Youth and Community Work - MSc

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Why study this course?

Become a Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) qualified youth and community worker with our master’s degree in Youth and Community Work.

Whether you’re wanting to rise to management level, are looking to start your career in the sector or want to increase your employment opportunities, this is the perfect course for you.

Our course has dual professional validation from the National Youth Agency (NYA) and the National Occupational Standards for Youth Work. On top of this, you’ll also benefit from membership of the Endorsement and Quality Standards Board for Community Development Learning (ESB) - the professional body for community development workers.

More about this course

Recent graduates are now employed in full-time positions in youth and community work. Because of this, they’re now able to offer placements and JNC supervision in various voluntary and third-sector organisations.

Our Youth and Community Work master’s degree includes 400 hours of practical experience carried out via a placement, equipping you to meet industry requirements. You’ll spend a minimum of 50% of this time working with young people. Typically you’d work closely with 13-19 year olds, but this could be extended to 11-25 year olds.
Drawing on the values of social justice and anti-oppressive practice, you’ll learn about theory, policy and practice to help you develop a mix of academic and vocational skills.

You’ll study the tensions and challenges in the sector, building knowledge of effective management approaches. By exploring recent developments and sharing experiences with practitioners, you’ll learn about trauma informed practice, mental health and wellbeing in young people and develop strategies to reduce violent crime. You’ll also learn how to commission and pitch for funding in times of austerity, as well as examining techniques to support staff dealing with front-line interventions.

Our course meets JNC requirements, adheres to the NYA code of conduct and Community Development National Occupational Standards (2015). This means you’ll gain in-depth understanding of professional boundaries and knowledge that supports sound and safe practice.

Once you’ve successfully completed the course, you’ll understand professional requirements, and be able to identify oppression in all forms. On top of this, you’ll also be able to recognise true participation and use your voice effectively to represent young people and wider communities.

We’re currently seeking Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) recognition for this programme from the National Youth Agency, but please note the validation process is not yet complete.


You’ll be assessed in a variety of ways including assignments, portfolios, presentations, podcasts, a dissertation and or an assessed work placement.

You’ll be required to undertake one supervised and assessed practice referred to as ‘the placement’ during this course. This 400 hour hands-on experience can be carried out either at your own workplace (if in the youth and community sector) or we can help you arrange a work placement with current providers or ex-students.

This substantial placement of assessed practice means you’ll develop an in-depth understanding of intervention and anti-oppressive practice.

A compulsory research module will introduce you to various research methods in preparation for your dissertation and/or your placement. This dissertation will allow you to pursue a topic of your choice in-depth.

Professional accreditation

We’re currently seeking Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) recognition for this programme from the National Youth Agency, but please note the validation process is not yet complete.

Fees and key information

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This course is subject to validation.

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Entry requirements

 You will be required to have:

  • an undergraduate degree of second class honours or above
  • and six-months' experience in a related area, such as paid or unpaid experience in community and youth work organisations or charities

We consider all applications on a case by case basis so even if you don't meet all of the requirements above, we may still consider your application. If you do not meet the undergraduate degree requirements but have an alternative qualification and extensive work experience in community and youth work, we would like to hear from you. 

In addition to the above, you'll also need to pass a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and a university interview.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Modular structure

Example modules include:

  • Introduction to Youth and Community Work (alternative core, 20 credits)
  • Managing Teams (alternative core, 20 credits)
  • Commissioning Youth and Community Services (core, 20 credits)
  • Community, Continuity and Change (core, 20 credits)
  • Trauma, Mental Health, and Wellbeing (core, 20 credits)
  • Researching Public Services (core, 20 credits)
  • Public Service Design and Innovation
  • Dissertation (alternative core, 60 credits)
  • Work Placement (alternative core, 60 credits) 

After the course

Once you’ve successfully completed the course, you’ll have a licence to practise as a youth or community worker. If you’re already working in the sector, our course is an ideal springboard to senior management.

Additional costs

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

Non-EU applicants looking to study part-time should apply direct to the University. If you require a Tier 4 visa and wish to study a postgraduate course on a part-time basis, please read our how to apply information for international students to ensure you have all the details you need about the application process.

When to apply

We advise applying as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

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