September 2025

Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS)

Short Course, September 2025

Key Details

  • Years
  • TBC Typical UCAS Tariff
students groupwork

The Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS), a non-accredited course, is delivered on behalf of the Board of Religious Studies that reports to the Bishops of England and Wales. It is a highly desirable qualification for anybody wishing to teach in a Catholic school and is open to people of all faiths and none. At Newman University it is taught over a 2 year period and consists of 8 individual units.

Read ‘CCRS Twenty Five Years On’ – a report by the Catholic Education Service. 

  • A highly desirable certificate that the Catholic Education Service strongly encourages all teachers to have that aim to work in a Catholic school
  • A range of highly trained experts delivering the course
  • An opportunity to learn and develop personal understanding of Biblical text in relation to the Catholic faith.
  • A wide range of resources to support students in their studies of CCRS
  • To provide an insight regarding expectations of Catholic schools and opportunities that are available.
  • Subsidised fees for those students already studying another course at Newman

This modular course is designed to give you an understanding of basic Christian theology, and an appreciation of the special place of Religious Education in Catholic schools. The Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS) is managed and awarded by the Board of Religious Studies on behalf of the Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales. It is a highly desirable requirement for any teacher who intends to teach in a Catholic school and also provides a basis for further study. At Newman University the CCRS programme aims to support teachers in their approach to Catholic education.

The opportunity to study for the Certificate is provided for all undergraduate students and is delivered within the normal undergraduate timetable. The CCRS is also delivered on Tuesday evenings* over a two-year period in the autumn and spring terms. It offers an important opportunity, for those in Catholic education and those who wish to develop their knowledge of the Catholic faith, to study and discuss the teachings of the Catholic Church and its implications. The course consists of eight ten-hour modules, two of which relate directly to the teacher’s work in a Catholic school. Attendance and successful completion of an assignment forms the assessment criteria for each module. Any person who is or wishes to be involved in Catholic education and formation may apply for this course.

This includes those involved in Religious Education in schools, Parish Catechesis and other ministries in the Church and anyone who wishes to follow the course for faith development or personal interest. The course seeks to ensure that you have at least a basic knowledge and understanding of the beliefs of the Catholic faith. You may take the entire Certificate at Newman University over two years or individual units over a longer period of time. It is also possible to transfer from, or to, other national centres providing that the entire Certificate (all eight units) is completed within a period of five years. The course is open to people from any faith background.

*Please note this may need to be changed due to Government advice and changes.


At Birmingham Newman we have an evening and daytime group that undertake CCRS on a rolling programme. Over two years for out of the following 8 modules are taught per year.

  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • Person of Jesus Christ
  • Religious Education 1
  • Church
  • Ethics/Morality
  • Sacraments
  • Religious Education 2

Generally speaking, the evening class will consist of teachers from schools, PGCE students and those on schools direct. The daytime class normally consists of undergraduate students. However, potential CCRS students can choose either group depending upon their other commitments. The units on Religious Education cover what can be expected by working in a Catholic school, implications this has for the delivery of RE, links to the wider community and the importance of sacramental preparation.

For further information regarding the units each group will undertake, please contact the CCRS co-ordinator.

Each unit of work is assessed via attendance and a 1500 word assignment or equivalent.

This course is primarily aimed at those desiring to work in a Catholic school. However, the course is also useful for parish workers, catechists, and chaplaincy or for developing personal understanding. Studying CCRS may encourage some to consider undertaking a theology degree or equivalent at a later stage.

Newman University is located in Britain’s second city – Birmingham. With one of the youngest city populations in Europe, it is a vibrant and dynamic place to study.

Studying at Newman University, you have the advantage of being near to the city, but living in, or commuting to peaceful and comfortable surroundings on campus.

Dining out

Birmingham has lots of wonderful places to dine out with a range of different cuisines. Places where you can dine out include; Brindley Place, Mailbox and Hagley Road (just 10 minutes’ from Newman).


Whether you like to go to; the theatre, gigs or clubs, or enjoy: sports, shopping visiting art galleries or exhibitions – Birmingham will not disappoint and you will be spoilt for choice!


Getting around Birmingham is easy via train, bus or by car. Birmingham has excellent transport links to the rest of Britain, making it easy for those weekend getaways!

Why not explore the city for yourself by visiting one of our Open Days?

Want to find out more about Birmingham? Then take a look at some Birmingham City Secrets.

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Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for 2025 entry TBC

Course Fees

Course fees for 2025 entry TBC




The CCRS, a non-accredited course, is delivered on behalf of the Board of Religious Studies that reports to the Bishops of England and Wales. It is a highly desirable qualification for anybody wishing to teach in a Catholic school and is open to people of all faiths and none. At Newman University it is taught over a 2 year period.

This course has two groups, a Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon, who will start on different cycles. Due to this, some groups will start with the Year 2 modules first followed by Year 1. By the end of the course, all groups will have completed the following 8 modules.

Optional Modules: find out how the University deals with changes that may occur in some eventualities

Timetables: find out when information is available to students

  1. The purpose of this module is to introduce participants to the writings in the Old Testament in order to help them to recognise God’s revelation contained there and its continuing relevance in Christian life today.
  2. The purpose of this module is to familiarise participants with the process through which the New Testament writings came into being and to help them interpret the material presented and understand its significance for the life of a Christian today.
  3. The purpose of this module is to deepen participants’ awareness of the significance and centrality of the person and work of Jesus Christ in the daily life of the Christian as well as in the worship of the Church.
  4. The purpose of this module is to engage participants with exploring and understanding what it means to teach RE and the wider curriculum in a Catholic school. The module also explores what is meant by an ethos and how this may be observed, experienced and developed through the daily participation in the everyday life of a Catholic school.
  1. The purpose of this module is to help participants develop the skills of moral decision-making, to examine Christian teaching in its relation to the universal search for what constitutes “human good”, and to explore the application of Christian understanding to some contemporary moral issues.
  2. The purpose of this module is to enable participants to reflect on the nature of the Church and its mission in the world today.
  3. The purpose of this module is to develop participants’ understanding and appreciation of Sacrament in the life of Catholics as a sign of Christ’s continuing presence with the Church.
  4. This module reflects upon the three areas of Catholic theology studied in CCRS core, (i.e. Church, Sacraments and Ethics) and looks at some of the educational opportunities that emerge. In particular, it considers the practical implications teachers need to consider as they prepare pupils for the sacraments of Reconciliation, First Holy Communion and Confirmation. Students also consider their personal values & beliefs and how these would contribute to the overall mission of the school.