Study With Us - Independent Study

Relective, Personal or Parish Study

Independent Study

Independent Studies Flyer

Maryvale provides a series of stand-alone Modules/Study Guides in response to requests from students who want to continue learning at their own pace. These modules can simply be audited, or a Maryvale Certificate in Independent Study award can be gained by completing a single written assignment for each module studied.

Who is Independent Study aimed at?

Independent Study is for individuals or groups wishing faith formation without the restriction of a course structure, deadlines or attendance at study days.

What are the entry requirements?

Open access

How long is the programme?

This is independent study, so each student can determine their own pace and duration of study.

When is the next enrolment?

Independent Study can begin at anytime.

Programme information

Modules available currently are:

  1. 1. Introduction to Philosophy

    This module introduces philosophical issues of importance to Christian faith, and fundamental concepts in epistemology, metaphysics and ethics. The key encyclical on this issue, Fides et Ratio by John Paul II is examined and there is a brief overview of the history of philosophy in order to introduce you to key thinkers and ideas. The vital role philosophy has to play in catechesis, evangelization and dialogue with contemporary culture is examined.

  2. 2. Introduction to Canon Law

    This module aims both to equip students with the necessary intellectual and practical tools to use ecclesiastical law as one expression of the mystery of the Church and to enable students to deepen their understanding of the various obligations and rights of the laity, especially in the particular Church to which they belong. The module investigates how the Codex Iuris Canonici (Code of Canon Law) of 1983 is faithful to the ecclesiology of the Second Vatican Council and its intention to renew Christian living.

  3. 3. Introduction to Church History

    This module offers an overview of key events and personalities in the history of the Catholic Church, from the first Christians to the contemporary community of faith. Councils, Synods, the Christological controversies, the influence of monasticism, the Middle Ages, the Great Schism, the Reformation all evidence the presence of persecution, revolution and reform through the centuries in the Church, as in the secular world.

  4. 4. Introduction to Catholic Social Teaching

    This module aims to widen understanding of what Catholic social teaching is and to encourage reflection on where it fits into the wider mission of the Church. It provides information on the historical background from which the formal body of Catholic social teaching emerged; the first document and reasons for its development; key themes in social teaching as they have emerged over the past century; case studies reflecting on these themes in contemporary daily life, reflection questions, and ideas for further reading.

  5. 5. Introduction to Collaborative Ministry

    This module draws on the theory and practice relating to the effective use of people in organisations. It progresses from a consideration of underlying concepts of leadership and management styles, using a variety of examples from secular practice, and relates the ideas and skills to the parish. It develops the parish context from an organisational point of view and so provides a key foundation for the effective working of laity and clergy in parish ministry.

  6. 6. The Catholics of Scotland

    This introduction to the history of the Catholic Church in Scotland covers the period from the Celtic Church to the restoration of episcopal hierarchy and Catholic emancipation. That is, from the year 563 when St Columba and twelve companions founded a monastery of scattered huts on the island of Iona, to 1878 when the peace-making role of Charles Eyre made it possible for an episcopal hierarchy to be proclaimed for Scotland with little fuss.

  7. 7. RCIA Catechesis

    This module is intended for catechists involved or intending to be involved, in RCIA in their parishes. Prior catechetical formation is necessary. The module provides a solid foundation for understanding the different catechetical, pastoral, and liturgical dimensions of the RCIA process based on the Rites. Methods for communicating and planning effectively and for using the key sources for developing RCIA catechesis are given, as well as an explanation of the different responsibilities of those involved in RCIA and of how to equip oneself to meet these responsibilities.

Study Guides available currently are:

Study Guides to Papal Teaching Documents

  1. Redemptor Hominis (Christ, the Redeemer of Man, 1979)
  2. Dives in Misericordia (God the Father, Rich in Mercy, 1980)
  3. Familiaris Consortio (The Family in the Modern World, 1985)
  4. Dominum et Vivificantem (The Holy Spirit, Lord and Giver of Life, 1986)
  5. Veritatis Splendor (The Splendour of Truth, 1993)
  6. Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life, 1995)
  7. Fides et Ratio (Faith and Reason, 1998)
  8. Ecclesia de Eucharistia (The Church of the Eucharist, 2003)
  9. Deus Caritas Est (God is Love, 2005)
  10. Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel, 2013)
  11. Laudato si' (Care for Our Common Home, 2015)
  12. Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love, 2016)
  13. Gaudete et Exsultate(On the Call to Holiness, 2018)
  14. Christus Vivit (Christ Lives, 2019) (New for 2019!)

Study Guides to the Catechism of the Catholic Church

  1. Faith & Revelation; the Creed: God the Father
  2. The Creed: God the Son, God the Holy Spirit
  3. Liturgy & Sacraments
  4. Introduction to Morality
  5. The Ten Commandments
  6. Prayer

Study Guides to the New Testament

  1. 1 and 2 Thessalonians
  2. 1 and 2 Corinthians
  3. The Gospel of St Matthew
  4. The Gospel of St Mark
  5. Galatians and Romans
  6. The Gospel of St Luke
  7. The Acts of the Apostles
  8. The Prison Letters of St Paul: Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, Philemon
  9. The Gospel of St John
  10. 1 and 2 Peter, James, Jude

It is also possible to study modules from other FE courses, by request, as Independent Study.

Independent Study Programme Specifications


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 or other relevant magisterial documents

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?

Applications are welcome at any time of year.

How do I apply?

Application form.


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:

For further information

Please contact us either by making an online enquiry below or by calling 0121 3608118.

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