MA in Existential and Humanist Pastoral Care

About the Course

Course Duration
2 years.
Available Study Modes
Intensive Study or Online

Course Description

This is the first MA of its nature in the UK and we hope that it will provide a much-needed pathway towards professional work in pastoral care and chaplaincy from a non-religious perspective.  We are working closely with the Humanists UK to achieve this objective. Graduates should expect to work across a range of sectors including education, healthcare, the prison service and the armed forces, as well as gaining accreditation as a humanist celebrant. In addition, the MA will provide probationary accreditation to become a Humanist UK funerals, weddings and baby naming celebrant.

We welcome applications from candidates with a relevant first degree or its equivalent and a demonstrable interest in the field.

The course is delivered by blended learning, with 75% of the required theoretical modules delivered as online study and the remaining 25% face-to-face skills based training by intensive study at the Existential Academy. The flexible structure of the programme will make it easy to fit this cutting edge training around existing commitments.

The latest course fees are available here.

Year 1 Modules:

  • Philosophical Worldviews, Religion & Belief Systems (online)
  • Existential & Human Issues (online)
  • Social, Cultural & Ethical Issues (online)
  • Skills in Existential and Humanist Pastoral Care (3 terms face-to-face)

Year 2 Modules:

  • Overview of Research Methods (online)
  • Pastoral Care Settings Celebrancy & Ceremonies (face-to-face)
  • Ethical Dilemmas and Ethical Practice (face-to-face)
  • Supervision of Practice (3 terms online)
  • Research Supervision and Final Project (15,000 words)


Programme of Study

Year 1

  • Existential & Human Issues
  • Philosophical Worldviews, Religions and Belief Systems
  • Skills in Existential Pastoral Care & Coaching 1/3
  • Skills in Existential Pastoral Care & Coaching 2/3
  • Skills in Existential Pastoral Care 3/3
  • Social, Cultural & Ethical Issues

Year 2

  • Ethical Dilemmas & Practice (face to face)
  • Overview of Research Methods
  • Pastoral Care Settings, Celebrancy and Ceremonies
  • Pastoral Supervision of Practice 1/3
  • Pastoral Supervision of Practice 2/3
  • Pastoral Supervision of Practice 3/3
  • Programme Planning/Research Planning
  • Research Project
  • Y2 Research Supervision 2/3
  • Y2 Research supervision 3/3