M.A. Applied Anthropology & Community Development

Goldsmiths, University of London

Tuition fee: Not specified
Start date: September  2015
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time

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This MA is the first of its kind in the country, combining academic and professional qualifications. By bringing together Community Development and Youth Work practice with the research methods and theoretical preoccupations of Anthropology, it offers a stimulating synthesis of theory and practice.

Taught jointly by the Departments of Anthropology, and Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies, the programme reflects the common concerns of lecturers in both disciplines. The MA fits the spirit of the academic profile of Goldsmiths both in its interdisciplinary and multi-cultural character, and by bringing together academic and practical fields of study.

This Masters degree is aimed at graduates interested in working in Community Development and Youth Work. We offer two alternative pathways:

* The MA in Applied Anthropology & Community and Youth Work (this programme) results in a qualification in the fields of Community and Youth Work and Anthropology that is fully endorsed by the National Youth Agency and the Joint Negotiating Committee for Youth and Community Workers for pay and qualification purposes

* The MA in Applied Anthropology & Community Development is aimed at applicants who don't have the required level of work experience to apply for the professionally validated programme, and offers students an opportunity to develop community-based theoretical interests and practice

Careers: Our graduates have gone on to develop their professional careers in community and youth work - for example as Connexions personal advisors, youth officers, community development workers, substance misuse workers, youth workers in a range of settings, and some have gone on to work with people who have disabilities.


What you study

The MA reflects the common concerns of Social Anthropology and Community and Youth Work, and offers a stimulating synthesis of theory and practice. It consists of an academic programme of lectures, seminars and tutorial assignments, and practical experience. Courses 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). Please note that all courses are compulsory.

The Research Methods in Anthropology course covers the research methods of anthropology, the collection of different types of data including surveys, in-depth interviews, participant observation and participatory research, its uses by subjects, and conflicts of interest. 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.

Contemporary Social Issues consists of four themes:

* First World/Third World Anthropological Perspectives

* Gender, Race and Class

* Community

* Youth Cultures

It is taught through lectures/seminars, and assessment is by one three-hour examination paper.

Two supervised community and youth work fieldwork placements (totaling 47 days). These are supported by seminars, lectures, workshops and tutorials. Both fieldwork assignments are assessed by your 5,000 word report on each and your agency supervisor's reports. Overall, at least 50% of all fieldwork must be face-to-face with the 13-19 year age group.

Block fieldwork. For all students there is a six-week block fieldwork assignment (30 working days) focused on any aspect of management in a community and youth work agency, negotiable with your tutor. Assessment is based on your agency supervisor's report and a 5,000 word report on the placement submitted by you.

Full-time students attend on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10.00am to 4.00pm 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.

Assessment: Essay; individual project; take-home paper; fieldwork evaluation and reports; dissertation.


You should have a degree in the social sciences or another appropriate subject, with some experience of community and youth work. You should normally have four months' 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. All applicants need to acquire a current CRB check.

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