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Community and Youth Studies
Postgraduate course

Community and Youth Studies


Youth and community work is an area that is both challenging and in a state of flux thanks to a range of complex factors, including government policy, shifting ideologies and cultural or familial issues.

If you are an experienced practitioner in this field who has completed a Postgraduate Diploma, this is your chance to enhance your expertise and professional development by completing a research project or dissertation and gain a masters qualification.

Your course will give you a better understanding of social research methodologies, data collection and analysis techniques so you can confidently use best-practice approaches in a range of complex youth and community situations.

At the end of your studies, you will have a critical perspective of policy and practice, which in turn will give you the confidence to shape policy and practice in order to improve the lives of young people and communities.

You will benefit from the expertise of our staff, most of whom are active researchers in the field of youth and community work.

Course leader Alan Smith is vice chair of the National Youth Agency Education and Training Standards Committee and is co-chair of the Joint Education and Training Standards Committee.

The Youth Work & Community team have twice been shortlisted for Course Team of the Year in our Students' Union Golden Robe Awards, winning in 2014. These accolades celebrate and recognise the work of our University staff.

Guest speakers will also be on hand to share their practical insights and knowledge. Previous guest lecturers have included international academics who provided insights into the differences between youth and community work in the UK and overseas, and a member of Ofsted who spoke about the changing shape of youth work.

This course attracts a diverse student group, so you will have a supportive community to discuss ideas and strategies with. With this exposure to different views and methods of problem solving, you will gain a fresh perspective on the issues you will deal with in your career.


Jon Giordano


Jon Giordano
Senior Practitioner Surrey Heath

PG Dip Youth Work & Community Development

“"I can’t speak highly enough of my time at Leeds Beckett. I’ve really learnt how to educate myself with the youth work theories and best practice so that I can champion social justice and change young people’s lives for the better. I’ve come from being a part-time youth worker to managing a team of 16 people – I wouldn’t have had the confidence nor the opportunities without my course."

Teaching and learning

Download Course Spec Download

Plan and implement an independent piece of original research while also reflecting on evidence drawn from community and youth studies and making links to research theory and practice.

Gain the theoretical, methodological and practical foundations to be an effective social science researcher, capable of resolving a range of practice-based problems.

Alan Smith
Alan Smith
Course Director

Alan Smith manages and leads one of the largest youth and community work programmes in the UK. He is Vice Chair of the National Youth Agency Education and Training Standards Committee and is Co-Chair of the Joint Education and Training Standards Committee for England, Scotland, Wales and All-Ireland.

With a growing focus on community and global issues, our course helps prepare students for working in a rapidly changing world, helping them see the impact of inequalities on life choices and life chances. As they gain an understanding of how local issues have an impact beyond their community, we expect them to critically engage with politics, the media and other professionals, to help challenge inequality and give voice to the voiceless.

Fees & funding


  • Library

    Our Library is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year, providing you with access to specialist books and journals, learning spaces, computers, multimedia facilities and media equipment hire. Tens of thousands of our Library's digital resources, including ebooks, ejournals and databases, can be accessed online at a time and place to suit you.

  • Gym and Sports Facilities
    Gym and Sports Facilities

    Keeping fit is easy at Leeds Beckett - our fitness suites are easy to get to, kitted out with all the latest technology and available to all sports members.

  • Portland

    Leeds Law School is located in Portland, close to the city's legal quarter. Our students can hone their legal expertise in purpose-built facilities, including our very own courtroom.


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