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Social Pedagogy


School - School of Health and Society

Subject area - Social Policy and Social Work

Start Dates(s): September


One year full-time


Full-time - £7,380

In Brief:

  • Social pedagogy offers new approaches to working with communities across the lifespan
  • Develop knowledge and skills to integrate learning, relationships and community participation
  • Experiential learning, undertaking projects within the community
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

Social pedagogy is a strengths based approach that connects learning to care and solving social problems. Its philosophy originates from Northern Europe but is increasingly influential in the UK. This course equips you to contribute within community, social care, health and educational occupational settings across the life course. You will be able to model approaches to learning and apply principles and values; increasing the capacity of individuals and communities.

You will participate in the co-production of the teaching, which promotes self-directed, experiential and group based learning. You will explore the contribution of positive activities including art and games. This course will model approaches to learning, participation and relationship based work. At the core of social pedagogy is a commitment to ethics, values and the uniqueness of every individual. These dilemmas will be explored drawing on an understanding of self, relationships and reflection.

You will draw upon an integrated understanding of key themes and disciplines, including sociology, philosophy, social theories of learning and anthropology.

You will benefit from strong collaboration with related disciplines within the University. You will also benefit from opportunities and pathways that have are being established with community partners. There are also possible placement opportunities being identified to complement and deepen learning.

Course Details

The course requires the completion of five modules and attendance in all three semesters between September 2017 and the beginning of September 2018.

Semester 1
Philosophy and Theory of Social Pedagogy
Approaches and Practices within Social Pedagogy

Semester 2
Engagement and Experiential Learning
Research Methods for Social Pedagogy

Semester 3
Research Dissertation

Course Structure

The course provides integrated content with an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary focus. You will be required to integrate learning from vocational and professional settings. There is also the opportunity for you to experience placement settings and study visits to organizations within the UK and Europe who we have created links with.

Year 1

The module will provide an introduction to historical and contemporary developments that shape the discipline of social pedagogy. This will include an exploration of key thinkers and concepts. You will be able to integrate principles and values and identify their application to practice.            
The module will seek to model approaches and will involve you in the co-production of learning; both individually and as part of a group. This will include you applying an understanding of the philosophy and theory to the practice context. This will involve an examination of the relationship of social pedagogy to care; its role in addressing social problems and exploration of the relationship between the participation of individuals within communities.  The emphasis will be on providing you with your own toolkit in relation to learning, relationship based practice and reflection.            
This module focuses on the social pedagogic concept of the ‘common third’. There will be a mixture of seminars, workshops, group work and tutorials. This will involve engaging with individual and communities, developing leadership and facilitation skills, promoting participation and co-production and an appreciation of review, evaluation and reflection as part of learning. You will identify, plan and deliver an experiential learning project within a community setting. This process will enable links to be made with social theories of learning and development.            
The module will equip you with a philosophical understanding of the role and place of research; the various traditions and research methods, tools, data collection, theories of analysis and ethical considerations.There will be a particular focus on those theories and approaches that are consistent with the hermeneutic philosophy of social pedagogy. You will be introduced to phenomenology, action research, participatory research and narrative approaches. These value the uniqueness of individuals and promote ideas of participation and co-production. As part of this you will undertake a research proposal.            
This is an opportunity to apply the learning of the above module and to share learning with students from related disciplines within the School. You will be supported to either; identify a question within your chosen area and undertake a systematic literature review relating to professional practice; or complete a proposal and undertake a piece of research. The above will be supported by a dedicated supervisor who will support tour learning on the module.

Entry Requirements

  1. A Bachelors degree with honours; normally a 2:2 and above
  2. This degree will need to be in a relevant academic subject
  3. You will need to have vocational/professional practice experience

In addition to completing an application form, an interview is also required as part of the admissions process for this course.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

Suitable For

We are seeking students who are motivated to challenge themselves and take responsibility for their own learning. You will also be required to work cooperatively and contribute to the learning of other participants. This course will require you to research ideas, be reflective and take part in a variety of experiential and solution based learning. This will include workshops and positive activities that will seek to draw upon your involvement and creativity. You should have an interest in applying the philosophy and ideas within community and vocational settings.  

You should be committed to promoting the capabilities and quality of life for individuals and communities. You should have high personal standards and a strong commitment to social justice and the potential of individuals. A DBS clearance will be required.

Fees 2017-18

Type of StudyFee
Full-time International£13,500

Scholarships and Bursaries

There are also other sources of funding available to you. For more information please see our funding section.


As far as possible learning approaches and content will be co-produced with students.

These may include:

  • Lectures and presentations
  • Workshops within community settings
  • Seminars
  • Group work
  • Experiential learning
  • Independent and self-directed study
  • Activities/games
  • Tutorials
  • Supervision in respect of experiential learning and research dissertation


  • Written assignments
  • Plan and delivery of workshop
  • Research proposal
  • Evaluation of experiential learning
  • Production of consultation
  • Presentation

Postgraduate Staff Profile

Jameel Hadi - Programme Leader

Seek profile -


Career Prospects

Social Pedagogy is increasing its profile and application within the UK. In the past ten years it has been increasingly applied within residential settings and foster care provision for looked after children. It has also been applied within adult social care settings such as the Camphill learning disability communities in Scotland. Its emphasis on participation, collaboration and co-production means that it is well placed to inform approaches that seek to build, social capital and capabilities of individuals. The above means that it offers applicable skills for those working within, care, and community development, early years, young people’s provision, educational and heath settings. The course will equip those involved in the strategic and policy roles, manager and professionals working within these disciplines.

Links with Industry

We have established partnerships with four local housing trusts. These are all involved in developing participation and community projects across the lifespan. We also have links with Salford Children’s Trust. Discussions have also taken place with services for looked after children and care leavers in the region. These will provide possibilities for students to engage with communities as part of experiential learning and to undertake work experience placements where they contribute to social pedagogically informed practice.

Further Study

On completion of this degree, students would be able to apply to do a PhD in Social Policy, or a related subject area at the University of Salford, or another university within the UK or abroad.

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