3forRE – Masters funding

A unique offer of support for professional development and improvement in school-based Religious Education.


Applications are now open, but the scheme is changing significantly from September 2020. We advise that if you are considering a Masters level course from September that you contact us directly so we can make you aware of the changes before you complete an application form. Please email Kathryn ceo@cstg.org.uk

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What is the 3forRE Scheme

3forRE is a way to help teachers of RE to take relevant Masters courses in an affordable, manageable way. It is a unique scheme based on a three-way partnership between you, your school and Culham St Gabriel’s Trust. This scheme offers you an opportunity to take Masters-level professional development at a fraction of the normal cost, and to see the impact of it in your own teaching and your colleagues’ work.

What’s the offer? Culham St Gabriel’s will pay upto £1700 per year of your fees for up to two years for a Masters Programme that is part of the 3forRE Scheme.

What is Culham St Gabriel’s? We are an endowed trust supporting research, development and innovation in RE. Our strategic objectives can be seen at www.cstg.org.uk and they include bringing classroom-relevant professional development to teachers of RE.

Do I have to be a qualified specialist RE teacher? No. You need to be teaching religious education in a primary, secondary or special school in the UK, and you need to be a qualified, serving teacher, Teaching Assistant or HLTA. By ‘religious education’ we mean a school curriculum subject, taught by school staff as a recognised element in a broad, balanced curriculum. We support RE that offers pupils an open, critical, accurate, impartial study of religious and non-religious world views.

How could this benefit me? We want to help anyone who is teaching RE to do it better. Masters level courses that are relevant to classroom RE can provide stimulating, informed and critical interventions to help you raise standards. They can boost subject knowledge, have a positive impact on the quality of teaching and learning, on the challenge for pupils and on their progress and understanding. They provide you with critical scholarly wisdom and practical help. They put you in touch with other practitioners of RE and prepare you for leadership roles.

Am I eligible for 3forRE in 2020-2022?

You will be eligible for the 3forRE Scheme if you:

– are employed as a qualified teacher, teaching assistant or HLTA in a school in the UK;

– are intending to take a Masters-level Certificate, Diploma or full MA programme, that relates directly to the teaching of RE in your classroom and school, in one of the universities that are members of the 3forRE Scheme;

– intend your accredited study to directly lead to development, innovation and improvement in RE teaching in your school or consortium;

– are supported by your employing school paying at least 5% of the fees.

Teachers of Religious Education

Are you teaching Religious Education (RE) in a primary, secondary or special school in the UK? Are you hoping to become a subject leader or coordinator, or Head of an RE Department? Are you looking for affordable, accredited professional development?

A Masters programme – is it for me? Yes, it could be for you if you want to:

– Use research and critical perspectives to improve the quality of RE teaching in your school;

– Understand how the purpose, planning, teaching and assessment of RE have changed in the light of national and international developments;

– Work with other professionals in RE and other subjects to become part of the wider discussion about RE, and disseminate improvement;

– Develop your CV and prepare for greater responsibility as a subject coordinator or head of department.

How could a Masters programme help me improve RE?

The programmes in the 3forRE Scheme are specially chosen because they use research and inspection evidence to address the recurrent national weaknesses in RE by promoting:

– Appropriate breadth and depth in subject knowledge;

– Clear understanding of the purpose and pedagogy of RE;

– Assessment, attainment, feedback and pupil progress;

– Leadership capacity.

In addition, the Masters programmes offer a research-informed, inspection-relevant critical perspective on how to improve RE. They deliver up to date insights on current research and policy developments such as new qualifications, beyond-levels assessment, or perspectives on countering extremism and hatred. The Masters programmes are relevant for many different school contexts including academies, community schools and schools with a religious character.

The 3forRE Scheme helps by highlighting Masters programmes that are part-time, classroom-relevant, research-informed and well evaluated. RE teachers taking these programmes go on to form the next-generation leadership of the RE professional community locally and nationally.

Head Teachers

Do you want RE to be part of your school’s improvement plan? Are you aware of what Ofsted is now looking for in RE, SMSC, safeguarding and British Values? Would you like an affordable way to develop your key RE staff and influence practice across your school? 

As far as we know, there isn’t a better financial offer for systematic, classroom-relevant professional development in RE: we pay up to £1700 of the teacher’s course fees per year for up to two years, if you pay 5% or more. The teacher pays the rest.

Why RE? RE is in the news. RE is an essential component in safeguarding against extremism and hatred, and promoting values such as tolerance and respect – but it has to be done well. When it’s good or outstanding, RE gives your pupils challenging learning, and a safe space to explore difficult issues. RE leads them into opportunities to make a positive difference to school ethos, cohesion, wellbeing and literacy.

