Skip to content

Youth Work Leadership and Practice MA

  • Level(s) of Study: Postgraduate taught
  • Start Date(s): September 2022
  • Duration: One year full-time / Two years part-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

If you have a degree, and ideally experience of working with young people, then this is the course for you. You may want to become a (JNC) Professionally Recognised Youth Worker or gain a Masters level postgraduate qualification, or both! This course will provide you with an opportunity to both study and work in Children and Young People Services across differing settings and contexts giving you the freedom to guide your career the way you want to.

This course is approved and endorsed by the National Youth Agency.

What you’ll study

There are two routes within the Masters degree:

Work-Based Practice (non-endorsed pathway)

This pathway will enable the critical reflection of practice incorporating the related module themes. It will enable you to apply sociological thinking to real world issues and problems in relation to the practice context.

Students who successfully complete 180 Credits on this pathway will graduate with the MA Leadership and Practice with Young People.

Supervised Practice (JNC-endorsed pathway)

Your practice will be observed and assessed against the Youth Work National Occupational Standards or ‘NOS’ (2019) and will require a minimum of 400hrs professional practice placement. On completion of the endorsed route, you will be eligible to apply for Youth Work roles nationally with JNC professionally qualified status.

Students who successfully complete 180 Credits on this pathway will graduate with the MA Youth Work Leadership and Practice (JNC).

Why choose this course?

This course explores a number of social, educational, and informal education perspectives, and is mapped against the National Occupational Standards for Youth Work (2019). This makes the course ideal for those interested in the study of Young People, but specifically those who are keen to pursue a career within the Youth Work /Working with Young People sector. We work closely with employers in the statutory and independent sectors to ensure our course content retains a focus of supporting young people. It also helps to ensure that you are ready for professional practice when you qualify.


Possible candidates for this course:

  • Graduates with a relevant Undergraduate Degree who wish to gain a postgraduate qualification;
  • Graduates with a relevant Undergraduate Degree who wish to gain a postgraduate qualification and the (JNC) Professionally Recognised Youth Work qualification;
  • Practitioners with a relevant Undergraduate Degree who wish to gain the (JNC) Professionally Recognised Youth Work qualification;
  • Experienced practitioners (with JNC qualification) who want to gain a deeper insight into the contemporary world in which young people encounter;
  • Practitioners from similar social education/informal education or social sciences disciplines wishing to explore contextual approaches in working with young people.

What you’ll study

Drawing on the research traditions of Youth, this course has wide application within the field of social/informal education,  education, sociology, criminology, politics and psychology.

You will be joining a course that explores the most significant social, cultural and economic changes that affect the lives of young people today, and engages with contemporary debates that explain and theorise young people’s lives.

Key themes include the notion of ‘self and identity’ within ‘communities of practice’; historical and emergent ‘critical issues’ within contemporary society; required ‘work-based learning’ concepts underpinned by pedagogy; and the ever-changing pedagogy and practice understanding of ‘leadership and management’ within contemporary society.

Stage one

Self, Identities within Communities of Practice (30 credits)

This module provides you with an opportunity to synthesise the concept of ‘self’ and ‘identities’, of oneself and others, from a psychological and sociological perspective. It will enable you to critically evaluate the notion of ‘communities of practice’ and how these interlink with the ‘self’ and ‘identities’ in contemporary environments with young people and/or communities. Using a critically reflective approach, you will explore current research on the socio-economic and political environment in which these concepts exist.

Critical Issues in Contemporary Society (30 credits)

Within this module, you will undertake a systematic evaluation to explore how contemporary key policy directives and the impact of socio-political ideologies inform practice. You will acquire a critical awareness of perceived and pertinent issues for young people within modern society, and thus pose solutions, recommendations and available ‘possibilities for change’ within society and practice. You will gain an insight into and reflection on the contemporary approach of practice, and offer critique where relevant.

Stage two

Work-Based Learning Pedagogy (30 credits)

This focus of this module is the application of learning in practice and the theoretical concepts of the ‘pedagogy’ of work-based learning. This will enable the application of theory to practice to be achieved. You will undertake a critical analysis of the rationale for professional roles and boundaries; the role of a critically reflective and autonomous practitioner; and the ability to work in the contemporary socio-economic and political environment. You will develop skills to critically assess your personal and professional skills, knowledge and experience and will pro-actively acquire the needed aspects via continuing professional development opportunities, to be able to be an effective practitioner.

Leadership and Management in Practice (30 credits)

In this module you will critically explore the contemporary socio-economic and political environment and what impact this has upon leading and managing.  It will enable you to critically analyse a rationale for ‘best practice’ and provides you with an opportunity to synthesise the learning in aspects of leading and managing in practice, including people and organisations. Through a critically reflective approach you will assess your personal leadership and management skills in being able to solve complex problems in offering strategies that are both effective and achievable.

