The part-time Certificate in Religious Studies prepares teachers to teach in Catholic schools in accordance with the requirements of the Council for Catechetics of the Irish Episcopal Conference. In making appointments, Catholic school management boards will normally require the CRS as a condition of employment. As well as being recognised as a qualification to teach Religious Education in Irish Catholic primary schools, the CRS is also accepted by some of the Catholic elementary school systems in the UK, North America and Australia.
The aim of the programme is to equip teachers with the necessary knowledge and skills to teach religious education in Catholic primary schools.
Staff on the programme are at the forefront of key developments in Catholic primary school religious education and have been involved in the writing of the RE curriculum and programmes for Catholic primary schools in Ireland.
Delivery of the programme has been tailored to suit students needs which have been identified since the inception of the programme over a decade ago. The timetable has been arranged on a student-friendly basis and the three day component during the summer has received approval from the DES as a blended learning summer course which yields 3 EPV days for teachers.
Many graduates of the programme have been successful in receiving some reimbursement of fees by applying to the DES Refund of Fees Scheme.
Feedback from students has been very positive overall. The majority of students allude to some initial reluctance, skepticism and apathy which they say was allayed or transformed, as they pursued their studies on the programme.