2021/22 Part-time Postgraduate course
Postgraduate Diploma/Master of Science
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
School of Applied Social and Policy Sciences
The aim of the Postgraduate Diploma in Community Youth Work is to offer a professional qualification and provide opportunities for Masters research.
Successful completion of the level 7 PG Dip Community Youth Work provides graduates a NSETS validated professional qualification. They will have developed a critical understanding of a complex body of knowledge, developed reflective, analytical and problem-solving skills and as a result will be ready to undertake employment across a range of contexts. 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).
Sign up to register an interest in the course.
In this section
Community Youth Work aims to provide educational experiences through a purposeful, relational presence between youth workers, young people and their communities. Engagement cultivates opportunities for transformative experiences and learning for young people.
After successful completion of the level 7 PG Dip Community Youth Work graduates will be professionally qualified. They will have developed a critical understanding of a complex body of knowledge, engaged with a range of academic and skills enhancing modules. Course content ensures candidates develop reflective, analytical and problem-solving skills with an ability to evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions, to reach sound judgements, and to communicate effectively.
One day weekly, currently Tuesday at Magee campus
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
Our vision is aligned to the strategic growth plan for the city and region.
Enjoy student life in one of Europe's most vibrant cities.
Our facilities in Magee cater for many sports ranging from archery to volleyball, and are open to students and members of the public all year round.
At Student Support we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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).
It is a requirement of the course that students are working 16 hours per week in a Community Youth Work setting.
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.
In this section
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.
Endorsed by the North/South Education and Training Standards Committee for Youth Work (NSETS) (JNC Recognised) for the purpose of professional qualification.
In this section
Fees illustrated are based on 21/22 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.
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.
The fees indicated are for full-time study.
The price of your overall programme will be determined by the number of modules that you initiate in the relevant academic year.
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.
Course Director - Dr Breda Friel
Central Admissions Magee
Admissions contact: Bridget Madden
International Admissions Office