Campus in the sunshine..

While the RPE blog may be a little quiet over the summer – a fair few of us are still active over at the course Facebook page:  – which is open to all..

In case you’re interested – there is more info about our Religion, Philosophy & Ethics course in our leaflet – enjoy

RPE Essay Prize

For the 2014 Competition – click HERE..

Religion, Philosophy and Ethics Essay Competition 2013

First prize: a new iPad
Four Runners-up receive a £20 Amazon voucher

The Religion, Philosophy and Ethics (RPE) course at the University of Gloucestershire is launching the new RPE Essay Prize.

The competition is open to all those currently studying for any AS or A2-level examinations (or equivalent) in the UK. The first prize is a new iPad, and there will be four runners-up prizes of £20 Amazon vouchers.

Entries must be no longer than 1500 words including footnotes but excluding references and can take any form e.g. essay, dialogue, etc. All sources must be referenced.

The deadline for the 1500 word essay is 5pm on 31st October 2013 and will be judged by RPE lecturers. The winner will be announced on the RPE Blog on 1st December 2013

To enter please choose one of the titles below and email your entry to (please note you may only submit oneentry to the competition).

Entries must be written in as a Microsoft Word document. Entries will normally be acknowledged within 5 days. In your email, please put your name, the Sixth Form / FE college you attend, and the title you have chosen to answer. The subject of your email should be ‘essay competition’.

The University of Gloucestershire reserve the right to publish entries but entrants will retain copyright over their work. We intend to publish the winning essay on the RPE Course Blog at

Choose one of the following titles:

Title 1: Does religion still have any relevance in the twenty-first century?

Title 2: What would you say to someone who declares we cannot know anything for certain? Can this be disproved?

Title 3: Are there any ethical rules for which there are no exceptions and, if so, why? If not, why not?

·       1500 words maximum
·       Your essay must include the title/your name/contact email at the top of the page
·       The essay must be an attachment to the email as a Microsoft Word document
Any essay that does not satisfy these three conditions will not be considered by the judging panel.

The panel decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.


Course Facebook Group:        (open to all) 

Video Interview blog:

Planning the year ahead..

Students in Seville Alcazar

As we look back, we can see what has been enjoyed, and found useful, by our students, and plan the coming year.

We went to Spain with the second years in March: a 5 night trip based around Cordoba – where we look at the interaction of Islamic, Christian and Jewish traditions. We visit the Mezquita, The  

A well-earned rest after the journey
The Mezquita in Cordoba

Jewish Museum, Seville Cathedral, Cordoba Alcazar, Seville Real Alcazar, Medina Azahara, the Torre de la Calahorra museum, an archaeological museum, the bathhouse of the Caliphs, and I’m sure I’ve missed somewhere out! It is a bust few days, but  an amazing trip where students gain a huge amount of understanding. There’s a report from the 2011 trip HERE, and pictures from the recent one HERE.. We have a tour guide for sections, and there is some free time too..

Leicester for Diwali
London Visit

We also – in a perhaps less glamorous location – plan to repeat our visit to Diwali in Leicester: Our report is HERE..  Next year we plan to arrive in order to have a meal before we commence the visit. It might even not rain..

We have also been to the Swaminaryan Hindu Temple in London (see HERE for a report), which we hope to visit this year, as well as planning a trip to the Ashmolean museum in Oxford..

Less picturesque but equally exciting is our plan to skype in some guest speakers next year, from as far away as Australia, for Q & A chats with our students. Of course we are also planning our lectures and day-to-day seminars, extra-curricular plans and the like – you can get a taste of these on our course Facebook group at: , or download our Course Leaflet HERE..


Speaking at CESNUR

I recently attended CESNUR13, a conference about New Religious Movements. The proceedings are HERE, but I also made some short videos while I was there, which are at :  – along with other videos by the RPE staff…

They cover things as far apart as Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Music, Cyborgs and Transhumanism in Paganism, Satanism, Spiritual Tourism, and more..

Should be of interest – and useful for those taking our module on NRMs within the RPE course: HM4503 New Religious Movements.