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The Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS) is an important qualification if you'd like to teach in the Catholic sector. This qualification is in addition to your specialist subject knowledge and your training as a teacher, as it helps you understand what it is that makes a Catholic school Catholic.

The certificate seeks to ensure that those who hold it "have a basic understanding of the Church, its teaching and way of life to enable them to contribute to the maintenance of the ethos of the Catholic school".

It is a short course, validated by the Board of Religious Studies for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, and the University administers the Certificate on their behalf.

Teaching and Assessment​

The qualification consists of six core modules, and two specialist modules. All eight modules must be completed within five years of starting the first module. e.g. If your first module is autumn 2020, you must complete by December 2025.

The Board of Religious Studies requires that students attend and participate in all of the teaching sessions for each module, in order to be able to submit an assessment for credit. At Leeds Trinity University, assessment for each module is via a 1500-word essay. The work is assessed as Fail/Pass/Distinction, and all 8 modules must be passed in order to obtain the Certificate.

Core modules 

The core modules focus on Catholic belief and practice. At Leeds Trinity University, they are offered during Saturday afternoon sessions in each term. These sessions are usually from 12.30 pm to 3 pm. Each teaching session lasts 2.5 hours, plus a 2.5 hour set task on Moodle, making up the 10 compulsory hours of teaching time. All 6 core modules PLUS the 2 specialist modules must be passed in order to gain the certificate.​

Specialist modules

We offer specialist modules in Catholic Education and welcome Catholic and non-Catholic students and aim to ensure that both access the curriculum successfully. These modules examine Church teachings about the work of teachers in Catholic education as well as debate some of the challenges that are faced.

In addition, the modules utilise practical activities to support teachers in preparing to nurture spirituality in children and young people. These modules are delivered on some Thursday evenings throughout the year (see timetable), between 5.30 pm and 8 pm.  You will submit two 1500 word essays, (one per Catholic Education Module) following the guidelines issued, in order to receive credit for  this module.

Fees, funding and registration

The CCRS is currently offered free of charge to all Leeds Trinity students, including PGCE and Schools Direct trainee teachers. We welcome external students at a cost of £65 per module. 

In addition, there is a one-off registration fee of £20 that all students must pay themselv​es. This is for the national registration with the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

Register for the CCRS and modules via the Leeds Trinity Online Store.

For more information, please contact the Programme Coordinator Jenny Stuart-Collins at j.stuart-collins@leedstrinity.ac.uk

Read the report on 25 years of CCRS

The CCRS has provided adult theological education across England & Wales since 1991-92. A research project by Dr Ros Stuart-Buttle, Director of the Centre for Christian Education at Liverpool Hope University,  is a theological conversation and reflection about CCRS in changing religious, political, socio-cultural and educational contexts and in conjunction with other current research studies into Catholic education.

You can read the report: "Twenty-Five Years On: One Size Fits All?" in full on the CCRS website.​