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).

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.

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
SS6315 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).

Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar
You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

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 under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). 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.

Application dates

How Do I Apply
1. Choose Course
Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to two courses under one application.

2. Apply Online
Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a non-refundable €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

Applicants for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing must apply on the PAC website when the programme opens for applications.

3. Gather Supporting Documents
Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

- Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC

- Any supplementary items requested for your course.
Please log into the online application portal for more details.

4. Application processing timeline
Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details.

5. Rounds
For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates here.

Questions on how to apply?
Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)
Please note you will be required to answer specific additional/supplementary questions as part of the online applications process for this programme.

The Reference Request Form must be downloaded and printed during the online application process and a copy should be sent to each of your Referees. A copy of the Reference Request Form is available to view here: CKD04_CKD20_Referenceform - Referees should be consulted at least two weeks prior to the application deadline. Applicants should forward the attached Reference Request letter to their referees, which advises to return the written reference by email: or post (in a sealed envelope) to the MSocSc in Youth Arts and Sports Education Administrator, Ms Phil O'Sullivan, School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork.

a. One reference must be a third level academic reference and,

b. A second reference must be a current or former employer/supervisor/agency contact worker who can comment on your personal suitability for youth work professional training.

Non-UCC applicants must also submit evidence of any qualification(s)//training academic results and certificates/parchments) that were not completed in University College Cork and evidence of English language proficiency (if applicable). N.B. Non-UCC. Applicants who are currently completing undergraduate/postgraduate programmes and have not as yet completed final exams/graduated should submit photocopies of academic transcripts/statements with details of subjects studied and results to date.


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).

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

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider