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MA in Applied Anthropology & Community Development

  • Length
    1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
  • Department
    Anthropology

Course overview

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 an 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 much opportunity for exchange of ideas and collaboration amongst students. 

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Pauline von Hellerman

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 placements modules, which are supported by seminars, lectures, workshops and tutorials. This MA pathway entails five days attached to Anthropological Research Methods module; five days observations and 40 days of placements, consisting of two placements of 20 days each. The accompanying teaching is divided into three modules. The first two of these relate to your first placement, the third to your second placement:

  • Fieldwork I: Perspectives and Approaches (first 10 days of 20-day placement)

In this module you explore key themes, principles, values and competing 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 (second 10 days of 20-day placement)

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 (20-day placement plus five-day observation)

This module advances critical understanding of the management of projects, staff and resources, the legal context of community and 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 assessed by a fieldwork report written by the student and a report by the placement supervisor. 

  • The dissertation presents the culmination of your work, in that it is here that you apply anthropological methods and theories to a specific issue relevant to community development that you are interested in. It is taught jointly by both departments.

Please note that it is possible to exit with a postgraduate diploma if you do not wish to do a dissertation.

Download the programme specification for this degree to find out more about what you'll learn and how you'll be taught and assessed.

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

Department

Anthropology at Goldsmiths is ranked: 6th in the UK for the quality of our research** 36th in the world for this subject area***

Anthropology

Investigate a variety of fascinating areas that have real relevance to modern life.

As a department we’re interested in pushing the discipline forward. We’re known for pioneering new fields including visual anthropology and the anthropology of modernity. And we tackle other contemporary issues like urban planning, development, emotions and aesthetics, and new social movements.

Find out more about the Department of Anthropology.

**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings

***QS World University Rankings by subject 2016

 

Staff

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 upon my CV and applications favourably due to the fact that I have an MA in Community and Youth Work from Goldsmiths.”

Student profiles

Qaisar

"I am free to think, free to say and free to act."

"Goldsmiths provides you almost all the necessary tools to explore your areas of academic interests and facilitates fully in your pursuits. I heard a lot about it and found more than that.

My course is wonderfully enriching and helpful in building the critical faculties of the field. I am free to think, free to say and free to act. Goldsmiths is all about freedom which I am enjoying.

After graduation, I would continue my work; producing theatre of love and freedom with my own people in my own land, maybe with deeper understanding and commitment."

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
You'll need to meet fitness to train criteria to be considered for this programme.

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 minimum of 6.5 in the written test and no individual test lower than 6.0)

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
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online

          Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

  • 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.

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

Find out more about applying.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Find out more about tuition fees.

Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

CSC Shared Scholarship Scheme

This programme is now eligible for a Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement, which provides full tuition fees, living cost, airfares and allowances to one postgraduate Masters student from a developing commonwealth country. The scholarship is jointly funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) and Goldsmiths.

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