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  Catholic School Leadership - MA

Online St Mary’s University, Twickenham    Education, Humanities and Social Sciences

Full time & Part time October, February MA, PGDip, PGCert 1 year full time, 2-3 years part time, blended learning available
Business & Management (5) Education (11) Theology & Religious Studies (34)

About the course

This highly regarded postgraduate degree will be of interest to all who hold or are aiming for leadership positions in Catholic schools and colleges.

About one-third of the 150-plus students are senior leaders - headteachers and college principals; deputies and assistant heads. The other two-thirds are subject or pastoral leaders, primary curriculum coordinators, classroom leaders or aspiring school leaders.

All are welcome and will enjoy participating. Securing quality leaders committed to modelling leadership on Christ constitutes one of the key challenges for Catholic and indeed all Christian schools.

This course aims to promote a vision that sees the maintenance of a balance between school improvement and Catholic distinctiveness as a feature of the mission of schools and colleges.

Why St Mary's?

Several students have cited the flexibility of this degree as a particular advantage since it is possible to complete the programme within one to five years.

The variety of modes of delivery, including blended and full-distance, also makes the programme especially attractive. The combination of personalised learning and tutorial support - together with the excellent reading materials and online resources - is noted by students as distinctive.

The course helps students understand the core aims and values of a Catholic school while encouraging them to reflect upon the reality of practice within their schools.

Course Content

The aim is to provide a vocationally oriented programme of academic rigour, which enables students to integrate a Catholic philosophy of education with the principles and practice of school leadership. Students should, as a result of following the course, demonstrate greater confidence and competence in articulating and implementing the principal features of Catholic education in their work, and it will provide students with the theological literacy welcomed by appointing bodies.

The modules for the Catholic School Leadership: Principles and Practice have been constructed to ensure that they are relevant to school and college leaders at all levels and in all phases of Catholic education.

The modular course allows students to build credits towards the 60 required for a Postgraduate Certificate, the 120 required for a Postgraduate Diploma or the 180 required for the full MA.

The five modules studied are as follows:
1. Catholic Education
2. Leadership and Management
3. Spiritual and Theological Foundations
4. Leadership and Learning
5. Research Methods and Dissertation

Each of the first four 30 credit modules contains two strands to ensure that principles and practice are addressed in each module.

Please note: All information is correct at the time of publication. However, course content is regularly updated and this may result in some changes, which will be communicated to students before their programme begins.

Career Prospects

The MA in Catholic School Leadership: Principles and Practice is the only postgraduate course of study available in the UK that specifically supports the distinctive leadership development needs of leaders and aspiring leaders at all levels and within all phases of Catholic education. NPQH is no longer a requirement for headship, so aspiring headteachers will find that this course offers the ideal alternative qualification.
Read more about this course

Entry Requirements

The course is open to all who have a first degree and are committed to Catholic education or have relevant experience of working in Catholic schools.


Please see St Mary's website

 Course Content

Visit institution website

Where will I study?

Where is St Mary’s University, Twickenham


Student Profile

Multiple Students

"The course is very accessible - well organised module booklets make it easy to dip in and out - essential for any busy teacher." "Support materials are excellent; a really good balance is maintained between theory and practice." "The support and encouragement from tutors is excellent.".

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