Muslims in Britain MOOC2RE

Enhancing the teaching of Islam and Muslims in Religious Education (RE) through a Massively Open Online Course (MOOC)


There has been longstanding criticism of the way RE represents religions in the classroom. Often, these portrayals focus on theology and beliefs at the expense of their plural and everyday expressions of religion in society. Islam has been particularly vulnerable to misrepresentations and stereotypical views (Revell 2012, Berglund 2016). The recent Commission on Religious Education (2018, p. 76) stresses the need to include the ‘lived experience of individuals and communities’ as a recommendation to improve RE.

Responding to these needs, this project aims to support RE in schools to meet these recommendations through the development of a fully-resourced Key Stage 3 scheme of work investigating Muslims in Britain. Based on the Islam-UK Centre’s hugely successful Muslims in Britain Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), we aim to embed sociological perspectives of religion in the RE classroom by using cutting-edge sociological research and academic scholarship in teaching resources. Furthermore, we also want to help support RE teachers to do so by designing an accompanying, and accessible, Continuing Professional Development course.

The project began in February 2019.

If you are interested in hearing more about this project, please contact Dr Matthew Vince:

We are currently looking to speak to RE teachers to shape the subsequent design and focus of the course!

Aims and objectives

To improve the teaching and learning of Islam and Muslims in RE by;

  1. Identifying the current success, challenges, and needs of RE teachers for their teaching about Islam and Muslims in RE.
  2. Building on the Muslims in Britain MOOC to develop materials that can be utilised in the classroom, incorporating current sociological approaches and scholarship to the study of religion.
  3. Developing an ‘active curriculum’ that can be continually updated in response to cutting-edge research and new data about British Muslims.
  4. Providing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Professional Learning to support teachers in their teaching about Islam and Muslims, guided by the Muslims in Britain MOOC course.
The project team

Professor Sophie Gilliat-Ray

Dr Matthew Vince

Mr Mark Bryant