Skip to main content
St Mary's University

Social Justice and Public Service MA

Previous degree


Distance learning available


Student visa accepted?



1 year (full-time), 2 years (part-time)

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

Learn about social justice while serving the community with our Social Justice and Public Service MA.

Gain an understanding of the applied and theoretical aspects of social justice. Apply your knowledge through a practical service-learning project.

You will have the opportunity to study:

  • Catholic social teaching
  • education and international development
  • modern slavery and human trafficking
  • international politics
  • charity management
  • religious bio-ethics.

Our MA Social Justice and Public Service will suit anyone looking to work – or already working – within Non-Governmental Organisations , charities, and the voluntary sector.

Build practical experience

We have created the UK’s first master’s degree to incorporate service-learning ­– applying volunteering or paid work with a charity to an assessed research portfolio.

Previous students have volunteered with charities in the following sectors:

  • human trafficking
  • social work
  • domestic abuse
  • elderly care.

Commitment to social justice

St Mary’s has a number of research centres dedicated to fighting social injustices:

  • Centre for Research into the Education of Marginalised Children and Young Adults (CREMCYA)
  • Bakhita Centre for Research on Slavery, Exploitation and Abuse.

Marianne Rozario

Lecturer of MA Social Justice and Public Service

View profile

Upcoming webinars and events


Postgraduate events

Join us at a postgraduate event

Open Days

Course content


You will take the core modules ‘Social Justice from Theory to Practice’ and ‘Service Learning Based Research’. In addition, you will need to choose 5 optional modules from the list below, depending on your interests or career aspirations. We strongly recommend choosing three modules in semester 1 and two modules in semester 2.

By way of example, we suggest three possible pathways through the optional modules:

Social Justice and Politics

  • Issues in Education and International Development
  • Global Governance
  • Human Rights and Migration
  • Religious Bioethics and Faith in the Public Square
  • Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking: Policing, Policy and Practice

Social Justice and Catholic Social Teaching

  • Global Development, the Environment and the Market
  • Ethical issues at the beginning of life
  • Ethical issues at the end of life
  • Religious Bioethics and Faith in the Public Square
  • Responsible and Ethical Leadership

Social Justice and Charity Management (please note that some of these modules are paused for 2023/24)

  • Responsible and Ethical Leadership
  • Financial Management and Fundraising
  • Sustainable Social Enterprise
  • International Non-Governmental Organisations

The optional modules will run in accordance with their own timetables and assessments. Clashes in timetable may prevent some optional module combinations from being taken. Students will be expected to consider the balance between semester 1 and semester 2 modules in terms of workload and assignments when choosing optional modules.

Programme structures can be subject to change each academic year following feedback from a variety of sources. Not all optional modules may run in a given academic year.

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.

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

Candidates must satisfy the general admissions requirements for St Mary’s University and abide by the University Admissions Policy. Candidates would be expected to have a minimum of a 2:2 in a BA/BSc from any discipline. Alternatively, accredited prior learning or previous work experience will be considered at the discretion of the Programme Director.


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 excited to offer one full tuition fee waiver for this course for a student enrolling in September 2022. The priority application deadline is 7th June 2022. Please see the application form for full details and selection criteria.

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.


Government-funded loans of over £11,000 are available to many home postgraduate students. 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

Assessments on the core modules include essays a portfolio which includes a reflective journal, a review of academic/think-tank articles and a report or paper.

The optional modules will run in accordance with their own assessments.

Career opportunities

With our Social Justice and Public Service MA, you will develop essential transferrable skills, such as teamwork, attention-to-detail, and creative problem-solving.

Some examples of job roles and areas of work for graduates of Social Justice and Public Service MA include:

charitiesthe voluntary sectorbusinessthe statutory sector

Apply now

More from St Mary's


Postgraduate events

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


Student life

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.

Book your place now