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Child, Youth and Community (MA, PDip)
The MA in Child, Youth and Community, with an emphasis on programme planning and evaluation, is the first of its kind in Ireland. It was developed by the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at the School of Political Science and Sociology. This programme emerges from one of the School’s core disciplinary orientations, Applied Social Science, and its established strengths in child, youth and family research, programme planning and evaluation.
Professionals involved in the delivery of services to children, young people and communities are increasingly required by funders and central government to provide scientific, robust evidence, to measure the social impact of these interventions. This one year full-time/two-year part-time blended learning MA Programme will enable students to be proficient in programme planning, implementation, monitoring and research evaluation methodologies in the context of child, youth and community services. The programme will allow students space to critically engage with the discourses and debates on ‘evidence’ and explore, through their integrated assessments, new lines of research and the accommodation of both in the real world of practice.
The objectives of the programme are to:
- Equip students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills in programme planning, implementation, monitoring and research evaluation;
- Develop students’ capacity to design and deliver human rights based and culturally sensitive programmes and services;
- Support students to critically explore new lines of research and the use of research evidence in practice;
- Enable students to develop their capacity as leaders in this field;
- Enhance students’ skills in communication and innovative thinking;
- Provide professional experience and networking opportunities for students.
Applications and Selections
Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System.
Who Teaches this Course
- Dr Danielle Kennan, UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, School of Political Science and Sociology
- Dr Cormac Forkan, UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, School of Political Science and Sociology
- Professor John Canavan, UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, School of Political Science and Sociology
Requirements and Assessment
Applicants will require a NQF Level 8 degree, Second Class Honours (2:1) in child, youth and family studies, sociology, psychology or a cognate discipline. Where applicants do not meet the formal academic requirements they can apply for entry through the University’s Recognition for Prior Learning Policy.
Information on the documentation required to support your application is available here.
Students will be assessed on a continuous basis. Assessment will vary from module to module, involving a combination of written assignments, such as, essays, project work, engagement with discussion boards. Central to students’ assessment is their final research project (minor dissertation).
Applicants will require a NQAI Level 8 degree, Second Class Honours, or equivalent, with a 2:1 in child, youth and family studies, sociology, psychology or a cognate discipline. Where applicants do not meet the formal academic requirements they can apply for entry through the University’s Recognition for Prior Learning Policy.
1 year full-time, 1 year part-time
Next start date
A Level Grades ()
QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes
Please view the offer rounds website.
Mode of study
MA—1MCY1; PDip—1MCY3; part-time mode—1MCY2
Students will take 90 credits (ECTS) worth of modules—60 of these will be taught modules made up of both core and optional taught modules. Our approach to offering blended learning opportunities is that some modules will be delivered on campus, some will be online (with synchronous and asynchronous delivery) and others will offer a hybrid approach. Classes taught on campus and synchronous (live) online classes will be delivered mid-week.
In addition to the 60 ECTS of taught modules a further 30 credits will be awarded for the successful completion of a final research project, which can take the form of a traditional dissertation, community-based research project, an extended case study or portfolio.
The optional modules available will be drawn from existing options offered in the School of Political Science and Sociology and related disciplines.
Course content (subject to change)
- Children, Youth and Families: Sociological Perspectives and Policy Issues (10 ECTS)
- Programme Planning and Evaluation (10 ECTS)
- Human Rights and Social Justice (10 ECTS)
- Community Development and Organising (5ECT)
- Research Methods (5 ECTS)
- Research Workshop (10 ECTS)
- Option Module x 2 (10 ECTS) or Professional Experience (work placement module) (10 ECTS)
- Final Research project (30 ECTS)
Why Choose This Course?
The programme is designed for professionals already working in the community, voluntary or allied sectors and for those who have a specific expertise in, or understanding of the lives of children and youth and communities, and who wish to acquire a specialised Level 9 qualification which will ‘add value’ to their existing qualifications and enable them progress to leadership roles within their careers.
The MA provides students with the opportunity to develop skills-sets that are in high demand. It is designed to respond to the needs of a funding dependent sector and meet the growing national and international donor requirement, to comply with rights-based approaches and provide scientific, robust evidence to measure the impact of social interventions.
Unique Strengths of the Programme
- The Programme is based in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society, the University’s flagship Institute for applied social science research, with a reputation for policy and practice research, particularly in human rights based approaches, programme planning, implementation and evaluation;
- The Programme is affiliated with the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre and the global network of the UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement;
- The Programme is designed in collaboration with leading organisations and employers in the wider child, youth and community work sectors.
- The Programme provides a flexible study route with full-time and part-time options, a Postgraduate Diploma exit award and Blended learning opportunities.
Who’s Suited to This Course
Related Student Organisations
Fees: Student levy
Fees: Non EU
Student levy €140 - payable by all students and is not covered by SUSI. Further detail here.
Find out More
Dr Danielle Kennan
T: +353 91 495 731
What Employers Say
Maria Kypriotou | Youth Development Specialist, UNESCO
Understanding a human rights based approach in the context of programme planning and being proficient in monitoring and evaluation are two fundamental skill sets for those that want to work in this sector.in Connect with Maria
What Students Say
Annemarie Shalloo | Student
The MA in Child Youth and Community has allowed me to reflect on my professional experience to date while also allowing me to apply theory to my practice. It has provided me with an understanding of what is meant by key concepts such as human rights, evidence-based practice, programming planning etc. Most importantly, it is equipping me with knowledge and language that I can use in the field to hopefully make a difference.