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Health and Community Development Studies MA/PG Dip/PG Cert

About the course

Health and Community Development StudiesHealth and Community Development Studies is designed for staff in local authorities, the NHS, voluntary, third sector and NGOs who use group work, informal learning and activity, outreach and community work especially with young people and adults often labelled as hard to reach.

It attracts professionals worldwide from a variety of settings, including:

  • sexual health
  • mental health
  • drug abuse
  • parenting education
  • youth work
  • children’s centres
  • housing and homelessness
  • youth offending
  • community development and domestic violence

Health and Community Development Studies also attracts youth work and community development practitioners seeking to explore health-related knowledge.

It is also suitable for youth work and community development practitioners seeking to explore health related topics prevalent in both generic work and specialist health education and development projects.

This course enables the development of innovative, progressive practitioners able to engage reflectively with concepts and practices of social justice and equality.

  • Choose from three specialist pathways and tailor your learning relevant to your career interests
  • Opportunities for full-time study, or by flexible part-time distance learning, allowing study alongside work
  • We have an international reputation in the field, with more than 50 years’ professional training experience
  • Our experienced practitioner and research-based staff, and practice-related modules, ensure your learning is relevant to current practice.

Choose from a range of high quality practice-related modules, enable practitioners to achieve planned change through the process of education, development and practice-orientated research.

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Key facts

Duration: One year full-time, two-three years distance learning (with occasional attendance)

Attendance: One teaching block week in October is compulsory. Further teaching days are dependent on the optional modules chosen. Some optional modules are launched over weekends. The second teaching block in February depends on your module choices (if you enrol in February the whole week will then be compulsory). All module launch days are compulsory.

Start date: October 2013 or February 2014

Entry and admission criteria

2014 and 2015 entry

  • Demonstration of ability to work at master’s level which can be achieved through having a first degree, normally at 2:2 or above, or by having a range of academic and work experience
  • You are normally expected to have a professional qualification in an area related to work
  • You must be engaged in at least 12 hours’ appropriate work, paid or unpaid, per week

You should also normally have:

  • A commitment to anti-oppressive practice
  • Relevant and significant field experience on which to base and integrate theory
  • Proven ability to reflect on practice, critically examine concepts of informal education and justice, awareness of social welfare needs in a youth and community development context.

Applications from individuals with no formal academic qualifications, but extensive practical experience, will be considered on an individual basis. You will need to attend an interview or participate in a telephone interview.

You must complete a declaration form and enhanced DBS disclosure, and criminal record certificate (from your home country), before starting the course, which need to be cleared in accordance with DMU’s admission policy. Contact us for up-to-date information.

To find out more, please visit dmu.ac.uk/international |

Teaching and assessment

The core module and most specialist modules are launched during one of two block teaching weeks held each year. These modules are supported by a wide variety of written material, individual and corporate tasks. You are required to engage in a number of online seminars in each module which is compulsory.

The Health and Community Development Studies course works to build a learning community, from the initial contact on selection day and in the induction periods onwards. Assessment is usually by written assignment of 4,000 words per 15 credit module. Contributions to online seminars are compulsory and also an attendance requirement.

International students come to study in the UK because the quality of our teaching is among the best in the world, offering a varied selection of teaching methods to suit all learning requirements.

Course modules

There are three specialist pathways to choose from including:

  1. 1: The generic pathway; offering the greatest flexibility
  2. 2: The research pathway; considers practice-based, evaluative and academic modes of research
  3. 3: The management pathway; includes bespoke management modules and a management – focused dissertation

Key modules include:

  1. Issues of Health and Well - being introduces key concepts of health and well-being in the context of youth work and community development
  2. Theory and Practice of Community Development - introduces students to key concepts explored in relation to practice, policy and National Occupation Standards
  3. Health and Social Research Methods - introduces strategies and methods of social science research commonly used in social and healthcare settings
  • Managing Services and People - increases self- confidence and performance as a manager of people and projects within a youth work and community development environment

You will also choose from a diverse range of specialist optional modules, depending on your preferred pathway and specific career interests, including;

  • Anti-Oppressive Practice - analyses concepts of oppression, discrimination and inequality and develops effective anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory practice
  • The Negotiated Module allows you to formulate, present and implement an individual proposal in an area of professional relevance and interest
  • Mental Health
  • Peer Health Learning
  • Designing, Delivering and Assessing Learning
  • Supervision in Youth and Community Development
  • Social Exclusion, Disaffection and Youth Work
  • Global Issues in Youth and Community Development
  • Managing Race and Diversity
  • Anti-Oppressive Practice

Please contact us for specialist modules descriptions and further information.

For completion of the full MA, you will also be required to undertake the Dissertation; choosing a health- related topic identified in discussion with academic staff.

Academic expertise

The department is home to the National Youth Work Collection and has one of the largest teams in the UK with more than 50 years’ experience. Staff continue to work for a range of organisations that work with young people including:

  • Charities
  • Voluntary and statutory agencies at local, national and international levels.

Thematic areas of interest include a specialist expertise and interest in global youth and community development work (resulting in numerous conferences and publications by Dr Momodou Sallah|, a leading expert in this area);

  • Work with black young people (again, resulting in key conferences and texts by Carlton Howson and Momodou Sallah)
  • Youth participation and citizenship (including an evaluation of a Beacon Councils initiative and ongoing partnership work with the Centre for Social Action)
  • Anti-oppressive practice (Dr Jagdish Chouhan)
  • Hospital and other health related youth work (Dr Scott Yates) and the context, management and operation of children and young people’s services (Mary Tyler, and recent high profile work undertaken by visiting professors Bernard Davies and Bryan Merton).

In the last five years seven books have been published by authors in the division with a further two forthcoming titles.

Sample timetable

Below is a sample timetable for a first year [Course Title] student.

The timetable gives an idea of the types of classes you may attend and an indication of contact hours per week. You will be expected to complete at least [X] hours of self-directed study in addition to these scheduled classes.

Sample Timetable

Graduate careers

Many of our graduates go into a wide range of senior posts in community health, youth work and community development work in both the statutory and voluntary sector, all over the world.

An MA is a recommended qualification for workers who want to hold senior positions. The MA is recognised internationally as a valid postgraduate level of study and its content is relevant for issues relating to a developing country’s health and community provision.

Fees and funding

Fees below are for 2014/15

MA without PQ 

Full-time £4860
Part Time £4860
15 credit taught module £405
60 credit dissertation £1620
Full-time £12,200


MA with PQ 

Full-time N/A
Part Time £6075
Year 1 £2835
Year 2 £1620
Year 3 (dissertation fee) £1620
Full-time £12,200


As part of the universities commitment to enhancing the personal and career development of our graduates.
Alumni scholarship programme. For more information visit Health and Life Sciences Alumni Scholarships >|

How to apply

UKPASS is the postgraduate equivalent of UCAS and gives you a simple and efficient way to apply online. It allows you to search for a course and guides you through the application process. Using UKPASS you can apply for up to ten courses for free.

You can create your application in your own time, so you can consider, research and complete each section at your own speed. You can track your applications as they progress, and can also receive and reply to offers online. Apply online with UKPASS|

You will need to attach qualification transcripts, references and evidence of English language (if you are an overseas student) with your UKPass application. If these documents are not attached to your original application, this will delay the process of your application.

International students can also apply directly to DMU using our online applications portal|.

Contact details

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Admissions Team
De Montfort University
Edith Murphy Building
Leicester, LE1 9BH

Online enquiry form|

T: +44 (0)116 250 6070
E: hls@dmu.ac.uk|
W: dmu.ac.uk/hls|

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