Moray House School of Education

Community Education (BA Hons)

A professionally endorsed professional qualification which enables graduates to apply for a wide range of posts.



100% for overall student satisfaction

We’re delighted that in the 2016 National Student Survey (NSS), Community Education received 100% for student satisfaction and include some of the many positive comments from our students.

I received top-level tuition. It was an honour to be taught by such people.

Very enlightening, has made me more critically aware.

Overall, it was a very good learning experience. It opened up my mind a lot more than would otherwise have been possible.



The BA (Honours) Community Education degree is a professionally endorsed qualification which enables graduates to apply for a wide range of jobs associated with community education (often also described as community learning and development) in the public and voluntary sectors.

This programme provides both a rigorous academic grounding and appropriate professional preparation through placement and work-based learning experience. The course carries a specific focus on community development, youth work and adult education.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements and detailed programme structure can be found in the degree finder

Programme structure

Year 1

The taught programme in year 1 includes a broad introduction to theory and practice in community education. Students are introduced to frameworks for locating practice in the wider policy context and encouraged to consider their implications.

In addition, they are able to select two options from a selected list of courses which are offered outside the programme. These options enable students to deepen their understanding of educational issues and the broader sociological and policy context of welfare provision.

Students are required to take the following 20 credit courses:

  • Introduction to community education
  • Working with individuals and groups
  • Community education: theory policy and politics
  • Developing professional identity in community education

Two additional 20-credit courses need to be selected from the following:

  • Education 1a
  • Education 1b
  • Sociology 1a
  • Sociology 1b
  • Social Policy and Society
  • The Politics of the Welfare State
  • European Social Policy
  • Introduction to Politics and International Relations

Year 2

Year 2 aims to develop a sense of professional identity which enables students to engage critically and purposefully with the field of practice.

The taught programme is designed to enable students both to consolidate previous learning and to further develop their knowledge and skills. They will also undertake a block period of practice in April-May.

Students are required to undertake the following courses:

  • Concepts and controversies in community education (40 credits)
  • An introduction to research in community settings (20 credits)
  • Community education professional practice 1 (40 credits)

In addition a free choice of one 20 credit 'outside' course needs to be selected in Semester 1.

Year 3

Year 3 is designed to enable students to develop the capacity to make competent and confident judgements and to begin the transition into the field of professional practice. A focus on policy analysis encourages students to critically assess the possibilities and constraints of particular contexts of practice.

The third year curriculum offers some degree of choice and the opportunity for some minor specialism. A substantial placement experience during Semester 2 is also an integral part of students' learning.

  • Politics, policy and professional identity in community education (20 credits)
  • Community education methods and approaches: Developing dialogue (20 credits)
  • Managing professional life (20 credits)
  • Adult education / community work / youth work (20 credit electives)
  • Community education professional practice 2 (40 credits)

Year 4

Year 4 deepens the academic, theoretical and practice requirements of the programme and enables students to be more selective and independent in their studies. A core taught component is combined with a concurrent placement and a significant degree of negotiation in what is studied.

Students are encouraged to develop their own particular academic interests, which culminate in a substantial dissertation:

  • Community education professional practice 3 (40 credits). This concurrent placement will run for 55 days taking up the equivalent of 2¿ days per week from the start of Semester 1 to the end of Semester 2 including the December assessment period.
  • Community education honours dissertation (40 credits), comprising a seminar programme (20 credits) and one elective course (20 credits) in semester 2.

Further information

The contact for further information and admissions advice is:

Undergraduate Admissions Office

  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Contact details



The University of Edinburgh
57 George Square

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