Community Studies

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Goldsmiths is a creative university, and these are times for creative solutions in communities. Funding regimes and policy demand more and more complex partnerships between local people, local authorities, VCS bodies, professionals and service providers. Responding to need in creative ways is essential, and we work with students to develop a portfolio of creative community skills.

We’re creative in the sense of being entrepreneurial, and thinking outside the box -  about how to work in community settings in a context which is really difficult and complex.
We emphasise the creative arts as a way of engaging and intervening in community settings, especially through drama and music.

We continue Goldsmiths’ proud tradition of creative community activism and advocacy, working to think and rethink the challenging environment we’re part of in South East London, and beyond. 

Our portfolio of programmes in youth work and community development with pathways or modules in community arts is available at BA, MA, MPhil and PhD levels (with awards also available at HE Cert, PG Dip and PG Cert).

All courses may be taken part time or full time.



BA programme convenor: David Woodger

BA (Hons) in Applied Social Science, Community Development & Youth Work

MA programme convenor: Dr Kalbir Shukra

MA in Applied Anthropology & Community and Youth Work

MA in Applied Anthropology & Community Arts

MA in Applied Anthropology & Community Development

MPhil & PhD programme convenor: Prof Adam Dinham

MPhil & PhD in Community & Youth Work

We have been offering a range of courses for professional qualification in Youth & Community Work since 1970. Our BA and MA degrees confer professional qualification as Youth & Community Workers, with JNC status. For further details of the course content and admissions requirements, click on the links.

“My advice to any prospective students: if you are going to study, come to a university that is renowned for a teaching style which is fun, creative, interactive and student friendly. This BA will equip you with core theoretical knowledge while also giving you the opportunity to obtain extensive practical experience to ensure when you go into practice as a professional you are not only qualified but prepared and fully trained in your profession.”

Mark, BA Applied Social Science, Community Development & Youth Work

Our courses combine creative and performance skills with community development theories and practices to produce rounded practitioners, able to innovate and initiate really creatively in challenging situations.

“The impact of the course at Goldsmiths on my life can only really be described as life and career-changing. . Since I went freelance as a community musician I have not been out of work and I credit that to the skills I have learned on the course.

Olivia, on Music Workshop Skills

Research & impacts

Community Studies staff are research active in the areas of youth voice, votes and participation; faiths, religious literacy and civil society; community engagement and activism; group work, racism and ethnic minority political participation.

Details can be found on the research pages at

The department incorporates the Centre for Community Research and Engagement which works with community partners to support their research and reflection needs, and to develop collaborative research projects, evaluations and events for networking and influencing decision-making and change. Students have opportunities to engage with the centre’s activities.

In addition, the Faiths & Civil Society Unit is a leading centre for research about faith communities and faith-based community development. Again, students are welcome to get involved. For further details visit

Our leading academics advise governments and policy makers, carry out evaluations and research on topical and pressing issues, and publish and present findings nationally and internationally.

Staff are available for PhD supervision in a wide range of specialisms in Community Studies. If you are thinking of undertaking an MPhil or PhD, please feel welcome to contact Professor Adam Dinham for an informal conversation via email at

An introduction to Community Studies at Goldsmiths