MA Youth and Community Work
Nurturing quality and diversity...
Professionally endorsed programme, underpinned within a sound academic framework
- Qualification recognised nationally and internationally
- Work placements integral within the programme
- Delivery in line with core aims, values and principles of Youth Work
About the course
The MA Youth and Community Work at University of Wales Trinity Saint David, is an innovative programme which was developed to enhance the workforce in the field of Youth work. Rooted in professional practice, the programme consists of two postgraduate diploma routes. The Professional Qualifying Route is designed to provide a route to professional qualification for those who have a related degree and/or have relevant experience of informal education or youth work. The Academic Route offers a professional development opportunity for those who already hold a recognised professional qualification in youth & community work.
Successful completion of either route will enable students to progress on to the full MA programme.
The School of Education Studies and Social Inclusion provides a high quality and flexible route for students interested in the field of Youth and Community Work in South West Wales and beyond, in both its undergraduate and postgraduate provision. The Professional Endorsement is recognised in an international arena. The School, through its provision, makes a strong commitment to developing and enhancing the future workforce and knowledge base in the field of Youth Work, locally, nationally and internationally.
Post Qualifying Route
- Youth Work Policy to Youth Work Practice
- Leadership and Management in Context
- Social Pedagogy
- Exploring the Psychological and Social Dilemmas for Young Adults in a Changing Economy
- Dissertation Initial Qualifying Route
- Professional Studies
- Fieldwork Practice – continued in Year 2
- Social Pedagogy
- Exploring the Psychological and Social Dilemmas for Young Adults in a Changing Economy
Why study at this University?
- Enthusiastic, supportive and bilingual staff who are professionally qualified in the field of Youth and Community Work
- Practical and vocational focus of the course
- Emphasis on individual Personal and social development
- Excellent careers support and guidance
- Small group teaching in a supportive learning environment
The main educational aims of the programme are to enable students to:
- become strategic thinkers who are fully aware and able to address the demands faced by young people in society today;
- draw on a wide range of intellectual resources, theoretical perspectives and academic disciplines to illuminate understanding of the issues of Youth and Community Work and the contexts in which this take place;
- engage with a broad and balanced knowledge and understanding of the principal features of Youth and Community Work in contexts in Wales and beyond;
- develop reflective/reflexive and autonomous practitioners who are able to implement both theory and practice in line with the principles and values of the Youth Service;
- critically evaluate and analyse past and contemporary policy that has and continues to inform and shape youth and community work practices;
- work with the values, interests and moral positions of others and engage in anti-oppressive practices;
- engage with fundamental research concerning the aims and values of the role of professionals within a variety of informal and non-formal learning environments;
- adopt appropriate problem solving skills which enables them to work effectively with the educational process and outcomes of interventions with young people.
The Learning Outcomes of the modules in the programme will enable students to demonstrate:
Subject knowledge and understanding
- Subject knowledge and understanding in youth and community work builds on a long and well-established body of knowledge concerning the nature of practice in this discipline and the role of the educator in community settings and informal contexts.
- Subject knowledge and understanding is conceptualised here with four aspects, all of which contribute to the debate about the role and professional identity of the practitioner. It is by engagement in each of these areas that professional identities are formed and appropriate subject knowledge is gained:
- working in and with communities;
- working with young people; working with adults;
- approaches to learning and development;
- developing community-based organisations.
- The development of knowledge, skills and values are interconnected across these aspects by the attention which is paid throughout programmes of study in this subject to the development of critical and reflective practitioners.
- Critical and reflective practice involves engagement with the model of the professional as a reflective and reflexive practitioner; investigating the meanings associated with being a critical practitioner; exploring accountability in practice and developing methods of mutual support; locating professionalism in practice settings through practice learning; and developing understanding of practice and/or professionalism through a variety of placements of substantial duration, agency visits and presentations, attendance at and participation in conferences. It also involves learning through reflection on the variety of settings in which youth and community work occurs, including secular and faith-based settings; statutory and voluntary contexts; third sector and private sector agencies; and locating professionalism in practice interventions through becoming aware of the range and methods of professional interventions with young people and communities. It involves engagement with the legal and ethical frameworks shaping practice, with critical enquiry and social research. In youth ministry programmes, the ability to think and reflect theologically is needed and is reflected in these programmes of study. All subject knowledge and understanding is grounded in the application of, and reflection on, knowledge gained through work-based learning (in practice settings). It is underpinned by a range of theoretical debates and by statements of professional ethics agreed by the relevant validating/endorsing body, in the context of professional validation/endorsement.
- Subject knowledge will develop and change over time, partially in response to the changing professional context and partially as a result of the development of the theoretical frameworks which underpin practice. Different programmes may focus on different parts of the curriculum, reflecting the particular interests or expertise of those responsible for its delivery. All programmes drawing on this subject benchmark statement as a key reference point should seek to include some coverage of the four areas. The following account is indicative and as such offered as a guide to those engaged in the design of programmes.
Working in and with communities
Studies of this aspect may include the following.
