Skip to main content Skip to navigation

MASc in Community, Engagement, and Belonging (2023 Entry)

Community, Engagement, and Belonging students at Warwick

Find out more about our MASc in Community, Engagement, and Belonging.

How can we truly belong in a global community? On this innovative MASc degree students will cross disciplines to explore what it means to create purposeful change within local and global communities. Students will have the flexibility to shape the course around their own interests and career goals, while developing their research skills and expertise in community engagement.

Course overview

This taught MASc in Community, Engagement, and Belonging is offered by the Liberal Arts Department in partnership with the Warwick Institute of EngagementLink opens in a new window. This unique, transdisciplinary course is designed to help students develop as future intellectual leaders, bringing together sites of knowledge creation (such as universities, think tanks, and industry) and global communities.

The core modules on this course focus on the value of building and enhancing partnerships with community organisations. They will help students to critically reflect on where, why, and how to bridge the gap between knowledge creation and communities, creating spaces for dialogue and innovation. Crucially, the core modules offer the methodological and theoretical grounding for in-depth research. This course also offers students the freedom to choose optional modules from across the University, enabling students to tailor the degree to suit their own intellectual passions, interests, and ambitions. In the Liberal Arts Department, we have extensive experience and resources in place to help students find modules from across the University that align with the issues of community engagement that matter to them most.

This course culminates in an intensive project focused on the creation of original, evidence-based, interdisciplinary, and embedded knowledge; students can choose either a Research Dissertation or a Community-Based Learning Dissertation. This flexibility empowers students to develop a project most aligned to their intellectual interests and/or career goals. The Research Dissertation allows students to use interdisciplinary approaches to produce original knowledge in a topic or case study related to Community, Engagement, and/or Belonging from any period or area. The Community-Based Learning Dissertation focuses on critical engagement with embedded knowledge in the form of a community project, undertaken with a community partner. If students choose this option, they will also be supported by our dedicated Employability and Placement Manager and ​will have the opportunity to apply for an experienced mentor from the Warwick Institute of Engagement. In both cases, students will have a dedicated dissertation supervisor assigned to them in the Liberal Arts department who will mentor them and help their project reach its full potential.

Graduates from this course will emerge as leaders in interdisciplinary community engagement. They will take their next steps with a deeper understanding and broader appreciation of the value of making a difference in local and regional communities.

Partnership with the Warwick Institute of Engagement

Students on this programme will benefit from a one-of-a-kind partnership with the Warwick Institute of Engagement (WIE)Link opens in a new window, including:

  • A two-year WIE Programme Fellowship: one year during students’ studies and one alumni year of fellowship. The year of alumni fellowship will enable students to continue developing networks beyond graduation. It will also help students to stay connected to Warwick as they work in their communities or take the next step in their international career.
  • The opportunity to take WIE’s intensive Public Engagement postgraduate module, dependent on availability. This module is taught in conjunction with the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL).
  • Involvement in WIE’s Learning CirclesLink opens in a new window, allowing students to engage meaningfully in cutting-edge University-level discussions around public engagement.
  • The opportunity to apply for an experienced WIE Mentor if students choose the Community-Based Learning Dissertation.
  • Additional enrichment opportunities from WIE may also be available throughout the course of this degree.

Interested in learning more and taking the first step to making a real difference in your community? Sign up for updatesLink opens in a new window and get in touch with us at LiberalArts at warwick dot ac dot uk.

Who is this programme for?

This programme is ideal for you if you would like to pursue questions of belonging, engagement, and how knowledge production relates to communities from the local to the global. It is also appropriate for those who are keen to work within and alongside community projects, local government, heritage organisations, the charity sector, and other key organisations that interface between knowledge creation sites and communities. The programme is also ideal for those who wish to facilitate greater inclusion of community voices within research institutions and other sites of knowledge creation. We particularly welcome students with prior experience of interdisciplinary learning.

We also welcome mature students and those who have already obtained a postgraduate qualification (such as another MA or PhD), who are seeking to hone their expertise in community engagement and bring their rich experience to bear on these topics. Alternatively, potential students might already be working in a relevant sector and wish to gain a deeper understanding of community engagement and methodological approaches, including by studying their own knowledge-creation institution or community.

Skills from this degree

During this degree, students will develop the ability to:

  • Critically and creatively evaluate issues of community engagement, citizenship, well-being, and belonging, while demonstrating advanced scholarship in an interdisciplinary context.
  • Demonstrate and evidence a comprehensive understanding of transdisciplinarity and mixed methods in research design.
  • Exhibit mastery in the exercise of transferable research skills and in community engagement theories and methods.
  • Take a proactive and self-reflective role in developing research and community engagement skills.
  • Demonstrate in-depth, specialist knowledge and mastery of techniques relevant for research and engagement.

General entry requirements

Minimum requirements

2:i undergraduate degree (or equivalent). Find out more about our requirementsLink opens in a new window.

We welcome students from different backgrounds and experiences, and particularly those with a strong interest in community engagement and studying across disciplines.

In certain circumstances, we will consider applicants with a lower second-class honours degree, or a normal degree (and their equivalents). This is particularly the case for applicants with relevant professional experience which can be explicitly and directly related to our curriculum.

