Community Studies

In this section


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

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.

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 the Faiths & Civil Society.

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 a.dinham (

Our Short Courses

You may be interested in the following short courses we have to offer:

Adolescents as Victims and Perpetrators

An Introduction to Authentic Movement - Developing your inner witness

An Introduction to Ecopsychology: A Body-Based Approach

Dance Movement Psychotherapy Foundation

Non-Verbal Communication: The Art of Conversation Through Body Language

Self Care for Practitioners Working in the Caring Professions

Working with Adults in the Context of Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse

Working with Children in the Context of Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse

Facing Chanllenges Through Music

Religious Literacy for Public Professionals


Marie Maty

2015 Graduate, BA Applied Social Science, Community Development and Youth Work 

About your experience on the programme

Prior to starting this course I was very shy and lacked confidence. The programme has given me the knowledge to challenge poor practice, it has also given me a platform where I could be myself and a safe haven where I could explore my emotions and talk about topics that are usually not allowed to discuss. I also enjoyed learning about social policy and management, before starting this course. I was totally oblivious of the policies and the different style of management and the importance of reflective practice.

This course has been extremely positive both professionally and personally. It has equipped me with the necessary skills and tools to work with young people within the community while helping me to discover my inner greatness. I enrolled onto the programme with two children and I completed the course with three children.

The programme has given me the knowledge to speak confidently on various topics such as inequality, injustice, and racism. Although at time I felt some of the discussion brought up were very sensitive and controversial on the positive side it helped us a group to challenge ourselves and come out of our comfort zone and developed as potential practitioner.  Overall this programme has taught me how to appreciate the social diversity we have in UK especially in London. The effort and supports the staff's put into the course and the students are amazing.

Marie Maty

Marie Maty is a Graduate from the BA Applied Social Science, Community Development and Youth Work

How your career has developed since graduating

I am now doing a master in social work, this programme has opened a door for me to soar higher, but most importantly it has given me the confidence, knowledge, and skills to be a positive and influential member of society.  Before the programme I never believed I could achieve anything good but now due to the positive words and encouragement from my tutors and students I am more than confident and not afraid of challenges.

Emma Henly

2016 graduate:  MA Applied Anthropology, Community and Youth Work

This is a great course for anybody thinking of a career in youth work or those already practising who would like a further qualification or a theoretical background. Combining theory with practical experience is the perfect way to study youth work, ensuring that young people are at the heart of the programme.

The lectures are inspiring, collaborative and challenging, constantly finding ways to push boundaries, challenge discourses and ultimately develop youth and community work practice. We’re really lucky to be taught by renowned university lecturers as well as previous students of the course who are now leaders in the field.

Plus, Goldsmiths is a great university to be a student; there is a diverse range of people from all backgrounds and lots happening on campus all the time. The course has a great reputation and I can honestly say that it definitely meets it!

The fieldwork part of the programme is a great way to use theory from lectures and put these into practice in youth work settings. It gives you an opportunity to learn skills through experience and network within the sector for future employment. Plus, it enables you to work in three different organisations helping you find what you enjoy and what area you would like to specialise in. Being able to experience different areas of youth work has opened my eyes to the direction I’d like to focus on in the future. I don’t think there is another Masters which gives you such a unique opportunity to learn and practice at the same time!

An introduction to Community Studies at Goldsmiths