September 2023

Chaplaincy MA

Master's Degree, Postgraduate, September 2023

chaplaincy lecturer talking to student

Newman University offers a full Masters qualification in Chaplaincy over 2½- 3 years. However if you choose to undertake the first year specialism in Paediatric and Maternity it will take you an additional year (3½- 4 years.)

For students who have already studied the Postgraduate Certificate in Chaplaincy at Newman we may be able to use your credits towards the full Masters programme and normally you would start into year 2 of the course.


In your role as a Chaplain it is essential to develop your skills and understanding to provide high quality pastoral and spiritual care in the setting in which you work. These part time, multi-disciplinary, work-based courses are primarily aimed at those working (paid or voluntary) across the diverse range of Chaplaincy contexts, including, schools, hospitals, universities, prisons, military and the growing area of urban and workplace chaplaincy.

Newman University offers professional development qualifications which are part time, multi-disciplinary for those wishing to gain further grounding in both the theological and pastoral aspects of their Chaplaincy role. You can choose to study alongside others learning from a range of contexts, while focusing on your own by undertaking either the Postgraduate Certificate in Chaplaincy (1 year) or Masters in Chaplaincy (2 ½ – 4 years). We also offer a specialised route for those in Paediatric and Maternity Chaplaincy. In partnership with the Centre for Paediatric Spiritual Care we offer a Postgraduate Certificate in Paediatric and Maternity Chaplaincy (2 years) or you can do it as part of the full Masters in Chaplaincy (2 ½ – 4 years).

  • The Courses are designed around you as the Chaplain/Chaplaincy worker, enabling you to develop your own skills, knowledge and research base suited to your own context.
  • As applied courses they enable you to reflexively draw on your experience in tandem with the academic learning
  • The programmes are inter-disciplinary drawing on a number of academic fields such as theology, sociology, psychology, and philosophy
  • The Assessments will help develop your reflective and research practice and encourage you to hone and focus your Chaplaincy.
  • Delivery of the courses is Hybrid. You will be expected to attend 5x weekends a year in Birmingham. This is supported by online learning to enable you to incorporate it into your busy work and personal life.

The programme consists of three modules in year one and two modules in both Year 2 and 3.

Year 1

  • Chaplaincy: Principles and Practice (20 credits)
  • Understanding Spirituality (20 credits)
  • Reflective practice (20 credits)

The core module of Chaplaincy: Principles and Practice explores an understanding of your role in institutional settings basing your practice as a Chaplain on a secure grasp of your own values, faith and work context as well as exploring models of pastoral care.

The module Understanding Spirituality will enable you to understand the concepts of spiritualties and faith formation in contemporary society. The module will also develop an understanding of what issues and trends in faith and spirituality may particularly affect people today.

The reflective practice module is an essential element of our integrated model and meets the expected professional standards. With initial taught input by Newman staff. The emphasis is on experiential learning and reflective practice in your chaplaincy context.

Year 2

  • Working with Faith and Belief in Contemporary Contexts (30 credits)
  • Being Human in the Modern World (30 credits)

In the Working with Faith and Belief in Contemporary Contexts module, you will be encouraged to reflect on the practical application of theology in the light of insights from the sociology of religion, multi-faith perspectives, and the context of your own practice

The module Being Human in the Modern World will allow you to deepen your theological perspective through a consideration of a range of ethical and philosophical standpoints, including developments in disability studies and artificial intelligence.

Year 3

  • Applied Practice Project 1 (30 credits)
  • Applied Practice Project 2 (30 credits)

The further two modules, enable you to develop further depth and focus to the applied study of chaplaincy. Applied Practice Project 1 and 2 will equip you with the academic tools you need for a sustained research project and will provide an opportunity for you to pursue independent research into an area of individual interest.

You will be assessed using a variety of methods, some of these include tutorials, delivering a seminar, group presentation, poster presentation, a reflective portfolio and a briefing paper for an audience of your choice. You will also get the opportunity to negotiate the assessment for the Applied Practice Projects.

All of these assessments will include links to your experience as a Chaplain as well as to your academic reading and development.

Graduates have continued in their Chaplaincy ministry, often moving into leadership roles, or from voluntary to paid positions.

In Year 1 (60 credits) there are five Weekends (Saturday 10am- 6pm and Sunday 9:30am – 2:30pm) where deliver take place here at our campus as well as online activities for you to work through in between weekends. There are also a number of online tutorials with your Academic Personal Tutor. If you choose to take the Paediatric and Maternity specialism(60 credits) there are 10 Saturdays and will take two years to complete.

In Year 2 there are five Saturdays 10am- 6pm where delivery takes place here at our campus plus online learning which includes 6-8 90 minutes online sessions at a time to be arranged. Plus online activities and resources and tutorials with your Academic Personal Tutor.

For students who have already successfully completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Chaplaincy or Paediatric and Maternity Chaplaincy at Newman University you may be able to apply to enter on to Year 2 of the Masters.

In Year 3 there are two Saturdays 10am – 6pm where delivery takes place here at our campus plus online learning which includes 6-8 90 minutes online sessions, online activities and resources and tutorials with a Tutor.

