This course offers students knowledge, skills, understanding and reflective practice in the field of community youth work and an opportunity to gain a professional qualification in community youth work. The programme has three main aims: 1. The development of effective professional practitioners in community youth work. 2. The delivery of a postgraduate programme that will challenge, develop and engage critically in issues that relate to the field of community youth work through informed and innovative methods of teaching and learning. 3. To enhance the professional skills and employability of community youth workers.
The programme will initially be studied in part-time mode. This is the second revalidation of this programme offering potential students a unique opportunity to gain a professional qualification, validated by the North South Education and Training Standards Committee for Youth Work (NSETS) and an academic award of the University of Ulster. Students will follow six modules for the postgraduate diploma in community youth work for the professional endorsement by the NSETS leading, if desired, to the award by dissertation of a MSc in Community Youth Work. Students will be required to have the postgraduate diploma before embarking on to the Masters level. The modules are arranged to meet the criteria set out by NSETS and to meet the needs of students training to become professional workers. All students will follow a placement module which is supervised by a University tutor and a practice teacher. The placement is an opportunity for CYW staff to assess at first hand the development of professional practice based on the monitoring student skills through reflective practice. The course maintains both academic and professional coherence through the use of modules that underpin fundamental concepts of community youth work, i.e. the context of youth. The module has been specifically designed to facilitate the needs of a postgraduate programme and will be taught exclusively for this cohort. Past experience suggests that it is important to build a strong collegial group early on in the programme. While it is envisaged that other modules will be taught alongside the undergraduate course the first module is explicitly designed to create a sense of belonging for the new intake.. This is followed by more applied modules, i.e. principles and practice of youth work; communities in focus and the in-situ/exigency placements at the beginning of year. After the placement students will follow the principles and practice of youth work: leadership, management and supervision module preparing them for management roles in youth work and the critical thinking and professional development module to consolidate their learning and to focus on areas that they may wish to research or develop further including inter-professional collaboration. The modules have been designed to facilitate the underpinning knowledge, skills and understanding needed to become a professional community youth worker. The modules are: (i) THE CONTEXT OF YOUTH WORK; (ii) PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE OF YOUTH WORK; (iii) COMMUNITIES IN FOCUS; (iv) IN-SITU AND EX-AGENCY REFLECTIVE PLACEMENTS; (v) PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE OF YOUTH WORK; SUPERVISION, LEARDERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT; (vi) CRITICAL THINKING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT. Award of postgraduate diploma in community youth work with professional endorsement; (i) DISSERTATION Award of MSc in Community Youth Work.
This assessed practice period placement(s) focuses on youth and community work in the context of an agency. Students will build on learning from the taught modules and their own experience. They will use the placement to reflect and evaluate their practice in four disparate but inter-related areas: 1. The development of self; 2. Understanding individuals; 3. The role and function of the group; 4. The agency context within a given community. The students will therefore be offered opportunities to experience; a. Informal education work with young people and adults, individually and in groups, b. Youth service and community agencies, c. Different types of youth and community work provision. d. A reflective and evaluatory experience with supervisory support by a professionally qualified in-situ practice teacher.
Students are expected to: develop appropriate programmes of social education within the constraints of the agency. - develop their 'helping' and 'enabling' skills. - gain experience in terms of the management of practice. - gain an understanding of a specialist agency which focuses on a particular target group (ex-agency placement). - link the practice experiences with theoretical concepts. - record and evaluate their work.
Endorsed by the North/South Education and Training Standards Committee for Youth Work (NSETS) (JNC Recognised) for the purpose of professional qualification.
Due to the nature of this postgraduate programme being initially about professional endorsement the career opportunities for students is already set, i.e. they are in employment. The development of a new module, ‘Critical thinking and professional development’ is an indication of the staff teams belief in enhancing the understanding of continuing professional development through evidence- based practice and the development of critical thinking. The students on the programme will benefit from reflecting on their profession and indeed looking at how it is viewed in relation to other professions. One can assume, if past history about the course is anything to go on, that those who gain the PGD in CYW will be highly skilled, knowledgeable and highly employable. For others the course itself if part of their professional development as many students have been working the in the field without professional training.
This exciting advanced programme of study responds to the demands of the field to produce an enhanced current and critical exploration of youth work and community learning and development practice. It is a professional development route leading to a widely recognized postgraduate level qualification in these fields.
If you can demonstrate that you are able to work at postgraduate level are interested in developing critically reflective responses to range of education and learning challenges and keen to mix rigorous academic study with reflective practice, then this programme is ideal for you.
The programmes will have particular relevance for those looking to enhance their leadership and managerial profile within the field, contribute to the strategic development of their agencies and extend the depth and breadth of learning experiences with young people and in local communities.
