Higher Diploma in Pastoral Liturgy

Offers candidates the opportunity to study the worship of the Church, its tradition and its place in the Church today.

Home / Courses / Higher-diploma-in-pastoral-liturgy


Offers candidates the opportunity to study the worship of the Church, its tradition and its place in the Church today.


An introduction to Pastoral Liturgy with Programme Director Rev Dr Neil Xavier O'Donoghue

The Higher Diploma in Pastoral Liturgy attests to the completion of a substantial and coherent programme of learning, allowing students to finish an accredited introductory programme in pastoral liturgy and to obtain a credential for it. This one-year, evening/weekend, Level 8, 60 ECTS credits programme gives a foundation in Pastoral Liturgy to students who hold a primary degree in another discipline. Other students may use the programme as a gateway to applying to a Master’s programme in Liturgical Theology or Pastoral Ministry either here in Maynooth or elsewhere (students interested in entering a Master’s programme are advised to speak with the Admissions Office prior to starting the HDip for further details). Others may be interested in the programme simply as a way to better understand the liturgical life of the Church, which is the highest expression of theology in the Catholic tradition. Additionally, the Higher Diploma equips graduates to take a more active role in their local church community.

Who is this programme for?

Those interested in:

• An accredited foundation programme in Pastoral Liturgy

• Training to be involved with Liturgy at a diocesan and parish level

• Better understanding the liturgical life of the Church, which is the highest expression of Theology in the Catholic tradition



Career Outcomes

Higher Diploma in Pastoral Liturgy

Work in liturgy at a parish or diocesan level. Alternatively opportunities in various Catholic organizations may be available. Graduates of the HDip may progress further and enter a graduate programme in Catholic Liturgy or Theology.

Course Structure

St Patrick's Pontifical University, Maynooth is proud to have the largest faculty of Catholic theology in Great Britain and Ireland. The HDip is taught in conjunction with the National Centre for Liturgy (NCL). Since 1974 the NCL has been providing a service to the Church in Ireland, including giving a one-year course in liturgy for almost 50 years. Among the aspects of the Church’s liturgical life that will be covered in this programme are:

  • A fostering of an active participation in the liturgy which “is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit.” (Sacrosanctum Concilium 14).
  • A general introduction to the Church’s liturgy with an introductory course in liturgical vocabulary.
  • Reflection on Sacred Scripture and the Bible which reaches its apex in its proclamation in the liturgical assembly where the Word is heard and the listener is empowered to live what they have heard.
  • The Seven Sacraments of the Church are covered, along with best practice for fostering their fruitful celebration.
  • Liturgical music including its history and contemporary expression. The tradition of Sacred Music is particularly strong in the Maynooth College experience.
  • Liturgical times and seasons and their celebration in a meaningful and intelligent way that meets the pastoral needs of today’s Church.
  • An introduction to the Church’s official liturgy as found in the official liturgical books and the different roles in the liturgical assembly.
  • An introduction to technology and practical issues in parish ministry in the third millennium, including the use of technology in the celebration, the streaming of liturgies and the integration of liturgy with parish and diocesan websites.

Application Requirements

Admission Requirements

A primary degree or its equivalent is required for the HDip. For admission to the Diploma programme a pass grade is required in five subjects of the Leaving Certificate or its equivalent: three of these must be academic subjects in the Maynooth University matriculation syllabus. Consideration will be given to all applications. Applicants with experience in ministry at the parish or diocesan level will be given particular consideration;

• University issued or certified copies of official transcripts of results for qualifications must be included with the application for the HDip.

• all credentials in languages other than English must be accompanied by certified English translations;

• Application forms should be completed on the PAC system: (Code - MU404) https://v2.pac.ie/institute/20 ;

• Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to satisfy the English language requirements. See here for more information:

https://sppu.ie/eng... ;

• Students must provide a digital passport style photograph that will be used in the College’s computer system to identify the student to lecturers and other students;

• As this course is delivered in a hybrid manner with much of the content being given on-line, students are required to have basic academic computer skills and have access to a computer and the internet.

For further information contact
Admissions Office

Tel: 01 708 4778
Email: cmmadmissions@spcm.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.