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Fees and Funding

Here's the fees and funding information for each year of this course


This established course opens the door for you to step straight into youth work. Only one other provider in London offers a postgraduate JNC qualification as part of a master's course.

With 600 mandatory hours of practice learning to add to UEL-based learning, it is a demanding, but rewarding, commitment.

You will develop the ability to build confidence and trust in others, to deal with challenging behaviour and to engage, support and mentor young people in London - a dynamic environment for youth and community work. 

Our former students often supervise our current students in a professional capacity and you will be taught by experienced people who share your passion. The UEL tutors are locally based. They have strong links with and are active within the sector. 

Tracie Trimmer-Platman has just set up a new community youth project in Hackney Wick in a voluntary capacity, while Paul Adams is a member of the youth committee of Y Care International, a relief and development agency which works in partnership with YMCAs worldwide.

What makes this course different

Person signing paperwork.

Validated by the National Youth Agency

The PGDip programme is professionally validated by the National Youth Agency - the national agency for youth work in the UK – so as well as a Master's qualification, you will leave us with accredited Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) youth work status.

Lecture hall

50 years' experience in youth an community work

You will learn from UEL tutors who are professionally qualified in youth work. Between them, course tutors Paul Adams and Tracie Trimmer-Platman have over 50 years of experience working with communities and young people.

Group of students smiling

100% graduate employability

Our employment rate in youth and community work is second to none. Our students find jobs - 100 per cent of those who finished their PGDip or MA at the University of East London in 2014 secured youth-work-related posts.


There are four core modules on the course. Two are the placement-based Fieldwork Practice modules 1 and 2.

In the university-based sessions, you will learn the principles of group work, theory, management and supervision as well as gaining insight into youth work policy.

You will then apply this knowledge in the field. You could be organising workshops in schools, putting on informally structured learning activities, developing young people's interpersonal skills or working with partner organisations, such as the Youth Offending Service, housing associations, community organisations or schools.

The dissertation element of the course can have a tangible impact in the real world. For example, a current student is writing her dissertation on the effectiveness of anti-radicalisation programmes for Muslim youth run by a local foundation.

She is looking at the effectiveness of the foundation's approach and has interviewed staff, volunteers and young people to gather opinions and come up with future recommendations. Her dissertation will double as a report for the foundation.




This master's course can be studied on a one-year full-time or a two-year part-time basis.

Typically, you will spend Tuesdays at the University of East London working through the core modules by means of lectures and discussion-led seminars or tutorials.

There will also be an opportunity for creative experience learning with occasional field trips to see community projects in action.

The rest of your week is largely taken up with your placement. The professional validation aspect of the course specifies that you must complete 600 hours in placement practice during your course – one 300-hour placement in each semester. The placements will be undertaken in different organisations.

This practice-based learning is where theory meets practice. You will be able to bring in issues from your workplace and explore them in professional workshops with your fellow students.

On your placement, you may find yourself doing everything from outreach work to securing funding and resources for your placement organisation, from mentoring young people to completing evaluation forms.

You will be allocated a personal tutor who will be your contact while on placement. You will also have a JNC-qualified mentor or suitable equivalent in your placement organisation who will supervise, advise and monitor you.
We will support you to achieve the goals set out in your placement learning agreement.


There are certain national professional standards you have to meet and demonstrate through your placements. These will form part of the learning agreement we draw up with you and your organisation-based mentor prior to your placement.

Towards the end of your placement, a three-way meeting is set up with you, your mentor and your UEL tutor to ascertain whether you have met the goals set out in the learning agreement.

We ask the opinion of your mentor to help decide if you have passed your practice. That is a professional judgement and it is a pass or fail criterion.


Docklands Campus

Docklands Campus, Docklands Campus, London, E16 2RD


The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

Paul Adams

Paul is the programme leader for the MA Youth and Community Work (JNC professionally validated programme).

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What we're researching

Paul Adams, Course Leader of the MA Youth and Community Work course, is involved with a number of youth work organisations, including national government working groups.

He is also a trustee of Y Care International - an international relief and development agency working in partnership with YMCAs throughout the world to help them respond better to the needs of the most disadvantaged young people.

Our Centre for Social Work Research (CSWR) generates knowledge in social work thinking and methods. It also helps and encourages more social workers to become involved in research to improve shared knowledge.

Our founding goal is to shed light on underlying processes in practice and policy-making. We also work to strengthen the evidence base for 'relationship-based social work'. This places the client-practitioner relationship at the heart of practice.

Current research themes include relational approaches to people at risk of self-harm or suicide, safeguarding and child protection, social work and education as well as the transformation of welfare in the UK.

Aerial view of Docklands Campus

Why study at UEL?

Setting out on your journey to higher education can be a confusing and daunting experience. At the University of East London, we pride ourselves in the level of support we offer new students to help you make the right choices.

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Scholarships and Bursaries

View all the undergraduate scholarships and bursaries available to you and read the individual descriptions to see if you are eligible to apply.

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Information Advice Guidance

Pre-entry Information, Advice And Guidance (IAG) And Mature Student Advice

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We are one of the very few universities in London to offer on-campus accommodation. Our stunning waterfront Halls of Residence is convenient, secure and comfortable - and living on campus is a great way to make friends.

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The traditional model of youth work, where you work in and later manage a youth club as the focal point of the community, is becoming less common.

The range of roles open to you now is as rewarding as it is wide. You could move into the Third Sector, a social enterprise, a housing association, a voluntary organisation or even a college. 
For example, a local college has employed graduates of this course as student enrichment officers - in effect working in informal education on a college site. 

Other graduates are working as youth workers, in pupil referral units and youth offending teams. You could specialise in more targeted work, whether it is around learning support, diversion from crime or working with people already in the justice system.

As your career progresses and you gain both experience and credibility in the field, you can move into more senior roles, perhaps shaping policy, working in national charities such as Barnardo's or The Children's Society or taking a sideways step into a non-governmental organisation (NGO).

You could also develop an international, as well as a national and local, focus to your career - for instance, taking young people abroad, supervising and supporting them to broaden their horizons on a community project overseas.

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.