University of Chester

Programme Specification
Anglican Church Schools Studies CUC (Level 4)
2017 - 2018

Church Universities' Certificate (Level 4)

Anglican Church Schools Studies

Anglican Church Schools Studies

University of Chester

University of Chester

University of Chester, Riverside Campus



Classroom / Laboratory, Distance,

1 year

3 Years

Triannual - January - April - September



17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Education & Children's Services Academic and Professional Programmes

Reference has been made to the National Society and the Chester Diocese of the Church of England; and QAA Subject Benchmark Statement for bachelor's degrees with honours and master's degrees in Theology and Religious Studies (3rd Edition, 2014)

APP Board

Thursday 15th December 2016

Programme Aims 

  • Develop a knowledge of the nature of Church of England schools and their purpose, and the various stakeholders’ role in developing it (CD 4801);
  • Develop a knowledge of past, current and future debates about Church schools (CD 4801);
  • Explain the nature of Christian distinctiveness in terms of Church of England schools (CD 4801, 4802, 4803).
  • Develop a knowledge of the nature and purpose of Religious Education, and how this may differ in theory and practice within Church schools (CD 4802);
  • Develop knowledge of pedagogies of RE; explore approaches to RE in Church of England schools and how it could be implemented (CD 4802)
  • Develop a knowledge of central concepts and doctrines of Christianity, and evaluate how these beliefs may be variously expressed in the lives of Christians historically and today (CD 4803)
  • Develop a knowledge of development of the Christian Church in history and evaluate reasons for its development (CD 4803)
  • Have a knowledge of, and evaluate, approaches to the teaching of Christianity in Church of England schools (CD 4803).


Programme Learning Outcomes

 At the end of the programme students will have:

  1. Engaged with education theory and practice and demonstrated informed perspectives about the nature and purpose of Church Schools (CD 4801, 4802)
  2. Examined range of theoretical ideas and frameworks for thinking conceptually about the importance of what Christian distinctiveness means and how this can be applied in practice (CD 4801, 4802 and 4803)
  3. Appraised concepts of change, continuity and effectiveness in relation to the educational improvement agenda (CD 4802, CD 4803).
  4. Developed key knowledge, understanding and skills in teaching Church Schools that are underpinned by increased self-awareness and an enhanced capacity for meaningful reflection (CD4803, CD4802)
  5. Identified approaches to promote and evaluate impact, influence and outcomes in the teaching in the Church Schools context (CD 4803).



Cognitive Skills

Thinking or Cognitive Skills 

  • Made critical use of evidence (CD 4801, 4802, 4803)
  • Formulated valid conclusions that link theory to practice (CD 4803)
  • Thought independently about essential issues, concepts and ideas (CD 4801, 4802).




Practical and Professional Skills

Practical Skills 

  • Reflected upon aspects of key theoretical perspectives (CD 4801, 4802, 4803);
  • Made effectual use of  learning to assess priorities for practice (CD 4802, CD4803).




Communication Skills

Key Skills


  • Written to academic standards required at Level 4 (CD 4801, 4802, 4803)
  • Engaged in meaningful debate (CD 4801, 4802, 4803)


Information Literacy and Technology 

  • Used the University's VLE to access information (CD 4801, 4802, 4803);
  • Used electronic research skills (CD 4801, 4802, 4803);
  • Accessed databases for research and information;
  • Used the University's e-Portfolio to maintain a professional learning journal where appropriate (CD 4801, 4802, 4803).


Improving Own Learning and Performance

  • Used initiative and managed own learning (CD 4801, 4802, 4803);
  • Made independent use of supervision (CD 4801, 4802, 4803).


Working with Others 

  • Engaged in group presentations and dissemination (CD 4801, 4802, 4803);
  • Worked with professional colleagues to share ideas, research and good practice (CD4803).



Transferable Professional Skills

The qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring: 

  • The exercise of initiative and personal responsibility (CD 4801, 4802, 4803);
  • Decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations (CD 4801, 4802, 4803);
  • The independent learning ability required for continuing professional development (CD 4801, 4802, 4803).

