Christianity, Religion and Ethics 20KRL

Course Objectives


Christianity, Religion and Ethics is interdisciplinary. It has its roots in a number of traditional subjects, including Christianity, religious science, theology and philosophy. The programme is also closely related to a variety of social and cultural disciplines, and it includes important ethical aspects.

Teacher students will develop their skills in understanding both Norwegian culture and traditions and the multicultural reality. As in the equivalent subject in the 10-year compulsory school programme, Christianity, Religion and Ethics performs a bridge-building function, and aims to contribute to increased understanding, respect, openness and peaceful coexistence. The subject aims at building a foundation of shared values and at promoting tolerance and acceptance for diversity. The balance between Christianity and other religions, as well as other outlooks and ways of life, will be about the same as in the National Curriculum for Primary and Lower Secondary Education.

The free choice of assignment topics and syllabus will provide scope for students’ interests and their religious and cultural backgrounds.

ICT is an important tool and will be used throughout the programme, and most of the assignments will be submitted electronically.

The focus on the various target areas will ensure a mixture of theoretical knowledge, practice training, development in the subject and didactic reflection. On the basis of the National Curriculum and the university college’s allocation of relevant topics, the programme will include the following target areas and course units:

Subject and subject didactic knowledge


The students will:

  • Gain knowledge of the Bible, its origin, subdivisions, main content, basic narratives and forms of literary expression, and of the significance of the Bible as a culture-bearer and source of faith.
  • Gain a solid understanding of the history of Christianity and Christian life in our times through a study of leading figures, Christian rituals and festivals, religious symbols and local Christian life associated with the Norwegian Church and other denominations.
  • Be able to describe the main features of the Christian faith and its ethical beliefs.

Other religions, outlooks and ways of life

The students will:

  • Become conversant with Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Islam, and be able to discuss similarities and differences in the various religious traditions.
  • Gain knowledge of secular philosophies of life, including the humanistic philosophy in Norway.
  • Become familiar with the evolution of religious life in the world today and gain an understanding of the significance that religion, outlooks and ways of life have for the individual and society, including aspects involving gender and equal rights.

Ethics and philosophy

Students will:

  • Acquire knowledge of principle thinkers and ideas from the history of philosophy in the West, with particular emphasis on the view of humanity and nature.
  • Acquire knowledge on fundamental ethical theories, ethical values in the most important traditions in religious and secular systems and the Christian and humanistic ethics upon which values in day care centres and schools are based.
  • Understand the meaning of religion, outlooks and ways of life for children’s socialisation process; this will include perspectives on gender and on equality.
  • Acquire knowledge of the meaning of various human rights conventions, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Agreements on Human Rights, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Labour Organisation’s Convention concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries.

Being a teacher in Christianity, Religion and Ethics

Students will:

  • Gain knowledge of the subject as it is taught in primary and secondary schools: its history, the basis for teaching the subject, its content and aims; and the framework of rules that apply to the subject.
  • Learn to plan, carry out and evaluate teaching of the subject in an independent and subject-orientated manner.
  • Be able to adapt teaching to the local environment.
  • Be able to adapt teaching in relation to the pupils’ religious background and beliefs.
  • Acquire an understanding of the values they are mediating, in the context of a multi-cultural society.
  • Be able to make use of ICT and evaluate the use of this tool from an ethical perspective

Interaction and reflection

Students will:

  • Gain competence with regard to professional ethics and be able to reflect on their role as teachers of Christianity, religion and ethics.
  • Be able to reflect upon relationships and their interaction with pupils and parents/guardians from various cultural and religious backgrounds.
  • Be able to help each individual pupil deal with existential questions related to ethics, religion and outlooks on life.
  • Be able to discuss ethical questions on the basis of subject-knowledge and on insight into pupils’ life-situations.
  • Be able to use their technical and practical competence within the subject in dialogue and interaction with other subjects.

Course Description

See section on objectives.

Learning Methods

Teaching and learning methods

Most of the programme will be organised around work with electronic portfolios. Students will normally submit an item for their portfolio or carry out and achieve a passing grade in an exercise/assignment upon completion of each main period of teaching in the programme. Students are responsible for choosing parts of their syllabus texts in relation to work on their portfolios. For more information, please refer to the obligatory requirements and syllabus.

Lectures will provide a basic introduction to the subject material and help students view the material in a broader context. The lectures will concentrate on the most important and difficult parts of the syllabus. There will also be opportunities for teachers to lecture on subject areas the students choose to work on in relation to their portfolios.

Some sections of the study programme require compulsory attendance. This applies to the classes which emphasise practical demonstrations, practice, discussions and group discussions. All of the preparation and follow-up work for teaching practice is obligatory. The obligatory classes will be highlighted in the semester plan and a class register of student attendance will be kept.

Students should be aware that a great deal of independent study will be required and expected. The programme involves participation in an interdisciplinary project. Other parts of the programme will also involve interdisciplinary work.

Teaching practice

Each student will participate in a period of teaching practice for Christianity, Religion and Ethics during the second year of study. The practice placements will include both the regular teaching practice and the practice related to subject-didactics. One of the assignments to be included in the student’s portfolio will relate to the practice period.

Obligatory requirements

  1. 80% student participation is compulsory. This applies to classes that are highlighted as being compulsory in the semester plan and to various study-requirements, including multiple-choice tests using Classfronter. Compulsory components will be explicitly marked in the semester plan
  2. Student portfolios will consist of various items of work that are connected to work during both the period of lectures and teaching and the practice placement period. There will also be opportunities for specialisation in subject areas chosen by the student. The number of assignments in the portfolio will depend on the size of each assignment. The portfolio must provide evidence that the individual has undertaken a thorough examination of the target areas of the programme. On the basis of guidelines set out in the subject curriculum, Christianity must be given more emphasis than other target areas. The various assignments in the student’s portfolio may focus on varying topics and be of differing forms, but at least one or two of the assignments should show that the student has focused their study on a specific subject-area. One assignment should be connected to the student’s practice placement. Either one or two of the assignments must be group efforts (groups of two students or more are allowed). One or two of the assignments should also be interdisciplinary. Assignment deadlines will be set throughout the course of the semester. Students who fail to meet these deadlines may forfeit the opportunity to receive supervision.

More detailed information on requirements for the portfolio will be supplied upon commencement of the study programme.

The topics for student assignments must be approved by a subject teacher and student portfolios must achieve a passing grade in order for students to be allowed to sit the final examination.

Assessment Methods

Student evaluation will take place throughout the course of the study programme, and there will be opportunities for individual and group evaluation and feedback.

Final grades will be based on the following criteria:

  1. Evaluation of a selection of assignments from the student’s portfolio counts for 50%. More information on selection criteria for assignments and deadlines for submission will be given after the portfolios have been approved.
  2. An oral examination - based on the individual student’s portfolio and on topics from the rest of the syllabus - counts for 50%.

Students will receive one final grade, on the scale of A to F, where A is the best grade and E is the lowest passing grade. For further information, please see the Examination Regulations of Telemark University College.

There will be an opportunity to achieve an extra 10 ECTS. In order to do this students are required to cover a syllabus which is 50% larger than what is required for 20 ECTS, and produce assignments of a higher academic level. Further information will be available upon commencement of the course.

Minor adjustments may occur during the academic year, subject to the decision of the Dean

Publisert av / forfatter Idar Vassli <>, last modified Ian Hector Harkness - 10/10/2009