English language requirements

You can find out more about our English language requirementsLink opens in a new window. This course requires the following:

  • Band B
  • Overall IELTS (Academic, UKVI or Online) score of 7.0 and minimum component scores of two at 6.0/6.5 and the rest at 7.0 or above.

International qualifications

We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.

For more information, please visit the international entry requirements pageLink opens in a new window.

Additional requirements

There are no additional requirements for this course.

Core modules

The core modules on this course will allow students to come to their own understanding of how we belong in our communities, how to conduct meaningful research around topics related to community engagement, and critically reflect on the duties and responsibilities that we all share both as creators of knowledge and members of overlapping communities. The civic focus of this degree will empower students to think in a rigorous, evidence-based, interdisciplinary manner to transform our complex world.

Term One

The Good Life: Flourishing and Belonging within Communities

What does it mean to live a ‘Good Life’? How can personal development improve our communities? Can we lead a meaningful life if we set aside our responsibilities to each other? These questions sit at the heart of a liberal education.

This two-term module will critically examine the concept of engaged citizenship within communities across time periods, cultures, and disciplinary perspectives. Using a combination of case studies, primary sources, and hands-on workshops, students will be trained to understand and navigate complex interdisciplinary questions. Assessments for this module will be dynamic and student-driven, providing an opportunity to apply theories, models of practice, and research skills from other core modules.

Read more about The Good Life: Flourishing and Belonging within Communities moduleLink opens in a new window.

Creating Knowledge for Change: Foundations of Transdisciplinary Approaches

How can we use and combine different research methods for problem-solving and change-making? In this module, students will engage with the methodologies that underpin interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research. Covering quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research, students will develop a core toolkit of research skills that they can apply to their future projects. An element of the assessment for this module will be to develop a mixed-methods research project plan, including application for ethical approval.

Read more about the Creating Knowledge for Change: Foundations of Transdisciplinary Approaches moduleLink opens in a new window.

Theory and Practice for Community Engagement

This module is designed to help students understand how to build and enhance partnerships between organisations. Students will have opportunities to examine and understand the relationships between knowledge production organisations—such as universities, think tanks, or research and development bodies—and community-based organisations in a range of contexts, from the local to the global.

Read more about the Theory and Practice for Community Engagement moduleLink opens in a new window.

Term Two

The Good Life: Flourishing and Belonging within Communities 

Continued from Term One (please see above).

Term Three

Choose one of two intensive knowledge-creation projects, to suit your intellectual passions and career aspirations:

Research Dissertation

Liberal Arts staff will provide bespoke support and mentorship for students as they apply their skills and knowledge of interdisciplinary methodologies to original knowledge creation in the form of a transdisciplinary research project. The focus of the project can be on any area, time period, or case study that aligns with the themes of belonging, community engagement, and the dialogue between communities and sites of knowledge creation (broadly defined). Students will publicly present their work to a community of relevant stakeholders, embedding their own knowledge creation within a community context.

Read more about the Research DissertationLink opens in a new window.

Community-Based Learning Dissertation

Liberal Arts staff will provide bespoke support and mentorship for students as they apply their skills and knowledge of interdisciplinary methodologies and public engagement to an embedded form of knowledge creation; the project will be undertaken with a community partner and students will produce a critical reflection on their work. The project will also be supported by our Employability and Placement Manager and students will have the opportunity to apply for an experienced mentor from the Warwick Institute of Engagement.

Read more about the Community-Based Learning DissertationLink opens in a new window.

Optional modules

In Term Two, students will have the opportunity to explore a variety of optional modules both within the School for Cross-faculty Studies and across other departments. This flexibility will enable students to tailor their degree to their own intellectual passions, interests, and/or career goals. Staff in the Liberal Arts Department have extensive expertise in helping students choose the best optional modules to design a unique degree that suits their interests and students on this degree will benefit from such bespoke support throughout. Students who opt for the Community-Based Learning Dissertation will be encouraged to consider the Warwick Institute of Engagement’s intensive postgraduate module on Public EngagementLink opens in a new window as one of their optional modules ​(dependent on availability).

Example optional modules from across the University may include:

Please note, optional modules are subject to availability and offerings may change each year to keep students’ learning experience current and up to date. Students will also need to discuss their optional module choices with their personal tutor and receive approval from the Director of Graduate Studies in the Liberal Arts Department.


Teaching and learning on this course take place across different disciplines, while also engaging with non-academic partners to bridge the gap between sites of knowledge creation and communities. This is reflected in the distinctive award for this degree: MASc (Master of Arts and Science), encapsulating the inter- and transdisciplinary nature of this programme.

We pride ourselves on a pedagogy of Problem-Based Learning. Students will be taught key course content via interactive lectures and task-guided reading. However, most learning will be through the active, authentic and applied student-self-construction of knowledge. This approach to teaching allows students to develop applied process skills and academic subject content at the same time.

Core modules on this course will be taught mainly by staff from the Liberal Arts Department who are passionate about the civic and interdisciplinary tradition of liberal education and experts in the delivery of interdisciplinary, research-led teaching and learning.

