Study With Us - Certificate in Religious Studies

Providing teachers with a basic qualification in Catholic Religious Studies

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Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS)

This is a two-year course for trainee and qualified teachers aiming to provide a basic qualification in Catholic Religious Education. It is in accordance with the requirements laid down by the Board of Studies of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales and the Certificate is awarded with the authority of the Archbishop of Birmingham.

What are the entry requirements?

You must be a trainee or qualified teacher based in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

How long is the programme?

This is a two-year, part-time, distance-learning course.

Programme information (content & structure)

The course consists of eight modules, four per year, and assessment is by a written assignment. Each module requires ten hours of contact time, so there is a series of 3 compulsory study days** plus webinar seminars and tutorials.

  • Unit 1 - The Old Testament
  • Unit 2 - The New Testament
  • Unit 3 - Jesus the Christ
  • Unit 4 - Introduction to Church History
  • Unit 5 - The Church
  • Unit 6 - Sacraments
  • Unit 7 - Liturgy, Worship and Prayer
  • Unit 8 - Christian Morality

FE Programme Specifications

**In response to restrictions imposed and uncertainties raised by Covid-19, Maryvale Institute will conduct all study days online until 31 July 2021 in the first instance. The situation will be monitored and reviewed regularly for course delivery after this time.**


A written assignment is submitted for each module.

Resources needed

  • A Bible
  • The Catechism of the Catholic Church
  • Access to the Documents of Vatican II

Course Fees

The level of course fees payable depends on whether you are a UK/EU or a non-EU student. Please ensure that you refer to the appropriate section on the course fees page.

How do I apply?

Please contact the Course Director for further information:


If you have a disability or any long-term condition that impacts on your day-to-day life, please download the Accessibility Form, open and edit it in Acrobat Reader, and email or post the completed document to the Accessibility Coordinator (address included on the form), to ensure we can give you the best possible support during your course of study. Disclosing a disability will not be a factor in Institute’s decision as to whether or not to offer you a place on the course. However, it is important that the Institute knows if you have any specialist needs in order to provide you with appropriate support and facilities. This information will remain strictly confidential. For further information, please contact the Accessibility Coordinator by using the contact button below:

Student Feedback

"The coursebooks are excellent; feedback is really quick and very detailed. Very welcoming environment and the food is lovely!"

FE Student - May 2019 (CCRS Maryvale)

"Having both lecturers together helped me gain a good basis and understanding to begin the assignment on Church history."

FE Student - May 2019 (CCRS Maryvale)

"Good discussion about the assignment. Helpful to go back over assignment I was stuck on. I like that we were given time in the afternoon for our own study."

FE Student - May 2019 (CCRS Maryvale)

"The topic covered was an area I am especially interested in. The resources are very informative. The afternoon session, where we discussed specific modules, was very useful."

FE Student - May 2019 (CCRS Maryvale)

"I feel I have a good understanding of what is expected of me and I have been provided with really good course material to guide me. We have had guidance from our tutor and I feel I can ask for advice."

FE Student - October 2018 (CCRS Maryvale)

Comments from FE Retreat Day (July 2018)

  • "Loved all of the retreat, thank you for organising it. Praying with clay was sensational – delivered so expertly. It was deeply prayerful and surprised me how creative God ennobled me to be. I would love a whole day on this. The hand massage was relaxing, delivered by kind and gentle expert practitioners. Mass was beautiful. Thank you for delicious home-made food too.”
  • "I finished MCC last year and would highly recommend it to others. I’m considering Health Care Chaplaincy"
  • "Loved the time to pray and loved the clay prayer and also the message: 'Talking to other students'. Both my friends and I were happy with all of the day. The one to one is valuable, also the webinars are fantastic."
  • "Wow, what an amazing experience! Lovely welcome, then taking part in the clay/prayer. Not what you make, but the feelings and revelations it gives you. Fantastic lunch, thank you sisters. Free time to pray and talk. Wonderful foot massage – a real crowning day. Time with the Lord & Benediction. What more could we ask? When is the next one?"
  • "Both sessions were excellent. They were both peaceful and I feel calm and at peace and very relaxed. Thank you for all the information I had about the MCC assignment. It has given me hope to continue and finished the assignment."

FE Students - July 2018

"The delivery of the course was engaging and interesting/useful information. Healing!"

FE Student - February 2018 (CCRS Maryvale)

"The positive and enthusiastic energy about finishing the course, and that it is doable. The help available outside learning days and study days."

FE Student - February 2018 (CCRS Maryvale)

"[I enjoyed] the introduction to Church History, learning how the church(es) has evolved from the days of Paul. Discussing how to approach assignments and understanding the expectation."

FE Student - February 2018 (CCRS Maryvale)
© Maryvale Institute 2018 - Maryvale Institute is part of the Birmingham Diocesan Trust, Reg'd Charity No. 234216