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Catholic School Leadership: Principles & Practice MA

Catholic School Leadership: Principles & Practice MA

Different course options

Full time | St Mary's University, Twickenham | 1 year | 01-OCT-21

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Christian Religious Studies Headmaster/Headmistress/School Leadership

Course type


Course Summary

This programme is unique in that it is the only Catholic School Leadership master's programme offered currently in the UK, supporting specifically the distinctive leadership development for people at all levels of Catholic education, integrating a Catholic philosophy of education with the principles and practice of effective school leadership.

Why study Catholic School Leadership: Principles & Practice?

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 - head teachers 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.

The programme can be completed in a minimum of one year (two semesters) full-time or two years (four semesters) part-time. The maximum allowed is five years (ten semesters), although you will normally be expected to complete the course within three academic years (six semesters). Students will also achieve exit awards PgDip and PgCert.

Career opportunities

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.


The aim of this course is to undertake a small-scale research project relevant to leadership within Catholic education and to communicate the findings and other outcomes through a dissertation of 15,000 words. It is intended that students, in presenting their research findings, should demonstrate an understanding of a range of research methods, their ability to analyse critically the work of other researchers in the field and their appreciation of the appropriateness of research presentation modes.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK/ international students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

Students need to have 3rd degree. The course is open to all who have a first degree and are committed to Catholic education. Applicants who have relevant experience of working in Catholic schools are also encouraged to apply.