Concordia University

Applied Human Sciences

Master of/Magisteriate in Arts (Human Systems Intervention)

Admission Requirements. Candidates must have the following:

  1. At least two years of full-time work experience. Preference will be shown toward applicants who have work experience that is directly related to their learning goals in the program.

  2. Completion of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum B average or a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00.

  3. Successful completion of a one week residential Basic Human Interaction Laboratory and have written documentation from laboratory staff that they have competency in interpersonal interaction and facilitation.

  4. A clearly delineated career intention concerning the development of intervention expertise for a particular domain of professional practice.

  5. Be capable of undertaking all core courses of the first year in the scheduled sequence of the program.

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. 

The Graduate Program Director may require a demonstration of English language competencies for international students or students educated abroad.

Requirements for the Degree

  1. Credits. A fully-qualified candidate is required to complete a minimum of 45 credits. 42 credits will be in required coursework, including 15 credits of project work. The remaining 3 credits are to be completed within or outside the department. Courses that are taken to complete entrance requirements to the program may not be counted toward the program’s 45 credits. In exceptional cases, students who produce evidence of successful performance (B grade or better) in compatible coursework at other institutions may be permitted transfer credit. A maximum of 9 credits in transfer courses will be permitted.

  2. Coursework. The program is divided into two sections of coursework, with Year I establishing the prerequisites for Year II. In addition, students will have a minimum of 3 credits of elective coursework to complete their degree requirements.

  3. Year I provides students with fundamental understanding and frames of reference regarding learning and change processes of persons and groups, steps in the intervention process, ethical principles, and research methods. These fundamental understandings are then deepened through application in practice-based courses of Year II. The Master’s Project is intended to promote an integration of concepts and practical experience.

Year I constitutes the first phase of the program. Year II and the Elective Coursework is more individually-tailored, and constitutes the second and subsequent years, when necessary.

YEAR I: Total of Required Credits: Year I =18 credits
The following are required of all students in the first year of study; additional three (3) credits of electives may be added to this set of courses:

AHSC 610 Group Process Intervention (3 credits)
AHSC 620 Learning and Individual Change Processes (3 credits)
AHSC 631 Research Methods (3 credits)
AHSC 632 Planning Human Systems Intervention (3 credits)
AHSC 660 Philosophy and Ethics of Intervention (3 credits)
AHSC 670 Consultation Methods (3 credits)

YEAR II: Total of Required Credits: Year II = 24 credits
The following will normally be required of all students:

AHSC 680 Facilitating Individual and Group Learning Processes (6 credits)
AHSC 685 Coaching Interventions and Processes (3 credits)
AHSC 698 Master’s Project (15 credits)
+ 3 credits of elective coursework.

Elective Coursework

Required credits from Years I and II comprise 42 of the 45 credits in this MA program. Students must complete an additional 3 credits of coursework to satisfy degree requirements. These three credits of coursework may be taken in Year I or Year II.

AHSC 675 Introduction to Open Systems Theory (3 credits)
AHSC 681 Selected Topics (3 credits)
AHSC 682 Selected Topics (3 credits)
AHSC 695 Independent Study I (3 credits)
AHSC 696 Independent Study II (3 credits)
Optional Coursework in AHSC or other departments

  1. Course substitution. Students may be exempted from certain courses on the basis of course work completed prior to entry into the program. A maximum of 9 credits of transfer credits will be permitted. These credits will be counted toward the required 45 credits in the program.

  2. Residential Laboratories. Students will be required to participate in two week-long residential laboratories for which expenses for accommodation, meals and program related fees will be the responsibility of the students.

Academic Regulations

  1. Course Load for Full-Time Students. The normal course load for full-time students will be a minimum of 18 credits per year. A student may not register for more than 27 credits per year without permission from the AHSC Graduate Program Director.

  2. Course Load for Part-Time Students. Students will only be admitted to the program on a full-time status for the first year. With explicit permission of the AHSC Graduate Committee, a student may continue on a part-time basis following the first year of study. Part-time status is defined as enroling in less than 8 credits per semester.

  3. Academic Standing. Please refer to the Academic Standing section of the Calendar for a detailed review of the Academic Regulations.  
    Program Specific Requirements. A minimum grade of B is required in each course.

  4. Residence. The minimum residence is one year (3 terms) of full-time study.

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

  6. Graduation Requirement. In order to graduate, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00.

Core Courses

AHSC 610 Group Process Intervention (3 credits)
This course is oriented to the theory and practice of intervention in small groups. The course involves participation in a small group laboratory through which students’ experiences are integrated with conceptual frameworks, including theories of group development and leadership. Ethical issues in group processes will be considered.

AHSC 620 Learning and Individual Change Processes (3 credits)
This course will examine research and theory of individual learning and change which involves cognitive, affective and behavioural components. Intervention with an emphasis on a normative re-educative approach to facilitating learning and change will be emphasized. Illustrative intervention cases will be examined to identify essential qualities, underlying assumptions about learning and change in the context of human systems, and implications for the role of the intervener.

