Why study this course?

This Youth and Community Work (with JNC recognition) MSc is a National Youth Agency (NYA) and Endorsements Standards Board (ESB) approved qualification. The course leads to Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) recognition, which means you’ll become a JNC-qualified Professional Youth Worker and Community Development Practitioner when you successfully complete the course.

If you already hold JNC recognition, or have an existing Level 6 qualification from either the National Youth Agency (NYA) or the Endorsement and Quality Standards Boards for Community Development Learning (ESB), please see our Youth and Community Work (Advanced Practice) MSc instead.

More about this course

If you’re looking to start your career in the sector or want to increase your employment opportunities, this is the perfect course for you.

You may be working as a youth and/or community worker already in the voluntary, public or independent sector. This course will lead to JNC recognition, which can open the door to opportunities in this sector.

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’ll work closely with 13 to 19-year-olds, but this could be extended to 11 to 25-year-olds.

Drawing on the values of social justice and anti-oppressive practice, you’ll learn about theory, trauma-informed practice, policy and practice to help you develop a mix of academic and vocational skills. You’ll also learn about challenges facing the sector and develop key skills, such as pitching for funding, that will help you to work through these challenges.

Our course meets JNC requirements, adheres to the NYA code of conduct, the National Occupational Standards for Youth Work (2019) 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.


You’ll be assessed in a variety of ways including assignments, portfolios, presentations, podcasts, case study analysis, a dissertation and 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 placement. This 12,000 word dissertation will allow you to pursue a topic of your choice in-depth.

Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by the National Youth Agency (NYA) and the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC). The course is also validated by the Endorsement and Quality Standards Board for Community Development Learning (ESB), which is the professional body for people working in community work and community development roles. 

Fees and key information

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Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • an undergraduate degree with second-class honours or above
  • GCSE English Language at grade C/4 or above, or acceptable equivalent
  • three-six months' experience in a related area, such as paid or unpaid experience in community and youth work organisations or charities. A reference will be required to verify work experience.

In addition to the above, you will also need to pass an interview with the course leader. 

All suitable applicants are required to have an Enhanced DBS check for the Child Workforce which is registered with the DBS Update Service.

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

International students and English language requirements

Due to statutory requirements, we are not able to offer sponsorship under the Student visa route for this course. We will be happy to consider those falling into this category for an alternative suitable course on request. Overseas nationals may be considered for admission who already hold an alternative visa in a suitable category or have been granted permission to remain in the UK indefinitely, but please note that an additional international enhanced police check will be required.

Accreditation of Prior Learning

Any university-level qualifications or relevant experience you gain prior to starting university could count towards your course at London Met. Find out more about applying for Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL).

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2023/24 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

This module currently runs:
  • all year (September start)
  • autumn semester
  • spring semester

This module has been designed to ensure the National Occupational Standards for Youth Work and Community Development for practice-based learning are achieved by students at an advanced level.

The module content is also informed by the Subject Benchmarks as defined by the QAA which inform essential practice for a Youth and Community Worker upon qualification.

The module provides students with structured learning opportunities to consolidate the theoretical aspects of their studies on the MSC Youth and Community Work programme to practice settings which might be organisationally different to their current work place setting.

The taught element of the module will consolidate students’ practical skills gained in previous settings as preparation for the advanced placement and related assessment, and, in reviewing progress on previous experiences and on professional development.

The substantive period of 400 hours of assessed practice will involve two distinct placements one lasting 80 hours and one lasting 320 and will provide experience of contrasting client groups and agencies. It will require students to examine in depth intervention and evaluate outcomes that take into account inter professional working and anti-oppressive practice.

Evaluating research and evidence provide a sound basis for professional, academic and personal development. In particular, the professional commitment to reflective practice, professional autonomy and responsibility means that programme is characterised by a rigorous attention to the development of reflexive practitioners, who are able to develop practice out of theorisation in a reflective practice cycle. Consideration and analysis of ideas, models and approaches in planning and delivering practice are integral to the supervisions and seminars.

The module aims are to:
1. Consolidate students’ practical skills to secure contrasting placements to their previous work place settings.
2. Develop students' leadership skills in the implementation of ethics, values, safeguarding and anti-oppressive practice in a practice-based setting
3. Prepare students in recognising their responsibility to implement the required professional occupational standards whilst on placement
4. Consolidate students’ confidence and critical analysis skills in relating, reflecting and evaluating youth and community work theory to practice
5. Consolidate students’ skills in critically recording and reflecting on practice using a range of professional tools and methods of reflections
6. To develop an understanding of practice-led research through an action learning project.

This module currently runs:
  • spring semester - Monday afternoon

The module aims to enable students to develop an understanding of philosophical, practical and ethical aspects of social research methods and skills for designing and conducting social research in the field of youth and community development. A specific focus on this module is on action research – understood as a form of social enquiry which aims to bring together action and reflections on practice with disadvantaged communities.

The module provides training on research design - developing an answerable research question, identifying aims and objectives of the research, identifying an appropriate methodology and developing a critical appreciation of ethical research practice. It also develops the skills required for reviewing and appraising published research and for developing arguments and making conclusions on the basis of evidence.

