Taught jointly by the Departments of Anthropology and Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies, this MA offers a stimulating synthesis of theory and practice. In short, it is at the heart of what Goldsmiths is all about.
This MA, launched in 2015, is the third of three related pathways. The first, the MA Applied Anthropology and Community and Youth Work, was started in 1992 and is aimed at students who wish to pursue a career in youth and community work and who need a professional qualification.
A second pathway, the MA Applied Anthropology and Community Development, was launched in 2012 as an option for international or home students who do not need an NYA qualification and for those who want to specialise in community development.
This third pathway has been created in response to a growing number of applicants with an arts background and arts interests, and is aimed at students who wish to work in community arts. The three pathways entail different placements but are taught together, providing many opportunities for exchange of ideas and collaboration amongst students.
Contact the department
What you'll study
The MA combines an academic programme of lectures, seminars and tutorial assignments with 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.
|Anthropology modules||Module title||Credits|
|Contemporary Social Issues||30 credits|
|Anthropological Research Methods||30 credits|
In addition, we strongly encourage all students, particularly 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. We also encourage you to audit courses run by the Art, Music and Cultural Studies departments, and in general to make the most of all the wonderful political and arts events organised by Goldsmiths staff and students every week.
Fieldwork and placements
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 380 hours of placements, normally in community arts settings, consisting of three placements with at least two different organisations.
The fieldwork and accompanying teaching are divided into three modules:
|Fieldwork modules||Module title||Credits|
|Fieldwork Report 1: Perspectives and Approaches||15 credits (80 hours practice)|
|Fieldwork Report 2: Critical Practice||15 credits (150 hours of practice)|
|Fieldwork Report 3: Management, Enterprise and Development||30 credits (150 hours practice plus 20 hours observations)|
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.
- 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.
- at least four months of full-time, or part-time equivalent, work experience prior to starting the MA. Experience can include paid or unpaid work; voluntary, community and youth work in organisations; and relevant informal work.
- 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
You might also be considered 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.
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.
If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.
Fees, funding & scholarships
Find out more about tuition fees.
Aziz Foundation Scholarship
This programme is eligible for an Aziz Foundation scholarship. Find out more about how to apply.
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. This 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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”