Skip to content Exit mobile menu

Sept 2020

Start date


UCAS code

2 Years



UCAS points
View all requirements


UCAS points
View all requirements

Matthew James
Matthew James

Programme Director
020 8240 4811

Apply now

This innovative course aids the practical, spiritual and theological formation of healthcare workers in their challenging vocation.

The previous title for this degree was Healthcare Chaplaincy. 

Why study Practitioners in Healthcare Ethics, Theology and Care?

In the work of ministering to people - often at crucial or vulnerable times in life - the healthcare practitioner encounters many challenges, surprises and sacred moments.

By undertaking our Healthcare Ethics, Theology and Care degree course you will have the opportunity to link theory with practice, and identify and work through challenges.

The degree also enables you to reflect deeply on those moments that are formative for you as a healthcare practitioner and often life-changing for people you meet on the journey.

This course is for healthcare practitioners who already have a healthcare placement. We offer the opportunity to learn with and from other healthcare practitioners.

Why St Mary's?

This unique part-time course is designed to enable you to gain new perspectives on your key role in the modern NHS and acquire a relevant degree qualification.

Building on the success of its Foundation Degree in Healthcare Chaplaincy St Mary’s University is pleased to offer this newly revised Foundation Degree for Practitioners in Healthcare Ethics, Theology and Care. 

The new degree is for all healthcare practitioners from those working in care homes, to those working in hospices and in hospitals, not forgetting healthcare chaplains.

We regard the practice of healthcare as a vocation where expert and effective care has spiritual, theological and ethical dimensions. With its focus on pastoral care, theology and ethics, and rooted in respect for the dignity of all human beings, made in the image of God, this foundation degree looks to form each individual healthcare practitioner, enabling them to develop professionally.

Those from all faith traditions and none are welcome to apply.

Key facts

  • Supports and affirms you, as a healthcare worker, in all spheres of your vocation
  • Aids spiritual and theological formation
  • Enables you to make an informed and reflective contribution to the healthcare sector
  • Encourages the development of intellectual resources necessary for critical reflection on practical and ethical issues
  • Fosters a sense of community among healthcare workers
  • Excellent student support
  • Taught on our historic Strawberry Hill campus

Course content

Year one

  • Healthcare Ethics, Theology and Care in Context Core
  • Bioethics I Core
  • Care 1: The Vocation of the Healthcare Practitioner Core
  • The Human Person: Focus of Care Core
  • Dying, Death, Grief and Bereavement Core
  • Religious Perspectives on Healthcare Core

Year two

  • Religion and Psychology Core
  • Spirituality Core
  • Care 2: Person Centred Care Core
  • Bioethics II Core
  • Pastoral Reflection Core
  • The Human One Optional
  • Supervised Essay Optional
Please refer to the programme specification document for a summary of the programme.

Career opportunities

Since this degree links theory and practice, it will enhance your existing employment skills. By encouraging the development of the intellectual resources necessary for critical reflection on practical and ethical issues, the foundation degree programme is an excellent preparation for all healthcare professionals who wish to see their skills in human understanding and critical skills flourish.

Many former students have gone on to study one of our postgraduate degrees.

The Careers Service has more information on graduate careers and part-time work available during your course.

How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

Lectures and seminars take place at St Mary’s one evening a week and additional lectures and resources are available online. This form of blended learning recognises the reality of having to work and study at the same time. By studying with us you will have the opportunity to link theory with practice, and to identify and work through challenges.

You're expected to bring your own work experiences into the discussions and to learn to place your work into an educational context. This formative learning experience is often life-changing for many who study on the programme.

Tutors are experts in their fields and some work in an NHS setting. They will enable you to engage seriously with making the link between theory and practice, as well as deepening your self-reflection in what is often a very challenging area.

In addition to lectures and tutorials, teaching includes discussion, seminars, workshops, visits and use of IT.

Assessment methods

For most modules on the programme, assessment consists of a combination of oral presentations, case studies and essays. There are no formal exams.


View all facilities

Fees and funding

2020/21 fees

  • Home/EU: £5,140
  • International: £12,250

2019/20 fees

  • Home/EU: £4,940
  • International: £11,750

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

The UK Government has confirmed that EU applicants starting in 2019 or 2020 remain eligible for 'home fee status' and can access financial support.

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 contact


A range of scholarships and bursaries are available to new foundation students. This includes:

Further information

UCAS Application Timeline