Concordia University

Youth Work Graduate Diploma

Admission Requirements

The minimum requirement for admission is a Bachelor’s/Baccalaureate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.00 and two letters of recommendation. Required prerequisites at the undergraduate level include at least three credits in adolescent development and three credits in social science research methods. Evidence of some volunteer or work experience with children or youth is required, and both a letter of intent and interview are required for admission. Candidates must be aware that a Police Check is required prior to an internship placement.

Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.

Requirements for the Diploma

Credits. A fully qualified candidate is required to complete a minimum of 33 credits. In cases where cross-listed courses at the undergraduate level have already been completed, the candidate is required to select electives from a pre-approved list in order to fulfill the 33-credit requirement.

  1. All students must take 24 credits: AHSC 510, AHSC 520, AHSC 522, AHSC 525, AHSC 527, AHSC 530, AHSC 540, AHSC 565.
    Students who have received credit for courses with similar content at the undergraduate level may be required to substitute up to six credits of program electives from the following: AHSC 512, AHSC 513, AHSC 551, AHSC 560, AHSC 598 or AHSC 599. All substitutions must be made in consultation with the program advisor.

  2. All students must take AHSC 533, and AHSC 537 or AHSC 538 chosen in consultation with the program advisor.

Academic Regulations

  1. Academic Standing. Please refer to the Academic Standing section of the Calendar for a detailed review of the Academic Regulations.

  2. Time Limit. Please refer to the Academic Regulation page for further details regarding the Time Limit requirements.

  3. Graduation Requirement. In order to graduate, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.70.


Required Courses

AHSC 510 Advanced Research Methods in Youth Work (3 credits)
This course reviews approaches to applied research that are applicable to youth work practice. Students compare a range of methodological approaches, explore definitions of evidence-based practice and learn techniques for collecting, analyzing and disseminating qualitative and quantitative data. Students undertake an applied research project, relevant to an area of practice or programs of intervention with youth. Emphasis is placed on ethical issues, developmentally appropriate research practices, and accountability.

AHSC 520 Psychoeducation and Youth Work Ethics in Practice (3 credits)
This course provides an introduction to applied ethics in youth work with a focus on the Code of Ethics of the Ordre des psychoéducateurs et psychoéducatrices du Québec. It also reviews the policy, legislative and organizational contexts of the practice of psychoeducation and youth work, and considers the ways in which models of ethical decision making inform practice. Topics include confidentiality and information sharing in inter-professional contexts, balancing issues of control, empowerment and education, developing critical reflexivity, and appreciating the complexities and dilemmas inherent in youth work practice.

AHSC 522 Fundamentals of Child and Youth Care Work (3 credits)
This course provides students with an understanding of the scope and status of child and youth care work, sensitizes them to the necessary competencies and daily challenges of this work in a range of settings, and reviews relevant theory. Intervention planning in the context of psychoeducation and relational child and youth care work is emphasized.

AHSC 525 Individual and Group Intervention with Youth (3 credits)
Prerequisite: AHSC 522 previously or concurrently.
A main focus of this course is to develop skills in relationship building and communication with youth. A micro-skills approach is introduced, as well as principles of group leadership and crisis intervention with youth. Principles of reflexive youth work, including developmentally-informed group leadership, are also covered.

AHSC 527 Advanced Youth Work Intervention: Case Management and Supervision (3 credits)
Prerequisite: AHSC 525.
This course explores the fundamental concepts and theories of case management and supervision as applied to youth work practice. Topics include supervisory relationship and process issues, self-care, ethical and professional considerations, leadership and mentoring relationships, multi-disciplinary teams and teamwork, managing change, debriefing in response to a crisis and developing, implementing and monitoring effective and collaborative case plans with young people and their families.

AHSC 530 Community Youth Development (3 credits)
Prerequisite: AHSC 525.
This course explores both historical and contemporary foundations of non-formal, community-based youth development in Canada and internationally. It focuses on creating opportunities for youth to engage with individuals, organizations and institutions at the community level. Various community youth development models are explored in-depth with practical applications for community-based youth programs, including life skills, assets, resiliency, and ecological models. Emphasis is placed on research, theory and practice applied in community youth development environments.

