This is a pathway of the MA in Applied Anthropology & Community and Youth Work, aimed both at international applicants who may not need a British National Youth Agency qualification and those who want to become specialists in community development.

This MA is a second pathway to the MA in Applied Anthropology and Community and Youth Work. It was launched in 2012 as an option for international or home students who do not need a National Youth Agency qualification and for those who want to specialise in community development. A third pathway, the MA in Applied Anthropology and Community Arts started in 2015.

The three pathways entail different placements but are taught together, providing many opportunities for exchange of ideas and collaboration amongst students.

Modules & structure

Overview

The MA consists of an academic programme of lectures, seminars and tutorial assignments, and practical experience.

Modules are taken over one academic year if you are studying full-time, and two years if you are studying part-time (part-time study only available to home/EU students).

Full-time students attend on Tuesdays and Thursdays and spend the rest of the week on fieldwork placements and library studies.

Part-time students attend on Thursdays in one year and Tuesdays in the other.

The Department of Anthropology teaches two of the core components of your degree: Contemporary Social Issues and Anthropological Research Methods.

  • The Contemporary Social Issues module runs through the Autumn Term and Spring Term, with lectures and student-led seminars alternating on a weekly basis. In the Autumn Term, it explores key analytical concepts in anthropology and related social sciences relevant to community development, such as class, gender, race and culture. The Spring Term addresses more specific contemporary social issues affecting communities, such as transnationalism, mental health, gentrification and new media. The module is assessed by a take-home exam in May.
  • Anthropological Research Methods is taught in the Spring Term. Here, you will become familiar with ethnographic research and writing. Through literature and practical research exercises (five days of fieldwork is attached to this module), you will learn about different methods of data collection including surveys, in-depth interviews, participant observation and participatory research. It combines weekly lectures and seminar-based work with the completion of a small individual project in the second term. Assessment is by essay, combining project material with theoretical literature.

In addition, we strongly encourage all students, in particular, those without a background in anthropology, to sit in on other MA option courses offered by the anthropology department, such as Anthropological Theory, Anthropology of Development, Anthropology of Violence, Anthropology of Art and Anthropology and the Environment.

The Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies runs the fieldwork modules, which involve placements that, are supported by seminars, lectures, workshops and tutorials.

This MA pathway entails 20 hours of observations and 280 hours of placements, consisting of three placements with at least two different organisations. The fieldwork and accompanying teaching are divided into three modules:

Fieldwork I: Perspectives and Approaches (Placement 1 –70 hours)

In this module, you explore key themes, principles, values and competing for perspectives underlying community development. The value of experiential learning approaches and critical pedagogy in informal learning and community development are explored alongside group work principles, processes and theories. You consider your own values and reflect on your practice perspective.

Fieldwork 2: Critical Practice (Placement 2 –70 hours)

In this module you critically analyse the changing context of community development practice, develop as critically reflective practitioners and learn how to recognise and challenge discrimination and oppression. Key themes include ethical dilemmas faced in practice, youth participation and methods of engaging communities with a view to facilitating ‘empowerment’.

Fieldwork 3: Management, Enterprise and Development(Placement 3 – 140 hours plus 20 hours observation)

This module advances critical understanding of the management of projects, staff and resources, the legal context of community development and community & youth work, how to produce funding bids, prepare budgets and grapple with the issues and processes involved in developing a social enterprise as well as monitoring and evaluation.

All three modules are currently assessed by an essay, documents completed by the student in relation to the placement and community development national occupational standards learning, a report by the placement supervisor and a fieldwork contract form. The final placement also involves an assessment of the observations.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Skills & careers

Increasing employment prospects are central to this programme.

Our graduates find work directly or indirectly related to the disciplines relatively quickly after graduating, or even while on the programme. The majority of our students gain work in youth work or community work. Examples of recent graduate employment include:

  • Full-time health youth worker for a London Borough, leading on LGBTQ awareness and homophobic bullying,
  • Community Centre based youth worker,
  • Mentoring and Befriending Co-ordinator at a civil society equalities organisation,
  • Community Development Worker in a social work team in Hong Kong.

Some seek and gain work in a wide range of other settings, often shaped by the particular interests that they develop during their time with us, such as working with refugees or with disability groups. Others join social enterprises to bid for contracts, join newly developing cooperatives or established NGOs in the UK and abroad.

We have many alumni who have gone on to teaching at university themselves. One of our former students who is now a senior lecturer fed back:

“Studying on the Applied Anthropology, Youth and Community Work Masters provided me with an experience and opportunity to validate 20 years of practice and to consider a wide range of theoretical and disciplinary perspectives. Immediately this impacted on my ability to better articulate a more nuanced and evidence-based understanding of the context that surrounds practice. Before completing the MA I was promoted to a management post, overseeing six trainee community development posts, and three senior workers (the obvious impact of the course on my work was specifically highlighted during post-interview feedback)... It is clear to me that the course delivered positive outcomes in terms of career progression.”

Students from the past recommend the programme to others and recognise the combination of disciplines as unique:

“Put simply, I honestly believe I would not have got any of my three jobs since completing the course in 2003 without the MA. This is mostly reputation. The course has a cachet amongst managers in the voluntary sector, and the assumption is that students are able not only to do development work but also to do it in the right way, with values and processes embedded.”

Placements

Placement experiences and networks developed while on the programme often produce new job opportunities. As one recent graduate explained:

“I actually managed to find paid employment as a result of making a good impression during my second placement. My third placement was a job that I was able to progress effectively in and was a real step up in terms of experience and responsibility. I eventually became a line manager there and was working on a payment by results programme, which really reflected the new political climate. It also made for a very interesting and topical research essay that I scored really well on. I know that employers look at my CV and applications favourably due to the fact that I have an MA in Community and Youth Work from Goldsmiths.”

Entry requirements

You should have an undergraduate degree of at least second class standard in the social sciences or another appropriate subject, with some experience of community and youth work. You should have at least four months of full-time, or part-time equivalent, work experience prior to starting the MA. We also offer the MA in Applied Anthropology & Community and Youth Work (professionally validated by the National Youth Agency) for applicants with more work experience.

Experience can include paid or unpaid work; voluntary, community and youth work in organisations; and relevant informal work.

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

DBS checks

If we make you an offer to study on this programme, we will ask you to complete an application for an Enhanced Disclosure Certificate from the DBS. Please note there will be a fee of £56 for all DBS applications; we will send you further information about payment with your offer. You can find more information about this on our fitness to train pages

Fitness to train

If you are offered a place on this programme, you'll need to meet the fitness to train criteria.

Equivalent qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

English language requirements

If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.

For this programme we require:

IELTS 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system.

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments,
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference,
  • A personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF or completed online,
  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory),
  • A work experience report. The work experience report should be up to 1,000 words about recent personal experience of working or volunteering in a Community and/or Youth Work setting. It should outline this recent work experience, consisting of a brief description of the agency or project, role within the agency, the responsibilities carried and actual work done. You should outline the reflections on learning gained from the work experience.

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September.

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification.

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline.

Selection process

Admission to many programmes is by interview unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally, we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.

Program taught in:
English

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8,130 GBP
Programme fee 2018-2019: Home/EU - £8130; International - £15340
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