Diploma in Diaconate Studies

The Programme Director is soon to be appointed. For current information please click 'GET INFO' above. More information will follow.

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The Programme Director is soon to be appointed. For current information please click 'GET INFO' above. More information will follow.


The Diploma in Diaconal Studies (DDS) is recognised by the National Training Authority of the Irish Catholic Bishops Conference. Aligned to the National Quality Framework, it is a level 7 Special Purpose Award delivered part time over three years. (90 ECTS).


Overnight facilities are available in the College. Accommodation is limited. The Programme Coordinator will be in touch to prioritise those who have furtherest to travel.


Fees will be arranged through the local diocese.


Six residential weekends will be held in Maynooth each year. The class time period is between7.00pm Friday to 5.00pm on Saturday. Time between classes will utilised for student support, library access and study.

Time may be allotted during these Maynooth residential weekends for further inputs on pastoral, human and spiritual formation, particularly common prayer and Eucharist. Opportunities are also available for experiences such as Theological/Pastoral Reflection and Homiletics. These will not be credit bearing.

Online classes will be livestreamed each Wednesdays (1 to 2 hours) supported by asynchronous material.

Academic Assessments will be tailored to the learning outcomes, ministerial ethos and the level of the students of the programme.

Ample time will be available during on-campus residential weekends for accessing library resources and provide academic student support.

Career Outcomes

Permanent Deacon

Course Structure

The Diploma in Diaconate Studies is a 90 credit (level 7) part-time hybrid programme over three years. Students will be registered with the Pontifical University and so have rights to all the campus resources, including library, the virtual learning environment, student support services, etc. Module descriptors identify the learning aims and outcomes, the methodological parameters of each subject, and the prescribed reading. Module assessment will be aligned to the programme aims and learning outcomes and at an appropriate level and manner for adult learning Each module is delivered in part on campus and part online through livestreaming and asynchronous delivery.

Application Requirements

In the first instance, if you are considering the possibility of offering yourself for service as a deacon, you should make contact with his parish priest (or chaplain in the case of someone who is working in a college, hospital etc). Following initial discussion at local level, contact may be made with the Diocesan Director for the Permanent Diaconate. An arrangement will be made to meet with you and, where applicable, with your wife, in order to explore any questions you may have, and to decide whether it would be appropriate for you to participate in the propaedeutic period.

During the initial enquiry stage, a recommendation will be sought from t parish priest, or from a priest who has responsibility for some area of ministry in which your are actively involved.

Anyone wishing to participate in the propaedeutic programme which begins in the Autumn, should make his initial enquiry no later than the end of June of that year. During the propaedeutic period every effort will be made to accompany the aspirant on his journey of discernment, and to help him to make a mature decision as to whether he should apply to be accepted into the three year formation programme. Acceptance into the propaedeutic programme is not, however, a guarantee of acceptance into formation, or of eventual ordination to the permanent diaconate.

Prospective applicants for the Permanent Diaconate may find it helpful to read The Permanent Diaconate: National Directory and Norms for Ireland, which has been published by Veritas, and which is also available on the website: www.catholicbishops.ie

If you live outside Ireland, check out our dedicated area for international students.

Let’s talk

For Undergraduate queries: email admissions@spcm.ie.

For Postgraduate queries: email pgadmissions@spcm.ie.

For The Centre for Mission & Ministries queries, email: cmmadmissions@spcm.ie.