The ultimate purpose of this module is to equip students with necessary conceptual understanding and the practical tools for conducting social enquiries on issues of their choice which seeks to bring about positive social change. The module feeds the dissertation project and the placement component of their degree programme.

The specific aims of the module are to:

1. Enable students to appreciate the importance of scientific (systematic, rigorous and academic) research in the practice of youth and community development work.
2. Introduce students to the principles of social research methods with particular focus on qualitative research and specifically of action and emancipatory research.
3. Enable students to develop relevant skills to formulate their research questions that are informed by theoretical insights and translated into the design of conducting a social research.
4. Enable students to appreciate an ethical approach to research and demonstrate a critical application of ethical practice.
5. Provide students with skills to appraise published research, design an appropriate interview schedule, conduct in-depth interviews, observe social phenomenon and reflect on their own practice and values.
6. Develop students’ capacity to analyse qualitative data and develop arguments on the basis of evidence
7. Enable students to develop skills in reporting and applying research.

This module currently runs:
  • autumn semester - Monday afternoon

Students are introduced to a range of key issues in relation to the context of Youth and Community Work,anti-oppressive practice and understanding the needs of young people and their communities. There is a strong emphasis on the National Occupational Standards (NOS).

Throughout the module, students are encouraged to take into account diversity and anti-oppressive practice issues effecting young people and the impact such issues have on youth identities and future youth and community work practice. Thus, combined with the ethics, values and philosophy underpinning professional practice and students’ own experiences and knowledge base, this module aims to provide a firm foundation for the professional practice of working with young people and their communities. You will learn by engaging critically with the subjects through:

• lectures or direct teaching
• group work
• study skills such as paragraph writing, guided reading or referencing tips
• preparation for assignments
• online activity
• Interactive learning experiences

Module aims
This module aims to enable students to:

1. Critically examine key concepts of values, ethics , theory, policy , principles and practice in relation to youth work and community work
2. Introduce students to the sector professional occupational standards and the notion of an informed reflective practitioner
3. Examine diverse representations of young people and their communities in society to
develop students’ skills in self-management, group work, oral presentation and academic writing
4. Prepare students taking the pathway leading to NYA and ESB recognition for their placement module

This module currently runs:
  • summer studies

The module aims to provide students with a detailed understanding of:
1. Conventional and co-productive policy development approaches
2. Challenges of Complexity, design and governance in public services
3. Design thinking in policy making and public sector innovation

The aim of the course is to develop an understanding of the role of design thinking in assisting public and non-for profit sector transformation.

This module currently runs:
  • autumn semester

This module will identify what Trauma is and how it can affect a young person’s life. It will be suitable for front line practitioners and managers. It is designed to encourage students to be reflective and to demonstrate a knowledge base relating to legislations and a theoretical underpinning of the approaches and critiques associated with Trauma mental health and well-being. It will critically examine methods of support and supervision for practitioners. It will examine the personal, cultural and structural impact on the individual and community.
1 A critical analysis of the predisposing, precipitating and perpetuating factors
impacting on a young person's mental health and experience of trauma
2 Explore the extent and forms of trauma in child and adulthood
3 Critically examine theoretical, conceptual and explanatory frameworks
4 locate support services and policy development in comparative contexts
5 Critically examine the impacts and consequences for young people and their
6 Critically examine the support networks for practitioners.

This module currently runs:
  • spring semester - Monday evening

The module aims to provide students with a detailed understanding of:
1. Public service commissioning in a changing world;
2. Commissioning for social value and local economic development
3. Outputs, outcomes and evaluation in public procurement

The aim of the course is to develop a critical understanding of the role of commissioning in developing services that meet local needs and improve people’s lives.

This module currently runs:
  • spring semester - Tuesday afternoon

The module aims to provide students with a detailed understanding of:
1. The relationship between community and youth activism and professional practice
2. Conceptual frameworks for understanding and critically evaluating citizenship
3. Practical approaches to supporting lobbying, single issue and political campaigning including use of social media

The aim of the course is to develop a critical understanding of the role of activism in changing policy, meeting local needs and improving people’s lives.

This module currently runs:
  • autumn semester - Monday evening

This module provides a critical perspective on youth and community issues. It focuses on contemporary issues, placing these within historical context of struggle and empowerment. You will critically engage with key concepts such as power, class, ethnicity and gender, applying relevant theory to current events and debates. You will benefit from a range of perspectives of staff who are working at the cutting edge of policy and practice in fields such as community and youth work, housing, education, crime, health and migration. You will be able to place your own community and youth practice in the context of long-term changes in society, and be able to respond to the challenges that face young people and communities today in an effective way, informed by current research and best practice

The aims of the module are to:
• identify current challenges in youth and community work, placing these in the context of long term changes in society and policy;
• critically evaluate current policy and practice responses to community and youth work issues;
• identify power relationships between the state, the market and individuals in communities, and how individuals may be empowered;
• reflect on the professional values of youth and community workers, and how these can be used to address complex challenges in policy and practice; and
• enable students to engage in anti-discriminatory practice to address policy and practice issues.

