Course specification and structure
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PMYACWAP - MSc Youth and Community Work (Advanced Practice)

Course Specification

Validation status Validated
Highest award Master of Science Level Masters
Possible interim awards Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate, Advanced Diploma in Professional Development
Total credits for course 180
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Social Professions
Subject Area Social Work
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 1 YEARS  
Part-time 2 YEARS  
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

This course supports students to develop higher order Masters level knowledge, skills and capabilities in the area of youth and community work.

The course has been designed in recognition of the need for an M level programme that meets the needs of graduates already working in, or wishing to return to, the youth and community field, who hold JNC recognition as a Professional Youth Worker hold an existing level 6 qualification from the National Youth Agency (NYA) and The Endorsement and Quality Standards Board for Community Development Learning (ESB).

During their studies and through a series of modules culminating in a major research project, students will critically engage with the tensions and challenges of current practice, both in the UK and overseas, building a sophisticated knowledge of effective management approaches. They will explore and understand recent developments in the field, exchange experiences with practitioners and learn from one another. In particular, students will learn about mental health and wellbeing in young people and develop strategies to reduce violent crime and also learn how to commission and pitch for funding in times of austerity.

Students may take up to two options to develop deeper knowledge in areas such as commissioning, community activism, digital media or managing teams. This approach allows students to choose whether they deepen their understanding of disciplinary areas directly relevant to Youth and Community Work or whether they would prefer to develop a specialisation, such as in the key professional area of digital communications, as part of their personal and professional development. Modules from the digital media and public administration field have been chosen as options because they are recognised areas of importance within the profession. The digital media modules are multivalent across a range of programmes and therefore lend themselves to contextualisation with specialist fields. Skills in areas such as journalism, games, play and filmmaking have the potential to be transformative within youth work advocacy work.

Drawing on the values of social justice and anti-oppressive practice, students will learn about theory, policy and practice that will help to develop a mix of academic and vocational skills. As the course is aimed at practitioners who already hold accreditation from the NYA and ESB, students will build on the NYA Standards of Proficiency and Community Development National Occupational Standards and will learn in a stimulating, challenging and supportive environment.

Learning and teaching will consist of real time and virtual support to augment learning, a structured programme of formal lectures, workshops, seminars, presentations and student-led discussions.

Students' learning will be structured around the contact time with the teaching team and will be complemented by students' independent work based on the guidance supplied in lectures, group work, tutorials and interactive workshops. Enquiry-based learning and problem-based learning will be used to help students to comprehend theoretical concepts. Students will be required to engage continuously and constructively with the course.

The materials for the MSc Youth and Community build on the range of sources already provided for the BSc Community Development and Leadership and the BSc Youth Studies. Physical resources are provided in the library. The library stock is incrementally moving to electronic resources, which are more accessible to students.

A Subject Librarian will be assigned to the MSc Youth and Community. The Academic Liaison Librarian will curate a Subject Guide resource for community and youth students. This provides a subject resource including research engines and relevant journals. It also includes BOB (Box of Broadcasts) which gives students access to all television documentaries and other programmes. The library also provides sessions for students to explain how to use the library, how to reference and how to use search engines.

Students can remotely access a range of journals. These include the Community Development Journal and Journal of Youth Studies, and other relevant sources such as Disability Now and the Journal of Critical Social Policy.

We also provide significant additional resources through Weblearn, our virtual learning environment. This is helpful because both youth and community are fast-moving areas of study, and also because we are mindful that many students have limited resources to purchase text books. Direct access is provided to the reading list through the Weblearn site. In addition, we are increasingly using the facility to scan individual chapters of books that are of most relevance to assessments.

Other important learning support is available through drop ins with Academic Mentors and through the virtual resources. Students will be able to bring together skills gained across the programme through their dissertation. Students’ progress is monitored and assessed throughout the programme and informal and formal feedback is given in relation to the development of higher level critical skills.

