Course information


Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies


1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Scholarship information

Funding available

Course overview

This is a pathway of the MA Applied Anthropology & Community and Youth Work, aimed at applicants who may not need a National Youth Agency qualification in youth work (JNC) and those who want to become specialists in community development or community arts.

Why study MA Applied Anthropology & Community Development/Community Arts

  • This unique MA combines academic and practice learning with high-level professional qualifications. It is aimed at students who wish to pursue a career in community development or community arts and associated sectors and those who want an MA with additional professional qualifications to enable more senior career progression
  • Established in 1992, the youth work pathway was the first of three fieldwork pathway options, with an additional pathway in Community Development  launched in 2012 and a Community Arts pathway launched in 2015. Community Development and Community Arts are now merged at the point of programme entry but continue to allow for fieldwork specialism in each distinct area
  • The Community Development / Community Arts pathway caters for international or home students who want to specialise in community development or for those with an arts background and arts interests, who wish to work in community arts
  • You will join a diverse cohort of students with a variety of practice experiences and interests. Whether you wish to specialise in community development or community arts, you will be taught alongside fellow students with interests in both disciplines, providing opportunities for the exchange of ideas and as well as interaction with an extensive range of organisations and practitioners
  • You will undertake fieldwork, which is focused on national occupational standards in community development and may take place in either community development settings or community arts settings depending on your specialisation
  • The programme is structured to give you autonomy over the accredited placement organisations that you work with. You will be able to arrange placements with organisations that best facilitate the form of practice that you wish to explore

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Martin Webb (Anthropology co-convenor) or Louise Doherty (STaCS co-convenor).

What you'll study

The MA combines an academic programme of lectures, seminars and tutorial assignments with placement based practical experience specific to your pathway. 

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 STaCS on Tuesdays and Anthropology on Thursdays and spend the rest of the week on fieldwork placements and library studies. 

Part-time students attend on Thursdays in the first year and Tuesdays in the second year. Placements take place in year two when you join the STaCS half of the programme. 

Fieldwork and placements 

The Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies teaches three of the core modules of your degree. These are the fieldwork modules that involve placements and are supported by lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials. 

This programme entails a total of 400 placement hours to meet NYA and ESB professional validation requirements. This is divided between 20 hours of observations and 380 hours of practice across three placements within at least two different organisations.

The fieldwork and accompanying teaching are divided into three modules:

Module title Credits
Fieldwork Report 1: Perspectives and Approaches 15 credits
Fieldwork Report 2: Critical Practice 15 credits
Fieldwork Report 3: Management, Enterprise and Development 30 credits

All three modules are assessed by an academic fieldwork-focused essay, and accompanying fieldwork assessments - contract; students self assessment; supervisors assessments. There is also an observation recording form that is populated throughout the year and submitted along with the final placement assessments.

All fieldwork assessments relate to the National Occupational Standards in youth work and community development and assess the students ability to demonstrate effective practice-based learning to a quality high enough to meet the professional standards. 

Overall, a minimum of 200 hours of all fieldwork must be face-to-face with groups in a Community Development or Community Arts setting.

Anthropology components

The Department of Anthropology teaches two of the core components of your degree: Contemporary Social Issues and Anthropological Research Methods.

You will also complete a disseration, which is jointly taught and you will have a supervisor from each department. 

Module title Credits
Contemporary Social Issues 30 credits
Anthropological Research Methods 30 credits
Dissertation 60 credits

In addition, we strongly encourage all students, particularly those without a background in anthropology, to sit in on the module Anthropological Theory offered by the Department of Anthropology.

Download the programme specification.

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

Entry requirements

You'll need:

  • an undergraduate degree of at least second class standard in the social sciences or another appropriate subject, with some experience in community development or community arts
  • 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. 
  • 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 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.

International qualifications

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

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2024/2025 academic year.

  • Home - full-time: £10350
  • Home - part-time: £5175
  • International - full-time: £19520

If your fees are not listed here, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time under a student visa. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

In recent years students on the programme have been supported by awards from the Chevening Scholarship, the Jean Monnet Scholarship, and the Aziz Foundation.


Aziz Scholarship
This programme is eligible for an Aziz 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 academic qualifications
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively a copy of your academic reference
  • Copies of your educational transcripts or certificates
  • 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
  • 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 Development or Community Arts 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

In your personal statement and work experience report you should be explicit in whether you are specialising in community development or community arts.

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.


Department of Anthropology

Department of Social, Therapeutic & Community Studies


Increasing employment prospects are central to this programme.

Our graduates regularly find work directly or indirectly related to the disciplines 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 
  • CEO of a charity supporting young people with  SEND 
  • Community Centre based senior 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.”

Similar programmes

MA Applied Anthropology & Community & Youth Work

Professionally validated by the National Youth Agency and the Endorsement and Quality Standards Board for community development, this MA brings together youth work and community development theory and practice with the research methods and theoretical preoccupations of anthropology.

MPhil/PhD Communities and Social Justice

Goldsmiths is home to world-renowned researchers in social justice, community work and youth work, making it a perfect home for postgraduate research studies in these areas.

MA Social Work

This Masters programme is ideal for graduates with relevant experience interested in pursuing a professional career in social work. You will receive an approved qualification, enabling you to register with Social Work England and work as a qualified professional social worker on completion of the programme.

Related content links