This module currently runs:
  • spring semester - Monday morning

Students will learn to place their skills in, and understanding of, journalism in relation to today’s digital environment. They will develop their writing, production and design skills to a professional level, learning how to adopt creative approaches to creating journalistic stories across different media platforms, (including social networks, such as Twitter TikTok, Facebook Live, Snapchat). Students will be asked to build multimedia packages, blogs, websites and develop ways of working that engage the audience in interactive and participatory ways.

Specifically, the module will introduce students to the writing skills and technical demands of online, audio and visual journalism. Students will be asked to develop and deliver news stories working individually and as part of a team.

This module currently runs:
  • spring semester - Tuesday morning

This module explores the creative potentials of digital platforms and tools for writers within the postdigital era. It stimulates students to experiment with how their own writing practice and ideas about literature, storytelling and persuasive communication might continue to take new directions in response to the many ongoing innovations in digital media and their cultural impacts.


• You will extend your own writing practice in relation to digital innovations of narrative and rhetorical technique, form and effect.
• You will develop your technical, theoretical and experiential understanding of the current state of the field of digital forms of creative and professional writing.
• You will think critically about dominant cultures associated with various digital tools and platforms.
• You will enhance your range and critical self-awareness as a writer in contemporary creative and/or professional domains.

This module currently runs:
  • autumn semester - Monday afternoon

This module provides students with practical experience in the production of digital video. It will serve as an introduction to the topic but is also suitable for those with some experience in this area.
Students will develop professional practices working individually or in small groups to produce a short documentary, promotional video, or mockumentary. They will be required to research, pitch, and develop a documentary proposal following industry guidelines and legal frameworks.
The module will give an overview of the commissioning process and will include input from industry professionals.
There will be an emphasis on how to film and work with documentary subjects (or characters) in an ethical way.
Students will learn about a range of documentary modes, genres and techniques via screenings, discussion, and practice. Key figures and films will be explored as well as emerging styles and formats.

This module currently runs:
  • autumn semester - Tuesday afternoon

This module introduces students to the role of digital games in the digital media industry. It explores various applications of digital games in entertainment, education, business, marketing and advertising, analysing gamification practices as well as key game design practices and game design theories.

The module addresses issues in game ethics, game genres and gaming cultures, the evolution of technologies and delivery platforms, and the impact of the games industry on interaction design practices. Students will explore current trends in game design and game research, gamification approaches and applications. They will evaluate game designs and gamification methods in relation to specific applications. Students will apply these principles and theories to the design and conceptualisation of an interactive game or a gamified experience.

Module Aims

  • To enable students to evaluate the ethical, technological and theoretical frameworks in game design and gamification theory and practice.
  • To enable students to plan and conceptualise a digital game or a gamified experience.

The module focuses mainly on the micro level of management with the focus on developing team management and leadership skills. Management issues are addressed in the context of values-based organisations whether in the public, voluntary, or community sectors or social enterprises. Participants are introduced to management and leadership theories and relevant policy frameworks in order to facilitate critical reflection on aspects of their management and leadership role. In addition, participants will explore key practice areas, drawing from relevant theories and reflecting on their relevance to their own experience. Particular attention will be paid to health and wellbeing in the workplace, time management, leadership, and communication and negotiation skills. Students will also review their developmental role as a leader and manager, and the module will critically explore current ideas and practices regarding when working with teams, networks, and inter-professional working groups.

The aims of this module are:
 To provide an overview and introduction to management within organisational contexts encompassing both community and voluntary organisations and the wider public sector.
 To enable participants to apply an analytical and reflective approach to their personal management skills and leadership styles.
 To explore the relevance and application of current theories and concepts in the management and organisational studies field to participants’ own experience, work context and roles.
 To explore a range of strategies and approaches to improve performance across diverse organisational contexts.

The module provides an advanced examination of the management of public services principally in the United Kingdom, as well as an introduction to current issues and developments in public finance and the budgetary process in public sector and non-for-profit contexts. It places the current public management reform agenda within a broader historical, theoretical, and institutional framework. The module examines key components of, and developments in, the management of public services including: finance; regulation; performance and quality management; human resources; and ethics.

This module aims to:
- Explore theoretical and practical implications of the emergence of new public management (NPM)
- Provide a context within which to understand the contemporary design, resourcing and delivery models in the public services
- Examine developments which aim to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, legitimacy, sustainability and social impact of public service transformation.
- Introduce basic concepts around budgetary planning, execution and control.

Where this course can take you

Once you’ve successfully completed the course, you’ll be able to practise as a JNC-qualified Professional Youth Worker and Community Development Practitioner. Due to the practical nature of this course, you’ll have strong employability connections with former students and placement organisations.

Our graduates have gone on to work in a range of organisations, including local authority social services departments, mental health trusts, drugs and alcohol services, children’s centres, social prescribing, and in A&E with young victims of knife crime, among others.

You could also progress to senior youth and community positions, including management and supervisory roles. If you demonstrate research potential on this course, you may also be encouraged to undertake doctoral studies.

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How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

If you require a Student 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. 

To find out when teaching for this degree will begin, as well as welcome week and any induction activities, view our academic term dates.

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