What is Ofsted looking for in RE? Many recent Ofsted reports have highlighted the need for subject specific high-quality professional development for teachers of RE. In particular reports have noted the need for curriculum to be well planned and sequenced and enabling pupils to learn RE in depth so they can remember what they have learned. Ofsted have also stressed the valuable contribution RE makes to pupils’ personal development, as well the development of respect and preparing pupils for life in modern Britain.

For more detail see: https://www.natre.org.uk/news/latest-news/101-re-mentions-in-ofsted-primary-and-secondary-reports/

How much will this cost my school? This will depend on the cost of the Masters programme. A school typically pays £125 per year for two years. Usually there are no cover implications.

I want to put two or more teachers through a Masters course related to RE. Can the 3forRE Scheme help? Yes, we will consider further discounts for groups.

For a conversation about the practicalities of 3forRE, or to find out more about the Scheme’s value, please contact: 3forRE@cstg.org.uk


Several universities with classroom-relevant Masters programmes are in partnership with Culham St Gabriel’s. The programmes are all part-time, school-related, fully validated. They are designed to make it possible for a teacher/TA to take at least one module directly related to RE, or a generic module with flexibility to be applicable to RE, in every year. The programmes vary considerably in their delivery: school-based, or taught on Saturdays, or weekday twilights, or distance-learning. Many of them negotiate tutor contact in ways that fit round your needs as a teacher.

The universities and programmes participating in the 3forRE Scheme are:

Aberdeen University: MSc Leadership in Professional Contexts https://www.abdn.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-taught/degree-programmes/956/leadership-in-professional-contexts/ Contact: leadership@abdn.ac.uk

Bishop Grosseteste University Lincoln: MA in Educationhttps://www.bishopg.ac.uk/course/maeducation/ Contact Yvonne Hill: Yvonne.hill@bishopg.ac.uk

University of Birmingham: MA Teaching Studies https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/education/teacher-education/ma-teaching-studies.aspx
Contact: teachingstudies@contacts.bham.ac.uk

University of Bristol: MSc Education (Teaching and Learning) http://www.bristol.ac.uk/education/students/masters/education/ Contact: janet.orchard@bristol.ac.uk

University of Cambridge: The Master of Education https://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/courses/graduate/masters/studyparttime/ Contact Daniel Moulin-Stozek: dpm50@cam.ac.uk

Canterbury Christ Church University: MA in Education https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/courses/postgraduate/education-19-20.aspx Contact Dr Judy Durrant judy.durrant@canterbury.ac.uk

University of Chester: MA Religious Studies and MA in Theology https://www1.chester.ac.uk/postgraduate/religious-studies and https://www1.chester.ac.uk/postgraduate/theology​ Contact Dr Wendy Dossett w.dossett@chester.ac.uk

University of Cumbria: MA in Education Professional Practice https://www.cumbria.ac.uk/study/courses/postgraduate/education-professional-practice-with-pathways/ Contact Carolyn Reade Carolyn.Reade@cumbria.ac.uk or Pippa Leslie Pippa.Leslie@cumbria.ac.uk

University of Durham: MA in Education https://www.dur.ac.uk/education/postgraduate/taught/ma_education/ Contact Dr Julie Rattray julie.rattray@durham.ac.uk

University of Exeter: MA in Education http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/education/educationma/ Contact: K.S.J.Walshe@exeter.ac.uk

University of Glasgow: Conceptual Frameworks in Contemporary Religious Education https://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/education/cpd/cpdforteachers/religiouseducation/conceptualframeworksincontemporaryreligiouseducation/ Contact Dr Leonard Franchi Leonardo.Franchi@glasgow.ac.uk 

University of Huddersfield: MA Education https://courses.hud.ac.uk/full-time/postgraduate/education-teaching-and-learning-ma Contact Emma Salter E.Salter@hud.ac.uk

Liverpool Hope University: MA in Education(RE pathway) and MA in Theology (RE pathway) Contact Dr Ros Stuart-Buttle: stuartr@hope.ac.uk

Liverpool John Moores University: MA Education Practice https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/study/courses/postgraduates/education-practice and if clearly linked to RE, the MA Education https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/study/courses/postgraduates/education Contact Joy Schmack y.j.schmack@ljmu.ac.uk

MA in Leadership in Education https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/study/courses/postgraduates/leadership-in-education Contact Debbie Duncalf D.Duncalf@ljmu.ac.uk

Manchester Metropolitan University: MA in Education Studies https://www2.mmu.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/course/ma-education-studies/ Contact: L.J.Roberts@mmu.ac.uk

MA Education https://www2.mmu.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/course/ma-education/ Contact Claire Goodley C.Goodley@mmu.ac.uk

