MA Youth & Community Work (JNC)
Year of entry
3 YRS (PT)
a JNC professional youth work qualification.
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 Work (JNC) programme provides a unique opportunity to obtain a JNC professional youth work qualification, allowing students to register with the Education Workforce Council in Wales and practice as a youth worker throughout the UK and further afield.
- This programme is ideal for practitioners who would like to gain the JNC professional qualification, but may already hold a bachelor’s degree in another subject. The programme covers core topics, principles and values required to be a professional youth worker, whilst also allowing you to tailor your learning to your specialist area of practice.
- 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 to learn online with support from dedicated tutors. This flexible approach is ideal for anyone who is looking to study around their home and work commitments.
Key course features
- Flexible delivery through a blended learning approach, with a residential experience at the beginning of each semester. This is followed by online learning and face-to-face support with tutors as required, allowing you to study alongside work and home commitments.
- Develop the knowledge and core skills for youth work practice and informal education that are transferable to work with children, young people and adults in a range of different settings.
- The course has added value, with opportunities for continuing professional development and additional practical training opportunities.
- Learn and gain experience during 300 hours of supervised fieldwork practice, with a placement in each year of your programme. This can be taken in the UK or internationally, e.g. with a part-funded European placement.
- Develop skills in teamwork, positive communication, working with groups and individuals, reflective practice and leading others.
- Option to tailor your learning to suit your specialist area of practice and interests through negotiated learning and research.
What you will study
- Theorising Youth and Community Work (including professional placement 1)(Core) This module will provide the opportunity to critically analyse core theories that inform youth and community work practice, and look at how social and political factors impact on our work with young people. It will be an opportunity to critically examine how these combine to shape your professional identity. Students will also undertake a 180 hour work placement.
- 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.
- Professional Placement 2 (Core) An opportunity to build on your learning from Year 1, applying theory to practice and demonstrating your new skills and competencies in an alternative 120 hour youth work placement. This module must be successfully completed but does not hold any credit value.
- 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 also be offered the opportunity to devise their own assessment vehicle- this could be a project, an essay, a presentation etc.
- Leading and Managing Professionals (Option) This module aims to allow practitioners to explore 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, 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 evaluate 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 entry 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 are able to advise students regarding volunteering and work experience opportunities if required.
All applicants considered suitable for the course will be interviewed, and those with disabilities or from relevant courses will automatically be offered an interview.
Many 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 will 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.
Teaching & Assessment
Assessments are designed with the dual aims of supporting a student’s professional development and their academic understanding. This builds knowledge and skills 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 and 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 will therefore take on a variety of forms including essays, presentations, portfolios and contribution 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.
Successful completion of this course leads to a JNC professional Youth Work Qualification, which is requirement for registration with the Education Work Force Council in Wales. This is also the professional qualification required for most Youth Work jobs in England and Scotland. You will complete over 300 hours of placement on the course which provides you with relevant work experience in the Youth and Community Work sector.
Graduates from the course work in a variety of settings, including working in projects and services in the following areas:
- Young Carers
- Care Leavers and Young People in Care
- Young Offenders
- Hospital Youth Work
- Mental Health
- Youth Homelessness and Housing
- Youth Sports and Health Development
- Youth Clubs and Street Based Youth Work
- Child Sexual Exploitation
- Outdoor Education
- Community Development
- Mentoring and Advocacy
- Young People who have disabilities
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.
Fees & funding
You do not have to pay your tuition fees upfront.
Wrexham University’s tuition fees for 2024/25 for MA Youth & Community Work (JNC) 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.