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Pastoral Ministry FdA

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2 years

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The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023: Top 10 for Student ExperienceThe Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023: Top 5 for Teaching Quality

Champion wellbeing and spirituality with our Pastoral Ministry degree

Build theological skills with our hands-on Pastoral Ministry degree. You will cover:

  • theology
  • scripture
  • sacraments and liturgy
  • Christian ethics
  • interfaith relations
  • Christian spirituality
  • canon law.

This Pastoral Ministry FdA is in partnership with the Diaconate Formation Programme for the dioceses in England and Wales.

This foundation degree suits those in formation for ordained ministry in the Church. You can only study for the degree if you have been accepted for formation by your Bishop.

After completing this course, you can enrol on our Catholic Social Teaching MA.

Britain’s largest diaconate course

You’ll join Britain’s largest diaconate training course and one of the largest clerical formation communities.

Hands-on learning

You will:

  • access local mentors
  • experience 11 formation days
  • complete two residential weekends.

Flexible learning

You will learn part-time and via a blended learning approach. Therefore, you can study around your commitments.


Revd Dr Ashley Beck

Senior Lecturer - Pastoral Ministry

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Course content


The modules listed below are the modules that were available to students in the 2023/24 academic year and are illustrative of what may be offered for 2024/25. 

Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.

Ecumenism and Interfaith Relations

Entry requirements

The Foundation degree in Pastoral Ministry is taught as part of a collaborative relationship between St Marys and seven Roman Catholic dioceses in southern England Wales, for those in formation to become permanent deacons. You can only study for the degree if you have been accepted for formation by your Bishop. If you’re interested in becoming a deacon you should first contact your parish priest.

Students are enrolled on the programme after they have been accepted for formation for the diaconate by their diocesan bishop or Ordinary. For more details contact the Programme Director, the Revd Dr Ashley Beck at

We will make you an offer if you are within the tariff band range and you meet subject-specific requirements (where applicable).

For undergraduate programmes we will take into account subjects studied at Level 3, your GCSEs (or equivalent) profile, relevant non-academic achievements outlined in your personal statement, references, and your motivation for study.

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UCAS points


Applicants should have at least a GCSE grade 4/C (or equivalent) in English Language.

We offer GCSE equivalency tests for those who need to improve their GCSE grades.

UCAS Personal statement support

Create your UCAS personal statement through our online builder and we'll email you a copy of your completed version at the end.

Further Information

For more information about entry requirements please email

Fees & funding

Tuition fees





Funding Information

*Please note: tuition fees are subject to an inflationary increase each year, meaning if your course runs over more than one academic year you may pay an increased fee for each subsequent year of study. Tuition fee increases for returning students will be capped at the higher of 5% per annum or the rate of Consumer Price Index inflation in the United Kingdom.

Information about tuition fees, student loans, and funding your studies can be found within our fees and funding section.

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme.

There are no additional costs for students. Fees are paid entirely by the dioceses within the collaborative programme, who also cover costs for meals and accommodation at the formation days and weekends.


Find out more about our range of scholarships and bursaries available to undergraduate students.

Living costs

A guide to your living costs has been created by our Student Funding Team.

Accommodation costs vary depending on whether you opt for an en suite room and on-site catering. Take a look at our accommodation options and the prices you can expect to pay.

How the degree is taught

Contact time - 60%

Independent study - 40%

*Contact time includes 55% of guided learning

Teaching methods

You'll be taught on our beautiful and historic campus located in Twickenham, London.

The degree is taught in formation days on Saturdays and residential weekends, consisting of lectures and seminars, alongside prayer and corporate worship. Local one-to-one tuition also takes place between formation days.

Class sizes usually range from 10 to 20 students.

Assessment methods

Year One (Level 4)

In work for all modules in year one students will be introduced to the basic theory and practice of preaching, with practical work on posture, voice production and microphone use. The relationship will be explored between preaching and the various areas of pastoral ministry. There will be preliminary workshops concentrating on the basics of preaching technique.

Year Two (Level 5)

In all the modules of Level 5, work will be done on the continuing development of preaching skills as the student grows in theological confidence. This will focus primarily on preaching at Sunday celebrations, but also on reflections given during the week. Specific work will be done on different preaching techniques at different types of Eucharistic celebration, and on the demands of different church buildings. At the end of the second year, assessment will include some written work under examination conditions


We adhere to the university’s policy of providing feedback on assessments within 15 working days.

Career opportunities

With our Pastoral Ministry degree, you will develop key transferrable skills, including patience, communication, and leadership.

You could pursue a career as a pastoral minister.

Please contact our Career Services at for further information on work and postgraduate opportunities.

More from St Mary's


Thinking about whether St Mary's is the right place for you? Come and visit it us on campus.


Discover what life is like on our London campus.

Open Days

Open Days are a fantastic opportunity for you to meet academic staff. You'll also be able to look around the campus, speak to current students and find out more about services such as Accommodation, Student Wellbeing and Study Abroad.