Youth Arts & Sports Education

Course Outline
The Masters in Youth Arts and Sports Education is designed for creative, active, and enthusiastic people who enjoy working with young people. The course shapes innovative practitioners to engage in transformative work with young people, facilitating them to flourish, to be healthy, happy, and empowered, and to contribute to positive change in society. We welcome people with various interests, including artistic, musical, dramatic, or sports. Whatever their skill level, we want applicants who are fun-loving, open-minded, and experimental, who love learning, embrace challenge, and seek adventure. Our ethos builds on core principles of youth work practice, which are concerned with enhancing young people's wellbeing through one-to-one and group activities. Students on the course will learn how:

to devise, deliver, and evaluate arts- and sports-based opportunities for young people that are fun, engaging, and meaningful

to promote values of environmental sustainability through youth-centred educational activities

to contribute to social justice and global citizenship through youth-focused professional practice

to collaborate with young people and with like-minded practitioners to articulate and achieve common goals

to support young people's digital wellbeing and digital creativity

to contribute to research and policy-making relevant to young people's well-being.

The Masters in Youth Arts and Sports Education is available on a full-time or part-time basis. All students take modules to the value of 90 credits.

For full-time students, the course is delivered over one calendar year (12 months) from the date of first registration for the programme. The part-time option can be taken over two years with the course work completed in Year 1 (45 Credits) and the dissertation completed in Year 2 (45 Credits).

Course Practicalities
The core sports education module will normally take place on Wednesday evenings from 5-7pm. The core module in youth arts will normally take place in block two-days sessions (on Thursdays, Fridays and/or Saturdays) the dates of which will be organised in consultation with students at the beginning of the academic year. Students are also required to attend a week-long intensive workshop in December (Winter School). The teaching timetable for elective modules (Second Semester) will vary. Students are also required to complete a Research Dissertation and a course ePortfolio/blog. In total, full-time students will be expected to commit approximately 15 hours per week on average to include completion of elective modules, field trips, research, and research supervision.

Why choose this course?

This course is unique in design; many programmes focus on youth arts or youth sports, but this programme in special in combining them.

This is an interdisciplinary course delivered by three Schools – Applied Social Studies, Education (including Sports Studies), and Music and Theatre.

You will learn from highly-skilled educators. The course team won the gradIreland/HEA award for Ireland's Best Postgraduate Programme (Arts & Humanities) in 2017. Many of us hold Masters-level qualifications in teaching and learning and Teaching Excellence Awards.

The values we promote – including environmental sustainability, social justice, and global citizenship – are ever more significant for living and working ethically in the 21st

You will engage in fun, creative, active, and personally and professionally transformative activities.

We value our students' mental and physical well-being alongside academic and professional development.

You will be challenged to develop as a person, a professional, and a citizen.

Whether you are a native or a newcomer, you will see Ireland from new perspectives.

You will enjoy many exciting experiences including:

outdoor learning experiences that foreground sustainable, low-carbon living, such as kayaking, hiking, sailing, and foraging;

making art – from miniature to large scale – that reflects on, provokes, and disrupts social norms;

developing skills in music-making in community contexts and in theatre and performance composition and collaboration;

experiencing Irish culture and learning to think critically about the relationship between culture, politics, and social change;

exploring Ireland's beautiful landscape along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Students will document their experiential learning through a personal blog that will be visible to their lecturers and other students within the class group. On completion of the course, this blog will be a valuable portfolio as a digital artefact that evidences graduates' skills, values, and interests.

Entry requirements

Candidates should normally hold an honours primary degree with Second Class Honours Grade 2 (or equivalent) in any discipline.

Candidates with an honours primary degree lower than a Second Class Honours Grade 2 (or equivalent) or without a primary degree (NQF Level 8 award) are eligible to apply if they hold significant senior professional responsibility/experience in a related field. Such applicants may be invited for interview (which may be online or by phone) to satisfy the selection committee of their suitability for the programme. Admission of such applicants will be subject to the approval of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences.

All applicants will be asked to evidence their commitment to working with young people and to document any experience and training relevant to the programme as part of the written application process.

Strong references and personal statements are an important part of the application, as is relevant work experience.

