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

About the course

Health and Community Development Studies

Health and Community Development Studies enables you to develop as an innovative, progressive practitioner able to engage reflectively with concepts and practices of social justice and equality. You will have experience of or be interested in using skills of group work, informal learning and activity, outreach and community work; particularly with young people and adults often identified as hard to reach.

Reasons to study Health and Community Development Studies at DMU Leicester

  • Benefit from the flexibility of being able to tailor your learning specifically to your career interests - choose from three specialist pathways
  • Opportunities to study part-time alongside your work commitments, mainly through distance learning
  • Our experienced practitioner - and research-based staff and diverse range of practice-related modules enable you to achieve planned change through the process of education, development and practice orientated research - ensuring your learning is relevant to current practice and initiatives
  • Benefit from inter-professional learning as the course attracts professionals, worldwide, from a variety of settings, including: sexual health, mental health, disability, drug abuse, parenting education, youth work and community development, children’s centres, housing and homelessness, youth offending and domestic violence
  • Benefit from an international reputation in the field, with 55 years’ professional training experience and international work
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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 or February

Entry and admission criteria

  • 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 health oriented work experience
  • 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.

Teaching and assessment

Most core and optional modules are launched during one of two block teaching weeks held each year, usually in October and February. These modules are supported by a wide variety of written material, individual and organisational tasks. Students are required to engage in a number of online seminars in each module. Contributions to them are compulsory and an attendance requirement.

The course aims to build a learning community, from the initial contact on selection day and the induction block teaching week onwards. Assessment is usually by written assignment of 4,000 words per 15 credit module.

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. Providing you can attend the teaching blocks, as an international students you can study largely at home if you wish.

Course modules

There are two pathways to choose from:

  • The generic pathway; offering the greatest flexibility
  • The management pathway; includes bespoke management modules and a management-focused dissertation

Core modules include:

  • Theory and Practice of Community Development - introduces students to key concepts explored in relation to practice, policy and national occupation standards
  • Issues of Health and Well-being - introduces key concepts of health and well-being and the context of youth work and community development
  • Health and Social Research Methods - introduces strategies and methods of social science research commonly used in social and healthcare settings

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

  • Theory and Practice of Youth Work
  • Mental Health
  • Designing, Delivering and Assessing Learning
  • Supervision in Youth and Community Development
  • Contemporary Social Issues
  • Global Issues in Youth and Community Development
  • Managing Race and Diversity
  • Anti-oppressive Practice - analyses concepts of oppression, discrimination and inequality and develops effective anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory practice
  • Management of Services and People -  increases self-confidence and performance as a manager of people and projects within a youth work and community development environment
  • The Negotiated Module - allows you to formulate, present and implement an individual proposal in an area of professional relevance and interest

Please contact us for option module descriptions and further information. For completion of the full MA, you will also be required to undertake: 

  • Dissertation - Students must choose 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. Staff continue to work with 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, who has also been recently awarded a National Teacher Fellowship)
  • Work with black young people (again, resulting in key conferences and texts by
    Dr Carlton Howson and Dr Momodou Sallah)
  • Youth participation and citizenship (including an evaluation of a Beacon Councils initiative and partnership work with the  Centre for Social Action)
  • Anti-oppressive practice (Dr Jagdish Chouhan )
  • Hospital and other health-related youth work (Dr Scott Yates)
  • The context, management and operation of children and young people’s services
    (Mary Tyler and high profile work undertaken by visiting professors)

In the past six years, the authors in the division have published nine books.

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

MA without PQ 

Full-time £4,860
Part-time £4,860
15 credit taught module £405
60 credit dissertation £1,620
Full-time £12,200


MA with PQ 

Full-time N/A
Part-time £6,075
Year 1 £2,835
Year 2 £1,620
Year 3 (dissertation fee) £1,620
Full-time £12,200

Additional costs

It is likely there will be some additional costs wherever you choose to study. Here at DMU, we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist laboratories and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs, which vary from course to course. We provide full details of all course fees, but these extra costs may include general living expenses, field trips, travel for work placement opportunities, materials, additional text books and others such as supplementary printing.


As part of the university's commitment to enhancing the personal and career development of our graduates, we are offering you Alumni scholarship programme. For more information visit the  Health and Life Sciences Alumni Scholarships page.

How to apply

Students can apply directly to study this postgraduate taught course at DMU by 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

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