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Entry Requirements

Access requirements to the first year of studies at Tilsley College are similar to those for any Higher Education courses.

Academic Qualifications

For students aged 17 and above: The student must have successfully completed secondary education as evidenced by at least three SQA Highers at grade D or above or three GCE AS levels or two A levels or academic equivalent. (In terms of UCAS Tariff points, a minimum of 210 points).

For students aged 21 and above: The student must not have attempted to achieve standard entry qualifications in the last 5 years, but must have attained one SQA Higher or GCE AS level at Grade D or other equivalent, ideally in English, and some work experience which ideally has included working in a team, report writing or leadership responsibilities.

Christian Commitment

Unlike other disciplines, the study of theology at any level requires consistency between the subject matter and the lives of the students. Therefore the student is required to give evidence of a personal commitment to Jesus Christ and to Christian truth, ethics, values and community. This evidence is collected as part of the application form and process.

Proficiency in English

All students whose secondary schooling was in a language other than English must demonstrate a sufficient level of proficiency in English by holding a pass in a recognised English proficiency test such as TEOFL Grade 6 or better.

Access to the second year of studies at Tilsley, to complete the Diploma, is successful completion of the first year or similar formal theological studies. In some instances, equivalency can be given for less formal theological training and experience in church leadership. In such cases, the prospective student may be asked to complete one or more essays to determine their academic suitability for the course. If you have questions, please contact the college and speak to the Academic Dean.

Special Access

As the underlying ethos of Tilsley College is to train people for service in the Christian Church, we recognise that not all true servants of Christ and the church have been able to complete full secondary school level in academic terms. We are prepared to train any prospective student provided they can demonstrate the ability to read and study at a rate that can keep abreast with the class being taught at the accredited certificate level.

The following provisions apply to mature students, who are defined as age 21 or over and who can demonstrate that their professional or personal experience has produced results comparable to the outcomes of a given certification. In some exceptional circumstances an under-21 year old may also be considered under this category.

The following are example of acceptable proof of competency to entry the course:-

  • Professional or in-service training certificates and work experience, especially where they have necessitated reading, study, and writing of an analytical nature.
  • Equivalency examination. The student will be asked to study a Biblical passage or theme and to write a 1,000 word essay on a given question. The work will be marked according to the usual course assessment procedure and the student should achieve a grade C or above.
  • Study Unit Basis: In exceptional cases where none of the above is achieved, a student may be accepted to study on an “auditing” basis (see below) but where the study unit assignments are completed and marked. If the student achieves an average mark of Grade D or above, the studies will be credited to them and permission granted to join the class as an accredited course student.
  • In all cases the sections above regarding Christian commitment and proficiency in English fully apply.
  • Open Access and other part time students may be accepted onto the accredited course on the same criteria as detailed above as for full time students.


By “auditing” we mean a student who we accept to do the course but for various reasons has mutually agreed with the college that he or she will not write all the study unit assignments. Reasons for this may include time pressure in the case of part time students, certain learning difficulties or stress related issues. Auditing students are normally only admitted to the class on a term by term basis, so that there is ongoing assessment as to how an individual student is coping with the work, the impact he or she may be making on overall class progress and the suitability of he or she continuing with any contingencies detailed out to deal with specific issues raised by the previous term’s work.

Where a student has completed the full course on an auditing basis a modified type of College Certificate will be awarded which indicates that the course has been attended on an auditing basis only. The accompanying student report/transcript will make it plain that there is no grading or ECTS equivalence and no reference is made to any accrediting body. To distinguish from a student studying the fully accredited course, the wording on the College certificate indicates the student has completed a one year “Training for Service” course in Biblical Studies and Christian Ministry.

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