Social Pedagogy Leadership MA

Social Pedagogy Leadership MA

School of Social Work, Care and Community


Post- graduate





Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    Full-time: One year, Part-time: Two years. The course is block taught in three, four day blocks. Each four day block of teaching will run in each semester. Optional modules in semester 2 will run each week in line with the CPD timetable.

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • Campus:


  • Start Date:

    April (2018/19) or September (2019/20)

  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

This is the first course of its kind here in the UK and is building on growing interest in social pedagogy.  The course links to the successful BA Hons in Social Pedagogy, Advocacy and Participation which is run here at UCLan and has excellent student feedback.

It has been co-produced and will be co-taught by ThemPra, the leading organisation supporting development of social pedagogical practice in the UK.  It meets the professional standards of practice as set out by the Social Pedagogue Professional Association.

Links with European partner organisations that use social pedagogy in practice as well as universities that run social pedagogy programmes of study.

The course is taught using experiential teaching techniques and is taught in a fun and creative way.  All activities are transferrable into practice and students are encouraged to develop creative practice in their direct work.

Our course offers a social pedagogical perspective to leadership, enabling managers and senior practitioners in leadership roles to apply its principles, theories and philosophy to assist people to develop a culture of care and support within organisations and communities. Social pedagogical leadership also enables professionals to influence decisions and develop, support and sustain positive change using inclusive and empowering practice in working with disadvantaged groups.

Find out more about our virtual open days Find out more about our virtual open days

Entry Requirements

  • A relevant degree qualification.
  • Applicants will normally be practitioners in an area of youth work, social justice, social work, early years, community work, social care or in a leadership position.
  • Non-standard applicants with significant relevant experience will be considered via interview and may be required to undertake a piece of written work as part of the application process.
  • Students where English is not the first language need to demonstrate their ability in the English language through obtaining an IELTS score of 6.5 or above or equivalent.

Programme at a Glance

Compulsory Modules

  • Social Pedagogical Leadership
  • Themes and Perspectives in Social Research
  • Effective Communication, Relationships and Leadership Skills
  • Legal and Ethical Literacy to Lead and Support Positive Change in Practice
  • Critical Reflection in Leadership
  • Dissertation or Innovation Project

Optional Modules (one to be chosen)

  • International Child Welfare: Analysing and Reforming Systems.
  • Responding to Contemporary Issues in Social Work and Social Care
  • Safeguarding and Adult Protection
  • Understanding Mental Health
  • Violence Against Women: Practice and Prevention Across Different Communities

Further Information

Due to current government agenda and policy there is continued change within the social care/work arena aimed at transforming the workforce both in children and adult services.  The ability of managers to support change and development has been highlighted as an important part of their role, as well as having the skills to support staff through change process.  Supporting staff to work within limited resources whilst also providing high standards of care is also another key feature within the sector, and social pedagogy has been identified as helping support staff to reach this aim.

Social pedagogical leadership will also provide meaningful insight and the skills and knowledge needed for you to design self-managing structures with flat hierarchies, to galvanise your employees’ motivation and commitment to a deeper purpose and recognise them as human beings rather than a brain or pair of hands.


We are hoping to attract international students on to this programme, the benefit of this will be the opportunity for collaborative learning as well as discussions on social pedagogical practice in different countries.

Some of the course team are also involved in a European project focused on social pedagogy across Europe.  Again these links will be used within the course with opportunities to enhance learning and will include guest speakers, on-line video session and field/study trips.

Students will also have the opportunity to attend the Social Pedagogy Development network that is run by ThemPra once a year.  As well as the annual SPPA conference and webinars hosted by them.

Graduates will be able to apply for management positions within a wide range of social work/care, education and health settings.

There are also potential routes into research and PhD and Professional Doctorial studies.


  • Creative and experiential teaching
  • This is not taught like a standard university course
  • It is fun
  • Theory and learning relate directly to practice
  • Gives you the opportunity to develop creative leadership skills.

Links to the Social Pedagogy Across Europe: MOOC Project

This course welcomed its first cohort of students in September 2018. The student group came with diverse interests and experiences in social care, education and industry, but all share a commitment to develop creative ways of thinking and leading change based on humanistic principles. The course is delivered in partnership with ThemPra, who led the first 4 day block module on Social Pedagogical Leadership. After four days of hard work, new friendships and lots of creativity and fun, the students reported on their journey so far......

“A great learning environment with great facilitators’’

“I am really excited about this journey and embracing social pedagogy in the work place”

“I am going away inspired - Can't wait to be back in November”

“I am taking away not only new ways of doing but new ways of thinking”

Course Leader, Lowis Charfe said "I am overwhelmed with the enthusiasm there has been for the course in its first year. The Masters in Social Pedagogy Leadership is an opportunity to rethink our approach towards working alongside people and to influence positive organisational change and cultures of care".

Lowis is currently co-authoring a book Social Pedagogy and Social Work,  with colleague Ali Gardner due to be published by Sage in 2019. Ali commented, “Writing the book alongside working in partnership with our European colleagues in developing a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and preparing to host the next International Social Pedagogy conference in 2020 has influenced the development of this exciting new Masters programme and it is great to see the students so engaged and committed to this approach”.

How to Apply

Our Postgraduate section has more information around applying including visiting UCLan and the support available.

If you want to continue and apply now, you can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).


For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400


Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £6,900 per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: £765 per 20 credits (UK/EU)

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

DBS Checks

This course will involve you working with vulnerable groups of individuals, including children. In order to ensure that the University offers places on their programmes to suitable candidates you will all be required to obtain a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (formerly termed CRB). We will be able to guide you through this process once you have been offered a conditional place of study at the University of Central Lancashire.

It is important to note that should your Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check prove to be unsatisfactory for the purpose of the course you have applied to, your offer of a place for that course may be withdrawn. If you have already enrolled on a course and your DBS check subsequently discloses a criminal conviction, you may be required to withdraw from the course even if you have already started. If you are aware that your DBS check will disclose a previous conviction, please contact the course leader for advice as not all convictions may preclude you from continuing with the course.

Industry Links

Social Pedagogy Professional Association (SPPA) which is the UK’s only membership organization and the professional home and centre of excellence for social pedagogy, its theory and practice.  SPPA holds the Standards for Occupational Proficiency in Social Pedagogy and the Standards of Education and Training in Social Pedagogy. They It also facilitates communities of practice which are spaces where people can learn from each other, supporting the development of Social Pedagogy in the UK.  We are working alongside our partners in SPPA and ThemPra to ensure our course development reflects best practice in this emerging field and the MA course meets the Standards of Education and Training in Social Pedagogy.

The majority of lectures are members of the SPPA.

Learning Environment and Assessment

This programme adopts an innovative approach in its teaching and learning methods. It is based on the premise that significant learning is acquired by doing, and that learning involves the whole person participating in learning activities. To achieve this the course uses a range of experiential learning methods including applied theatre, creative writing, reflective exercises, practical and creative workshops, as well as lectures and self-directed study. This delivery plan provides students with the opportunity to develop and apply their understanding of social pedagogy, leadership, theory, values and approaches.

Teaching will draw on interactive and experiential learning through practical activities that let students experience the challenges around leadership and enable the group to apply their learning and reflect on their own value base. Through the use of interactive activities, role play, case studies and sharing practice examples students will be encourage to discuss and apply theory.