Stage three

Research Project/Dissertation (60 credits)

This module provides you with an opportunity to synthesise the learning in aspects of youth/youth work, and understanding of research, that you have developed throughout previous degree studies. It provides you with an opportunity to undertake a substantial piece of self-directed work, with individual academic supervision, in an area of youth studies or youth work that particularly interests you. The research project/dissertation will be a piece of empirical work using primary research. The research project/dissertation provides an opportunity to develop transferable skills and specialised knowledge which will positively contribute towards employability.

How you’re taught

An enthusiastic and supportive teaching team, who are highly accomplished and experienced in the Youth Work/Working with Young People sector, will teach and guide you. Their expertise in the subject informs the course and ensures you have an up-to-date and relevant learning experience.

Experienced Youth Practitioners are involved in various teaching sessions to share their specialist knowledge and experiences of working with young people. To provide you with a first-class learning experience and to guarantee you have an opportunity to make the most of your time at university, you'll receive contact time through a diverse range of delivery methods.

Structured teaching is delivered through a combination of traditional lectures and seminars. The smaller group seminars provide opportunities to develop skills in problem-solving, group working, analysis, debating and presentation, and to discuss a wide range of views.

This course links academic theory to contemporary practice through placements, visits and guest speakers. You will also learn from audio-visual presentations, information technology-based exercises, and practical experience.

Tutorials with staff

As the relationship between students and tutors is an important one, you can expect to have lots of direct contact and support through seminars and one-to-one tutorials. At these sessions you'll have the opportunity to:

  • discuss and gain feedback about your work
  • ask questions about the projects you're working on
  • raise any difficulties you are experiencing relating to your work, personal circumstances, or your university experience.

Independent study

A key element of postgraduate courses is independent study. From the outset, you are expected to engage weekly reading and independent or group-based activities outside of lecture time. Contact hours with lecturers vary across modules and gradually decrease throughout the programme. However, you will be allocated personal tutors; placement-based support and dissertation supervisors.

Learning from experts

You'll be taught by enthusiastic and expert staff who are highly accomplished and experienced in the youth sector locally, nationally and internationally, as both practitioners and researchers.  Staff work with partner agencies to support student placements; formally evaluate practice-based projects and offer CPD, training or knowledge exchange based events.

How will I be assessed?

The course's assessment methods are varied. We use a wide range of approaches that acknowledge that different students have varied learning styles, capabilities and preferences. The assessment methods used replicate the work environment as far as possible, and you'll therefore be required to carry out your own investigation case study work, analysis and appraisal.

The majority of your work will be assessed through coursework-based essays, reflective journals, worksheets, critical reviews, case studies, and a final module research-based independent study or dissertation.

In response to student feedback, the University have introduced a policy ensuring marked work is returned to you electronically within three weeks of submission.

Staff Profiles

Dr Frances Howard

Senior Lecturer

Social Work, Care and Community

Dr Frances Howard is a Senior Lecturer in Youth Studies for the Department for Social Work, Care & Community. Her PhD investigated ’dis-engaged’ young people’s experience of Arts Award programmes.

Alasdair McCarrick

Lecturer

Sociology

Alasdair McCarrick Lecturer in BA Youth Studies Nottingham Trent University

Ian Jones

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

How you’re assessed

There are no exams and the course is 100% assessed by coursework.

Careers and employability

Enhancing employability prospects are a key factor of this course.

This course equips students with the knowledge, skills and understanding to become effective practitioners and leaders within the youth work field and associated sectors that work with young people. An MA is a recommended qualification for workers who want to hold more senior positions.

This course is approved and endorsed by the National Youth Agency and mapped to the National Occupational Standards for Youth Work (2019). Successful achievement of the Supervised Practice (JNC-endorsed pathway) confers professionally qualified status for Youth Workers in England.

Graduates will have acquired transferable skills for employment, which are highly valued by employers in a range of occupational sectors. Examples of these include:

  • Leadership and teamwork skills;
  • Problem solving skills, adaptability and creativity;
  • Analytical reasoning  and critical thinking;
  • Relationship building and effective communication skills.

Graduates may go on to lead projects and work with young people in a variety of roles, where they could offer generic or specialised support (e.g. knife crime, unemployment, health and wellbeing). In addition to Youth Services, organisations which may employ graduates from this course include Education providers; Charities; These could be local, national or international organisations.

Campus and facilities

As a Social Sciences student you will have easy access to the fantastic facilities in the Chaucer and Taylor buildings, including:

  • lecture theatres and teaching classrooms
  • open access PCs and secure wireless points
  • study areas and social spaces
  • Chaucer café, serving drinks and light snacks
  • our School of Social Sciences reception, providing you with easy access to our helpful and friendly support staff.

IT resources

Our IT resource rooms and PC clusters are distributed across the City Campus, with PCs providing access to:

  • Microsoft Office
  • email
  • web browsing
  • networked file storage
  • high-speed online printing services

The University’s main resource room in the library is available 24 hours a day.

Book and library resources

In our library you will have access to an extensive and diverse range of books and periodicals that focus on specialist areas within Criminology. The library's OneSearch system provides access to all our:

  • electronic resources
  • journals
  • books.