Class sizes

We aim to keep the class sizes for core modules on this course small (around 5-10 students), allowing teaching to be tailored to students’ interests.

Typical contact hours

In the first term, students will spend six hours each week participating in interactive seminars for the core modules. In the second and third terms, contact hours will depend on the options selected.


Students on this course will be assessed by a variety of methods, linked to practical applications. All assessments in modules offered by the School for Cross-faculty Studies link to practical applications. In these modules, students will complete formative and summative assessments. Formative assessments will include discussion circles mirroring professional discussions in the working world. In the summative assessments, students will have the opportunity to show subject expertise, while continuing to develop process skills.

Reading lists

Most departments have reading lists available through Warwick Library. Explore our Warwick Library web pagesLink opens in a new window.

Your timetable

Your personalised timetable will be complete when you are registered for all modules, core and optional, and you have been allocated to your lecture, seminar, and other study groups. Your core modules will be registered for you, and you will be able to choose your optional modules when you join us.

Your Career

Graduates from this course will be well-equipped to take community engagement forward in a local, national, or global context. Your expertise in community engagement will allow you to access a wide variety of fields, including (but not limited to) Research, Community Development, Project Management, Data Intelligence, Policy Advisory, Humanitarian Aid, and Academia.

Our department’s Employability and Placement Manager has links with employers from the private, public, and third sectors, including Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), think tanks, social enterprises, and sustainability consultancies. These links will be useful for both the capstone project in Term Three and employment opportunities during and beyond the course.

Liberal Arts Department

The Liberal Arts DepartmentLink opens in a new window at Warwick is home to a close-knit community of passionate and engaged staff and students. We are connected by the values underpinning a liberal education: an enthusiasm for learning across disciplines, an eagerness to think critically, and a desire to make a change in the world. The Liberal Arts Department sits within the School for Cross-faculty StudiesLink opens in a new window, a transdisciplinary School committed to community and critical engagement. Students on this course will join our existing postgraduate community in the School, as well as the wider postgraduate community at Warwick.

The Liberal Arts Department has established its reputation for outstanding teaching and learning; in 2022 the department ranked first in the UK for teaching quality and student experience (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023). Our dedication to student support is also reflected in our 2022 National Student Survey results, where our undergraduate Liberal Arts course scored 100% for overall satisfaction. Alongside this, one of our tutors won the 2022 university-wide award for personal tutoring excellenceLink opens in a new window. We hope to build on these foundations as we expand our community and welcome postgraduate students to our department.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees are payable for each year of your course at the start of the academic year, or at the start of your course, if later. Academic fees cover the cost of tuition, examinations and registration and some student amenities.

Taught course fees  Research course fees

Fee Status Guidance

We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Students will be classified as Home or Overseas fee status. Your fee status determines tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available. If you receive an offer, your fee status will be clearly stated alongside the tuition fee information.

Do you need your fee classification to be reviewed?

If you believe that your fee status has been classified incorrectly, you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire. Please follow the instructions in your offer information and provide the documents needed to reassess your status.

Find out more about how universities assess fee status

Additional course costs

As well as tuition fees and living expenses, some courses may require you to cover the cost of field trips or costs associated with travel abroad.

For departmental specific costs, please see the Modules tab on the course web page for the list of core and optional core modules with hyperlinks to our Module Catalogue (please visit the Department’s website if the Module Catalogue hyperlinks are not provided).

Associated costs can be found on the Study tab for each module listed in the Module Catalogue (please note most of the module content applies to 2022/23 year of study). Information about module department specific costs should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below:

  • Core text books
  • Printer credits
  • Dissertation binding
  • Robe hire for your degree ceremony

Scholarships and bursaries

Scholarships and financial support

Find out about the different funding routes available, including; postgraduate loans, scholarships, fee awards and academic department bursaries.

Living costs

Find out more about the cost of living as a postgraduate student at the University of Warwick.

Find out how to apply to us, ask your questions, and find out more.

Taught course applications

Here is our checklist on how to apply for taught postgraduate courses at Warwick.

Research course applications

Here is our checklist on how to apply for research postgraduate degrees at the University of Warwick.

After you’ve applied

Find out how we process your application.

Applicant Portal

Track your application and update your details.

Admissions statement

See Warwick’s postgraduate admissions policy.

Join a live chat

Ask questions and engage with Warwick.

Postgraduate Open Day

Our Postgraduate Virtual Open Day will help you find out more about your course of interest, as well as general topics like applying to Warwick, accommodation, careers and funding.
Please register your interest to be the first to hear when booking opens.

Postgraduate fairs

Throughout the year we attend exhibitions and fairs online and in the UK. These events give you the chance to learn about our Master's and PhD study routes, and the wider context of postgraduate study.

Find out more

Live chats

Every week, you can connect directly with representatives from Warwick, who will be answering your questions on applying to and studying postgraduate studies at Warwick.

Sign up for Live Chats

Departmental events

Some academic departments hold events for specific postgraduate programmes, these are fantastic opportunities to learn more about Warwick and your chosen department and course.

See our online departmental events

Connect with us

Want to hear more about postgraduate study at Warwick? Register your interest and find out more.