Wellbeing of students is supported through an academic liaison team and a counselling and advice service.

Course aims

The course aims to
1. Promote reflective professional practice and reflexivity among youth and community workers
2. Develop advanced research skills, aligned to a commitment to the values and ethics of relevant national occupational standards
3. Facilitate critical awareness of diversity and forms of oppression and enable students to develop research informed strategies to combat oppression
4. Enable students to develop autonomy and problem-solving skills in the context of management and strategic planning
5. Develop critical and analytical skills in relation to concepts of youth and community practice
6. Promote a systematic understanding of research knowledge and skills for youth and community work
7. Allow students to develop an area of specialisation relating to maximising impact on positive youth and community outcomes and addressing areas skills gaps and shortages in the profession.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Evaluate contemporary youth and community work practice in the context of its historical and comparative perspectives
2. Synthesize a range of knowledge about the principles, purposes and values underpinning informal social education work with young people and communities
3. Analyse the trends in social policy that impact on the lives of young people and communities, and shape the delivery of youth and community work
4. Develop a deep understanding of the inter-professional context for contemporary youth and community work and its interrelationship with welfare and educational agencies
5. Acquire a deep knowledge of advanced research methods appropriate to youth and community work
6. Develop communication skills and the qualities of proactive leadership and management with with an emphasis on team and organisational transformation
7. Work reflexivity with a wide range of theoretical approaches to youth and community work in order to negotiate key challenges involved in youth and community work practice
8. Develop an understanding of policy in relation to youth and community work values; young people’s rights, responsibilities and freedoms in order to navigate complex ethical dilemmas arising from a wider range of professional contexts
9. Work as a team member able to contribute innovative approaches in an advanced or specialist area of practice.

Principle QAA benchmark statements

Subject Benchmark Statement Youth and Community Work

Assessment strategy

Students are assessed through a variety of methods. Within the general principle of mixed mode formative and summative assessments can be found a diversity of instruments including poster and oral presentations, podcasts, reports, portfolios, case study analysis and completion of all elements of practice-based learning. In line with the school’s assessment strategy the course will provide feedback on finished work, and redirect that work into providing feedback on draft submissions. Students will be given clear deadlines for handing in drafts, and if they meet these, they will be guaranteed to receive feedback in time to allow them to improve their final submission.

The MSc includes a dissertation based on the student’s own area of interest but must be relevant to youth and community work.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

Students on this course will have extensive existing experience of Youth and Community Work practice and will usually either be in current practice whilst studying, or if returning to the field, would be expected to be involved in some form of voluntary youth and community work. In either case, this will provide enriched opportunities to contextualise practice.

Course specific regulations

Please refer to the course handbook for full details

Modules required for interim awards


Level ,Title of available award, Requirements

PG Cert, Post Graduate Certificate in Youth and Community Work (Advanced Practice), Any combination of core and not more than one option module to the value of 60 credits

PG Dip, Post Graduate Diploma in Youth and Community Work (Advanced Practice), Any combination of core and not more than two option modules to the value of 120 credits

MSc, Masters of Science in Youth and Community Work in Youth and Community Work (Advanced Practice), All cores including 60 credit dissertation and a total credit value of 180

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

The nature of this intensive professional course is oriented to personal and professional development from the start where they have to engage with reflective writing. It is an expectation that students build on their existing capacity as reflective practitioners. Through the modules, students are required to demonstrate that they are adopting appropriate values and ethics based approaches and further develop their ability to reflect on theory and practice and incorporate understanding of areas such as trauma, mental health and wellbeing and practice-led research.