English Language Requirements

Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available here.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here.

International/non-EU applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Assessment Info


Students will produce a variety of creative outputs through their course work as a method of evidencing their learning for assessment.

For example, students are required

to design and produce a creative journal using artistic methods, as well as collage posters, screen-prints, and badges.

to devise and deliver development education games and activities for young people.

to carry out artistic activism initiatives (e.g. awareness campaigns), engaging with members of the public on Cork city's streets

to write and publish media articles, to devise social media campaigns, to secure and engage in radio interviews, and to design a website or blog about social justice, global citizenship, or environmental issues relevant to young people's lives.

to devise and implement sports activity programmes.

to document outdoor learning experiences (e.g. sea kayaking, mountaineering, sailing, foraging) in fun ways, such as designing postcards and multimedia presentations to showcase the value and impact of these activities for young people's health and wellbeing.

Subjects taught


Core Modules
ED6606 Well-being for Health (10 credits)
SS6021 Creative Methodologies in Youth Arts Practice (10 credits)

Elective modules (Semesters I and II)

Students select 25 credits from the following, to include at least 5 credits from Sports Studies and at least 5 credits from Youth Arts. Modules are subject to a minimum quota and it is possible that not all modules will be available every year.

Sports Studies
ED6604 Outdoor Learning (5)
ED6605 Models of Physical Education (5)

Youth Arts
DR6024 Directed Study in Theatre and Performance (5)
DR6025 Special Studies in Applied Theatre (10)
DR6026 Advanced Theatre Practice (10)
MU6060 Community Music (5)
SS6024 Art and Social Action (5)
SS6029 Art and Development Education (5)

Applied Social Studies
S6315 Mental Health and Disability (10)
SS6316 Children and Young People (10)
SS6320 Conflict Transformation and Peace Building (10)



Students complete a Research Dissertation which develops their capacities to engage in original research on a topic of their choosing. Working with academic supervisors in a high-quality research environment, they will design and undertake interesting research that contributes to knowledge and practice in arts and/or sports education for young people.

SS6038 Dissertation (45 credits)

Students must complete a 20,000-word research dissertation and associated blog entries. The dissertation must be submitted on the first Friday in October of the academic year in which it is to be examined.

Students will also submit a 20,000-word research dissertation (SS6038, 45 credits).


90 Credits Route and 120 Credit Route.


1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

CKD04 Full-time; CKD02 Part-time

The Masters in Youth Arts and Sports Education is available on a full-time or part-time basis. All students take modules to the value of 90 credits.

For full-time students, the course is delivered over one calendar year (12 months) from the date of first registration for the programme. The part-time option can be taken over two years with the course work completed in Year 1 (45 Credits) and the dissertation completed in Year 2 (45 Credits).

Enrolment dates

Start Date: 7 September 2020

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information

Graduates will develop diverse skills which are highly valuable in a range of organisational, educational, community contexts, including the ability:

to design, plan, deliver, and evaluate arts and sports education projects with young people in community settings in ways that are mindful of ethical practice, principles of global education, sustainability, and the values of global citizenship;

to act as effective and passionate advocates for young people and to make a positive impact in society through promoting young people's rights;

to devise and implement programmes that support young people's developmental, cognitive, creative, physical, mental, and digital wellbeing;

to engage in critical self-reflection on their capacities to contribute to positive social change in the lives of young people and in the local communities in which they are active;

to contribute to knowledge and to impact on society through critical reflection and commentary on policies and practices relevant to young people's lives.

Graduates will find employment in youth-centred work, whether engaging with young people generally or in activities that target hard-to-reach young people, who may be marginalised due to inequalities based on class and income, race and ethnicity, asylum-seeking or refugee status, sex, sexuality and gender, mental health, homelessness, physical and intellectual ability, etc. Graduates will also find work in cultural and sporting organisations that are interested in expanding opportunities for young people. Furthermore, the course helps students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and to consider self-employment and social enterprise opportunities that are funded through government schemes, EU-level funding, international charities, and corporate sponsorship. Graduates may also be interested in careers in research or policy-making. Finally, graduates may be interested in pursuing PhD-level research.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type


  • Apply to