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MA Youth and Community Work

Advance your career and practice as a youth or community worker.

Delivering youth work courses for 25+ years

Entry requirements

A relevant degree.

100 hours experience of youth and community work (either paid or voluntary, full-time or part-time).

You'll display an understanding of youth and community work, as well as a commitment to the values of the course.

Interview required.

DBS clearance is required.

UCAS code Apply Direct

Duration One year full-time or two years part-time

How to apply for this course

Course Summary

Our exciting MA Youth and Community Work provides a career pathway for anyone who wants to work with young people and communities. You will be encouraged to explore historical and contemporary evidence and theory to develop an enhanced understanding of youth and community work. You will learn how to support inclusive practice that can inspire positive social change.

The course offers a rich and culturally diverse teaching and learning environment and you will undertake two placements where you will be able to apply your knowledge and hone your practical skills. The MA Youth and Community Work leads to professionally qualified status in youth work, a nationally recognised qualification from the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC), as part of the University’s continued commitment to boosting students’ employability and professional confidence.

What might you become?

The MA Youth & Community Work is validated by the National Youth Agency on behalf of the Joint Negotiating Committee. Successful achievement of the MA confers professionally qualified status for Youth Workers in England.

This course is the pathway to exciting, meaningful, and challenging careers in youth & community work organisations that aim to promote young people’s wellbeing and to empower them and their communities as active, critical citizens who can contribute to positive social change at local, national, and global levels. Our graduates have forged careers in the public and voluntary sectors, in schools, in housing projects and in public health-related projects.


Jet Bennett

“The course has given me a greater understanding of my practice along with the professional qualification, it enhanced the way I interact with my colleges, how I manage volunteers and enabled me to develop my interaction with young people. I found the course to be empowering and motivating, giving me a sense of confidence and a greater sense of ‘self’. It has given me clear ideas of where I would like to take my career and has raised my aspirations in what jobs I feel I would be able to do.”

Jet is a Retreat Team Co-ordinator.

Becca Adshead

"I have a background in community work but wanted formal qualifications to back up my experience. During the course I attended a placement which helped me meet a number of contacts in the diversity and race sector leading to a job. This course is practitioner based so everything you learn is transferable to real life. The interaction, seminars and group work make the course more interesting than simply being lectured to. I loved this course and the lecturers have been very supportive."

Becca is a Youth Participation Worker for the Racial Equality Council.

Accredited by:

National Youth Agency

Modules for this course


1st Year

Theory & Practice of Youth & Community Work
Leadership & Organisational Contexts
Research in Practice
Research Project
Professional Practice Placements

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £6,500

Fees for International students: £12,000

Teaching and assessment

Course leader

Dr Susan Cooper

Sue is a youth work academic and author, specialising in participatory practice. She was youth and community worker for thirty years, working as youth worker in Norfolk, Birmingham and Gloucestershire and then and as a senior manager in Hampshire. Currently, her work on evaluating the impact of youth work is influencing youth work practice regionally and internationally (Scotland, France, Italy, Estonia, Finland and Western Australia). Her book ‘Participatory Evaluation in Youth and Community Work’ was published in 2017.

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Dr Jon Ord

Associate Professor

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Jon has worked for 20 years as a youth work practitioner and brings that knowledge and commitment to youth work to his teaching and research. He is particularly interested in the impact of policy on practice as well as the management of youth and community work and outdoor education. Jon is leading a major research project into the value and impact of Youth Work on the lives of young people in Europe.

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