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BIBLICAL STUDIES (Postgraduate Certificate)

Duration: 12 months|Hope Park|Start month: January & October
Accreditation|International students can apply
Entry Requirements
Teaching & Research


The Postgraduate Certificate in Biblical Studies offers the opportunity for the in-depth study of some of the texts which have been of immense significance for the development of Western (and not only Western) civilisation. The writings of the Old and New Testaments are primary sources of Christian faith and of theology, and as such remain a source of inspiration, but are also the subject of (often fierce) controversy among Christians of various denominations.

Biblical texts, however, have also greatly influenced literature, music, painting, sculpture and other ways of cultural expression, including popular culture, throughout the last two millennia. At the same time, certain passages of the Christian Bible have sometimes been interpreted with disastrous consequences for individuals and entire groups of people.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Biblical Studies provides students with the skills and expertise to read, discuss and write about the Bible in a manner which is both scholarly and engaging, as well as to assess critically the interpretations offered by others.

Students learn to understand the texts of the Old and New Testaments in their historical and socio-cultural setting, but they also gain insight into their theological significance and lasting influence. In addition to a more detailed analysis of selected writings or corpora of writings, and being introduced to some major issues in biblical interpretation, they become familiar with a variety of methods and approaches used in the academic study of the Bible, the tools used by biblical scholars, and with the most important developments in the field of biblical scholarship.

Curriculum Overview

The Certificate is gained when students have successfully completed either four 15 credit courses, or one 30 credit and two 15 credit courses, plus one non-credit bearing module on postgraduate thinking skills. The courses are delivered either through evening sessions or at the weekend at Liverpool Hope’s Childwall campus.

The 15 credit courses offered this year include: ‘Law, Prophecy and Wisdom: Three Worldviews in the Old Testament’, ‘Jewish Apocalyptic Literature’, ‘Pauline Literature’ and ‘Johannine Literature’.

The 30 credit course is on ‘Biblical Hermeneutics in a Pastoral Context’. While the 15 credit courses focus on selected biblical writings, including in some cases non biblical texts which are essential for the understanding of the Bible, they also introduce students to major issues in biblical interpretation in general. Furthermore, they enable students to become familiar with a variety of methods and approaches used in the academic study of the Bible, the tools used by biblical scholars, and with the most important developments in the field of biblical scholarship.


Entry Requirements

Normally a First Class or Upper Second Class Honours Degree.

Applications from students who do not hold a 1st or 2:1 Honours Degree (or equivalent) may be asked to demonstrate potential to achieve a Masters award via a sample of academic writing and interview before an offer is made.

International Entry Requirements

For students whose first language is not English there is a language requirement of IELTS 6.5 overall (reading 6, writing 6), TOEFL ibt 87, or other equivalent recognised English language qualification.

For additional information about country specific entry requirements visit the your country pages

Teaching and Research

A range of teaching and learning methods are used, including in the first place interactive lectures in small groups, for which students prepare by prior reading and completing other assignments, and during which they are able to engage in conversation with scholars and fellow students. They also have the opportunity to practice textual analysis, gain experience in using Biblical tools and resources, and to develop their oral presentation skills. Assessment is by an extended essay.

The Department of Theology, Philosophy and Religious Studies has a long-established and successful record of research, with research ranked as 'world leading' in the last national Research Assessment Exercise. The programme draws on the internationally acknowledged research expertise of existing members of the Department with that of visiting Professorial staff.

Following recent appointments, the Department’s expertise in Biblical Studies, and in New Testament Studies in particular, has been significantly strengthened. Inclusion of modules taught by internationally acclaimed specialists in the Old Testament ensures balance in introducing the different corpora of writings, which nowadays comprise the Christian Bible, as well as their broader social, cultural and historical setting.


Tuitition fees for Home/EU students for 2018/19 are:



We offer a number of scholarships and loans to help fund your postgraduate studies. Visit our scholarships pages for more details.



If you are an international student, visit our international scholarships pages.


Given the centrality of the Bible throughout history as well as its lasting importance in contemporary culture and societies, the knowledge and skills that the Certificate will offer will be relevant not only for a range of positions in different churches and religious communities but also in other sectors.

For instance, it could prepare students for a career, and contribute to their professional development, in journalism, advertising, education, and the cultural and tourist sectors. The ability to analyse and discuss written sources, engage in critical, interpretative thinking and present arguments clearly and accurately will be greatly appreciated by employers in a variety of other settings.