St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London: MA in Pedagogy https://www.stmarys.ac.uk/postgraduate-courses-london/education-pedagogy-for-teachers Contact: Jane Tozer MAEducation@stmarys.ac.uk

MA in Education: Leading Innovation and Change https://www.stmarys.ac.uk/postgraduate-courses-london/leading-innovation-and-change-education Contact: Jane Tozer MAEducation@stmarys.ac.uk

MA Catholic School Leadership https://www.stmarys.ac.uk/postgraduate-courses-london/catholic-school-leadership Contact Dr John Lydon john.lydon@stmarys.ac.uk

Newman University, Birmingham: MA in Contemporary Christian Theology http://www.newman.ac.uk/higher-degree-courses/644/contemporary-christian-theology Contact: Dr Louise Hickman: fed@newman.ac.uk

MA Education https://www.newman.ac.uk/course/education-ma/september-2020/ Contact Liane Sara Purnell L.S.Purnell@staff.newman.ac.uk

University of Oxford: MSc in Learning and Teaching (RE pathway) www.education.ox.ac.uk/courses/msc-learning-teaching/ Contact Liam Gearon: liam.gearon@education.ox.ac.uk or Nigel Fancourt: nigel.fancourt@education.ox.ac.uk

Oxford Brookes University: MA Education: Leadership and Management https://www.brookes.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/ma-education-leadership-and-management/ Contact Roger Dalrymple: rdalrymple@brookes.ac.uk 

Plymouth Marjon University: MA Education https://www.marjon.ac.uk/courses/ma-education/ Contact Dr Karen Stockham: kstockham@marjon.ac.uk

UCL Institute of Education, University College London: MA in Religious Education https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught-degrees/education-religious-education-ma Contact Dr Jo Pearce: J.Pearce@ucl.ac.uk

University of Warwick: Please contact 3forRE@cstg.org.uk

University of Winchester: MA in Education http://www.winchester.ac.uk/Studyhere/Pages/ma-education.aspx Contact: Eira Wyn Patterson Eira.Patterson@winchester.ac.uk

University of Worcester: MA Education (Religions and Values pathway): www.worcester.ac.uk/courses/education-ma.html Contact Ellie Hill ellie.hill@worc.ac.uk

York St John University: MA Education https://www.yorksj.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/education/ma-education/ Contact Helen Rowe: h.rowe@yorksj.ac.uk

Religion in Society  https://www.yorksj.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/theology–religion-studies/religion-in-society-ma/Contact Dr Ann Christie a.christie@yorksj.ac.uk

For a conversation about the practicalities of 3forRE, please contact: 3forRE@cstg.org.uk

To apply for 3forRE funding please fill in the application form

How the 3forRE Scheme Works

The 3forRE Scheme offers teachers and TAs a very affordable way of taking relevant Masters-level courses to develop their teaching, learning and leadership.

It’s called ‘3forRE’ because it works with three partners: 

Culham St Gabriel’s Trust – we contribute up to £1700 of the fee per year for two years

The school – paying a minimum of 5% per year of the fee

The individual teacher/TA/HLTA – paying the remainder of the fee

The Scheme has conditions. It is only offered on the basis that:

– The Scheme must be solely for fees for an M level programme that is approved as a member of the scheme. It applies only to fees for UK-based qualified teachers/TAs, not international.

– The teacher informs Culham St Gabriel’s if they have applied for other sources of funding, whether a loan or grant, and/or if they are eligible for University alumni reductions, partnership reductions and special rates for school-based learning sets.

– The teacher or TA must be employed in a school in the UK and must take the course part-time.

– The school must contribute some money towards the fee in each year – a minimum of 5% of the fee. The exact amount should be agreed between the school and the teacher/TA. If the school does not contribute, the CSTG share will not be offered. We make this a condition because we believe it will be better CPD if the school knows about it and supports it. If the school has difficulty in finding this money, it could seek help from the local SACRE, diocese (if a church school) or regional hub.

– The Masters programme lasts two years. If your study is going to take more than two years, please contact us to discuss the matter. 3forRE@cstg.org.uk

– Within budget limits, we do our best to ensure that support is there for the two years of a Masters programme should the teacher/TA need it. We understand the importance of continuity.

– The individual teacher is asked to pay back in kind by being active in spreading good practice through RE action research networks. This may include writing articles for journals, RE Today, RE:ONLINE, writing a blog and/or contributing to local and national networks and hub meetings.

See flyer for examples on how the costs are shared.

Action Checklist for Teachers

I’m a teacher of RE and I want to be part of the 3forRE Scheme. What do I need to do? 

Here is a step-by-step guide to getting into the 3forRE Scheme. 

