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Many of our graduates go into a wide range of senior posts in youth and community development work and in other related health and educational services in both the statutory and voluntary sector, all over the world.

Reasons to study Youth and Community Development Studies at DMU:

  • Benefit from the flexibility of being able to tailor your learning specifically to your career interests and increase your employment opportunities - choose from two pathways
  • Opportunities to study part-time alongside your work commitments mainly through flexible distance learning
  • Develop as an innovative, progressive practitioner, able to engage reflectively with concepts and practices of social justice and equality
  • We have an international reputation in the field, with over 55 years’ professional training experience and international work
  • Our experienced practitioner and research-based staff, and diverse range of practice-related modules enable you to achieve planned change through the process of education, development and practice orientated research - ensuring your learning is relevant to current practice and initiatives
  • Benefit from inter-professional learning as the course attracts professionals, worldwide, from a variety of settings and sectors, including: Parenting education, youth work, children’s centres, sexual health, drug abuse, housing and homelessness, youth offending, disability, mental health, community development, domestic violence, local government sector, voluntary and not-for-profit sector and non-governmental organisations

This course is suitable for staff who use group work, informal learning, outreach and community work as part of their role; particularly those working with young people and adults often identified as hard to reach.

Course modules

There are two pathways to choose from:

  • The generic pathway; offering the greatest flexibility
  • The management pathway; including bespoke management modules and a management-focused dissertation.

Core modules include:

  • Theory and Practice of Community Development - introduces students to key concepts explored in relation to practice, policy and National Occupation Standards
  • Theory and Practice of Youth Work - using the National Occupational Standards students will be introduced to the key concepts in youth and community development work. and the key theoretical contexts for youth and community practice: political (policy), sociological, philosophical, historical and psychological
  • Health and Social Research Methods - introduces strategies and methods of social science research commonly used in social and healthcare settings.

You will also choose four modules from a range of optional modules, depending on availability, your preferred pathway and specific career interests, including:

  • Issues of Health and Well-being
  • Mental Health
  • Contemporary Social Issues
  • Global Issues in Youth and Community Development
  • Managing Race and Diversity
  • Anti-oppressive Practice - analyses concepts of oppression, discrimination and inequality and develops effective anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory practice
  • 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
  • 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 optional module descriptions and further information. For completion of the full MA, you will also be required to undertake.

Dissertation - Students must choose a youth and community development related topic identified in discussion with academic staff.

Teaching and assessment

All core and most option modules are launched during one of two block teaching weeks held each year, usually in September and January. These modules are supported by a wide variety of written material, individual and organisational tasks. Students are required to engage in a number of online seminars in each module. Contributions to them are compulsory, and are an attendance requirement.

The course aims to build a learning community, from the initial contact during the induction block teaching week onwards. Assessment is usually by written assignment of 4,000 words per 15 credit module.

Graduate careers

Many of our graduates work in a wide range of senior posts in youth work and community development work and in other related health and educational services in both public and voluntary organisations, all over the world.

An MA is a recommended qualification for workers who want to hold senior positions. The MA is recognised internationally as a valid postgraduate level of study and its content is relevant for issues relating to a developing country’s youth and community provision.


Visit the Youth and Community Development Studies MA/PG Dip page on the De Montfort University website for more details!

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