credit towards the first year of a three-year Bachelor of Theology (BTheol) degree.

Students are taught by research-active scholars, are expected to undertake a variety of learning experiences and are challenged to develop their intellectual independence. Graduates of the programme are well-informed about the key themes of and approaches to the different areas of study which are encompassed by the subject areas of theology.

The DipTheol consists of seven 18-point theology papers in the areas of Biblical Studies (including Biblical Hebrew and Greek), Christian Thought and History, and Pastoral Studies. The majority of papers will be at 100-level, but up to three papers may be taken at 200-level. The diploma can be taken full-time over one year, or part-time over more than one year.

The papers which make up the DipTheol are all taught both on campus and via distance learning and so are accessible to students throughout New Zealand. A variety of methods of distance learning are utilised, including videoconferencing, web-based learning, block courses and teaching days.

Subject areas

The Diploma in Theology (DipTheol) includes papers in:

Biblical Studies

Christian Thought and History

Pastoral Studies

Entry criteria

We recognise many other qualifications as equivalent to the New Zealand qualification for entrance.

We also accept the following international qualifications:

  • International Baccalaureate: IB Diploma with a minimum of 24 points.
  • Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) GCE Advanced Levels: minimum Numerical Score of 8

English language requirements

  • IELTS Academic - IELTS score of 6.0 in the academic module (with no individual band below 5.5). IELTS Online is also accepted.
  • Internet-based TOEFL - Score of 80 (writing 20)
  • Paper-based TOEFL - Score of 550 (TWE 4.5)
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) & Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) - Overall score of 176 (with no individual band below 169)
  • CIE - E grade or higher in any one of AS English Language, AS Literature in English or AS Language & Literature in English; OR meeting the NCEA literacy requirements
  • GCE A or AS English Language, Literature in English, Language and Literature in English & GCE AS level General Paper (English) - Grade C or higher
  • IB - English at Higher or Standard level in Language A: literature, Language A: language and literature, or at Higher Level in Language B
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - Overall score of 50 with no communicative skills score below 42.
  • LanguageCert - International ESOL: C1 Expert (LRWS) with a pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill
  • NZCEL - NZCEL 4 Academic endorsement
  • University of Auckland English Language Academy (ELA) pathway programmes - Successful completion of the English Pathway for Undergraduate Studies (EPUS) with a C Grade
  • University of Auckland Foundation Certificate in English for Academic Purposes (FCertEAP) - Successful completion of the certificate with a C Grade

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