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Applied Catholic Theology (Edinburgh) MA, PGDip, PGCert

Previous degree


Distance learning available


Student visa accepted?



2 years (part-time)

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

Promote compassion, justice, and sustainability with our Applied Catholic Theology master’s.

Positively impact communities with our hands-on Applied Catholic Theology master’s. You will develop your theological literacy through debates and practical application. You’ll cover topics like:

  • biblical interpretation
  • ministry
  • the foundations of Christian spirituality
  • spiritual direction
  • Catholic social teaching
  • systematic theology.

Our Applied Catholic Theology MA is open to people of all religions. It will particularly suit those who:

  • participate in parish and diocesan activities
  • work within Christian ministry/leadership
  • teach Religious Education (RE).

Upheld by Catholic values

We have a long and distinguished history as a Catholic institution. Our Institute of Theology and Liberal Arts is highly-respected and houses the Mater Ecclesiae College, established in 1614.

As part of our Catholic mission, we help individuals create a compassionate, just, and sustainable world.

Specialist teaching and support

You will learn from research-active academics committed to your wellbeing. Our student, Aikaterini, tells us they were “always encouraged and fully supported”.

Bespoke career sessions

You’ll attend Q&A sessions led by representatives in:

  • chaplaincy
  • the diocese
  • the catechetical sector
  • RE
  • the non-profit sector.

These sessions will advance your knowledge, network, and employability.

Study around your schedule

You can take our Applied Catholic Theology MA on a part-time or full-time basis, meaning you’ll study around your commitments.


Dr Susan Longhurst

Course Lead - Applied Catholic Theology

Upcoming Event

St Mary's University logo

MA Applied Catholic Theology webinar (29th May 2024)

Wednesday 29th May 2024, 06:00PM

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.

Entry requirements

Students are required to have a second-class first degree in Theology or a related discipline. 

We also accept suitable qualifications in a different subject and/or professional interests and experience relevant to the programme.


Previous degree

International Requirements

International students should check our country-specific pages for equivalents. If English is not your first language you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in any section.

We now accept IELTS Indicator test results as proof of your English language level.

Further Information

For more information about entry requirements please email

Fees & funding

September 2024





Funding Information

We are offering bursaries of £500 to parishioners of all dioceses in Scotland participating in a full postgraduate programme at the Gillis Centre beginning in September 2022, provided this is matched by a similar contribution towards the fees from the parish.

Scottish students can now apply for funding from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) to study at the Gillis Centre. Applications for 2024/25 can be submitted from the first week of April 2024.

Home and International students may also be eligible for external sources of funding. Please visit our alternative postgraduate funding webpage for more information about external scholarships and grants for postgraduate taught and postgraduate research programmes.

International Students should check their eligibility for our International Scholarship.

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme. Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken.

For further information about additional costs please see our additional costs webpage

Alumni discount

A 20% tuition fee discount is available for our alumni (undergraduate and PGCE) planning to study this Master's degree. Those studying for a PGDip of PGCert are not eligible for the discount.


You can check on the UK government website to see if you may be eligible for a loan of up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate programme.

Home and international students may also be eligible for external sources of funding. International students should check their eligibility for our International Scholarship.

For more information, please look at our postgraduate funding page.

How the degree is taught

Assessment methods

A variety of assessment methods employed across the programme seeks to balance traditional learning and more contemporary approaches. Modules will involve some formative assessment, and all students are assigned a personal tutor with whom to discuss particular needs and participate in individual tutorials on plans and drafts of work prior to submission.

Career opportunities

With our Applied Catholic Theology master’s, you will develop essential transferrable skills like human understanding, communication, and critical thinking.

Contact our Career Services at for further information on jobs and postgraduate opportunities.

Some examples of job roles and areas of work for graduates of Applied Catholic Theology (Edinburgh) MA, PGDip, PGCert include:

educationcharitiesNon-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)international relationscivil service

Apply now

September 2024

More from St Mary's


We have a range of webinars and events to help you decide whether St Mary's is the place for you.


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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.