Community Leadership Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update

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What is Community Leadership?

A Community Leader is a designated leader within a community who represents the community. Community leaders may represent the community at city council meetings, in organizing services within the community such as the implementation of speed bumps or other safety measures. Community Leaders may be involved with charity drives or organizing peaceful protests.

Community-based leadership programs can build skills and support the development of emerging leaders through workshops and other local projects. Community Leadership seeks individuals who want to improve their community and give voice to traditionally underrepresented community members.

What courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in the following subject areas:

  • Introduction to Community Leadership – The study of the role of leadership in the community sector and the concept of leadership within social activism.
  • Community Leadership – The study of the grassroots model of community leadership in practice nationally and globally.
  • Youth and Community Work – The study of working with young people in a range of community-based settings for those who would like to pursue a career in the youth and community sector.
  • Creative Problem Solving and Action Learning – The study of critical thinking, emotional intelligence, and action learning in leadership or management.
  • Certificate in Community Development and leadership – The study of the concepts, definition, principles, and processes of community development and formal and informal community development models.
  • Leadership in the Community – The study of the educational and professional skills needed by those tasked with the responsibility of providing effective leadership within a community.
  • Youth Leadership and Community Action – A course that enables young people to develop vision, confidence, and life skills to become effective leaders.
  • Leadership Development – The study of effective and responsible leadership, strategic planning, and management of organizational change.

Studying Community Leadership in college

Community Leadership courses are generally very practical, hands-on courses with a range of skills taught. There may be a mixture of classroom and online lessons. Depending on the course you choose there may be work experience options that can form an integral part of the learning experience in a practical setting.

Self-directed learning is very common in this type of instruction and you will likely develop several transferable skills such as written and oral communication, critical thinking, digital literacy, group collaboration, problem-solving, planning, and time management. Course work may include suggested readings and videos so you will need to factor this into the time you allocate to your studies.

Courses can take place over a 1 or 2-day workshop or may take place over the duration of a few weeks. Assessment methods may include presentations, research projects, portfolios, assignments, and commonly reflective journals but these may vary depending on the course chosen. You will also likely be required to partake in discussion forums and work on a group project.

Career options

After completing a course in Community Leadership you may be interested in starting a career in the community development or youth services sectors within facilities like youth clubs, sports clubs, and other youth services.

Community Leaders help the community to work on the problems that face their local area so you may work with specific groups who need assistance within the community through charity or other NGO organizations.

The job of a community worker can require regular unsocial hours, including evenings and weekends. Community workers operate mainly in disadvantaged communities within inner-city areas, rural areas, and small towns. Local travel can be a regular feature of the job.

Related jobs include:

  • Positions within Local Authority
  • Charities and not-for-profit organizations
  • Local Urban and Rural development groups
  • Youth Groups
  • Youth Centres
  • Sports Clubs
  • Volunteer Centres
  • Politics
  • Counseling
  • Fundraising

Further study

After completing a course in Community Leadership you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field in a related industry such as law enforcement and corrections, social work, education, healthcare, and youth work.

As a community leader, you will work closely with these organizations so having knowledge or experience in any of these fields can be hugely beneficial to your work within the community.


Are there any particular qualities you need to study Community Leadership?

A good community leader should be knowledgeable of his or her strengths and weaknesses.

You should have an eagerness to learn and adapt. You should be forward-thinking and always be thinking about the future and what changes can be made to improve the community.

As a community leader, you will earn respect from members by listening and working alongside them on any task, no matter how small. Get in the trenches with the community so to speak. As a leader, you should be honest and open and show integrity. You should have dedication and loyalty to the community. You should have good interpersonal skills and great communication and the ability to talk to anyone of any age and from any walk of life.

What are some ways to get involved in the community and show Community Leadership?

Become a Mentor in business or with the youth.

Find causes you believe in and offer visible and vocal support for those causes.

Offer Presentations to Schools

Propose New Policies and Programs

Where can I study Community Leadership?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

  • Queen Elizabeth II is a trained truck mechanic and driver.
  • Abraham Lincoln was inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame.
  • Former US President Barack Obama is the first president to set up a Twitter account.
  • Before becoming Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau held a series of jobs that many people would consider unconventional. Trudeau was a snowboarder instructor, nightclub bouncer, and a bungee jumping coach before he went into politics.
  • SPY Magazine once sent some of the world’s richest people cheques of 13 cents to see who would cash them. The only people to do so were an arms dealer and Donald Trump.

Mariza Halliday



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