Designed for those who want to advance their understanding of youth issues, youth offending and social and criminal justice responses to young people, this postgraduate diploma focuses on developing critical analytical skills and enhancing the ability to assess policy and practice against international standards and benchmarks.
Targeted at practitioners, policy-makers and those interested in further academic study, it provides the opportunity to apply academic knowledge and critical analytical skills to practice and enhance understanding of young people's lives, the criminal justice system and the discourse of children's rights.
Given increased policy attention in the area of youth justice and strategies impacting on children and young people more generally, the programme reflects the concern to understand the needs and rights of children and young people and ground responses in evidence, best practice and international standards.
The programme draws on specialisms within the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (in youth studies, criminology, children’s rights and research methods). In addition to core modules, optional modules from a range of Master’s programme are available.
A blended learning approach has been adopted which includes a mixture of face-to-face and online learning, traditional lectures, workshops, condensed weekend modules, online discussion forums and guest speakers.
The Postgraduate Diploma is awarded to students who successfully complete a combination of core and optional taught modules (120 CATS points).
A Certificate exit route is also available (60 CATS points from core modules).
Learning and Teaching
Learning opportunities available with this course are outlined below:
Weekend teaching and workshops outside normal teaching hours.
Learning and Teaching Methods
Contact hours often include a blend of face-to-face lectures/ workshops and online sessions. You can choose some optional modules that are all face-to-face, all online or a blend of both.
Canvas is the university’s VLE (Virtual Learning Environment). You will be introduced to Canvas in the first session of the Youth and Social Justice module. You will have a unique username and password. You will have a Canvas site for each module which will work a little like a website where you can click on information to download or view it. For each module, the Canvas site will include: recorded audio/ visual lectures; readings (some of which are downloadable); video links; useful web links; discussion forums; activities. This is also where you will submit your coursework and receive feedback.
20 CATS modules generally involve 20 contact hours per semester, 10 CATS modules generally involve 10 contact hours per semester. Contact hours often include a blend of face-to-face lectures/ workshops and online sessions. Students can choose some optional modules that are all face-to-face, all online or a blend of both.
Perspectives on Childhood and Youth (10 credits)
Childhood and Youth Research in Practice (10 credits)
Youth and Social Justice (20 credits)
Youth Justice: Theory, Law and Practice (20 credits)
Foundations of Children's Rights (20 credits)
Conflict and Change in Northern Ireland: New Sociological Research (10 credits)
An Introduction to Research Methods: Children, Young People and Education (20 credits)
Economic Impact of Childhood Interventions (10 credits)
Youth Justice and Desistance (20 credits)
Qualitative Research with Children and Young People (10 credits)
Childhood Disability and Rights (20 credits)
Qualitative Data Analysis (10 credits)
Quantitative Data Analysis: Foundational (10 credits)
Normally a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in a social science or related discipline.
Applicants with a 2.2 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University may be considered if they have at least two years of professional experience in a relevant context.
Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal prior to the deadline stated on course finder. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.
Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible and ideally no later than 31st July 2023 for courses which commence in late September. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.
How to Apply
Applications should be submitted online via the Postgraduate Applications Portal for admission to the vast majority of postgraduate programmes.
New applicants will need to register via the Portal to create an application account. If you are already a Queen’s student with an active Qsis account, you can log in using your student number and Qsis password. Guidance on how to complete an application is provided within the Portal and it is possible to save application data and return to complete it at a later date, if you wish. After core details about yourself and your academic background have been provided, you can submit an application, or multiple applications, if required.
If you applied in a previous cycle through the Portal and are re-applying, you should use your previous log in details. Please review and update your personal and contact details, academic and professional qualifications before submitting a new application.
Important – please ensure that the email address you provide is correct and active, as this will be used by us to communicate the progress of your application to you.
1 year (Full Time), 2 years (Part Time).
Morning / Afternoon / Evening/ Weekend and online flexible learning.
Entry Year: 2023
Post Course Info
Possible career paths include work in youth and social justice related fields. Previous graduates have been successful in gaining jobs working for NGOs in the criminal justice and youth justice fields.
Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes help our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.
Employment after the Course
You will have gained the skills necessary to locate and evaluate policy, research and practice on youth justice related issues, and to undertake your own research in this area. This will position you for working in organisations that: advocate for the rights and needs of children in conflict with the law; that formulate policy; that undertake research.
You will also have a more holistic understanding of the lives of children in conflict with the law, placing you in a perfect position to work with and for these children, and for organisation that support them (e.g. NGOs/ voluntary organisations, statutory sector bodies, government departments).
You may follow in the footsteps of some of our recent graduates who work in young offenders centres in the Republic of Ireland, support young people transitioning from care in Scotland, mentor young people in conflict with the law in Northern Ireland, facilitate restorative justice in Mumbai or have extended their studies through doctoral study.
Civil service; criminal justice/ youth/ children’s rights charities; government departments; research organisations.