Postgraduate Programme in Community Development

Information for Prospective Students

Do you want to...

  • increase your understanding of community development?
  • enhance your career prospects?
  • enhance your community development practice?
  • network with other people studying and working in community development and related fields?
  • undertake study visits in Wales and Europe
  • be connected with an exciting partnership of NGO, employer and academic organisations?
  • interact and discuss with tutors who have up to date and practical experience of community development in
    Wales, UK, Europe and globally?
  • obtain recognised qualifications at a reasonable cost?

    … then enrol for the programme, beginning with the Postgraduate Certificate course in Community Development!

Study Part-time

  • PG Cert 12 months
  • PG Dip 12 months
  • MA 12 months

Mode of Study

  • 2 - 4 days a month contact
  • self-directed study
  • work based experience
  • residential study visits

Entry Requirements

  • appropriate work experience
  • OR a relevant professional qualification
  • AND/OR a good honours degree or equivalent


Current information on fees is available on the following university web-site.

(Additional study visit fees are also payable)

Please note that information on bursaries and other forms of financial support are also available through Lifelong Learning.

Paying yourself?

Payment of tuition fees can be made by cheque, cash, debit or credit card and in instalments by direct debit. Fees are normally due on or before you register for the course. There is no premium for direct debit payments, but we expect that fees will be fully paid before completion of the course.

Employer paying?

Payment of fees needs to be made in full on agreed date.

The Course

We have designed the Postgraduate Programme in Community Development for both those working in the private, public, voluntary and community sectors and recent graduates. It is for those who wish to develop understanding of the theory, processes and practice of community development and be capable of acting in key roles in guiding and shaping community development opportunities and social change.

How Will I Learn?

The programme employs a participatory teaching and learning strategy and the participants are urged to relate the course to their workplace experience and context. The courses ensure integration of theory, practice and skills throughout.

Participants can follow the course through the medium of Welsh or English or a combination of both where appropriate.

Each taught course has a study visit which is a vital element of the learning process. These visits are an opportunity for students, staff, practitioners and community groups to share ideas and experiences and to build networks.

The MA element is by research and dissertation and supported by a dissertation tutor.

Who Will Support Me?

Tutorial support is provided by the course coordinator, module tutors and programme support tutors. Students are also strongly encouraged to form self-help groups and join local networks

As students you will receive:

  • Regular tutorial meetings with the course coordinator
  • Remote access to a range of relevant academic journals and library facilities
  • Opportunities for on-line discussion with fellow students
  • Opportunities to join relevant active networks

The Modules

Modules include work-based learning, desk based study, assignment research and writing and web-based discussion. Assessment of each module is generally based on one assignment and this can take various forms as is appropriate for that module - e.g. essay, report, field study presentations, problem solving and local investigations, group work. We encourage students to explore non-traditional forms of fulfilling assignment requirements - video, tape, workshop or conference activities. Individual requirements must be discussed with the programme coordinator and module tutors prior to undertaking such work.

The main aim of the Certificate and Diploma courses is to increase the understanding, practical knowledge and skills of workers in the field of community development. The final MA element of the programme provides opportunities for guided research and thesis writing. The Certificate and Diploma courses are modular. Both courses consist of theory, practice and skills elements; with roughly an equal proportion of each of the three elements in both. The structure and module titles are given below. Each single module is worth 10 credits. The Certificate is worth 60 credits and the Diploma 60 credits and the full MA 180 credits

Postgraduate Certificate

  • Understanding Community
  • Community Analysis
  • Community Enterprise
  • Community Development Processes
  • Community Development Work Skills
  • Study Visits

Postgraduate Diploma

  • Regional and Community Development & study visit
  • Development Theory and Policy
  • Community Planning
  • Applied Community Development Skills
  • Research Methodology
  • European Study Visit

MA Thesis:

Provides students with the opportunity to carry out a sustained and intensive investigation into a topic related to the field of Community Development and to the broad span of areas represented by the taught modules. Total study time is estimated at 600 hours, with up to 10 hours of supervision.

Community Development Unit

The undergraduate, postgraduate and short courses programmes in Community Development bring together University staff from a range of disciplines and practitioner tutors from across the region, all Associate Lecturers in the Community Development Unit. Guest speakers from across Wales, the UK, the EU and global regions are invited periodically to contribute according to their areas of interest and expertise.

The unit also undertakes research, monitoring and evaluation, short training programmes and diverse partnership work.

Key Staff

  • Shân Ashton (Programme Co-ordinator / Director CDU)
  • Selwyn Williams (Chair CDU Board)
  • Gareth Thomas (TJB Cymru Cyf)
  • Cynan Jones (TJB Cymru Cyf)
  • Brian Thirsk (Sylfaen Cyf)
  • Val Williams (Sylfaen Cyf)
  • Ben Gregory (Tai Eryri and NSC Wales)
  • Menna Jones (Antur Waunfawr)