Why do Religious Studies teachers take part-time qualifications in from the University of Cambridge?

We all tend to have our own reasons for approaching each course we take and each additional qualification we work towards.

Some courses can cover an aspect of a syllabus that one is teaching and which has not been central to one’s studies in the past. Some take participants into the world of further study, and some involve original research.

And then the status and credibility of the awarding body is also important, not just for the quality of the teaching and the work, but also in terms of how the qualification will look on our CV should we wish to apply for a new post at some time in the future.

This coming academic year the University of Cambridge is offering part-time courses in philosophy and religious studies starting this October. Brief details are given below, and more information is available on our website.

The Certificate in Philosophy I course looks first at metaphysics and addresses philosophical problems concerning time, space, possibility, and the relations between objects and their properties, considering such questions as, “Is there a metaphysical difference between us and past people?” and “Are there things which exist but are not part of the actual world?”

This is followed by an introduction to logic and the philosophy of language, examining formal logic, a language within which we can formulate arguments clearly and test whether they are valid or invalid, while asking, “How do sentences get their meanings?” and “Are there any sentences which are neither true nor false?”

In the final unit on Ethics, normative ethics and meta-ethics are considered and we begin by considering what “goods” our ethical theories should promote and ask whether there are principles which determine what is right thing to do and, if so, what they are. We ask, “Can moral beliefs be true?” and debate whether ‘It is wrong to hurt others needlessly’ is to be taken as a statement, a prescription telling others how to act, an expression of disapproval, or something else?

The Advanced Diploma in Philosophy and the Advanced Diploma in the Study of Religion is a part-time research-based course that offers the opportunity to undertake independent study based around a series of eight structured supervisions over two academic years.  You can choose your own research topics, and your research proposal is considered when you apply.

Alternatively if you’d like to dip your toe in the water or explore a specific topic, we also offer a range of short courses throughout the year.

You can find out more about all the above courses and apply online by 5 September on our website

Alternatively, you can contact me directly with specific enquiries on 01223 746 417 or email me at enquiries@ice.cam.ac.uk.

Paul Ireland
Institute of Continuing Education, University of Cambridge
Madingley Hall, Madingley, Cambridge, CB23 8AQ