Postgraduate MA

Social Pedagogy

School of Health and Society




One year

Two year


September 2019

Next enrolment

In a nutshell

Social pedagogy is a strengths-based approach that connects learning to care and solving social problems. Its philosophy originates from Northern Europe but is increasingly influential in the UK. This course equips you to contribute within the community, social care, health and educational occupational settings across the life course. You will be able to model approaches to learning and apply principles and values aimed at increasing the capacity of individuals and communities.

Social pedagogy offers new approaches to working with communities by integrating learning, relationships and participation. 

This course offers the opportunity to explore ways in which positive learning experiences connect to care and solving social problems. 

You will:
  • Develop knowledge and skills to integrate learning, relationships and community participation
  • Undertake projects within the community
  • Apply your learning to real world placement and occupational settings

This is for you if...


You believe that each individual has the potential to make a meaningful contribution to their community


You are interested in ethics, social justice and participation


You enjoy finding innovative and creative ways to engage people

Course details

All about the course

You will participate in the co-production of teaching which promotes self-directed, experiential and group-based learning. You will explore the contribution of positive activities including art and games. At the core of social pedagogy are a commitment to ethics, values and the uniqueness of every individual.

You will draw upon an integrated understanding of key themes and disciplines, including sociology, philosophy, social theories of learning and anthropology.

You will benefit from strong collaboration with related disciplines within the University as well as the opportunities and pathways that have been established with community partners. Real-world learning will be applied to placement and occupational settings - placements can take place in your workplace if appropriate or in a new setting.

The course provides integrated content with an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary focus. You will be required to integrate learning from vocational and professional settings. There is also the opportunity for you to experience placement settings and study visits to organizations within the UK and Europe who we have created links with.

Jameel Hadi - Programme Leader

Jameel is a founding member of the Social Pedagogy Professional Association (SPPA) and has contributed to the development of national occupational standards. Jameel is involved with partners in the statutory and community sectors in embedding the discipline.

Full-time: one year, two evenings per week

The course requires the completion of five modules and attendance in all three semesters September to September. 

Semester 1
Philosophy and Theory of Social Pedagogy (30 credits)
Participatory and Emancipatory Research (30 credits)

Semester 2
Engagement and Experiential Learning (30 credits)
Approaches and Practices within Social Pedagogy (30 credits)

Semester 3
Research Dissertation (60 credits)

Part-time: two years, one evening per week

The course requires completion of five modules across two years (September to September)

Semester 1, Year 1
Philosophy and Theory of Social Pedagogy (30 credits)

Semester 2, Year 1
Engagement and Experiential Learning (30 credits)

Semester 3, Year 1
Dissertation (60 credits)

Semester 1, Year 2
Participatory and Emancipatory Research (30 credits)

Semester 2, Year 2
Approaches and Practices within Social Pedagogy (30 credits)

Semester 3, Year 2
Dissertation (60 credits)

For modules descriptions, please see below: 


Philosophy and Theory of Social Pedagogy

The module will provide you with an introduction to historical and contemporary developments that shape the discipline of social pedagogy. This will include an exploration of key thinkers and concepts. You will be able to integrate principles and values and identify their application to practice.

Approaches and Practices to Social Pedagogy

The module will seek to model approaches and will involve you in the co-production of learning; both individually and as part of a group. This will include you applying an understanding of the philosophy and theory to the practice context. This will involve an examination of the relationship of social pedagogy to care; its role in addressing social problems and exploration of the relationship between the participation of individuals within communities. The emphasis will be on providing you with your own toolkit in relation to learning, relationship based practice and reflection.

Engagement and Experiential Learning

This module focuses on the social pedagogic concept of the ‘common third’. There will be a mixture of seminars, workshops, group work and tutorials. This will involve engaging with individual and communities, developing leadership and facilitation skills, promoting participation and co-production and an appreciation of review, evaluation and reflection as part of learning. You will identify, plan and deliver an experiential learning project within a community setting. This process will enable links to be made with social theories of learning and development.

Participatory and Emancipatory Research

The module will equip you with a philosophical understanding of the role and place of research; the various traditions and research methods, tools, data collection, theories of analysis and ethical considerations. There will be a particular focus on those theories and approaches that are consistent with the hermeneutic philosophy of social pedagogy. You will be introduced to phenomenology, action research, participatory and emancipatory research and narrative approaches. These value the uniqueness of individuals and promote ideas of participation and co-production. As part of this you will undertake a research proposal.

Research Dissertation

This is an opportunity to apply the learning of the above module and to share learning with students from related disciplines within the School. You will be supported to either; identify a question within your chosen area and undertake a systematic literature review relating to professional practice; or complete a proposal and undertake a piece of research. The above will be supported by a dedicated supervisor who will support tour learning on the module.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What Will I be Doing?

As far as possible learning approaches and content will be co-produced with you and fellow students.

These may include:

  • Lectures and presentations
  • Workshops within community settings
  • Seminars
  • Group work
  • Experiential learning
  • Independent and self-directed study
  • Activities/games
  • Tutorials
  • Supervision in respect of experiential learning and research dissertation


  • Written assignments
  • Plan and delivery of workshop
  • Research proposal
  • Evaluation of experiential learning
  • Production of consultation
  • Presentation

The School of Health and Society

The School of Health and Society is a forward-thinking, dynamic school with a commitment to lifelong learning and real world impact.

We live in a rapidly changing world, and we’re keen to leave a productive legacy of helping people at all stages of their lives, improving their physical, psychological and social well-being.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Social Pedagogy is increasing its profile and application within the UK. In the past ten years it has been increasingly applied within residential settings and foster care provision for looked after children. It has also been applied within adult social care settings such as the Camphill learning disability communities in Scotland. Its emphasis on participation, collaboration and co-production means that it is well placed to inform approaches that seek to build, social capital and capabilities of individuals.

This course develops transferable skills for those working within, care, and community development, early years, young people’s provision, educational and heath settings.

Career Links

We have established partnerships with four local housing trusts. These are all involved in developing participation and community projects across the lifespan. We also have links with Salford Children’s Trust. Discussions have also taken place with services for looked after children and care leavers in the region. These will provide possibilities for students to engage with communities as part of experiential learning and to undertake work experience placements where they contribute to social pedagogically informed practice.


What you need to know

DBS clearance will be required.

In addition to completing an application form, an interview is required as part of the admissions process for this course. 

English language requirements 

International applicants will be required to show proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

Standard entry requirements

Undergraduate degree

A Bachelors degree with honours; normally a 2:2 and above.

This degree will need to be in a relevant academic subject. You will need to have vocational/professional practice experience

Alternative entry requirements

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home/EU 2019 £7,776per year
Part-time 2019 £1296 per 30 credits
Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Apply now

All Set? Let's Apply.

Start Date(s): September

Duration: One year full-time (two evenings per week), two years part-time (one evening per week).

Enrolment dates

September 2019

September 2020