Chaplaincy Studies & Pastoral Work

The MA in Chaplaincy Studies and Pastoral Work course provides the academic, pastoral, spiritual, personal and professional development for those already working or wishing to work in the contexts below who seek to enrich their skills in the areas of Faith Development, Chaplaincy and Chaplaincy Coordination.

• Primary Schools
• Post-Primary Schools
• Third Level Institutes
• Prisons / Young Offenders
• Parish Communities
• Youth and Young Adult Groups
• Community / Voluntary Sector


DC980: one year full time programme, Monday evenings and Tuesday lectures and a placement of 18-20 hours per week of the academic year.

DC 981; two year part time programme, Monday evening lectures and a placement of 6 hours per week of the academic year.
Both programmes require attendance on 8 Saturdays during the academic year.

The MA in Chaplaincy Studies and Pastoral Work aims to develop graduates who:

•Understand, and are able to apply knowledge from theological, and educational disciplines to the work of Chaplaincy and Pastoral Work

•Apply current thinking concerning pastoral work, faith formation, spiritual accompaniment, inter-religious dialogue and interculturalism in different pastoral contexts

•Exhibit the personal, professional and spiritual skills and sensibilities necessary to work as a chaplain/pastoral worker and as a member of a pastoral team.

•Manifest the ability to plan, execute and report on a research project of relevance to the work of a chaplain/pastoral worker

•Engage sensitively in faith formation and faith development initiatives in an invitational and inclusive manner which is appropriate to the characteristic spirit of the pastoral setting and to the cultural and religious diversity present in the community

•Develop Pastoral Counselling and Spiritual Accompaniment skills that are appropriate to the work of the chaplain/pastoral worker in the particular context

•Exhibit readiness to assume the role and responsibilities of a chaplain/pastoral worker

•Demonstrate the ability to manage their own work as a chaplain/pastoral worker and to integrate this with the work of others in order to provide an effective pastoral presence

•Work collaboratively with others in order to enhance the pastoral, religious, spiritual and moral dimensions of the designated community

•Exhibit competence as a 'Reflective Practitioner' and openness to continuing professional development

•Exhibit a depth awareness of contemporary culture

•Will be able to respond creatively, appropriately and sensitively to the 'moments' in people's lives in which there is an openness to the invitation to full human development and religious, moral and spiritual awakening.


It is the only course of its type currently offered on the island of Ireland.You will study at the largest and most innovative Institute of Education in Ireland and the UK. Programmes are designed to meet the personal and professional needs of chaplains/pastoral workers and delivered by academic and practising experts. We focus on creating a rich, collaborative and safe learning environment where the student voice is central.

You will have full access to our first class facilities, including an extensive library with remote access for on-line students.

Entry requirements


General Entry Requirements

The general criteria for entry to this taught postgraduate programme is :

•An honours primary degree (any discipline) or equivalent

•60 ECTS credits in Theology

•Applicants must have secured a suitable placement

•Applicants must submit an Academic/Professional Reference

•Applicants with appropriate combinations of professional qualifications and experience may also be considered (Irish / EU applicants only)

•International candidates who are non-native speakers of English must satisfy the University of their competency in the English language. More information about DCU's English language requirements can be found here.

Note all candidates are accepted to this programm must undergo Garda Vetting. All offers will be conditional until successful completion of the Garda Vetting process.


Full Time 1 Year; Part Time 2 Years.

Enrolment dates

The programme commences in September 2020.

Post Course Info

Graduates of the Master of Arts in Chaplaincy Studies and Pastoral Work are currently employed as chaplains in the post–primary school and university sector, in parishes, prisons and community facilities.

More details
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  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

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