AHSC 540 Mental Health and Addictions: Youth Work Perspectives, Policies and Practices (3 credits)
Prerequisite: AHSC 525.
This course explores the precursors, presentations, nature and impacts of mental health concerns and addictions for youth, their families, and within communities. Students have the opportunity to develop, and apply within the classroom, knowledge and skills related to addictions and mental illness prevention, assessment and intervention, and mental health promotion. Topics include an introduction to adolescent psychopathology; diagnosis, assessment, and current policy and practices in relation to the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM); the uses of standardized testing to evaluate adaptation; psychopharmacology; suicide; evidence-based and alternative treatment interventions (e.g., psychoeducational approaches; dialectical behaviour therapy);ethical and legislative considerations; and the roles/responsibilities of youth workers in the inter-professional and community care of adolescents with mental health and/or addictions concerns.

AHSC 565 Parent-Child Relations (3 credits)
This course provides an advanced understanding of parenting theories, research, and applications in the context of parent-child relations over the life span. Topics include parenting rights and responsibilities, parenting practices and programs, high-risk parenting, issues in the transition from parenting children to parenting adolescents and parental assessment.

Elective Courses

AHSC 512 Sexuality in Human Relations (3 credits)
This course provides students with knowledge of physical and psychosocial aspects of sexuality in relationships through life and specifically during adolescence with an examination of values, attitudes, and issues related to the development and expression of sexuality. Topics include gender identity development, fuzzy identities, teen pregnancy, family, cultural and media influences; historically and culturally based attitudes; prevention and sexually transmitted diseases; self-perception and identity in sexuality; sexual diversity; and emotion and sexuality. The course aims to foster respect for persons and diversity.

AHSC 513 Family Communication (3 credits)
This course is an examination of patterns, effective approaches, and issues in communication among persons in primary partnerships and families with adolescents. It also explores topics such as diversity in forms of “family,” decision-making, problem-solving, power relations, gender issues, managing differences in expectations, and the influences of cultural, social, and economic contexts. Interventions for youth work practice designed to enhance communication and strengthen the parent-youth bond are explored.

AHSC 551 Counselling Skills and Concepts (6 credits)
This course advances students’ understanding of core counselling theories and develops an understanding for theoretical and value frameworks of the youth work therapeutic relationship. It fosters the application of essential helping skills for relational practice within youth work settings. Skill areas include attending skills, such as attending to nonverbal behaviour, reflection of content, reflection of feeling, paraphrasing and summarizing, empathy, selfdisclosure; and influencing skills, such as interpretation and analysis. Also highlighted are ethical issues, attention to cultural differences, and practitioner reflexivity.

AHSC 560 Health Promotion (6 credits)
This course helps students to develop intervention skills and theoretical understanding in the area of health promotion across the lifespan. It is of particular interest to youth work students whose career interests involve lifestyle planning, health and wellness promotion, and stress management with young people. A holistic approach including cultural and developmental understandings are discussed in relation to the following topics: health and wellness, stress and illness, psychological and physical self‑appraisal processes, psychosomatic processes and disorders, understanding addictions and their management, interventions to promote health and wellness, behavioural self‑management, and issues in medical/psychological health compliance.

AHSC 598 Special Topics in Youth Work (3 credits)
Specific topics for this course and prerequisites relevant in each case are stated in the Graduate Class Schedule.

AHSC 599 Independent Study (3 credits)
Prerequisite: Permission of the Department.
Students work on topics in consultation with a study supervisor. The study may include readings, field studies, and/or research.


AHSC 533 Internship I in Youth Work (3 credits)
Prerequisites: AHSC 522, 525.
This entry-level internship in youth work is designed to provide an opportunity for a first field experience that promotes integration into a clinical or normative youth work setting. A major focus is on participatory observation. Students are required to participate in a field placement one day per week, for a total of 100 hours in settings such as schools, community organizations, hospitals, or rehabilitation centres. The site is selected in consultation with the Graduate Program Director.

AHSC 537 Internship II in Youth Work (6 credits)
Prerequisites: AHSC 533 and 12 credits completed in youth work with permission of the Department.
This 220-hour internship is designed to provide a supervised apprenticeship in either a clinical or normative youth work setting that builds on the student’s previous courses. The focus of this internship is that the student fully assumes all the duties and responsibilities of a youth worker in the same site selected for the first internship. The student’s work is supervised and evaluated by an on-site field supervisor.


AHSC 538 Extended Internship in Youth Work (9 credits)
Prerequisites: AHSC 533 and 12 credits completed in youth work with permission of the Department.
This 320-hour internship is designed to provide a full-time supervised experience in either a clinical or a normative youth work setting and requires additional hours to assist the student in building his/her application for licensing. The focus of this internship is that the student fully assumes all the duties and responsibilities of a youth worker in the same site selected for the first internship. The student’s work is supervised and evaluated by an on-site field supervisor.

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