Postgraduate taught 

Adult Education, Community Development & Youth Work MEd/PgDip

Theoretical Frameworks for Practice EDUC5946

  • Academic Session: 2020-21
  • School: School of Education
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course explores the contested nature of community, power, identity and social change within the neoliberal epoch. It critically evaluates a range of theoretical and practice models and considers their applicability to analyse social phenomena and shape practice which enables change processes at an individual, community and societal level. 


The course is delivered in weekly four hour blocks over 5 weeks

Excluded Courses





Students will write a 3000-word assignment in which they identify a local UK and an overseas case study and analyse their practice in terms of their effectiveness in promoting empowerment and social justice. They must then discuss the resulting lessons for their own practice. (75%)


Students will contribute to a group presentation which analyses a local authority's Adult Education, Community Development or Youth Work provision (25%)


Both elements of assessment must be completed

Course Aims

To explore the central concepts required to analyse the social, cultural, and political contexts where adult education, community development and youth work are practised and to review a range of underpinning principles and theories that inform the diverse practices and approaches in adult education, community and youth settings.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


Locate the development of Adult Education, Community Work and Youth Work within a wider discourse of critical pedagogy and post critical theories

Critically analyse a variety of theoretical concepts including power, empowerment, social justice and social change

Identify and analyse the impact of power, identity and discourse in theory, policy and practice both locally and globally

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.

A minimum of 80% attendance at compulsory lectures