The Church Universities' Certificate (Level 4) is designed primarily for educators serving in all types of schools (including academies and Free Schools), colleges, independent training providers as well as professionals working in Children's Services, or who have a desire to work in Church schools.

The programme comprises a series of compulsory 20 credit modules. Modules include:

Church Schools Ethos

Religious Education

Introduction to Christian Theology

If a student completes the Level 4 Church Universities' Certificate they will be unable to be accepted onto  the Level 7 Church Universities' Certificate.

All students throughout the programme gain an increased self-awareness derived from a critically reflective analysis of experience education in Church schools and which supports the professional practice and helps to set goals for future professional development.


Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
CD4801 4 Church Schools Ethos 20 Comp
CD4802 4 Religious Education in Church Schools 20 Comp
CD4803 4 Introduction to Christian Theology 20 Comp

Exit Awards: None

Target awards and Exit Awards :


60 credits at Level 4 entitles a student to a Church Universities' Certificate


The Level 4 Certificate is open to non-graduates who are following a course leading to QTS or those enrolled on a degree course. It will also be open to graduates.

Applicants will normally be in a role in an educational setting or be aspiring to be so. It is possible for applicants who are not in work to undertake the Programme through a combination of university-based taught modules.

International students will need to evidence a recent IELTS score of no less than 7.0, with a writing score of no less than 6, and will be invited to interview. English as a Second or Other Language students who are resident in the UK will be invited to interview and asked to present evidence of their qualifications in English. At interview, International and ESOL students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their effective speaking and listening skills.

Although not applicable to all content reference has been made to QAA UK Quality Code for Higher Education Subject Benchmark Statements: Theology and Religious Studies (3rd Edition, 2014).


Knowledge and Understanding

  • demonstrate comprehension of and intelligent engagement with the richness of at least one religious tradition in its varied and central forms
  • describe, discuss and demonstrate critical comprehension of some of the following: the political, social, textual, philosophical, historical, theological, ritual, practical, ethical, institutional or aesthetic expressions of the religion(s) studied evaluate and critically analyse a diversity of primary and secondary sources, including materials from theology and religious studies and where appropriate from related subjects such as the humanities or social science

Subject Specific

  • present arguments for their own views while acknowledging and representing fairly the views of others
  • demonstrate with sensitivity awareness of the conviction and claims to certainty that may arise in religious traditions, with their positive and negative effects
  • demonstrate sophisticated understanding of the multi-faceted complexity of religions, for example, in the relationship between specifically religious beliefs, texts, practices and institutions, and wider social and cultural structures, norms, aesthetics and aspirations
  • demonstrate intellectual flexibility through the practice of a variety of complementary methods of study, for example, philosophical, historical, systematic, dogmatic, exegetical, phenomenological, linguistic, hermeneutical, empirical, speculative, social scientific, archaeological, practical, pastoral
  • demonstrate awareness of and critical assessment of religious contributions to debate in the public arena concerning, for example, values, truth, beauty, identity, health, peace and justice
  • demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of how personal and communal identities and motivations are shaped by religion, how this has both positive and negative effects, and how important such identities are · in professional and ministerial programmes, demonstrate a capacity to apply formal learning to concrete social and vocational contexts.

Generic Skills

  • communicate information, ideas, arguments, principles and theories, and develop an argument by a variety of means, for example essays of various lengths and dissertations which are clearly and effectively organised and presented
  • communicate information, ideas, principles and theories and develop an argument effectively by appropriate oral and visual means, and relate materials to an intended audience
  • identify, gather and analyse primary data and source material, whether through textual studies or fieldwork
  • attend to, reproduce accurately, reflect on and interact with the ideas and arguments of others
  • engage with empathy, integrity and critical reflection with the convictions and behaviours of others
  • work collaboratively as a member of a team or group in a way which allows each individual's talents to be utilised effectively
  • undertake independent or self-directed study or learning (including time management) and reflect on one's strengths and weaknesses as a learner
  • make discriminating use of a full range of resources in order to identify appropriate source material, compile bibliographies, inform research and enhance presentations
  • use technology and computer skills to identify appropriate source material and data, support research, and enhance presentations
  • show independence in thought, and critical self-awareness about one's ownoutlook, commitments and prejudices.


