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MA Youth and Community Work Who is it for?

You are a graduate from any discipline seeking to gain an understanding of global issues and develop the intellectual skills and knowledge to engage in discussions on decisions at the forefront of the international agenda. Your career aspirations may lie within international, governmental or NGOs, politics, journalism, education or Doctoral research.

About the Course

The course is innovative and has been carefully designed to enable you to explore a range of distinctive issues, which are fundamental to youth and community work in the 21st century. The main employers of youth workers are no longer dedicated local authority youth services but multi-agency teams, voluntary sector initiatives, social enterprises and a vast array of other organisations, sectors and settings that value youth work skills. The course is designed to meet the needs of these new and emerging delivery arrangements.

Approaches to Social Entrepreneurship

This module will provide an in-depth understanding of the challenges and opportunities for social entrepreneurship in the creation and co-production of innovative solutions to unmet social needs and the role of end user and community engagement in the innovation process.

Field Work

This field work experience is designed to meet the requirements of the professional (JNC) youth work qualification in providing two periods of supervised fieldwork totalling a minimum of 592 hours. For clarity this figure is rounded to 600 hours.

Sustainable Communities Course Content

Central to the learning strategy is the theme of students taking a high degree of responsibility for their own learning. Accordingly, the course seeks to create an interactive learning environment characterised by the sharing of ideas, negotiation and debate.


Youth Work Principles and Practice This module provides core grounding in the principles, values and distinctive practices of youth work for students undertaking postgraduate/ Master’s level study. The emphasis is on the development of critical thinking, linking theory to practice and meeting the requirements of UK national quality benchmarks and Youth Work National Occupational Standards.

Youth Empowerment, Social Action and Research Methods

This module sits alongside the Youth Work Principles and Practice module and is designed to enable you to understand the centrality of a young peoples’ agency to social action and to develop the understanding necessary to enable youth workers to support young people in action leading to change.

This multidisciplinary module is aimed to introduce theories and interpretation of good practice in the development of ‘sustainable communities’. In addition there has been an increasing demand for people with a wide diversity of skills, including planners, project managers, community development workers and regeneration specialists.

Young People and Offending

This module critically examines current issues in youth justice such as the changing status and character of youth offending within the context of contemporary society and the criminal justice system; the context and outcomes of youth offending and young offenders and the underpinning criminogenic and comparative aspects of youth offending and adult offending. Further the module will consider the role of young offenders as potentially disempowered and disengaged, critically examining notions of recidivism, reparation, restoration and risk. Contemporary issues around practice and policy in youth justice in regard to inclusion, diversity and equality will be integral.

Work-Based Synthesis

The ability of youth and community workers to create social value and address the needs of marginalised communities requires a skills set which has innovation, problem solving and collaboration at its core. This module provides candidates with the opportunity to develop a solution to an unmet social need to the level at which a coherent argument for potential systemic change in delivery/service provision can be achieved. The solution must be grounded in theory and practice, evidence, community/ stakeholder involvement in the co-design, and sustainability/ scalability and with a clear articulation of the practical application of the proposal.


There is a 600 hour field work placement and all modules are assessed through coursework. There are no formal examinations.

Career Opportunities

Graduates from the MA Youth and Community Work will hold a nationally recognised JNC professional qualification and are able to work with young people in a range of organisations.

Duration of Course

Students may join the course in September or February and the course runs for 12 months.

Entry Requirements

You will normally have a First or Second Class Bachelor’s degree and prior experience in youth and community work before starting the course. Applicants for whom English is not their first language will need to demonstrate that they meet the minimum English language requirement of IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent).


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