September 2024

Chaplaincy PGCert

Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate, September 2024

Chaplaincy lesson

The Postgraduate Certificate is a 1-year course which is also the first year of the Masters in Chaplaincy. The course if for Chaplains who want to take time to develop and reflect upon their own understanding of their Chaplaincy practice and those they serve.

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 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 (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.

  • 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.

You will be assessed using a variety of methods, some of these include tutorials, delivering a seminar to peers, group presentation, and a reflective portfolio. 

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.

There are five Weekends (Saturday 10am- 6pm and Sunday 9:30am – 2:30pm) over the year where delivery takes place here at our campus. as well as online activities for you to work through in between weekends. This programme is supported by online resources and content and video tutorials. 


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) 

There are some additional tutorials that take place over online video and online content that people can work through in their own time 

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 need to 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 by video, 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 – University Chaplain

International Students
The University is not licensed by the UK Government to sponsor migrant students under the Student route and is therefore unable to accept applications from international students at present.

Course Fees

Total Course Fee UK Students:
£2,600 (in total for whole PG Cert Programme)*

We offer a 6 month interest free payment plan.

*Fees shown are for 2024/25 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).

Postgraduate Loans

You can apply for a postgraduate loan when enrolling on a full masters’ degree (180 credits), to use as a contribution to the cost of studying and living expenses. For further information visit the postgraduate loans website.


Please be aware that, as with any course, there may be changes to the modules delivered, for information view our Changes to Programmes or Module Changes page.

Timetables: find out when information is available to students

  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.

Additional Information

General Academic Regulations: Terms and Conditions for students attending our courses

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.