- Investigation of the meaning and practice of community:
- the community-based context for practice;
- the scope of professional practice which is community-based and is outside of formal learning and national programmes of assessment in schools and colleges (though linked to them) and outside clinical or statutory practice in health and social care (though linked to them);
- studies of public services such as the youth services, adult and community education centres, support and guidance services, and third sector organisations;
- theorisations of local society, civil society and of social capital;
- the relationship of young people to communities, and of people in different stages of their lives to one another in communities;
- the history of the development of community-based practice as distinct from state or market-based practice.
- Communities, networks and coalitions:
- power, empowerment and democratic learning;
- the analysis of practices which challenge existing power relations such as those rooted in age-based discrimination, sexism, racism and/or practices rooted in class privilege;
- social, as distinct from medical, models of social issues such as disability discrimination or sexuality-based oppression;
- networking as a significant aspect of practice;
- the study of coalitions and broad-based organising;
- conflict and community-based practices and the role of alliances;
- collective action and social change, including enterprise and self-help strategies for addressing shared needs/aspirations, campaigning and the links to social movements;
- debates about citizenship and democracy which may underpin practice;
- analysis of the impact of social policy discourses on the development of professional practice in youth and community work, including youth policy and comparative international and European social policy.
Working with young people; working with adults
Studies of this aspect may include the following.
- Models and meanings of development through the life course:
- the links between education and development;
- holistic approaches: the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of resourcefulness and resilience;
- critique of normative and deficit models of development.
- Engaging with young people and adults in communities in order to develop strategies for education and change:
- investigations of models of work with young people and communities;
- investigation of whether particular educational methods are more or less suitable for different stages or age groups;
- models of practice including outreach work and detached work, project-based work, cultural work and sport, and participatory practice.
- Children's, young people's and adults' health, safety and well-being:
- professional practice in relation to legal obligations and duties of care in safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults;
- promoting good mental and emotional health, and recognising and responding to breakdown;
- informal education and support;
- the importance, and nature, of personal and professional boundaries, and the different boundary issues involved in work with young people and work with adults.
Approaches to learning and development
Studies in this aspect may include the following.
- Informal education, conversation, critical dialogue and experiential learning:
- situated learning: local, global and metaphysical, including global learning, environmental learning and theological or faith-sensitive learning;
- using characteristic methods of informal education, which require practitioners to locate their practice within a matrix of power dynamics across local, global, political and faith boundaries;
- citizenship learning, collaborative and open enquiry, and political education;
- exploration of culturally sensitive and culturally specific learning.
- Developmental group work:
- learning about personal development through group participation, social education and popular education;
- debates about peer education;
- volunteering and community activism as learning;
- open groups and closed/targeted groups in practice;
- exploration of group work based on affirmative action, for example, women's groups and disabled young people's groups.
- Creativity in learning:
- the nature of creativity as a source of learning;
- the links between informal education, adventure education, and play and arts-based education;
- holistic approaches to learning, recognising the emotional and spiritual aspects of learning.
Developing community-based organisations:
Studies in this aspect may include the following.
- Understanding organisations:
- studies of the agencies and workplaces in which community and youth workers are employed;
- the distinctive cultures of third sector organisations, including churches and faith communities;
- the role of community organisations in contributing to cohesion and integration, contestation and change;
- strategies for anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory practice at organisational level;
- equality, diversity and interdependence in the workplace and beyond;
- human rights-based equality duties and non-discrimination legislation.
- Management and leadership in community-based projects:
- the study of inter-professional and interdisciplinary working, including the leadership and management of teams and individuals;
- mentoring, supervision, staff development and training;
- the role of part-time workers and volunteers;
- safety and support for youth and community work practitioners.
- Multi-disciplinary and multi-agency working:
- exploration of the nature of inter-professional and interdisciplinary approaches, including the possibility of transprofessional approaches;
- current professional context of integrated services and approaches;
- youth services in the context of integrated working;
- youth work in a variety of agency and multi-agency contexts;
- universal provision and targeted provision;
- dedicated and distinct service provision;
- specific skills in working with other education professionals and with health and social care professionals in mixed teams;
- exploration of the links with other children's workforce professions;
- nature of accountability in multidisciplinary teams.
- In summary, graduates should have developed a sound understanding of the value-base of professional practice; be able to take professional responsibility and identify their own learning needs; display creativity and work as critical, reflective and reflexive practitioners; and be equipped to read and critically evaluate research in the field of study and to undertake small-scale participatory research studies with young people and community groups.
- Graduates who gain a professional qualification should have their professionalism informed by their knowledge-base in the study of youth and community work; their practice-based knowledge of informal education and community-based learning, and their practice-based knowledge of community-based organisations and management.
Subject-specific and generic skills
Subject-specific and generic skills for youth and community work are constructed on a strong base of knowledge of theory and practice.
Graduates should be able to demonstrate skills in the following areas.
Understanding, developing and managing their professional role:
- an understanding of, and the capacity to apply and integrate, theoretical frameworks and key concepts relevant to practice in youth and community work;
- an informed and critical understanding of their professional role as educators in relation to other professional interventions in the lives of young people and communities;
- substantial autonomy in using both conventional and innovative, original and creative methods in the planning, delivery and evaluation of educational programmes across a range of practice settings;
- systematic analysis of relevant concepts, theories and issues of policy, and their use in informing practice;
- the ability to maintain professional boundaries in voluntary relationships and in informal contexts;
- the ability to make informed judgments on complex ethical and professional issues in a disputed field and to act appropriately in the light of relevant professional and ethical codes of practice;
- the ability to operate as a reflective practitioner, demonstrating appropriate professional actions and behaviors;
- critical reflection upon, and commitment to, their continuing personal and professional development.
Fostering democratic and inclusive practice:
- the ability to build trusting relationships as a foundation for learning;
- the ability to foster participation and support for young people and adults in playing an active role in their communities, increasing their voice and influence in contexts and on issues that affect them;
- the ability to create inclusive environments and to identify and counter oppressive attitudes, behaviors and situations, at both interpersonal and systemic levels;
- the capacity to build practice on an understanding of issues of power, empowerment and the complexity of voluntary relationships;
- the capacity to promote, publicise and share good practice.
Maintaining and developing organisations which support practice:
- the ability to support and promote the development of productive and sustainable responses and structures, including the support and management of community-based and young people's organisations;
- skill in safeguarding the health and welfare of individuals and communities through the understanding and implementation of legal and regulatory frameworks;
- the capacity to manage others in the workplace (volunteers, staff, accountability, equality and diversity in the workplace);
- the capacity to provide for support, safety and well-being of staff;
- context-appropriate leadership of individuals and groups;
- project management skills (monitoring, evaluation, financial management, management of resources, policy development, understanding quality framework models).
Facilitating personal and collective learning development and capacity building:
- the capacity to engage with young people and community groups, build relationships and facilitate young people and adults' individual and collective learning and development;
- the ability to analyse policies and practices in the light of a range of theoretical perspectives, from the standpoint of participants in programmes, and to devise practice responses with them;
- the ability to support and develop a range of literacies, including emotional literacy;
- the ability to design and implement initiatives, projects and programmes using appropriate professional frameworks and methods;
- the ability to select, plan and evaluate appropriate approaches from a range of intervention methods and techniques;
- skill in evaluation of the impact and effectiveness of their work and the work of community-based projects;
- a commitment to the learning cycle, both as an individual and as part of an organisation.
Networking and multi-agency working:
- skills in building partnerships with other professionals in education and in health and social care;
- skills in building partnerships across community groups and young people's projects;
- skills in including young people and community members in partnerships;
- skills in involving, consulting with, and acknowledging, accountability to stakeholders;
- skills in creating effective alliances with both education and health services;
- skills in creating networks and alliances among and between community groups and young people's projects;
- skills in developing inclusive networks which do not intensify marginalisation of small projects or minority groups;
- skills in contributing to wider development of children and young people's services.
Graduates should be able to demonstrate:
- understanding and critical evaluation of research in the field and the ability to undertake small-scale participatory research projects;
- an ability to use information and communication technologies;
- organisation and articulation of opinions and arguments in speech and writing, using relevant specialist vocabulary;
- self management, including the organisation of an efficient and effective work pattern, and working to deadlines;
- an ability to collect and apply numerical data, as appropriate;
- an ability to collect, analyse and interpret qualitative and quantitative data;
- an ability to present data in different formats, including graphical and tabular;
- commitment to the improvement of their own learning and performance;
- an understanding of their own approaches to learning;
- an ability to work on their own initiative and in cooperation with others;
- the ability to use their knowledge and understanding critically to locate and justify a personal position in relation to the subject;
- skill in reflection on their own and others' value systems and the ability to explore such values in informal contexts;
- effective communication using written, visual, electronic and oral means with individuals and groups;
- emotional literacy.
National Occupational Standards: Youth Work
- Facilitate the personal, social and educational development of young people:
- Facilitate learning and development of young people through youth work.
- Plan and implement learning activities in youth work.
- Promote young people’s self awareness, confidence and participation.
- Promote access to information and support.
- Promote equality and young people’s interests and welfare:
- Work with young people in promoting their rights.
- Safeguard the health and welfare of young people.
- Promote equality and the valuing of diversity.
- Fulfill regulatory and organisational requirements.
- Work with others:
- Engage with young people.
- Engage with the local community.
- Build working relationships and networks.
- Develop youth work strategy and practice:
- Establish and prioritise requirements for youth work.
- Plan and implement youth work strategy.
- Facilitate change.
- Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of youth work strategy and plans.
- Lead and manage teams and individuals:
- Manage yourself.
- Lead and manage others.
- Develop colleagues.
- Maintain health and safety in the workplace.
- MA (180 credits)
- PG Diploma (120 credits)
- PG Certificate (60 credits)
- Carmarthen Campus
Fees are reviewed each year - please contact us for details.