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1 year


Revd Dr Ashley Beck
Revd Dr Ashley Beck

Senior Lecturer - Pastoral Ministry
020 8240 2358

Apply now for: September 2020

Apply now

Apply now for: September 2020

Apply now

This degree will give students a thorough grounding at an advanced level to the principles, history and application of Catholic Social Teaching and related disciplines.

Why study Catholic Social Teaching?

Catholic Social Teaching is an increasingly important element in Christian moral teaching, valued across different churches. This course is the first MA degree programme devoted to this subject taught face-to-face in any university in the UK and Ireland.

Why St Mary's?

St Mary's University has a Catholic ethos. Moreover, since its foundation in the 19th century it has had a consistent vocation to serve the Church in its poorest communities: Catholic Social teaching witnesses to what is called 'the preferential option for the poor', so St Mary's is the obvious place to study the subject.

Key facts

  • This is the only complete programme in Catholic Social Teaching taught face to face in the UK and Ireland
  • World events, the increasing importance of social teaching in the churches and the public profile of Pope Francis make this a good time to study this subject
  • The ethos and history of St Mary's make it the best possible place to study this programme

Course content

All students will study two of the three optional modules. Full-time students will study all modules in one year.

Part-time students study the two core modules in their first year and the optional modules in year two. The dissertation can be done in the second year or possibly in a third year.


  • Dissertation 
  • Catholic Social Teaching Applied Core
  • Principles and History of Catholic Social Teaching Core
  • Christian Charities and Ecumenism Optional
  • Global Development, the Environment and the Market Optional
  • Theologies of Liberation and Political Theology Optional
Please refer to the programme specification document for a summary of the programme.

Career opportunities

This qualification will be a good starting point for further postgraduate study in Catholic Social Teaching. It will be particularly valuable for students hoping to work as teachers, or in charities and the voluntary sector.

It will also be appropriate for people working in business and the statutory sector (e.g. in relation to housing, welfare, development aid). It is suited to permanent deacons in the Catholic Church who are expected to have a specialist knowledge of this subject. It will also be appropriate for other clergy, lay ministers and catechists in the Catholic Church and other churches.

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

How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

The degree will be taught firstly by means of lectures or seminars, together with online support, at two locations in central London and on campus. It will also be possible initially to study entirely the core modules online.

Assessment methods

There will be five taught modules in this programme. Everyone will study the two initial core modules, and study a further two modules out of a choice of three.

There will also be a module comprising a 15,000-word dissertation. In the taught modules there will be a 5,000-word essay and a shorter piece of work such as an article review, case study, or presentation.


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Fees and funding

2020/21 fees

  • Home/EU: £7,580
  • International: £13,650

2019/20 fees

  • Home/EU: £6,240
  • International: £13,650

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

Part-time fees

Part-time students will be charged for the modules undertaken per academic year. Module prices are calculated as a percentage of credits against the total credits and cost of the degree.

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 per module 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.


For guidance about financing your studies, including information about government-funded loans, please check out Fees & Funding section.

International Students should check their eligibility for our International Scholarship.

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.

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

Further information