Seminar based activities such as unseen scenarios, group work and critical analysis of theory to practice and opportunities enable students to reflect in a safe environment. Students are encouraged to keep reflective logs and diaries for different modules and in personal development portfolios. All contribute to helping form their professional identity through a lens of critical youth and community work and socialisation in practice. This approach is in line with QAA guidance: ‘the promotion of reflection and of reflexivity is central to all teaching, learning and assessment in this subject area. The Course will facilitate critical thinking and reflection by questioning and critically discussing beliefs, discourses and attitudes. Teaching is flexible, adaptable, participative, interactive, intersubjective and collaborative in ways that are consistent with the subject area and congruent with informal and non-formal learning. (QAA Benchmarks 2019)’

The inclusion of an option modules allows allows students to develop an area of specialisation in the context of their personal and professional development.

Other external links providing expertise and experience


Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) accreditations & exemptions

This course is accredited by the National Youth Agency (NYA) and the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC). The course is also validated by the Endorsement and Quality Standards Board for Community Development Learning (ESB), which is the professional body for people working in community work and community development roles.

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

Students will usually already hold professional recognition from undergraduate study. The course will lead to opportunities for career progression in terms of acquisition of higher-level management roles, or progression to work that makes a greater impact based on new capabilities that are based on areas of expertise where there are currently skills gaps and shortages in the employment market.

Recent London Met graduates from the Community and Youth Subject Area have been employed in a range of local authority social services departments, mental health trusts, drugs and alcohol services, children’s centres, social prescribing, work in A&E with young victims of knife crime, among others. Graduates have the opportunity to progress to senior youth and community positions, in management and supervisory responsibilities. Students who demonstrate research potential may be encouraged to undertake doctoral studies.

Career opportunities will be enhanced by dual professional recognition of the programme. Professional accreditation is through two organisations. The first is via the National Youth Agency and Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC). The course is also be validated by the Endorsement and Quality Standards Board for Community Development Learning (ESB), which is the professional body for those working in community work and community development roles.

Employability is further enhanced through our strong ongoing connections with former students. We will continue to invite alumni into sessions to share good practice with our existing students, including problem solving, based on issues in real life case studies.

Career opportunities

This course is designed to prepare you for career progression within the youth and community work sector. Once you successfully complete the course, you should feel confident to progress into higher-level management positions or roles that require a greater level of expertise.

Our alumni work for various organisations, including local authority social services departments, mental health trusts, drugs and alcohol services, children’s centres, social prescribing and in A&E with young victims of knife crime, among others.

If you demonstrate research potential on this course, you may also be encouraged to undertake doctoral studies.

Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • an undergraduate degree of second-class honours or above in a relevant social science subject or any youth and/or community related subject
  • GCSE English at grade C/4 minimum, or Key Skills Communication Level 2 and Numeracy Level 2, or equivalent
  • NYA and ESB recognition and be able to provide evidence of your registration and accreditation

In addition to the above, you'll also need to pass a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and a university interview.

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Tier 4 student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2020/21 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 22 Jun 2020 Last validation date 22 Jun 2020  
JACS codes
Route code YACWAP

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 07 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
GI7034 Public Service Design and Innovation Core 20 NORTH SUM WK  
SS7003 Community, Continuity and Change Core 20 NORTH AUT MON EV
SS7006 Trauma, Mental Health and Well-being Core 20 NORTH AUT WK AM&PM
SS7007 Designing Youth and Community Research Core 20 NORTH SPR MON PM
SS7P03 Youth and Community Dissertation Core 60 NORTH SPR NA  
          NORTH AUT+SPR NA  
          NORTH AUT NA  
GI7032 Public Management and Public Finance Option 20        
GI7035 Managing Teams Option 20        
SJ7105 Multimedia Journalism Option 20 NORTH SPR THU PM
SJ7108 Digital Storytelling Option 20 NORTH SPR WED AM
SM7031 Digital Video Production Option 20 NORTH AUT MON PM
SM7032 Games and Gamification Option 20 NORTH AUT TUE PM
SS7004 Commissioning Youth and Community Services Option 20 NORTH SPR MON EV
SS7005 Community Activism Option 20 NORTH SPR TUE PM