Study With Us - Postgraduate Studies

Five Specialisms in Master of Arts - Catholic Applied Theology

The Master of Arts in Catholic Applied Theology

MA Flyer

Who is the Programme aimed at?

This programme is suitable for professional workers in pastoral ministries, those involved in the fields of religious education, catechesis and leadership in schools, and, indeed, anyone wishing to deepen their knowledge of various aspects of Catholic Theology, Ethics and Spirituality

What are the entry requirements?

The programme is open to candidates with an honours degree (2:2, or above), or an equivalent professional qualification. The Institute welcomes students whether or not they are from the Catholic community.

How long is the programme?

This MA is a 30-month, part time, distance-learning programme.

When is the next enrolment?

The programme enrols new students each January.

Aims of the Programme

The Programme aims to:
  • Enable students to engage in an informed, systematic and critical manner with Catholic theology, philosophy and the human sciences.
  • Equip students to exercise responsibility and independence in their studies and research and to be able to apply the fruits of these critically and creatively.


In the first 12 months, students study four modules consecutively, working from home following specially designed course books and associated reading. Each of the four modules require at least 15 hours per week of coursework and study time spread over approximately 10 weeks i.e. 150 hours in all. They also complete a research methods assignment.

In the second year of the programme, three further modules are studied and a dissertation proposal produced. Each of these four items requires at least 15 hours per week of coursework and study time spread over approximately 10 weeks i.e. 150 hours in all.

The final 6 months of the course focus on the writing of a dissertation.

It is possible, within the structure of the MA Programme, to terminate with the award of a Postgraduate Certificate (after Year 1) or Postgraduate Diploma (after Year 2).


These residentials are an integral part of the academic and pastoral support offered on Maryvale programmes. To be eligible for any awards associated with a programme, students must attend these residentials.

Optional Study Weeks:

Each year there is the opportunity to participate in an additional study week, usually mid-March, for private study and use of the library, as well as the opportunity to discuss your work with a tutor. For details on the accommodation charges for these weeks, please see the Accommodation Fees page here, as these are not included in the yearly Programme fees.


The programme has 5 pathways or areas of specialism, each with its own particular content. Please see “Specialisms on the MA in Catholic Applied Theology” below for more details.


Students are required to write an assignment for each of the four modules studied in the first year. The four module assignments each constitute 25% of the year’s total.

During the second year, students are required to write an assignment for each of the three modules studied that year. The three module assignments plus the dissertation proposal produced each constitute 25% of the year’s total.

Between January and June of the final year each student writes and submits a 20,000 word dissertation. The dissertation counts for 60% of the total mark for the MA degree, the other 40% coming from the marks for Years One and Two.


This programme leads to the Open University award of Master of Arts (OU).

How do I apply?

To apply, download the application form here.

A non-returnable application fee of £50 is required when making application for this course. Details of course fees can be found here, where you will also find a link to the Institute policy on the payment of fees.

Applications are welcome up to the first week of January.

Disability support

If you have a disability or any long-term condition that impacts on your day-to-day life, please download the Disability Support Form here and email it or post this to the Disability Support Coordinator (address included on the form), to ensure we can give you the best possible support during your course of study. Disclosing a disability will not be a factor in Institute’s decision as to whether or not to offer you a place on the course. However, it is important that the Institute knows if you have any specialist needs in order to provide you with appropriate support and facilities. This information will remain strictly confidential. For further information, please contact the Disability Support Coordinator by using the contact button below:

Specialisms on the MA in Catholic Applied Theology:

Students can choose one of five distinct different specialisms, or ‘pathways’, offered on the MA programme. Click the links for more information on each.


This pathway is for anyone wishing to deepen their understanding of the rational foundations of the Catholic worldview in order to be able to engage effectively with the intellectual challenges posed by the secular culture of our time. It is of particular relevance to all involved in preaching and teaching the faith in schools, colleges and parishes.
More information ...

Faith and Culture

This pathway is suitable for professional workers in pastoral ministries, in, for example, schools, colleges, social work and health. Because of its emphasis on the Christian vision of the human person and the implications of this vision for personal development, behaviour, family, civic and social life and engagement with culture, this pathway is of particular relevance to educators with specific responsibilities for Citizenship within the curriculum.
More information ...

Marriage and Family

This programme teaches the beauty of the Catholic vision for marriage and family life and is informed by the teaching of Blessed John Paul II and is suitable for those preparing for or living the vocation to marriage and family. It will also be of interest to people involved in marriage preparation, pastoral care of the family, counselling as well as those involved in education, pro-life work, law, medicine and government and public policy.
More information ...

Religious Education and Catechesis

This programme is particularly suitable for those in the teaching professions: existing teachers of RE value the opportunity of improving their theological and professional expertise, while qualified teachers in other disciplines can specialise in R.E. in Catholic schools. The degree is also for catechists, parents, clergy and religious.
More information ...


This programme is for anyone wishing to deepen their understanding of the principles of Catholic spirituality in order to apply these in their life and work. It is of particular relevance to those in pastoral ministries (clergy, catechists, youth workers, chaplaincy teams and religious), as well as those in the teaching professions, who value the opportunity of improving their theological and professional expertise in the foundational area of spirituality.
More information ...

The Institute's regulations, procedures and complaints policy can be found here.

© Maryvale Institute 2017 - Maryvale Institute is registered in England as a Charitable Trust (no. 1068634).