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MA Youth and Community Work

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

Children drawing together on a massive sheet of brown wrapping paper

Delivering youth work courses for over 25 years

Apply now for this course


Entry requirements

A relevant degree

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

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and students. All students are expected to share this commitment and demonstrate consistently high standards of personal and professional conduct.

UCAS code Apply to Marjon

UCAS institution code P63

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

Any questions about postgraduate study at Marjon?

Contact Rachel Bailey-Lewis, our Student Recruitment Officer (Postgraduate).

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.

Modules for this course

1st Year

Theory & practice of youth & community work
Leadership & organisational contexts
Research in practice
Research project
Professional practice placements

See where our graduates are now

Jehu Henry

“All I have ever wanted to do was be a youth worker, helping people has always been my thing. I have taken a lot from the course and while I always pride myself on making myself accessible to the young people I work with, Sue really set a standard for me. I had a lot of bumps in the road but Sue was always the supportive presence, always willing to help, always willing to find the answer and she showed me how to be a decent human being. What a journey!”

Jozzy Mudzingwa

“The MA increased my knowledge and skills on how I can best support young people. I have always done youth work but learning about the history of youth work was also fascinating and has given me more zeal to continue working with young people. Being able to work with young people by mentoring and support them during these teen years when they are going through a lot of emotions and challenges in our society brings me so much joy.”

Jozzy now works as a Personal Advisor to Care Leavers

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.

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.


National Youth Agency (NYA) logo

National Youth Agency

This course validated by the National Youth Agency and is ‘JNC recognised’ enabling you to gain the status of qualified youth worker. JNC recognition ensures your degree reflects the current demands of the role and that the course delivers a suitable level of work experience too.

How you’ll be taught and assessed?

Tracy Hayes, lecturer at Plymouth Marjon University

Dr Tracy Ann Hayes

Course leader

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Tracy is excited to be leading this innovative and collaborative programme that supports the development of youth and community professionals across the south-west region.

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £8,000 per annum

Fees for International students: £14,500 per annum

This fee covers your tuition and access to course-specific equipment and facilities, as well associated services including access to the library, study skills support, IT support, student support and wellbeing services and membership of the Student Union. There may be additional costs by course.

Funding available for this course

Our Student Funding Advisors offer confidential and impartial advice about your funding options.

Learn more


Dr Tracy Ann Hayes

Senior Lecturer & Post Graduate Research Coordinator for the School of Education, Programme Lead for Youth & Community

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Tracy joined Plymouth Marjon University in September 2022, from the University of Cumbria, where she lived and worked for 10 years. Prior to this, she was based in the Midlands, where she was employed as training manager for an association of youth clubs. Her doctoral research creatively explored the relationship that young people have with the natural environment. She has published for public, practitioner and academic audiences, including BERA (British Educational Research Association) and IOL (Institute of Outdoor Learning). Tracy has a diverse range of practical and professional experiences through working in and researching with the voluntary and statutory sectors. She loves walking, gardening, reading – and playing outdoors. 

Professor Jon Ord


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Jon worked for 20 years as a youth worker before joining Marjon in 2003. He brings his 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 theory and practice of youth and community work, as well as outdoor education. In 2018 Jon led a major research project into the value and impact of Youth Work on the lives of young people in Europe.

Robert Reynolds

Associate Lecturer

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I have been a practicing youth and community worker for 25 years. I started my youth work career as a volunteer and over the years worked my way up to full professional practice and management. 

I spent most of my time working in the Voluntary/Community Sector where I developed a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities that the sector, successfully navigating the continually changing professional landscape.

My various roles required me to develop skills in project management, staff management and development, professional supervision, funding management, and partnership working.

Apply now for this course


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