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Youth and Community Development Studies MA/PG Dip/PG Cert

About the course

Youth and Community

Youth and Community Development Studies accommodates the advanced professional needs of experienced practitioners seeking to develop their knowledge and understanding of their practice and the rapidly changing contexts in which they work. 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 Leicester

  • Tailor your learning relevant to your career interests and increase your employment opportunities - choose from specialist pathways
  • Option to study part-time; mainly through flexible distance learning - study alongside your work commitments
  • 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 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.

The tutors, staff and speakers encouraged us students to really look at the justice of what we do as public service providers and to question the status quo in a constructive manner. I can apply this knowledge to the workplace in the hope of making our services better for young people and for their communities.
Davina Daniels, JNC postgraduate diploma in youth and community work

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Key facts

Duration: One year full-time, two–three years part-time distance learning (with occasional attendance)

Attendance: One teaching block week in October is compulsory. Further teaching days are dependent on option modules chosen. Some option modules are launched over weekends. The second teaching block in February is dependent on your module choices (if you enrol in February the whole week will then be compulsory). All module launch days are compulsory

Start date: October or February

Entry and admission criteria


  • You need to demonstrate that you can work at masters level which can be achieved through having a first degree, normally 2:2 or above, or by having a range of academic and work experience

You should also normally have:

  • A commitment to anti-oppressive practice
  • Relevant and significant field experience
  • Proven ability to reflect on practice, critically examine concepts of informal education and justice, awareness of social welfare needs in a youth and community development context
  • Applications from individuals with no formal academic qualifications, but extensive practical experience, will be considered on an individual basis
  • You will need to attend an interview or participate in a telephone interview

You must complete a declaration form and enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and criminal record certificate (from your home country), before starting the course, which need to be cleared in accordance with DMU’s admission policy.

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent when you start the course is essential. English language tuition,delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and during the course if you need it.

To find out more, please visit

Teaching and assessment

Most core and option modules are launched during one of two block teaching weeks held each year, usually in October and February. These modules are supported by a wide variety of written material, individual and organisational tasks. You will be required to engage in a number of online seminars in each module. Contributions to them are compulsory, as is an attendance requirement.

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

International students come to study in the UK because the quality of our teaching is among the best in the world, offering a varied selection of teaching methods to suit all learning requirements. Providing they can attend the teaching blocks international students can study largely at home if they wish.

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 from a diverse range of optional modules, depending on your preferred pathway and specific career interests, including:

  • Issues of Health and Well-being
  • Mental Health
  • Designing, Delivering and Assessing Learning
  • Supervision in Youth and Community Development
  • 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 related topic identified in discussion with academic staff

Academic expertise

The department is home to the National Youth Work Collection and has one of the largest teams in the UK. Staff work with a range of organisations that work with young people including charities, voluntary and statutory agencies at local, national and international levels.

Thematic areas of interest include:

  • A specialist expertise and interest in global youth and community development work (resulting in numerous conferences and publications by Dr Momodou Sallah, a leading expert in this area, who has also been recently awarded a National Teacher Fellowship)
  • Work with black young people (again, resulting in key conferences and texts by Dr Carlton Howson and Dr Momodou Sallah)
  • Youth participation and citizenship (including an evaluation of a Beacon Councils initiative and partnership work with the Centre for Social Action)
  • Anti-oppressive practice (Dr Jagdish Chouhan)
  • Hospital and other health-related youth work (Dr Scott Yates)
  • The context, management and operation of children and young people’s services (Mary Tyler and high profile work undertaken by visiting professors)

In the past six years, the authors in the division have published nine books and a range of papers.

Graduate careers

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

An MA is a recommended qualification for workers who want to hold senior positions.

Fees and funding

Full-time £4,980
Part-time  £4,980 (over 2-3 years)
15 credit taught module £830
60 credit dissertation £1,660
Full-time £12,700

Additional costs

It is likely there will be some additional costs wherever you choose to study. Here at DMU, we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist laboratories and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs, which vary from course to course. We provide full details of all course fees, but these extra costs may include general living expenses, field trips, travel for work placement opportunities, materials, additional text books and others such as supplementary printing.

How to apply

Students can apply directly to study this postgraduate taught course at DMU by using our online applications portal.

Contact details

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Admissions Team
De Montfort University
Edith Murphy Building
Leicester, LE1 9BH

Online enquiry form

T: +44 (0)116 250 6070

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