M.A. Voluntary Sector Studies

  • Blended
  • 36 months
  • EUR12567 Year (Non-EEA)
  • English
University Wales Lampeter | Lampeter, United Kingdom
The postgraduate programme in Voluntary Sector Studies is designed for people who want to develop and improve their knowledge and work in the not-for-profit, non-governmental, non-profit, third, community and voluntary sector.

Description of Voluntary Sector Studies


The Department of Voluntary Sector Studies is not currently recruiting onto this course. However, we hope to recruit again soon - please contact Rachel Casiday to register your interest and be kept informed of developments.

The postgraduate programme in Voluntary Sector Studies is designed for people who want to develop and improve their knowledge and work in the not-for-profit, non-governmental, non-profit, third, community and voluntary sector.

The programme is intended to develop the student´s knowledge, skills, abilities and capability to combine contemporary theory with practical knowledge. Students are expected to engage critically with a range of issues related to the role of the voluntary sector in society and to working in and with the voluntary/not-for-profit sector.

Students will develop the skills and abilities needed to influence change within the voluntary sector and wider public policy debates, based on sound academic knowledge and reflection on their practical experience.
The programme is designed to be academically rigorous and coherent in building and developing the following skills.

  • Professionalism in working in or with the not-for-profit and voluntary sector.
  • Critical knowledge and understanding of the roles and functions of the not-for-profit and voluntary sector/s.
  • Critical and analytical skills in reflecting on policy and change affecting the sector, professional knowledge and practical experience.
  • Knowledge and understanding of contemporary academic literature.
  • Practical knowledge related to policy and practice within the sector.
  • The ability to respond to changes in the capacity of the sector, the work being undertaken by it and to changing community needs.
  • The ability to undertake independent research and/or evaluations.
  • The ability to contribute to the needs of the organisation/s students are involved in and the communities they serve.
  • The ability to undertake further study and/or career progression.
  • A comprehensive knowledge of the theories, policies, practices and contemporary challenges affecting the sector.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline not currently recruiting onto this course
Tuition fee
  • EUR 12567 Year (Non-EEA)
  • EUR 4034 Year (EEA)

£3441 (EU); £10 719 (Non EU) pro rata

Start date October  2015, January  2016, April  2016
Credits (ECTS) 180 ECTS
Duration full-time 36 months
  • English
Take an IELTS test
Delivery mode Blended
Educational variant Part-time

Course Content

Core modules

  • The Voluntary Sector in Society (20 credits) - Develops your understanding of the definitions, features and roles of the voluntary/not-for-profit sector in relation to the state, regulation, and the communities served.
  • Frameworks for Research (10 credits) - This module will provide you with an overview of the research process for social sciences, with a particular emphasis on applied research in organisations.
  • Tools for Social Research (10 credits) - Provides practical instruction in methods of study design, data collection and analysis.
  • Contemporary Issues in Voluntary Sector Studies (20 credits) - Students will become familiar and engage critically with current theoretical debates related to the sector.

Optional modules (subject to modification):

  • Activism and Community Participation (20 credits) - This module examines activism and community participation at local, national and global levels. It will also introduce the student to participatory research.
  • Environment and Social Responsibility (20 credits) - This module provides the opportunity to critically review the meaning and relevance of these issues; as related to governments, religion, corporate business, the community and the individual.
  • Globalisation and the Political Economy of Change (20 credits) - This module examines, from a political economy perspective, change and its importance to the voluntary sector through a critical examination of globalisation and its ideological underpinnings.
  • Health Care and Health Promotion (20 credits) - Discusses, through contemporary and historical case studies, definitions of health and well-being, health of vulnerable groups, individual and social approaches to health provision and promotion, health as a universal human right and the role of voluntary organisations in health provision.
  • Humanitarianism and International Development (20 credits) - Theoretical and practical introduction to international development work, including economic development theory, consequences for other areas of life, tensions between short-term humanitarian relief and long-term development, politics of development NGOs, coping with disasters, and culturally appropriate interventions.
  • Institutional Development of Voluntary Organisations (20 credits) - Will examine the changing institutional structure of voluntary organisations, their growth and growing national and internationalisation, changing governance and the shifting internal importance of volunteers, employees and managers.

English Language Requirements

IELTS take IELTS test
TOEFL paper-based test score (read more)

IMPORTANT NOTE: Per 6 April 2015 only the English language tests from IELTS and Trinity College London are accepted for Tier 4 Visa applications to the United Kingdom. Other tests (including TOEFL, TOEIC, Pearson, City & Guilds) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. Since the Trinity College London language tests must be taken in one of their exam centres in the UK, IELTS is now the only language test accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK that can be taken worldwide.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.

Requirements for Voluntary Sector Studies

2:2 in any relevant discipline.

International students applying for study at postgraduate level will normally be required to show evidence of sufficient command of the English language to be able to follow their course, undertake research and produce writing without major linguistic difficulties. For example, this is usually the Cambridge Advanced or Proficiency Certificate, IELTS minimum score of 6.5, TOEFL minimum score of 575.

Work Experience for Voluntary Sector Studies

No work experience is required.

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