Associateship of King's College
The Associateship or Associate of King's College (AKC) award has been the degree-equivalent qualification of King's College London since 1833. It is the original qualification that the College awarded to its students since, not being a university, it could not award a degree.
Since 1909, only students registered for a University of London degree at King's have normally been allowed to study for the associateship. The three-year course involves weekly lectures concerning theology, ethics and philosophy. At the discretion of the Dean, some postgraduates, and medical/dental students who do not intercalate, are allowed to compress the programme into two years. There is also a special arrangement for members of staff of the College who already hold a degree to apply for permission to study for the AKC as a free-standing qualification.
Students take an annual examination. After graduating from King's, students who succeed in the AKC exams will be eligible to be elected as Associates of King's College. Associates use the post-nominal letters AKC along with their main qualification.
Until 1976 the Theological Department of King's College London (a distinct institution from King's College London and not to be confused with the latter's Faculty of Theology) awarded the Theological AKC. This was an ordination qualification in the Church of England and was a three-year, full-time course of studies. Some ordination candidates read the AKC only and some read the combined BD/AKC course, receiving both qualifications at the end of the three years. The Theological AKC was equivalent to a BA pass degree in theology. It was awarded in three classes with an undivided second class. Holders were entitled to wear distinctive academic dress by a grant of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The hood is of the "Cambridge shape" (MA), made of black poplin and edged, inside and out, with "one inch of mauve silk". The gown resembles the classic MA design of the ancient universities except that, like the Durham MA, it had a black button and cord at the back of the yoke. Also, its sleeves are cut square, that is, without the "crescent" shaping of the other universities.
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