MA in Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy

An Anglia Ruskin University degree created and taught by the Cambridge Theological Federation

Our MA in Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy will give you an in-depth understanding of Pastoral Theology as it relates to the goals of chaplaincy and care.

Pastoral Care & Chaplaincy

Available as

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy (4 modules)
  • MA in Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy (4 modules and a 15,000 word project)


  • Available part-time only in 2018
  • Available full-time and part-time from 2019
  • Choose from online or classroom lectures and seminars
  • Some modules will be available by block teaching in Cambridge over one or two weeks

Students will be supported to:

  • relate reflectively and reflexively to the themes and traditions of Pastoral Care to contemporary personal and vocational contexts.
  • develop a critical understanding of the human condition as it shapes different approaches to models of chaplaincy;
  • undertake a detailed exploration of some issues of significance for an understanding of chaplaincy within the contemporary context.

Postgraduate Diploma MA
Human Condition Human Condition
Themes in Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Care Themes in Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Care
Plus two optional modules Plus two optional modules
Plus a major project (15,000 words)

Human Condition

This module is designed to resource students for the demands of theological and philosophical study at level 7, by focusing on the theme of the human condition as a complex topic contributive to all MA programme areas. This will give students the opportunity to develop a strong grounding in disciplinary concepts and methods particular to theology, from which and with which more specialist questions of ethics, spirituality, contemporary belief and pastoral care arise and interact.

Taking a thematic approach, this course begins by introducing some of the key theological concepts in a particular doctrinal area.  Accompanying these conceptual contributions will be reflections on connections and distinctions with non-theological understandings from philosophy.  From this doctrinal and philosophical grounding, students will be introduced to issues that arise when one addresses the human person in particular contexts or experiences.

Students should expect to receive contextualising input and to discuss these ideas and circumstances critically, developing their views of personhood as it informs their particular disciplinary commitment, and with a view to developing appropriate contextual sensitivity.

The assessment will comprise two components, one will be a critical source review of 2000 words, the other will be a 4000 word written assignment.

Themes in Pastoral Theology

This module is compulsory for students taking the MA Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy, but is open to other students to support their disciplinary interests.

This module will enable students to explore the history of pastoral theology and the practices of pastoral care in a variety of Christian traditions. It will uncover ways in which these dimensions are now in dialogue with multi-cultural, multi-faith and non-religious settings and insights. It will see some of the ways in which social science thinking and practice has entered into critical dialogue with established ecclesial practices and understandings. Participants will be expected to contribute their own experiences, practice and contexts into the emerging and developing conversation surrounding contemporary pastoral theology as a discipline and its outworking in Church, chaplaincy and wider society today.

The aim of this module is that it enables participants to discover and draw upon the variety of traditions and lines of thinking that have influenced the practices of pastoral care within the wider Christian community. As we uncover, through literature, case studies and personal experiences some of the ways in which these traditions engage in contemporary contexts of care, including but not limited to more formal chaplaincy settings (e.g. hospital, hospice, prison, etc.) we will see ways in which thinking and practice are evolving. It is not assumed that participants will currently be working within formal chaplaincies or will be holding public offices and roles within churches. But the lived experiences of everyone in the class of care giving and receiving care with and from others will be honoured as essential elements in the discussions that develop throughout this module.

The normal entrance requirement for the postgraduate programmes in the Cambridge Theological Federation is a first- or good second-class honours degree in a relevant subject. Examples would include Ethics, Philosophy, Theology, or other related subjects.

The CTF will also consider graduates in other disciplines who may also be admitted to the programme on a case by case basis. The CTF will also take seriously, on a case by case basis, applications from candidates without an appropriate undergraduate degree but that can demonstrate significant relevant experience, such as within professional or ministerial roles, especially for candidates who have not had the opportunity to engage in formal higher education before.

Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by the House they have applied to. The Federation reserves the right not to admit applicants who do not satisfactorily demonstrate their motivation or ability to fit into the learning community of the chosen Federation House. Applicants can only be admitted if the interview confirms their teachability, and if there is clear indication that they are able to establish and maintain meaningful learning relationships with their tutors and fellow students.

English Language requirements
Our standard entry criteria for postgraduate courses is IELTS 6.5 or equivalent, with nothing lower than 5.5 in any of the four elements (listening, speaking, reading and writing).

We also accept the following English language tests as equivalent to IELTS 6.5 with 5.5 in each element:

  • ETS TOEFL iBT with 88 overall and a minimum of 17 in Writing and Listening, 18 in Reading and 20 in Speaking
  • Pearson PTE with 61 overall and a minimum of 51 in all components.

However, students requiring visas to study full time in the UK should note that the government will only accept an IELTS result as evidence of meeting the English language requirement.

Our degrees validated by Anglia Ruskin University are offered through the following of our member institutions. Email any questions you have to the Director of Studies.

Institution Contact
Margaret Beaufort
Wesley House
Westfield House


Costs are on our fees page.

Click here to apply for the MA in Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy starting in September 2021

Note: you should use the same application form if you are applying for the Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) or the Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits).