Life at Westcott

At Westcott House we rejoice in knowing and sharing God’s love in inclusive and hopeful community

Independent Students

We welcome inquiries from prospective independent students. Examples of independent students include:

  • Lay people wishing to deepen and enrich their faith by studying theology as part of a worshipping community;
  • Lay and ordained ministers who want to take further study as part of their continuing professional development;
  • Overseas students sponsored for ministry who want to come for a short period of study, subject to visa and immigration requirements.

Westcott House offers support for theological and ministerial study to set all of God’s people free in discipleship, ministry and mission. Teaching is delivered by highly experienced practitioners and tutors drawn from Westcott House’s staff and the wider Cambridge Theological Federation.

There are five typical ways that independent students can access independent study opportunities accredited by either Durham or Cambridge University at Westcott, subject to the admissions criteria and processes of those awards:

  • Certificate in Higher Education (level 4): for lay people looking to develop their personal discipleship or ministry;
  • Diploma of Theology for Ministry: a graduate-entry programme for individuals preparing for or already involved in authorized Christian ministry or service;
  • Graduate Diploma: for lay people without prior theological study but with a good 2.1 degree in another subject, who are looking for a more demanding theology course, or a preparatory, credit-bearing course for the MA in our Postgraduate Study stream;
  • The ‘Top-up’ BA (level 6): for recently licensed ministers who would like to convert their Common Awards Diploma to a full degree;
  • The Postgraduate Diploma and MA: for experienced ordained ministers and others with prior theological study at a commensurate level.

We also offer ARU MA and Research degrees. These degrees are taught and supervised through the Cambridge Theological Federation and are accredited by Anglia Ruskin University. Admissions are subject to the admissions criteria and processes of those awards:

  • Doctor of Philosophy or MPhil awarded by Anglia Ruskin University: a post-graduate research programme for individuals wanting to progress with a personal pathway of research defined by their own research proposal;
  • Professional Doctorate in Practical Theology (DProf): a doctoral programme aimed at practitioners and professionals interested in relating theological, ethical and spiritual insights and methods to their own professional/voluntary practice;
  • MA in Christian Spirituality East and West: a post-graduate programme for individuals interested in exploring the meaning and the role of spirituality in Christian traditions, as well as in today’s multicultural and multireligious world;
  • MA in Contemporary Faith and Belief in the Global Context: a post-graduate course for individuals wanting to develop an in-depth understanding of theological and philosophical discourse in the contemporary academy, church and society, paying attention the global dimension of Christianity;
  • MA in Chaplaincy & Pastoral Care: a post-graduate programme for individuals seeking an in-depth understanding of the theology and practice of chaplaincy and pastoral care. This degree meets the requirements for registration with the UK Board of Healthcare Chaplaincy (UKBHC);
  • MA in Contemporary Ethics: a post-graduate course for individuals who would like to develop their understanding of ethics and how its applied in the context of cultural and religious pluralism.

Further information about the courses we offer, and how to apply can be found under Courses & Practicalities or by contacting Please see Fees and Maintenance for more information on academic and maintenance costs.

For enquiries about independent study, please contact the Tutor for Admissions or the admissions office:


File Name File Format Action
Application Form for Independent Students 2023-24 Word Download
Application Form for Independent Students 2023-24 PDF Download


‘I want our students to leave Westcott House with a passion for being in the world as Christ is in the world; for seeking out what God is already doing in the world, so that we might cooperate with God; for living in the knowledge that we will not meet Jesus or draw others to him unless we seek him where he has always told us he will be found: amongst those this world calls the least.’

Dr Elizabeth Phillips Former Director of Studies, Westcott House