AHSC 631 Research Methods (3 credits)
This course examines research methods involved in action research and other applied field perspectives. Methods applicable at all stages of the research process include the literature review, defining the purpose of study, design of quantitative and qualitative research tools, data gathering, qualitative and quantitative data analysis, and reporting and communicating research results and recommendations.
Note: Students who have received credit for AHSC 630 may not take this course for credit.

AHSC 632 Planning Human Systems Intervention (3 credits)
This course examines the design and implementation of intervention programs from a systems perspective based on organizational theories, needs assessment, theories of learning and change, and group processes. It builds on basic concepts of organizational dynamics and effective human systems. Emphasis is on understanding organizational and group processes, development of planning skills, and making strategic choices. Interventions are framed in the context of collaborative action research with participant involvement at all stages including problem analysis and definition, generating and selection intervention strategies, action planning, implementation, and project evaluation.
Note: Students who have received credit for AHSC 630 may not take this course for credit.

AHSC 660 Philosophy and Ethics of Intervention (3 credits)
This course will review the philosophical underpinnings of intervention in human systems with an emphasis on a normative re-educative approach. It will address core values and ethics imbedded in change efforts, as well as examining the philosophical roots of different traditions of change methodology. It will consider the philosophical implications of change agents functioning as consultants rather than experts and as process rather than content specialists. It will consider ethical and philosophical aspects of power, strategy, and conflict, among other issues associated with intervention.

AHSC 670 Consultation Methods (3 credits)
The course will examine current models of consultation. It will enable students to establish effective client-consultant relationships based on collaborative approaches to entry, diagnosis, planning, and implementation. Ethical concerns for consultation will be integrated with discussions of methodology. Through observation and analysis of student-designed interventions, the course will provide experience-based learning and feedback. Special attention will be given to considerations of power, conflict, decision-making, negotiation, problem-solving, planning, and strategy.

AHSC 680 Facilitating Individual and Group Learning Processes (6 credits)
Prerequisite: Completion of Year I coursework (AHSC 610, 620, 631, 632, 660, 670).
This course will focus on interventions at the individual and group levels. Client-centred models of working in groups to achieve learning and task objectives will be reviewed. Issues of design, planning, and implementation of learning programs for individuals and groups, including attention to power, problem-solving, decision-making and conflict management will be examined in a laboratory setting where students will plan and conduct a group learning program under supervision.

AHSC 685 Coaching Interventions and Processes (3 credits)
This course develops professional understanding of theories and methodologies relevant to individual coaching processes in the functioning of groups, organizations and communities. Emphasis is placed on the development of competencies in executive, managerial and employee coaching. Course content encompasses phases of the coaching process, communication methodologies, obstacles and barriers to change, individual change models, strategic individual interventions, dealing with resistance, philosophy and ethics of coaching, and coaching structures. Practical components are integrated into the course.

Elective Courses

AHSC 675 Introduction to Open Systems Theory (3 credits)
This course introduces the socio-ecological version of open systems theory (OST) and practice with a particular focus on the Search Conference, the Participative Design Workshop, and Unique Designs. OST was developed to promote and create change toward a world that is consciously designed by people, and for people, living harmoniously within their ecological systems, both physical and social. Students learn how to design and implement interventions in organizations, communities and larger social systems.
Note: Students who have received credit for this course under an AHSC 681 number may not take this course for credit.

AHSC 681 Special Topics (3 credits)
Topical seminars will be offered to provide perspectives about current intervention themes. These may complement students’ programs, but will not constitute part of the required curriculum. Examples include: emerging trends in organizational development; strategic planning models; the use of self as an instrument of change; intercultural issues in intervention; appreciative inquiry; complexity theory.

AHSC 682 Special Topics (6 credits)
Same as AHSC 681 when a second special topic is offered in the same term.

AHSC 695 Independent Study I (3 credits)
Students may pursue studies in areas of specialized professional interest related to the graduate program or as a means of strengthening understanding of the core areas of the graduate program.

AHSC 696 Independent Study II (3 credits)
Students may pursue a second area of specialized professional interest related to the graduate program or further develop understanding in the core areas of the graduate program.


AHSC 698 Master’s Project (15 credits)
Prerequisite: Completion of AHSC 680.
Students must demonstrate their ability to conduct a complete intervention to effect change in a human system as the principal consultant in a collaborative relationship with a client representing that system. The project includes contracting with the client, gathering and analyzing data, implementing relevant intervention activities, and evaluating the intervention as well as their role.


Diploma in Youth Work

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, 520, 522, 525, 527, 530, 540, 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 electivesfrom the following: AHSC 512, AHSC 513, AHSC 551, AHSC 560, AHSC 598 or 599. All substitutions must be made in consultation with the program advisor.

  2. All students must take AHSC 533, and AHSC 537 or 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 principles of group leadership and crisis intervention with youth. There is a required fieldwork component to include one hour per week of observation in a youth work setting.

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 24 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 24 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.


Back to top

© Concordia University