Key details

Start date(s)
October 2024
Main Campus (Horsforth)
Hinsley Hall
Study Delivery
Course Duration
9 months

The Leeds Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies

In partnership with the Diocese of Leeds, Leeds Trinity University offers you the chance to explore the Catholic faith, leading to the award of the Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS).

Managed and awarded on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, the Leeds CCRS is designed for anyone involved or interested in the delivery of the Catholic faith in a variety of contexts – whether schools, parishes or any other community context as well as those who simply wish to deepen their own faith and understanding of Catholicism.

The CCRS is a desirable qualification for many posts in the Catholic school sector e.g., primary and secondary school teachers, teaching assistants, or administrative roles. Regardless of your own faith background, it is a key qualification for teachers in Catholic schools which can expand both your expertise and your vocational focus. The course aims to ensure you have the basic knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the beliefs and principles of the Catholic Faith while providing a basis for further study. The CCRS is also ideal for those who hold other roles in schools, such as chaplains, who may be required to have this qualification. It is also useful for those who have certain tasks in parishes, such as catechists.

Course Structure 

The Leeds CCRS is normally awarded after one year’s study, although (with agreement from the course coordinators) it can be completed over a longer period (no longer than five years). There is a total of eight modules: six core modules and two specialist modules.

The core modules usually take place on Saturday afternoons from 12.30pm – 3.00pm at Leeds Trinity or Hinsley Hall. Each teaching session lasts 2.5 hours, and a 2.5 hour set task on Moodle completes the 10 compulsory hours of teaching time.

The specialist modules are delivered on some Thursday evenings throughout the year between 5.30pm and 8.00pm, usually at Hinsely Hall.


Assessment for each module is via a 1500-word essay, or equivalent. Education students are encouraged to present this as a lesson plan and rationale. The work is assessed as Fail/Pass/Distinction, and all eight modules must be passed in order to obtain the Certificate.

For those participating in the “audit-only” version of the Level III Diocese of the Leeds Bishop's Certificate in Catechesis (refer to FAQs below), instead of assessments, there will be an informal review/presentation of key learnings, the form of which will be agreed in advance between you and the course tutor.

For in-depth information regarding the module content, timetables, fees and the application process, download the CCRS and registration handbooks below.

The CCRS has enabled me to gain a deep understanding in the belief of the Catholic Faith. Completing this course has given me the knowledge to contribute what I have learnt, to the maintenance of the ethos in my Catholic school.

School Direct (Local) Primary Education Trainee

Frequently asked questions

  • To provide teachers and those involved in parish ministry with knowledge and understanding of the teaching and beliefs of the Catholic Faith.
  • To develop an appreciation of the principles of Catholic education at all levels.
  • To encourage sound adult educational processes which express central virtues of Catholic life.
  • To enhance understanding of education within the Church as a life-long process.
  • To enable all participants to make an informed contribution to their chosen field of ministry within the Church.
  • Those involved in or looking to get involved in the Catholic education sector: e.g., primary and secondary school teachers, teaching assistants, or administrative roles.
  • Those involved in teaching the Catholic faith in parishes and other pastoral settings: e.g., children’s liturgy, first sacrament programmes, faith formation and social justice initiatives
  • Anyone (practicing Catholic or otherwise) who wish to deepen their knowledge of the Catholic Faith for personal interest
  • Those who have completed Level I and Level II of the newly launched Diocese of Leeds “Bishop’s Certificate” (see below).



Anyone who has completed Level I and Level II of the newly launched Diocese of Leeds “Bishop’s Certificate may undertake the Leeds CCRS in its fully assessed form. Alternatively, with agreement from the Leeds Bishop’s Certificate coordinators, you may undertake the Leeds CCRS as an “audit-only” programme i.e., you will attend seminars and do the reading for each module but will be exempt from doing the assessed pieces of work. Completion of the Leeds CCRS (whether in its assessed form or “audit-only” version) would constitute a “Level III” of the Diocese of Leeds Bishop's Certificate in Catechesis.

All students must register with the Board of Religious Studies by completing the registration form and paying the one-off registration fee. This fee, £20, is payable to the Catholic Education Service of England & Wales and will be submitted to them with your registration form.

The Registration Form, modules and payment options can be found on the Leeds Trinity Online Store. 

CCRS registration information (PDF 1,221KB)

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.