The Church Universities' Certificate  aims to develop an individual's professional knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to education to Church schools in their current context by building on the experience and expertise which students will bring with them to the course. It is recognised that in practice this requires tutors to facilitate situated learning, some of which will be experiential in nature and driven by the learner themselves and this will influence the learning and teaching methodologies to be utilised. The desired pedagogy moves away from traditional notions of learning towards supporting the development of reflective, autonomous learners engaged in contextualised learning. From the very start of their course, students will be supported by a University tutor and have access to University facilities and resources.

Approaches used on the Programme are informed by accepted adult learning principles and teaching and learning methods are designed to engage self-directed learners in utilising previous experience and drawing on prior learning to address real-life issues and problems in their own workplace. This student-centred approach, which emphasises a process- rather than a content-driven curriculum, is characterised by active learning, participative groupwork and creative methods of encouraging learning, together with the setting of tasks that are relevant to the individual student's needs. A range of methodologies is employed which takes account of best practice and is compliant with the Faculty Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy. These methodologies include:


  • Lectures
  • Group work
  • Presentations, discussions, debates
  • Directed tasks
  • Written assignments
  • Independent research
  • Setting-based teaching and learning activities
  • Personal contextualised reflection
  • Individual or group tutorials
  • Students leading parts of sessions
  • Formative self- and peer assessment
  • Use of the University 's Moodle Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) including dedicated module sites providing a range of specific materials to support learning.


Blended learning

Learning undertaken at the University is in a technology-rich environment that creates a flexible approach to learning for part-time students.

We will maximise the advantages of module learning spaces for group and individual online activity linked to learning tasks. Reflection and online aspects of teaching, learning and assessment will increase in line with the advancement of the University's VLE. We are committed to offering a range of teaching and learning experiences and will continue to accommodate face-to-face interaction, peer learning and group work.

The Faculty of Education and Children's Services is committed to principles of assessment that:


  • Support formative assessments that provide feedback and constructive guidance;
  • Support summative assessments that indicate clearly how criteria have been met and that are consistent and comparable;
  • Enable students to demonstrate their achievements against the Level at which they are studying and national agendas;
  • Promote learning;
  • Inform planning and Programme development;
  • Support manageable assessment tasks within an agreed timeframe;
  • Enable students to reflect on and take personal responsibility for their own learning. (Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy, 2011)

On each day of delivery it would be expected that the first input/ lecture would be an introduction to the topic alongside level 7 students. Following this seminars, tutorials and web materials will all be separate and specifically designed for teaching and learning at Level 4.


Assessment Methods

Assessment tasks on the Church Universties' Certificate are based on an ‘assessment palette' of different assessment methods. Each will comprise one component. Elements are described in the module descriptors but will require students enrolled in the programme to write essays and give a presentation. In this way the methods will draw on the experiences that students are having in the taught sessions, supported by the online materials.

Each module will have a submission date at the end of each term during which the taught session was delivered.

Holders of the qualification will have the qualities and transferable skills necessary for understanding the nature of learning, teaching and the ethos of Church schools requiring the exercise of initiative and responsibility, decision - making in complex and unpredictable situations. Students will be independent learners with a commitment to their own continuing professional development and that of others.

The University of Chester is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education.

Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.

All participants in and contributors to the Programme will be encouraged to become involved in the development, management, delivery and evaluation of the effectiveness of the Programme. Students are allocated a Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) who will: 

  • Act as the student's contact with the University
  • Maintain an overview of a student's academic progress
  • Provide academic advice and guidance to students
  • Provide specific advice regarding module choice and review academic progress. This can be provided by face-to-face tutorial(s), email tutorial(s) or telephone tutorial(s)
  • Discuss academic strengths and areas which need development based on examples of work
  • Develop a relationship based on shared knowledge of the student's progress
  • Assist in completing the e-Portfolio
  • Provide a reference, if required, based on information provided by the student

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