Possession of a highly regarded qualification at postgraduate level will enhance prospects of promotion into management and leadership roles.
The MA offers preparation for a wide range of enhanced career opportunities.
The PG Dip/MA Youth Work and Community Learning and Development is a multi-disciplinary programme available by part time or blended learning modes of study.
The PG Dip takes 16 months to complete by part time study with the full MA taking a total of 24 months to complete.
The programme consists of a two stage qualification process. The first being the PG Dip, with an optional exit point at postgraduate certificate level, then the MA. The MA comprises eight modules, there are six modules for the PG Dip.
You can finish the PG Dip in four terms and the MA in a further two terms. We are flexible to fit into student’s other commitments and so the course can be extended if needed.
PG Dip: Studies in professional youth work, strategic leadership and management, youth work and community learning and development, supervision studies, reflection on professional practice.
Full MA: Research design module, dissertation.
It operates in two day blocks (10-12 hours of teaching per block) approximately two/three times a term. These teaching blocks are replaced with individual supervision and self-directed study when MA students start to write their dissertation.
Assessment is continuous throughout the programme by means of written academic work and practice assessments.
The College encourages and welcomes applications from all students able to benefit from the programmes offered. We consider all applications individually and take into account academic qualifications and professional experience. The usual entry requirement is the possession of a first degree (2.ii or above), you must also be able to demonstrate:
Please contact the College if you would like to apply for this programme but are uncertain whether you meet the entry requirements.
This course will allow you to become a qualified youth and community worker, increasing your employment opportunities in this rapidly changing field. It is validated by the National Youth Agency.
You will participate in a rich and culturally diverse teaching and learning environment and undertake two challenging placements, enabling you to apply your knowledge and hone your practical skills. During your studies, you will critically engage with the tensions and challenges of current practice, build a sophisticated knowledge of effective management approaches, debate how youth work and community development has responded to shifting government policies and learn how to support inclusive practice that can inspire positive social change.
This course has been designed on the principles which promote social justice, and challenge injustice and inequality. Alongside the taught modules, you will be able take advantage of our professional development programme, which offers the chance to explore and understand recent developments in the field, exchange experiences with colleagues and practitioners and learn from one another. You will also gain an understanding of how to conduct research as a practitioner, and undertake an in-depth dissertation study.
On this course you will undertake a total of 400 hours of placement practice - half of this time will be spent with young people aged 11-25, with the main focus being 13-19 years. One placement may be in your current place of work, and while both aim to meet the fieldwork practice requirements of the NYA. You will have access to our online learning portal, with 24/7 access to modules and bespoke specialist resources produced by our course team and wider University.
Alongside the modules runs a professional development programme providing further opportunity for you to critically analyse recent developments in the field and to exchange experiences with colleagues and practitioners. In addition, you will gain an understanding of conducting practitioner research and undertake a substantial dissertation.
By enhancing your ability to build trusting, professional relationships with troubled and challenging young people, coupled with proven experience of working in multi-agency settings, you will become an effective youth and community worker who will be sought after by employers.
Our MSc Critical Youth & Community Studies course is ideal if you have a first degree or experience in youth and community practices and aspire to develop your knowledge and understanding of statutory or voluntary contexts.
Our course contributes to fulfilment of strong leadership and management youth and community practices and opens doors to communities around the world:
The course offers three learning pathways for qualified, non-qualified and international students. It responds to demand for a masters-level qualification in a distinct and growing professional area, where high quality learning is supported by research that is recognised internationally and takes a similarly blended methodology in its teaching and learning methods.
The Postgraduate Certificate level of this course is recognised by CLD Standards Council for Scotland as a lead practitioner qualification.
If you are studying full-time on our course then you will normally undertake three modules in each of trimesters 1, 2 and 3 to achieve 180 credits at Level 11, over one year - one year and a half, as required for the award of Master of Science.
If you are a part-time student then you will normally undertake one module in each of trimesters 1, 2 and 3 to achieve 180 credits at Level 11, over a period of two years – two and a half years, as required for the award of Master of Science.
A Postgraduate Certificate can be taken on successful completion of three modules, either as a discrete course or as the first step towards a Diploma, which also consists of three modules. Upon successful completion of the Diploma, you can undertake a capstone project or dissertation on a relevant topic.
Learning is either work-based or practice placed.
It is anticipated that you will be employed within an organisation that provides a relevant placement experience which will enable you to achieve the required learning outcomes within your own workplace.
If you are a full-time student and do not have relevant employment you will normally be placed by the University within an organisation for a defined period in each year of our course. The placement experience enables you to meet specific learning outcomes and a placement learning agreement is drawn up.
Assessment is through a combination of the following methods:
Our Master's course opens doors to a range of career prospects in communities across the world, such as:
Following successful completion of your Degree you can then progress to PhD level study.