We have a liaison librarian who is available to give you detailed help in finding and using print and electronic resources. They can also help you with things such as Harvard referencing and research skills.

City location

The location of the City Campus also means that you have easy access to:

  • sports facilities
  • shops
  • student accommodation
  • music venues
  • cafés.

Entry requirements

Applying with prior qualifications

An undergraduate degree equivalent to a UK undergraduate honours degree (normally a 2.2 or above)

Applying with non-standard entry qualifications/experience

Applicants without such qualifications will be considered on an individual basis but will be required to demonstrate how their experiences and knowledge would enable them to study this course at Masters level in their Personal Statement.

No references are required when applying for this course.

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

As with all vocational courses related to working with children and young people, all students are required to provide full details of any previous criminal convictions on admission and confirm the nature of these upon course commencement. Students are required to disclose any subsequent criminal convictions while on the course; failure to provide full disclosure of previous or new convictions can lead to termination of a student’s studies. Students eligible for the work-based learning observation may be required to complete an enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Disclosure. If this highlights a potential risk to a child, this could lead to termination being considered.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions and Enquiries Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Applying with prior qualifications

An undergraduate degree equivalent to a UK undergraduate honours degree (normally a 2.2 or above)

Applying with non-standard entry qualifications/experience

Applicants without such qualifications will be considered on an individual basis but will be required to demonstrate how their experiences and knowledge would enable them to study this course at Masters level in their Personal Statement.

As with all vocational courses related to working with children and young people, all students are required to provide full details of any previous criminal convictions on admission and confirm the nature of these upon course commencement. Students are required to disclose any subsequent criminal convictions while on the course; failure to provide full disclosure of previous or new convictions can lead to termination of a student’s studies. Students eligible for the work-based learning observation may be required to complete an enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Disclosure. If this highlights a potential risk to a child this could lead to termination being considered.

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:

Postgraduate preparation courses (Pre-Masters)

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Pre-Masters courses through our partner Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), based on our City Campus:

English language entry requirements

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Fees and funding

Study routeHome (UK students)
Full-time£7,700
Part-time£3,850 (for Year One*)

Fees are for 2022 entry.

* Please note that if you are considering a part-time route that runs over more than one year, the tuition fee stated is for Year One of study. The course fee for Year Two is subject to annual review.

Funding your studies

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

There are numerous sources of funding available for postgraduate students, both from external sources such as the Government and funding bodies, and from the University.

There are two main costs involved with postgraduate study: the cost of your tuition fees which is paid directly to the University, and living expenses such as accommodation, travel and food.

You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies, We award scholarships to those students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion and dedication to their studies.

Please take a look at our postgraduate fees and funding page for information about sourcing grants, bursaries and scholarships, and much more.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Study routeInternational / EU students
Full-time£15,850
Part-time£7,925 (for Year One*)

Fees are for 2022 entry.

* Please note that if you are considering a part-time route that runs over more than one year, the tuition fee stated is for Year One of study. The course fee for Year Two is subject to annual review.

Tuition fees are payable for each year that you are at the University. The level of tuition fees for the second and subsequent years of your undergraduate course may increase in line with inflation and as specified by the UK government.

Scholarships

We offer scholarships of up to 50% of your tuition fee. You can apply for your scholarship when you have an offer to study at NTU.

Living costs

Get advice on the cost of living as an international student in Nottingham and how to budget:

Paying fees

Find out about advanced payments, instalment plan options and how to make payments securely to the University:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

How to apply

All applications to this course can be made through our NTU Applicant Portal.

You can apply for this course throughout the year. Most of our postgraduate courses are popular and fill up quickly though, so apply as soon as you can. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

As places are limited, you are encouraged to submit your application as early as possible to avoid disappointment. The course starts in September 2022 so in order to receive enrolment materials in good time, we advise that applications are submitted before the end of July 2022.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieved, as well as a personal statement.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU in our postgraduates’ guide.

All applications welcome

We welcome applications from prospective students with a range of qualifications and experience, and all are assessed on an individual basis. Applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria can still be considered providing they have relevant experience to compliment any qualifications. All applicants will need to apply through our NTU Applicant Portal.

If you're applying without prior qualifications, you'll need to submit comprehensive details of your achievements with evidence to substantiate your claim (any documentation can be uploaded to the My Documents section of the Applicant Portal). This type of application will be considered with respect to the University’s provision for ‘accreditation for prior experiential learning’. Decisions regarding the accreditation of prior learning are a matter of academic judgement.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

Open days

The School of Social Sciences holds open events throughout the year. Come along and learn more about our courses, speak to programme leaders and find out about studying with the School.

Getting in touch

If you need more help or support, you can call our Admissions Team on +44 (0)115 848 4200, or contact us at Ask NTU.

Good luck with your application!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Apply online through our NTU applicant portal.

Application advice

Apply early so that you have enough time to prepare – processing times for Student visas can vary, for example.  After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Writing your personal statement

Be honest, thorough, and persuasive – we can only make a decision about your application based on what you tell us:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

The University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.