Personal Leadership & Pastoral Care

The course is designed to facilitate the development of professional skills appropriate to personal leadership and pastoral care in both faith-based and secular communities. The overall goal of this course is to build a holistic approach to personal leadership and pastoral care in any context. Careful guidance by experienced programme lecturers aims to enable students to achieve personal competence, manage emotions, develop autonomy, establish identity, form interpersonal relationships, clarify aims, understand organisation and management techniques and achieve a balanced lifestyle.

The programme is designed to assist students to demonstrate and understand relevant aspects of the disciplines of sociology, adult education, spirituality, practical theology and to help them reflect critically on their pastoral and personal leadership experience. Field education/placement provides students with an opportunity to enhance their leadership ability, to take significant responsibility for the work of individuals and groups, to lead and initiate activities and to facilitate the translation of theoretical knowledge into good pastoral practice. The research component adds depth to the understanding of social change and can affect and shape assumptions and judgements in relation to pastoral care and leadership concerns.

Who is the course for?
The course is suitable for people who are seeking to build upon and integrate prior professional experience, advance their skills and competences (often pre-existing) through a holistic approach to pastoral care and the development of personal leadership skills, and progress to leadership roles. Prior experience is valued for this programme.

Award and Progression
The Master of Arts in Leadership and Pastoral
Care is awarded by QQI at level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (subject to QQI validation). This award will allow transfer to level 9 research degrees and in some cases progression to taught doctoral courses at level 10 on the NFQ.

Entry requirements

Applicants holding an honours degree (level 8) or professional qualification for education, nursing, social work, counselling, pastoral ministry/theology or related pastoral areas plus evidence of at least two years' pastoral experience will be considered for the course. The college operates a Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) scheme meaning applicants who do not meet the normal academic requirements may be considered based on relevant work and other relevant experience. Interview with the Programme Director will be required for all applicants. There is a requirement for candidates to be Garda vetted.

Subjects taught

• Pastoral Placement and Pastoral Supervision and Ethics
• Pastoral Care in Context
• Leadership in Human Services
• Faith and Society
• Practical Theology and Pastoral Care of Families
• Practical Theology and the Care of the Bereaved
• Spiritual Accompaniment and Psychology of Religious Development
• Theology and Leadership in Dialogue
• Research Methods 1 (Social Sciences)
• Research Methods 2 (Theology and Pastoral Care)
• Research Dissertation


2 calendar years for part-time

Indicative Schedule
Year 1 Some Saturdays and weekends (Fridays and Saturdays) 1 block week (Monday-Friday)

Year 2 Some Saturdays and weekends (Fridays and Saturdays) 1 block week (Monday-Friday)


Year 1: €4,750
Year 2: €3,250
Total Fee: €8,000 (Fees revised annually)

Enrolment dates

Start Date: September 2018

Post Course Info

This award will allow transfer to level 9 research degrees and in some cases progression to taught doctoral courses at level 10 on the NFQ.

Career Prospects
This course is particularly suitable for people
with the skills/experience in helping others in a range of community and institutional settings. It affords an opportunity to integrate these skills with theoretical knowledge at a professional practice framework.

More details
  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type


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