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The overall aim is to produce qualified Community Youth Workers to undertake key roles to the required professional standard.


Successful completion of the level 7 PG Dip Community Youth Work equips the graduate with the professional qualification. They will have developed a critical understanding of a complex body of knowledge. The graduate will have developed reflective, analytical and problem-solving skills suitable for a range of employment opportunities in the profession. The graduate will be able to evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions, to reach sound judgements, and to communicate effectively. Completion of the PG Dip Community Youth Work enables graduates to complete the MSc by dissertation (1 year).

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Magee campus

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About this course

In this section


The overall aim is to produce qualified Community Youth Workers to undertake key roles to the required professional standard.

Our vision is for a shared society where young people are equal partners. Community Youth Work training aims to provide educational experiences through a purposeful, relational presence between youth workers, young people and their communities which enables young people to have meaningful opportunities, resources and support to exert influence individually and collectively in their society.

After successful completion of the level 7 PG Dip Community Youth Work graduate will have the professional qualification and graduates will have developed a critical understanding of a complex body of knowledge. The graduate will have developed reflective, analytical and problem-solving skills suitable for a range of employment opportunities in the profession. The graduate will be able to evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions, to reach sound judgements, and to communicate effectively.


One day weekly, currently Tuesday (2018/2019) at Magee campus.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Context of Youth Work

Year: 1

This module assists students to develop a deeper understanding of the backdrop and context within which youth work operates. To understand the backdrop, students will grapple with a historical perspective on how the youth work sector has developed; to include the impact of 'the troubles' on the shape of youth work responses. This understanding of youth work policy will equip students to understand the current structures and funding mechanisms of the youth sector. This module brings together local and global influences, perspectives and drivers that impact upon the direction and practice of youth work. This is foundational in understanding the guiding principles of the youth work discipline.

Assessed Practice

Year: 1

Assessed Practice offers students the opportunity to build their vocational skills in the work setting and test out theoretical principles in practice. This is done across two placements, whereby the focus of each assessed practice is distinct at level 7. Students also carry out work-related tasks to build discipline-specific competence.

The purpose of each level of training for postgraduate students is based on an empowering process of reflective learning whereby students will move through a Foundation and Preparatory , Development and Embedding stage that will take each student to more depth and broader perspective of youth work and heighten the professional formation process and Autonomy and independent learning and the deliberate move towards professional formation and academic development required to enable the qualifying student to enter the field as qualified youth workers.

The Pedagogy and Practice of Community Youth Work

Year: 1

This module asks students to critically engage with the pedagogic models that underpin a community youth work approach. It is essential that community youth workers can locate their educational practice within relevant philosophical tradition, educational systems and available evidence. Students are also expected to be able to understand models of human development to ensure their educational practice is suitable for different stages and/or age groups. The module emphasises how informal education and effective individual and group work can support experiential learning and positive change, can address issues of power in education and support positive change and resilience, reduce risk and contribute to the effective participation of young people in democratic society. Increasingly community youth workers are expected to evidence young people's learning and the outcomes associated with youth work practice and make links to wider social change and impact. Outcome based practice is prevalent, though contested, community youth workers should be mindful with these debates and their impact on practice and young people. This module address the key knowledge concerning 'learning and development' located within the QAA subject bench marks.

Year two

Power,Inequality and Anti-Oppressive Practice

Year: 2

This module offers students the opportunity, as Community Youth workers and educators, to reflect on the position they often have of working with the most vulnerable and excluded young people, groups and communities. Driving principles underpinning practice include those of social justice and democratic participation therefore a social and educational vision of justice and equality is required as grounding for practice. Working towards the greater inclusion of young people and their communities necessitates those entering the profession to critically engage with the concepts of equality and diversity. Working with diversity requires the recognition of individual and group difference and the impact of difference on identity, territory and culture. Equality is about creating a fairer society, where everyone can participate and have opportunity to fulfil their potential. This requires identification of patterns of experience, understanding multi complex social, economic and political contexts and challenging processes that limit life chances. Community Youth work respects and values diversity and difference; challenges oppressive and discriminatory actions and attitudes addresses power imbalances between individuals, groups and societies commits to civil and human rights for all and seeks to promote policy and practice that enhance equality and challenge those that don't.

Ethical Leadership, Management and Supervision

Year: 2

This module is designed to help students understand the essential nature of leadership and management and their relationship to each other. It will also examine supervision skills and how they can be used to develop people and practice.

Critical Thinking and Professional Development

Year: 2

The module is designed to enable students to engage in critically thinking and reflection concerning practice and to use this as a tool for professional development and the development of practice in youth work settings. It will enable students to consider their future professional development and how they share practice and influence the development of practice and policy in youth work settings.

Year three

Dissertation (Community Youth Work)

Year: 3

The dissertation is the culmination of the MSc in Community Youth Work. It is a sustained piece of independent research focusing on the practice, knowledge and understanding in a given youth work context. The research approach, promoted throughout the module has endeavoured to improve participants' ability to become more critically reflective practitioners. To that end, it has sought to improve the quality of their personal and professional understandings and the excellence of their practice so that they can increase their understanding and knowledge of youth work.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

Entry Requirements

An Honours or non-Honours degree from a University of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, from the Council for National Academic Awards, the National Council for Educational Awards, or the Higher Education and Training Awards Council or from an institution of another country which is recognized as being of an equivalent standard; or an equivalent standard in a Postgraduate Certificate, Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma or an approved alternative qualification; and

Part-time Mode

Applicants must hold a degree or equivalent or demonstrate their ability to undertake the course through the accreditation of prior experiential learning. Specific requirements for admission are detailed below. Applicants must satisfy the University’s general entry requirements as set out in the prospectus or demonstrate their ability to undertake the course through the accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL). The initial offer standard may vary from year to year.

It is a requirement of the course that students are working 16 hours per-week in a Community Youth Work setting.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

There are a range of career options available to graduates and these include opportunities across the statutory and community and voluntary sectors. The following key duties for professional youth workers are identified in the JNC Report (Extract from Joint Education Services Circular (JESC) No 166 JNC Report Appendix IV, pg 56): Performing all the duties in the First and Second Levels for Youth Support Workers; Managing and developing a range of services; Developing staff and facilities; Working with other agencies to develop services across the community; Leading project development and implementation; Management responsibility for staff. The NSETS Committee will expect that all submissions for professional endorsement will build the necessary capacity to meet the requirements listed above.

A graduate should have the qualities needed for employment in situations requiring the exercise of personal responsibility, and decision making in complex and unpredictable circumstances. At this exit point graduates will be qualified Community Youth Workers equipped to undertake key roles to the required standard.

Professional recognition

North/South Education and Training Standards Committee for Youth Work (NSETS)

Endorsed by the North/South Education and Training Standards Committee for Youth Work (NSETS) (JNC Recognised) for the purpose of professional qualification.


How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to our postgraduate courses are made through the University’s online application system.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:

£14,060.00  Scholarships available

Where the postgraduate course selected offers multiple awards (e.g. PG Cert, PG Dip, Master’s), please note that the price displayed is for the complete master’s programme. Postgraduate certificates and diplomas are charged at a pro-rata basis. Find out more

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


Breda Friel

School of Applied Social and Policy Sc.

Magee Campus

Room MF007

T: +44 28 7167 5765


For more information visit

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School of Applied Social and Policy Sciences


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