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Gain a thorough understanding of the applied and theoretical aspects of social justice and apply your knowledge through an practical service-learning project integrated into the degree. 

  • In this unique service-learning Master’s degree you’ll undertake assessed work with a charity or within a volunteering placement
  • Choose modules from multiple disciplines including theology, politics, business and social sciences on subjects such as human trafficking, charity management, Catholic social teaching, bioethics and international development

Why study Social Justice and Public Service?

This course the first Master's degree in the UK devoted to service-learning that integrates a practical volunteering and/or paid experience at the service of the community with theoretical and applied understanding of social justice.

This degree suits anyone aspiring to work in - or already working in - the ever increasing NGO, voluntary and charity sectors.

Why St Mary's?

St Mary's University has a Catholic ethos. Since its foundation in the 19th century we have had a consistent vocation to serve the Church in its poorest communities.

This postgraduate degree in Social Justice and Public Service builds upon those foundations in encouraging students to serve their communities and also assist those charities through their volunteering, charitable work and associated assessment.

Please note: Social Justice and Public Service is subject to validation.

Course lead

Prof Philip Booth headshotProf Philip Booth
Professor of Finance, Public Policy and Ethics

Entry requirements

2:2 Previous degree

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.

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 (or equivalent).

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

Further information

For more information about entry requirements please email

Course content


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  •  Optional
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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.

Career opportunities

This qualification will be a good starting point for further postgraduate programmes in studies related to social justice. It will be particularly valuable for students hoping to work 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 and non-governmental agencies). It is suitable for those desiring to combine a practical volunteering experience with academic research project and qualification.

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

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How the degree is taught

Teaching and assessment

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

The degree will be taught firstly by means of lectures or seminars, together with online support. It will also be possible initially to study entirely the core modules online.

The core modules will be delivered on evenings and at the weekends. The optional modules will be taught in accordance with their own schedules.

Modes of study

  • MA in Social Justice and Public Service: All students will study two core modules (totalling 80 credits) and four or five optional modules from a list of thirteen modules (totalling 100 credits).
  • PGDip in Social Justice: 120 credits from optional module list including core 20 credit module on ‘Social Justice from theory to practice’. This will be the exit award if the service-learning based research project is not completed appropriately.
  • PGCert in Social Justice: 60 credits from optional module list including core 20 credit module on ‘Social Justice from theory to practice’.


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Fees and funding

Tuition fees

September 2022

  • Home: £8,490
  • International: £14,550

The tuition fees listed are for the duration of the course.< 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. Please see clause 5.15.2 of the Tuition Fee Regulations for further information.

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.

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

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 contact

Further information