MA Youth & Community Studies
Year of entry
3 YRS (PT)
your area of academic interest in youth and community work.
delivery through a blended learning approach.
from tutors with experience of conducting research in the field.
Why choose? this course?
The MA Youth and Community Studies course is designed for practitioners who already hold a JNC professional qualification, or for those who have previously studied youth work, community development or youth studies, and would like to progress their studies at postgraduate level.
- Supported by tutors with experience of conducting research in the field, students on the course will work towards generating research that will have implications for youth work policy and practice, helping to shape professional identity within the sector and improve youth work provision for young people.
- The Youth and Community Department at Wrexham University is regarded as the “home of youth work in Wales”, having offered education and training to the youth and community sector since 1977. As such, the department has excellent links with employers across North Wales, North West England and the Midlands, and it works in partnership with organisations across the statutory, voluntary and third sector.
- Delivered through a blended learning approach, students will start each semester with an introductory residential weekend at our Wrexham Campus, then continue learning online with support from dedicated tutors. This approach is ideal for those who are looking to study around home and work commitments.
Key course features
- Flexible delivery through a blended learning approach, with a residential experience at the beginning of each semester, followed by online learning and face-to-face support with tutors as required.
- Further develop your academic research skills to critically analyse the underpinning philosophy of youth work and its values and principles, whilst conducting your own research.
- Option to tailor your learning to suit your specialist area of practice and interests through negotiated learning and research.
- Support from tutors with experience of conducting research in the field.
- Work towards generating research that will have implications for youth work policy and practice.
- Successful completion may lead to further study at PhD level.
What you will study
- Philosophy in Youth and Community Work (Core) This module explores and critically analyses the underpinning philosophy of youth and community work, and examines how these concepts have shaped youth and community work theory and practice. It will encourage you to explore your own philosophy of education and professional identity, values and beliefs in relation to youth work and young people and society.
- Critical Pedagogy and Anti-Oppressive Practice (Core) This module explores the relationship between youth work, informal education and critical pedagogy. It critically examines how education and youth work practice can be used to constructively challenge inequalities and imbalances of power in society, to ensure that youth work practitioners are working in an anti-oppressive way.
- Research Methodology and Enquiry in Social Sciences (Core) The aim of this module is to enable students to engage in a small scale work-based research project. It will examine the philosophical roots of research and focus on examining existing bodies of knowledge related to a work-based research question. Students will gain practical experience of the research processes, and will have the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to do so using an ethical approach and an appropriate research methodology. This module forms a key element of preparing students for the Year 3 dissertation module.
- Negotiated Learning (Option) This module aims to provide students with an opportunity to define their own focus of study within the parameters of youth and community work. Students will critically evaluate and analyse policy, practice and theoretical developments in that identified area. They will be offered the opportunity of devising their own assessment vehicle- this could be a project, essay, presentation etc.
- Leading and Managing Professionals (Option) This module aims to allow practitioners to study leading and managing professionals in youth and community work contexts. This is a key skill for those working at a professional level. The module will critically explore the differences between the roles of leadership and management, critically evaluate the various roles played by members of teams and recognise the importance of team dynamics.
- Dissertation The dissertation is an independent study project, involving the collection and analysis of data from primary sources, carried out by students on a topic of their choice within the context of youth and community work. This is an extended piece of writing that allows students to critically theoretical concepts and practice in relation to their chosen topic.
The information listed in this section is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal academic framework review, so may be subject to change.
Entry requirements & applying
The academic requirements for the course are a good honours degree or appropriate professional qualification.
Previous experience of 200 hours in a youth and community work setting is required and must be evidenced. This can be gained in voluntary or paid work within the field of youth and community work. The programme team will be able to advise students regarding volunteering and work experience opportunities if required.
All applicants considered suitable for the course will be interviewed. Those with disabilities or from relevant courses will automatically be offered an interview.
Some modules will require you to be working in, or have access to, a suitable youth and community work practice environment in order for you to contextualise your learning and complete the assessments.
You may also be required to complete an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance (previously known as CRB) so that a check can be made on your suitability for working with children and/or vulnerable adults should you be conducting research with these groups.
Teaching & Assessment
Assessments are designed with the dual aims of supporting a student’s professional development and their academic understanding. This builds knowledge and skill from a belief that being an excellent practitioner means not only working with people, but also being able to express yourself in a range of ways that includes writing reports, documents and essays based on the collection and analysis of evidence to build an argument.
Throughout the programme, and within individual modules, a variety of assessment methods are employed which seek to demonstrate equity with respect to the individual needs, learning styles and interests of students. The forms of assessment are selected to ensure that they characterise the academic level of the modules, and are designed to enable students to explore the philosophies, concepts and theories underpinning youth work and community work, through the exploration and analysis of issues pertinent to these areas of social provision.
The transference of learning from one module to another is encouraged, and the core modules provide a focus for this. As such, assessment methods on this programme are used to develop a student’s confidence and ability to carry out a range of transferable skills, which are considered useful in both academic work and professional practice.
Assessments on this programme will take on a variety of forms, including essays, presentations, portfolios and contributing to online forums.
Teaching & Learning
Wrexham University is committed to supporting our students to maximise their academic potential. We offer workshops and support sessions in areas such as academic writing, effective note-making and preparing for assignments. Students can book appointments with academic skills tutors dedicated to helping deal with the practicalities of university work. Our student support section has more information on the help available.
Our Careers & Employability service is there to help you make decisions and plan the next steps towards a bright future. From finding work or further study to working out your interests, skills and aspirations, they can provide you with the expert information, advice and guidance you need.
Many graduates from the course go on to develop careers within local authorities, voluntary and community organisations and education providers across England, Wales and internationally.
Our graduates have gained employment in the British Council, traditional youth and community settings, playwork, working with young carers, working with young offenders, supported living settings and drug and alcohol work.
Fees & funding
You do not have to pay your tuition fees upfront.
Wrexham University’s tuition fees for 2024/25 for MA Youth & Community Studies are £2,650 per year (billed annually over three years).
The fees you pay and the support available will depend on a number of different factors. Full information can be found on our fees & funding pages.
You can see the full programme specification here.