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Study at postgraduate level is about independence, confidence and insight. It brings a person to a new place! Gaining a postgraduate qualification not only enables one to have a new horizon on their discipline, it also offers new work horizons—postgrads work in better jobs with better prospects—as well as new life horizons.

- Dr Michael Shortall - Dean of Postgraduate Studies

Postgraduate courses at St Patrick's Pontifical University

Choosing us

Postgraduate is about specialisation, passion for one’s chosen discipline and mastery therein. Choosing Postgraduate at St Patrick's Pontifical University means entering a large and diverse academic community with scholars and postgraduates from over a dozen countries. It also means entering a community of learning with over two centuries of scholarly tradition, on a large contemporary campus—co-shared with dynamic Maynooth University, with significant international research and support networks, and striving to embrace students from a diversity of cultural and social backgrounds. The generosity of Maynooth’s donors provides scholarship and grant possibilities permit broad access to this life-transforming opportunity, ensuring access and new possibilities for promising students from many environments and contexts.

Why study with us?

Studying at St Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth you will:

  • be encouraged to engage critically, so that you can form your own ideas and conclusions
  • become more skilled at expressing yourself and gain the confidence to communicate powerfully and eloquently.

Our staff are friendly and approachable and give personal care and attention to each student. A community of learning that draws on a long and distinguished tradition of scholarship and pastoral practice.

Career Outcomes

Graduates of St Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth pursue a wide variety of careers, including pastoral ministry, chaplaincy and teaching. A qualification in Theology and/or Philosophy is valued by areas such as NGOs, Journalism, Marketing, Civil Service, and Academia, to name but a few. The skills learnt in the course of your studies, such as critical reflection and personal integration, are attractive in the modern workplace.

Why Study Theologyㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤ

In tumultuous times, theologians can provide moral leadership rooted in wisdom traditions that help people find guidance on doing what's right. Moreover, students of theology learn how to address timeless existential questions and provide pastoral care. At University, students of theology learn critical thinking skills that enable them to analyze complex moral issues from theological perspectives that are applicable across various contexts.

Students of theology also advocate for social justice and will learn how to articulate moral cases for protecting human dignity while caring for the most vulnerable in society. When conflicts arise, theology students can draw on authoritative texts and traditions to encourage forgiveness, peacemaking, and conflict resolution.

Moreover, students of theology offer historical perspectives and develop rituals to help keep hope alive amid loss, change, and renewal. Finally, students of theology are custodians of religious heritage with long-standing spiritual and theological knowledge that is necessary for preserving the wisdom tradition of Christianity and enables cooperation with interfaith efforts that build community.

​Theology students are needed in society today.

Why Study Theology at SPPU

St Patrick’s Pontifical University provides students with a rich education rooted in Ireland's deep Catholic tradition, which gives students access to studying centuries of influential Irish Catholic thought, saints, and history. Moreover, the Faculty of Theology has extensive expertise in contemporary Catholic theology in applying doctrine to modern questions. Students interested in wisdom from mystical traditions like Celtic spirituality will enjoy Ireland's unique spiritual landscape - sacred sites, pilgrimages, monasteries, and retreats.

Historically, Ireland's deep faith tradition combined with contemporary insight enables students of theology to be equipped to apply Catholic social teaching and provide moral analysis on socio-economic issues emphasizing the dignity of work, the preferential option for the poor, subsidiarity, and care for creation. Moreover, students of theology will learn how best to advocate for the marginalized by articulating Catholic principles of human rights, solidarity with migrants and refugees, and service to vulnerable populations.

Students will also gain valuable perspectives from Catholic thinkers like Augustine, Aquinas, and Pope Francis to learn how to create a just society. At Maynooth, students will also learn theological reasoning skills and why faith and the Catholic tradition remains relevant. Students of liturgy can focus on how rituals guide community mourning, healing, and celebration in difficult times. Moreover, students will learn how to lead ecumenical and interfaith dialogue to build mutual understanding between Catholicism and other faiths for overcoming divisions.

Studying Theology at St Patrick’s Pontifical University offers students an opportunity to engage theological sources, norms, and tradition from an academic, critical, and constructive perspective. The Faculty of Theology at St Patrick's offers several specialization routes that are focused on academic rigor, and welcomes students from all backgrounds.

Moreover, with smaller class sizes, students will have opportunities to analyze theology through historical, philosophical, and cultural lenses in an approachable environment that encourages questioning assumptions and exploring perspectives.

For those students pursuing ordained ministry or academic theology, we provide:

  • Rigorous Bachelor's to PhD-level theology and philosophy degrees.
  • A prestigious university founded on centuries of Catholic scholarship.
  • Opportunities to deepen your faith alongside leading Catholic academics.
  • Access to renowned resources like the Russell Library's rare manuscripts.
  • Small seminar-style classes on Ireland's historic Catholic campus.
  • Beautiful historic campus just outside Dublin with a strong sense of community.
  • Tailored academic and pastoral support from faculty mentors.
  • Opportunities to immerse oneself in Irish culture and strengthen one’s spiritual foundations.

International Student Support

Don't let challenges stop you from joining our vibrant international student community. With our backing, you'll thrive academically and spiritually in Ireland.

As an international student, we'll support you through:

  • - Guiding your student visa application every step of the way.
  • - Connecting you with affordable and convenient housing options.
  • - Helping you apply for scholarships and grants.
  • - Providing academic English assistance.
  • - Easing your transition to living and studying in Ireland.
Visit our international page for more information.

Student Testimonials

Hear from some of our Postgraduate students

Due to the generous funding of the Peter Coffey Scholarship in philosophy, my doctoral studies at St Patrick’s Pontifical University have surpassed my expectations. Accommodation and study reside upon the beautiful grounds of their eighteenth-century campus, wherein there exists a small but amiable atmosphere of students and staff. It is a welcoming place for any student of theology and philosophy, with a sizeable and hospitable theology faculty and an exciting and growing philosophy faculty that can accommodate a wide range of interests and studies. For any student interested in studying philosophy or theology abroad in a distinctly Christian atmosphere, St Patrick’s should be at the top of their list.

Joseph McMeans Doctorate in Philosophy

Higher Diploma in Theological Studies (Blended Learning) / 2021
The blended learning model was fantastic. It made the course accessible to me living in the West of Ireland.

Trish Gallagher Higher Diploma in Theological Studies

Higher Diploma in Theological Studies (Blended Learning) / 2021
”I was trying to find a course that would renew my qualifications and something that I would enjoy teaching. I was able to add on Religion with the teaching council as one of my subjects.”

Seamus Gannon Higher Diploma in Theological Studies


Check out our Postgraduate prospectus for more information.

How to apply

Applying to SPPU

To apply for one of our postgraduate programmes please complete the relevant postgraduate application form, full list of courses and how to apply can be found here Applications are being accepted through PAC

In relation to the submission of documentation, all documentation can be uploaded to your application form on PAC. The application forms are for both EU and Non-EU/International applicants.

Please contact us with any further queries


Please note that, if accepted, you must have a valid student visa to study in this university. You must arrive on campus for Postgraduate Induction week beginning Monday 18th September 2023. Please check with your local Irish Embassy to confirm if you need to apply for a visa in advance or on arrival in Ireland.
Should you not gain a student visa on time to arrive on campus by 18th September, your place on the programme will be deferred to the next available intake. Should you have any queries please contact our office for advice:

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Postgraduate Modules 2023-2024

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