MA Chaplaincy (2½ -3 year course)

Year 1

Saturday 15th October 2022 & Sunday 16th October 2022 @ Newman University

Saturday 3rd December 2022 & Sunday 4th December 2022 @ Newman University

Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th January 2023 @ Newman University

Saturday 18th March 2023 & Sunday 19th March 2023 @ Newman University

Saturday 13th May 2023 & Sunday 14th May 2023 @ Newman University


Year 2

Saturday 1st October 2022 @ Newman University

Saturday 19th November 2022 @ Newman University

Saturday 11th February 2023 @ Newman University

Saturday 6th May 2023 @ Newman University

Saturday 8th July 2023 @ Newman University

Plus the online sessions to be arranged



MA Chaplaincy with 1st year specialism Paediatric and Maternity (3½ – 4 year course) 

Saturday 15th October 2022 @ Newman University.

Saturday 12th November 2022 @ Birmingham Children’s Hospital

Saturday 3rd December @ Birmingham Children’s Hospital

Saturday 4th March @ Birmingham Children’s Hospital

Saturday 6th May @ Birmingham Children’s Hospital

Plus Online content

Ask Us a Question

Entry Requirements

You will normally need a good undergraduate degree or equivalent or substantial experiential learning and demonstrate the ability to study at postgraduate level.

You will normally be working as a chaplain or similar in a paid or voluntary capacity for the equivalent of 2 sessions a week for each of the modules. One of your referees will need to be a person with direct experience of your practice, ideally also a chaplain.  We will discuss your experience at interview.   All applicants will be interviewed in person or over zoom, you will have the opportunity to ask questions and meet one of the teaching team.

If you have any questions regarding entry onto this course please contact

Margaret Holland – Chaplain

or Sally Nash – course tutor

or our friendly and helpful admissions team via our Admissions Enquiry Form

Course Fees

Total Course Fee UK Students:

£6,000* (in total for whole programme) = £2000 per year

Course fee’s for September 2023 TBC.

*Fees shown are for 2022/23 academic year. The University will review tuition fees and increase fees in line with any inflationary uplift as determined by the UK Government, if permitted by law or government policy, on enrolment and in subsequent years of your course. It is anticipated that such increases would be linked to RPI (the Retail Price Index excluding mortgage interest payments).


Please note that the module allocations below relate to students studying the main Chaplaincy route. Students studying the Paediatric and Maternity Chaplaincy route, will study Year 1 modules across their first two years. Year 2 modules will be studied in their third year, and Year 3 modules will be studied in their final forth year.

  1. This module will enable students to explore the principles and practices found in a range of Chaplaincy contexts.  Students will enhance and analyse their own pastoral care skills and knowledge needed to be an effective Chaplain. Critically reflecting on their own values, faith and work context, students will examine the skills needed in the areas of chaplaincy and pastoral care and critique and articulate their own faith tradition in response to this.
  2. The module will enable students to gain a critical understanding of the concepts of spirituality and faith development in contemporary society. A range of models of spirituality will be covered, which will be drawn from the experience of the students and the rich traditions within the faith communities. There will be the opportunity to analyse important theories of the faith development, and to consider some of the issues and trends in faith and spirituality which may particularly affect people today.
  3. The module will enable students to analyse and critique the links between theory and context through experiential learning and supervised practice. They will develop and sustain an attitude of reflective attentiveness to self, the world, and their professional practice.
  1. This module will allow students to engage critically in some of the contexts of the communities they serve. They will apply theories from the sociology of religion and applications of public and practical theology as well as other academic fields in ways that support reflection on their community. Students will be able to demonstrate an ability to evaluate and analyse the diversity of faith, its expressions, and cultural perceptions.
  2. This module will give students the opportunity to engage with different conceptions of humanness and reflect on their ethical and theological implications and how these relate to practice. Through a consideration of twenty-first century challenges to humanness, for example from artificial intelligence, and from a consideration of non-normative human perspectives (for example those from feminist, queer, postcolonial, disability and death studies), students will be encouraged to develop their own theological anthropology, attentive to its implications for religious beliefs about salvation, human purpose, enhancement, relationality, and death.
  1. This taught module can be approached as a stand-alone module or as the first part of a larger capstone project leading into Applied Practice Project 2. Students can decide on their approach as they progress through Applied Practice Project 1.   In this module, students will pursue either a research or work-based learning project. In both cases, students will be required to consider the parameters of the project; ethics; audience, stakeholders and/or partners; communication and delivery; outcomes and impact. Students may work individually or collaboratively. Students undertaking research projects will use a portion of the contact hours as research while students undertaking a work-based learning project can use this time for their work-related experience. The assessment for this module will be negotiated in the light of students’ individual projects.   All students will also submit a proposal for their Applied Practice Project 2 using the skills developed during this module. Students have the option to continue their work from Applied Practice Project 1 or propose a new project. Whether students have chosen to continue with their Applied Practice Project 1 or begin a new project, they should articulate how Applied Practice Project 2 will build on the work and skills they have already been developing on this module.
  2. This project module can be approached as a stand-alone module or as the second part of a larger capstone project leading on from Applied Practice Project 1 Students can decide on their approach as they progress through Applied Practice Project 2. This module is student-led. Students will have articulated in their Applied Practice Project 1 proposals their plans for Applied Practice Project 2 and how it builds on the work and skills already developed in Applied Practice Project 1 For this module, the final project can be a combination of the following, but must include both a practical and reflective element: