Critical Youth & Community Studies
Duration & study mode
Typically 2-3 years, part-time
Course starting dates
Our MSc Critical Youth & Community Studies course is ideal if you have a first degree or experience in youth and community practices and aspire to develop your knowledge and understanding of statutory or voluntary contexts.
This programme contributes to youth and community practices that promote equality, human flourishing, participation and social justice. It responds to demand for a Masters-level qualification in this distinct and growing professional area.
The MSc offers three learning pathways for:
and high-quality learning is supported by internationally-recognised research.
There is a practice learning component for students engaged in the postgraduate certificate route seeking a Community Learning and Development (CLD) Standards Council for Scotland approved qualification. This element of the programme is recognised by them as a lead practitioner qualification. If you are not seeking to graduate with a CLD qualification do not need to undertake the practice learning element.
We welcome Scottish, UK and international students and consider all applicants on an individual basis.
Don’t worry if your qualifications are not listed here, we take a range of factors into account when assessing your application and are happy to consider other alternative combinations of qualifications and experience
If you are applying with an EU or non-EU qualification, please check our Postgraduate Entry Requirements page which gives more information about country-specific entry requirements.
You should normally hold a first degree in a subject relevant to your professional role.
Exceptions may apply if you do not possess a first degree, but can demonstrate, through recognition of prior or experiential learning, that you have relevant work/professional experience in a youth and community context involving critical or informal education or in managing associated disciplinary areas.
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level. The qualifications below must have been gained within two years of the start of your course.
General English language requirements at UWS: International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)
All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:
For our research degrees (MRes, MPhil, PhD, DBA, DProf), applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:
For Health, Nursing & Midwifery courses that lead to professional registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:
For our Certificate of Higher Education courses, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:
TOEFL IBT*: 78; no sub-test less than:
* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.
For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.
West African Senior School Certificate of Education (WASSCE) including acceptance of WAEC Scratchcard*
*UWS will accept a WAEC scratchcard confirming that an applicant has achieved C6 or above as evidence of meeting English language requirement from Nigeria if the student graduated within the last 5 years. After 5 years applicants would be required to provide the WAEC Certificate.
Applicants who do not meet the minimum English language requirements have the option to study one of our preparatory and pre-sessional English courses. The UWS courses available are:
If you are studying full-time on our course then you will normally undertake three modules in each of trimesters 1, 2 and 3 to achieve 180 credits at Level 11, over one year - one year and a half, as required for the award of Master of Science.
If you are a part-time student then you will normally undertake one module in each of trimesters 1, 2 and 3 to achieve 180 credits at Level 11, over a period of two years – two and a half years, as required for the award of Master of Science.
A Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) can be taken on successful completion of three modules, either as a discrete course or as the first step towards a Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip), which also consists of three modules. Upon successful completion of the PgDip, you can undertake a capstone project or dissertation on a relevant topic.
The PgCert comprises the following core modules:
Community Practice Learning is a Core Module ONLY for those students who are seeking a professional qualification in CLD (Pg Cert in Community Education). For those not seeking the professional qualification, a further two optional modules are required:
Successful completion of the PgCert allows you to proceed to the PgDip, which consists of the additional following core module:
To complete the PgDip stage, you will select a further two, 20 credit modules from the list of optional modules, above.
Successful completion of the PgDip allows you to proceed to the master's module:
It is anticipated that you will be employed within an organisation that provides a relevant placement experience which will enable you to achieve the required learning outcomes within your own workplace.
Students who are seeking a qualification in CLD, via the PgCert Community Education route, are required to complete 40% of their studies in a practice learning placement. This is the minimum standard, set by the CLD SCS, for all qualifying programmes. We will encourage students to go beyond this minimum, by continuing to engage with an organisation for the whole duration of their Masters. This is particularly useful in facilitating inter-cultural and cross-cultural sharing of experiences of community and practice in this professional disciplinary area.
If you are a full-time student and do not have relevant employment you will normally be placed by the University within an organisation for a defined period in each year of our course. The placement experience enables you to meet specific learning outcomes.
Assessment is through a combination of the following methods:
Find out more about the structure, learning outcomes, compulsory and optional modules in this course.
Graduates of this programme will be prepared to work in a range of communities across the world in areas such as youth and community work, the voluntary sector, community activism, social enterprise, and the creative industries:
Following successful completion of your Degree you can then progress to PhD level study.
£5,500 per year of study
£5,500 per year of study
£5,500 per year of study
£12,600 per year of study
£790 per module (20 credits)
£790 per module (20 credits)
£790 per module (20 credits)
£2,000 per module (20 credits)
The cost of attending university is an investment in your future career.
In addition to tuition fees and living expenses, some courses involve extra costs like study materials, field trips, equipment and uniforms.
Fortunately, there is a great deal of financial support available to help students meet the cost of their study. This ranges from:
The sections below provide details of additional costs that your course may involve along with any financial support that may be available.
You can also find additional information in our Postgraduate Money, Fees & Funding section.
Tuition fees are calculated based on where you are from and what you are studying. Some courses also involve additional costs, such as mandatory field trips, equipment or studying abroad.
Scottish students studying at postgraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.
English, Welsh and Northern Irish students studying at postgraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.
EU students studying at postgraduate level of UWS may be eligible for SAAS funding, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.
There are several scholarship and incentive schemes available to international students studying at postgraduate level at UWS, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.
Students on certain degrees will incur some additional costs not covered by their tuition fees. These could be for things like specialist equipment, study materials, work placements, graduation, membership of relevant organisations or costs related to carrying out fieldwork.
For students on course with an element of fieldwork, there may also be extra costs for travel and accommodation.
Please contact the course leader for details of the additional costs associated with this course.
UWS administer a range of discretionary and childcare funds. These are designed to support students who are experiencing financial difficulty or struggling to meet the costs of childcare.
Becoming a student can have an impact on your entitlement to certain benefits. It may mean you are no longer eligible to claim a benefit you have been receiving, or your new income from student funding may affect the amount you are able to receive.
If there isn’t a statutory source of funding for you or your course, or you are in need of additional financial support, you may wish to consider more alternative sources of funding such as trust funds and scholarships.
Choosing to become a student can have a big impact on your budget and you may need to reassess your spending to account for a reduced income. We’ve put together some guidance to help you manage your money and make the right financial choices for you and your family.
All students should apply directly to the University through our online application system. Before you apply, you should check that you meet our entry requirements and you should have all your supporting documents ready.
The first stage of the process is to create a profile; you don't have to complete the application in one session - you can complete it in stages by saving each section and return to complete it at a later date.
You will need to upload documents with your applications, which may include transcripts and degree certificates.
Most courses don't have a formal closing date, but they will close when they are full; apply early to avoid disappointment. There may also be funding deadlines that apply to you.
Before you begin your application, it is important to read the Postgraduate & Post-Experience application step-by-step guide for a smooth process.
An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.
Do you have a question about applying for this course? Get in touch. We are here to help!
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