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Children’s, Young People’s and Community’s Services (MA)

This programme is aimed at professionals involved in the children and young people's workforce in a wide range of roles. Each stage of this Master's has been designed to develop high-level skills of direct relevance to the world of work; students will interrogate research, critique theory and conduct robust research connected to their current or future occupation. 

Because it has been structured around the needs of working people, the programme is delivered flexibly through a mixture of face-to-face and online learning. It can be studied through the medium of Welsh or English. 

The MA shares several modules with its sibling qualification the Professional Doctorate in Children’s, Young People’s and Community’s Services. The Professional Doctorate includes both Master's level and Doctoral level content. Students who complete this MA programme may still choose to move on to the Doctoral (research) section of the Prof Doc. 


You can apply directly to the University using the Apply Now button at the top of the page. 

It is possible to leave the programme early with a qualification appropriate to the amount of work completed. Early exit qualifications are:

  • a Postgraduate Certificate
  • a Postgraduate Diploma

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Why choose this course?

  • Flexibility: this course can adapt to fit your schedule. 
  • Collaboration: it creates opportunities for you to engage with your peers within each module.
  • Focus: if you are a professional involved in the children and young people's workforce, this programme has been designed to support and challenge you. 
  • Support: you will have access to staff through face-to-face study days and online webinars
  • Personalisation: choose optional modules to complement your interests and shape your dissertation topic around your professional or academic interests.

What you will learn

Course Overview

In order to ensure that as a busy professional you are supported to succeed, the programme is designed for delivery outside of normal working hours. The programme will involve Saturday lectures supported by frequent evening webinars online. Staff are available for tutorials in the evenings if required, and will support you by offering catch-up tutorials if you are forced to miss learning sessions because of your professional responsibilities. 

If you are unsure of your academic writing skills after a long time away from formal education, staff will provide support in the form of tutorials. The development of your academic writing skills is also achieved through the targeted feedback given by staff before you submit your assignments. 

The programme has a strong collaborative element. You can expect to engage with other students on your course to discuss and constructively critique each other's research design. 

If you join the programme but later decide that you do not want to complete the full range of Level 7 modules, you may choose to graduate with either a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) or Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits). 

Module Topics

Level 7 modules

  • Critical Reflections of Academic and Professional Practice (30 credits; Compulsory)
  • Critical Perspectives in Policy, Planning and Delivery (30 credits; Compulsory)
  • Developing Professional Curiosity: A Critical Literature Review (30 credits; Compulsory)
  • Research Design and Management for Professional Practice (30 credits; Compulsory)
  • Future Focused: Impacting change and leading improvement through research (30 credits; Compulsory)
  • The Philosophy and Practice of Social Research (30 credits; Compulsory)
  • Supervision, Leadership and Management for Professionals (30 credits; Optional)
  • Sustainable Communities (30 credits; Optional)
  • Well-being and Belonging in the Early Years (30 credits; Optional)
  • Young Children’s Learning (30 credits; Optional)
  • Dissertation: Childhood, Youth and Education (60 credits; Compulsory)

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)


The programme uses a range of assessment types. In some modules, you will be assessed through portfolios, blog submissions, and a conference-style presentation. In others, assessment consists of a research proposal, completed ethics form and research report.

For all types of assessment, staff will provide feedback to allow you to develop your ideas and respond to constructive advice before the final submission. 

The range of assessment types will develop your skills in academic writing, giving presentations in front of an audience, reflective practice, critical thinking and research design. 

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Key Information

Entry Criteria

You may enter this course after completing an undergraduate degree in a related subject, or after having spent a short or long time out of education. Many students on this MA will have part-time or full-time jobs in the field of child, youth or community services, and keep them while studying flexibly around their professional commitments. 

As a prospective student, you may have a background in one or more of the following areas, or may plan on building your career in them:

  • Youth Services
  • Families Services
  • Childcare
  • Early Years Education
  • Social Care
  • Community Development
  • Play Work
  • Civil Servants
  • Third Sector Organisations
  • Blue Light Services (particularly the police)
  • Youth Justice
  • Health Services.

If you already have at least two years' experience in a relevant occupation, you may wish to look at the Professional Doctorate in Children’s, Young People’s and Community’s Services

Career Opportunities

Discussions and feedback from organisations active in the area of children's and young people's services has been used in the design of the course, and will continue to inform future developments in the programme's aims and content. This ensures that our students gain professionally relevant skills and knowledge of unambiguous value to current and future employers. 

This Master's degree fills a gap in the provision of focused MA routes in the field of Early Years. As a graduate of the programme, you would have a distinct, sophisticated skillset that would set you apart from your peers. The advanced critical abilities and expertise gained from your studies would enhance your career progression opportunities and employability across various criteria. 

Under the Entrepreneurship Competence Framework, you would achieve the following learning outcomes:

  • Spotting opportunities
  • Creativity
  • Ethical and sustainable thinking
  • Motivation and perseverance
  • Taking the initiative
  • Planning and management
  • Coping with uncertainty, ambiguity and risk
  • Learning through experience.
Additional Costs

Students may choose to purchase textbooks to support their studies. This is not required as texts are generally available in the library or online. Textbook costs range from £20 to £100. 

There may be opportunities to attend research conference(s), where this may be appropriate for the student and related to their research interest. Costs range from £50–£500 depending on location and length of attendance.

Bursary / Scholarship Information

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit our Scholarships and Bursaries section.

Further Information

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions related to the University or to this course in particular.