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Philosophy, Religion and Ethics


The Certificate of Higher Education in Philosophy, Religion and Ethics will help you understand the beliefs of others and the ways in which those beliefs have shaped societies. Analyse the nature and truth of religious beliefs and values, focusing on two religions: Christianity and Islam.

Gain an understanding of key texts, events, doctrines, theories, interpretations and arguments relating to the study of Philosophy, Religion and Ethics.

Studying this CertHE will give you:

  • an introduction to key themes in the study of philosophy, religion and ethics, and address issues of meaning and truth in these areas
  • an understanding of key texts, events, doctrines, theories, interpretations and arguments relating to the study of Philosophy, Religion and Ethics
  • a range of transferable skills, such as the ability to select sources well, represent others' views with fairness and integrity, and produce clear, well-structured written work.

Course details

This taught programme consists of four courses, including philosophy of religion, Christian ethics, and religion and science.

View CertHE Modules.

Independent study

Distance learning offers you the flexibility to balance your studies with your existing commitments. For this CertHE, we supply learning materials which are specially designed for independent study. You will also have access to a range of online resources, including a fully supported Virtual Learning Environment and online library.

Study materials

We provide the core study materials you need to complete the programme. These include a Programme Handbook of practical information (such as how to enter exams), subject guides for each course you choose, and past exam papers and commentaries, which give you valuable tips for performing well in exams.

Online support

When you register, we will give you access to your Student Portal. You can then access your University of London email account and two other key resources:

  • The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Here, you can access electronic copies of all printed study materials, resources including audio-visual and revision guides, and forums to discuss course material and work collaboratively with others.
  • The Online Library holds thousands of journal articles which you can access free of charge. A dedicated helpdesk is available if you have any difficulties in finding what you need.


Each course is assessed by an unseen written exam, which is usually held in May or June. You can sit your exams at any approved centre around the world (such as Ministries of Education or the British Council).

These centres charge a fee for hosting the exams.

More about exams.

What qualifications do you need?

For access to the CertHE Social Sciences, you will usually meet the following criteria:

  • Age 18+ by 1 September in the year of registration.
  • Hold 3 GCSE/O levels (at grade A*-C / 9-4) or international equivalents.
  • Meet the English language requirements.

Find equivalent qualifications where you live.

Even if you don’t meet the standard requirements, we will consider each application on its own merits under our Special Admissions procedure.

English language requirements

You need to demonstrate a good level of English to be admitted to our programmes. We accept a range of evidence, including proficiency test scores. If you don’t have evidence but believe you can meet the standard, we may consider your case.

Do I meet the language requirements?

Computer requirements

We set minimum basic computer requirements because your study resources are accessed via the Student Portal and it is vital that you can access this regularly. For this programme, you will also need Adobe Flash Player to view video material and a media player (such as VLC) to play video files.

More about computer requirements.

The fees below relate to the 2017-2018 session. These are subject to annual review.

Academic year


Application fee (non refundable)

£ 88

Initial registration fee

£ 834

Examination fee per module

£ 267

Continuing registration fee

£ 476

Indicative total

£ 1,990

Disclaimer: Currency conversion tool.

Additional costs

You will also need to budget for:

  • Textbooks (could extend to around £300 per year)
  • Exam centre fees, which are paid directly to the venues where you sit your exams.

We accept most traditional payment methods, including debit/credit card, international money order, and Western Union.

How to pay your fees.

The skills you gain from this programme are valuable in many walks of life. Theology is useful not only for those working with one of the churches but also for teachers or people in social services or other occupations that are concerned with people and their values.

If you successfully complete the CertHE programme, you may be able to progress to the Bachelor of Divinity or DipHE in Theology (subject to our rules).

Programme Director

Elizabeth Burns is Director of the Theology programmes offered by the University of London. She teaches Philosophy of Religion. From 2003-2008 she was the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. Elizabeth has a BD (specialising in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics) from King’s College London, a PhD from Queens’ College, Cambridge, a PGCE in Post Compulsory Education from Suffolk College, Ipswich, and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Without the cost of moving to London, studying for your University of London degree anywhere in the world represents excellent value for money. However, there are additional sources of support depending on where you live and how you choose to study.

More on funding your study.