1. Select a university and course from the list of universities that are members of 3forRE. Choose a university with the right course for you and the right mix of provision, i.e. twilight, school-based or weekends. Have a conversation with the relevant course leader, who will be aware of the 3forRE Scheme.

2. Apply for a place on the relevant Masters programme in one of the universities. When you apply, mention the 3forRE Scheme and say you would like to be part of it.

3. At the same time, talk to your Head or senior leader in charge of professional development. You need to persuade them that this Scheme is good value for money and will benefit not only you but the whole school.  Remember that Culham St Gabriel’s will only pay its share of the fees (£1,700 per year for two years) if the school promises to pay its share (5% at least – sometimes schools offer to pay more).

4. When a place is offered, you must contact Culham St Gabriel’s by by completing the 3forRE Funding Application at http://www.cstg.org.uk/3forre-application/

i. Send documentary proof of your school’s commitment to contribute a minimum of 5% towards your fees (ie, a Head Teacher’s letter)

ii. Send documentary proof of your having accepted a place on one of the selected Masters programmes (i.e. an offer letter, details of the course and your acceptance)

These two actions will enable Culham St Gabriel’s to confirm that you can benefit from the Scheme. Once you have received confirmation you must then:

5. Inform your course leader that you can benefit from the Scheme.

6. Ask your university finance department to send three invoices, including one to your school and one to Culham St Gabriel’s. It is very important that you make clear to the university finance department exactly who they should send invoices to, and how much they should charge in each case. Failure to do this will result in your exclusion from the 3forRE Scheme.

7. Pay back in kind by being active in spreading good practice through RE action research networks. This may include writing articles for journals, RE Today, RE:ONLINE, writing a blog and/or contributing to local and national networks and hub meetings.


You can apply for the 3forRE Scheme at any time of the academic year. Funded places in each of the universities are limited, and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. To discuss the Scheme in general, please contact: 3forRE@cstg.org.uk 

Action Checklist: For Head Teachers

I want to support my teacher to take part in the 3forRE scheme. What do I need to do? 

1. You will need to write a letter confirming that you support the teacher’s application to the 3forRE scheme and their chosen Masters Programme.

2. In this letter you need to confirm that your school will pay a minimum of 5% of the MA course fees.

3. You should pass this letter to the teacher applying for the scheme.

4. The University will invoice you directly for 10% (or the amount you have agreed with the teacher) of the course fees.

Action Checklist: For the University

We have a teacher who wants to take part in the 3forRE scheme at our university. What do I need to do? 

Follow your normal procedures in terms of the teacher’s application and registering.

Then send three invoices:

1. Invoice the teacher’s school for a minimum of 5% of the fee (the teacher will provide you with contact information and let you know if their school has agreed to pay more than 5% of the fee);

2. Invoice Culham St Gabriel’s for up to £1700 per year, for a maximum of two years;

3. The teacher will pay for the remainder of the fee.

What People Say

‘We needed this in my school. We’re now Ofsted-ready in RE, SMSC, safeguarding and British Values.’ (Secondary Head Teacher)

‘I am very happy to support my RE Coordinator’s application to study part-time for the MA programme and I confirm that my school will pay 10% of her fees (£140).’ (Primary Head Teacher)

‘The course has forced me, in the nicest possible way, to reflect on my own practice. It has given me the time to articulate why I believe RE is an essential component of the school curriculum. I would recommend it to anyone who is serious about ‘raising their game’ in RE (Secondary Head of RE)

‘This year I have been able to analyse and make improvements to my own practice as well as making significant changes to my school’s RE scheme of work. The financial support has made all of this possible and I would like to thank you.’ (Primary teacher)

‘For my professional career aspirations in RE, this Masters study has enabled me to secure a promotion, allowing me to share good practice and continue to develop my own practice.’

‘I shared what I’ve learnt with colleagues, ranging from data analysis to policy developments, and this has raised the standards in RE. I would love to have the opportunity to do more work on the role of RE in combating extremism.’

‘Overall, marks for the assessed essays are impressive and indicate the very considerable progress the teachers have made. The provision of a second year bursary has played a crucial part in enabling them to approach the demands of the year with determination and with the knowledge that their work is recognised and valued by their schools.’ (University tutor)

‘The Masters course, supported by the 3forRE Scheme, has been hugely beneficial for me as a newly qualified teacher. It has granted me an opportunity to critically engage with a plethora of pedagogical approaches. Immersion in research has developed my awareness of what it means to teach RE, given me confidence to lead RE in my school setting, and helped me contribute to peer study groups and lead INSET for other schools.’ (Teacher)


Apply for Funding

The 3forRE scheme is open for applications. To apply click here