Designed for graduates or existing practitioners, this course helps you to gain extensive knowledge of working with young people and community groups alongside providing professional qualifications to practise as a youth and community development worker in the UK.
Professionally validated by the National Youth Agency and the Endorsement and Quality Standards Board for Community Development Learning, this course will help you master skills to support young people and communities and handle the complexities of social justice. Our programme is ideal if you’d like to pursue a career in areas such as education, sexual health, housing and homelessness, and mental health.
Benefit from inter-professional learning, with the course attracting professionals from a variety of settings including youth work, parenting education, children’s centres, sexual health, drug abuse, housing and homelessness, youth offending, mental health, community development and domestic violence.
On this programme you’ll explore the theory and practice of a range of topics including community development, anti-oppressive practice, and health and social research methods. You’ll also develop your practical and professional skills by putting theory in to practice with dedicated work placement modules and a range of specialist option modules which have been specifically designed for staff in local authorities, the NHS (non-clinical and non-medical roles), voluntary, third sector and non-governmental organisations, ensuring your learning is relevant to current practice.
- Professional validation by the National Youth Agency and recognition by the Joint Negotiating Committee ensures the content you study is continually relevant to industry and the current developments and challenges within the sector.
- Our programme is currently the only youth work and community development postgraduate distance learning programme in England to have dual professional recognition.
- By choosing this course, you have the opportunity to study part-time or full-time alongside your work commitments, mainly through distance learning.
- Achieve planned change and enhance your employment opportunities with modules specifically designed for staff in local authorities, the NHS (non-clinical and non-medical roles), voluntary, third sector and non-governmental organisations; ensuring your learning is relevant to current practice.
- You can benefit from our expert teaching, with more than 55 years’ professional training to draw upon as well as first-hand experience of the field. Our teaching is informed by our diverse team of skilled tutors, with many of our academics actively engaged in professional practice, research and consultancy.
- Graduates from this course have gone on to pursue a wide range of careers in youth work and health and community development in the statutory and voluntary sectors.
“The course has given me a much better understanding of the historical and theoretical background to my profession. The alternative placement was a huge step forward in my professional development. My placement tutor was extremely helpful and pushed me in areas I would have otherwise overlooked.”
Structure and assessment
This course consists of five core modules, one core field placement module, and one option module. Opportunities exist to exit with a PG Dip, gaining the professional qualification at this stage, or complete the dissertation for a full MA.
Core modules include:
- Theory and Practice of Youth Work – introduces key concepts in youth and community development work: political (policy), sociological, philosophical, historical and psychological (core for Youth Work and Community Development course only)
- Theory and Practice of Community Development – focuses on community development and introduces key concepts in relation to practice, policy and the national occupation standards
- Anti-oppressive Practice – analyses concepts of oppression, discrimination and inequality and develops effective anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory practice
- Health and Social Research Methods – introduces strategies and methods of social science research commonly used in social and healthcare settings
- Field Practice – is practice – based (150 hours) and provides you with the opportunity to further develop your experience and understanding of the role of the informal educator at JNC professional range in an adult and community work setting different to your usual workplace, where you will undertake 500 hours mainly with young people
- Management of Services and People – increases self-confidence and performance as a manager of people and projects within a youth work and community development environment
Plus choose one module from a range of specialist modules, depending on your specific career interests:
- Mental Health
- Contemporary Social Issues
- Global Issues in Youth and Community Development
- Managing Race and Diversity
- The Negotiated Module – allows you to formulate, present and implement an individual proposal in an area of professional relevance and interest
Please contact us for option module descriptions and further information.
- Dissertation – students wishing to achieve a master’s will choose a youth and community development related topic identified in discussion with academic staff
Facilities and features
Health and Life Sciences facilities
Investment of £12 million in Health and Life Sciences has developed our first-class teaching and learning facilities to help you develop your practical experience and theoretical knowledge beyond the classroom.
The 19th century Hawthorn Building has facilities designed to replicate current practice in health and life sciences, including contemporary analytical chemistry and formulation laboratories, audiology booths and nursing and midwifery clinical skills suites.
Purpose-built clinical skills areas allow you to apply theory to practice in a safe environment. You will receive guidance and support from staff, to ensure that your practical ability in the clinical skills suites is accurate.
The main Kimberlin Library is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (other than in exceptional circumstances) and offers a huge range of online resources, all of which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose.
The library is run by dedicated staff who offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching and reference management and assistive technology, and mathematical skills for non-maths students. There is also a Just Ask service for help and advice, available via email or telephone.
Our Learning Zones and the The Greenhouse also provide space for group or individual work and study.
There are 1,600 study places across all library locations, more than 700 computer stations, laptops to borrow, free wi-fi and desktop power outlets.
You can also book rooms with plasma screens, laptops and DVD facilities for group work and presentations, secure an individual study room with adjustable lighting or make use of our assistive technology.
Opportunities and careers
Students are required to complete 600 hours of assessed practice whilst working with a supervisor approved by the University. For most students 450 of these hours are completed in their usual place of work (paid or otherwise) ideally over a period of approximately seven months, followed by a 150 hours Alternative Practice.
The 150 hours are completed in a contrasting work setting over a period of approximately six months, Full time students will be offered help to identify a suitable placement for both practices if required, and help is available for part time students to identify an alternative practice although most students prefer to find somewhere suitable themselves.
All placements and supervisors need to be approved by the University and help is available to identify a suitable supervisor if required. It is always important for the University to ensure that students will be able to undertake work in their placements that enables them to provide suitable evidence of their competence in the Practice Standards.
Graduates go into a wide range of senior posts in youth work and community development work and in other related health and educational services in both the public and voluntary sector, all over the world.
An MA is a recommended qualification for workers who want to hold senior positions.
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