September 2025

Chaplaincy MA

Postgraduate, Master's Degree, September 2025

Key Details

  • Years
  • TBC Typical UCAS Tariff
chaplaincy lecturer talking to student

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

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

*This would normally be within five years of successfully completing 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.

Birmingham 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 (3 years). We also offer specialised routes 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 (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 in person on Campus. You will be expected to attend a number of weekends a year in Birmingham. This is supported by tutorials and online learning embedded into the Virtual Learning Environment 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 Birmingham 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 Practice, 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.

In Year 1 (60 credits) five Weekends (Saturday 10am- 6pm and Sunday 9:30am – 2:30pm) where delivery takes 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. 

Year 1  

Our first weekend will be 

  • Saturday 12th October (9am – 6pm) 
  • Sunday 13th  October (9.30am – 2.30pm) 

The subsequent weekend dates are: 

  • Saturday 30th November (10am – 6pm) 
  • Sunday 1st  December (9.30am – 2.30pm) 

 

  • Saturday 25th January (10am – 6pm) 
  • Sunday 26th January (9.30am – 2.30pm) 

 

  • Saturday 8th  March (10am – 6pm) 
  • Sunday 9th March (9.30am – 2.30pm) 

 

  • Saturday 18th May (10am – 6pm) 
  • Sunday 19th May (9.30am – 2.30pm) 

 

Year 1 with Specialism Paediatric & Maternity (This will take 2 years to complete)  

Our first teaching session will be 

  • 12th October (Saturday 10am – 4:00pm) @ Birmingham Newman University 

and the dates for the further teaching sessions are: 

  • 2nd November 10am – 4:00pm @ Birmingham Children’s Hospital 
  • 30th November 10am – 4:00pm @ Birmingham Children’s Hospital 
  • 1st March 10am – 4:00pm @ Birmingham Children’s Hospital 
  • 12th April   10am – 4:00pm @ Birmingham Children’s Hospital 

 

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

For those who have already successfully completed and been awarded one of the Postgraduate Certificates, entering straight into Year 2, there are five Saturdays 10am- 6pm where delivery takes place here at our campus plus online learning which includes online sessions at a time to be arranged. Plus online activities to be worked through in your own time, resources and tutorials with your Academic Personal Tutor. 

Our first teaching session will be 

  • Saturday 28th  September (9am – 6:00pm) 

and the dates for the further weekends are: 

  • Saturday 16th November (10am – 6pm) 
  • Saturday 8th  February 
  • Saturday 10th  May 
  • Saturday 21st June 

In Year 3 there are two Sundays 10am – 6pm  and one Saturday 10am – 6pm where delivery takes place here at our campus plus online learning which includes 6-8 90 minutes online sessions, online activities to be worked through in your own time, resources and tutorials with a Tutor.  

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Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for 2025 entry TBC

Course Fees

Course fees for 2025 entry TBC

Modules

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:

Additional Information

Catholic Lay Chaplain’s Training Bursary Fund 

To be eligible to receive funding you will need to be a non-ordained Roman Catholic student on one of the Postgraduate courses in Chaplaincy at Birmingham Newman University.
Funding is available for
• study costs, eg books, subscriptions,
• IT provision, eg hardware, software or wifi
• travel costs, associated with attending or fulfilling the course requirements
• accommodation costs associated with attending or fulfilling the course requirements
The maximum amount available per applicant is £200 per academic year.