BA (Hons) Youth Work and Community Development


Course code L530

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Course code L530

Key course details

Location Lancaster
Duration Full-time, 3 Years
Start date September 2019
Entry Requirements Programme Specification

Do you want to inspire and help young people to achieve their full potential?

Our course will enable you to do just that and become a fully-qualified youth and community worker who can confidently work with and support young people, adults and community groups. 

You’ll learn a broad overview of the field of contemporary youth work and community development together with all the knowledge and skills required for a career in this profession on our course, which covers sociology, psychology, child and adolescent development, law, values and ethics, so you'll know how to give people the positive help they need. So, no matter what line of work you eventually choose, whether it's for local authorities or not‐for‐profit organisations, you'll have the ability to reach the top of the career ladder.

Our programme offers a safeguarding certificate, a leadership certificate (ILM), a mental health first aid lite certificate to support your employability. Most importantly the programme is pending accreditation by the National Youth Agency (NYA) with JNC Youth Worker Status and endorsed by the Endorsement Standards Board (ESB) for Community Development.

Why choose the University of Cumbria

  • Dual accreditation - You'll graduate with JNC accreditation as a youth worker and ESB accreditation as a community worker, setting you ahead of other graduates and keeping your progression routes more open. 
  • Integrated working - Interdisciplinary work is engrained in the programme. You'll have opportunities for interprofessional study, reflecting changes in the youth and community work sector.
  • Highly skilled tutors with strong links in the field – Our tutors are all experienced youth work and community development practitioners and highly skilled researchers. We have links with over 100 youth work organisations across the region and international relationships too. This ensures that your programme is informed by recent practice.
  • Enriched learning - In addition to our experienced tutors, you'll learn from a range of visiting speakers, monthly seminars, annual conferences and termly fieldwork supervisor events
  • Work experience - Professional placements at each level will equip you with the opportunity to integrate the knowledge, understanding and skills into tangible practice.
  • International placement opportunities – As well as including a globalisation theme, we also offer opportunity to study a semester in Toronto and/or undertake an overseas placement in your level 5 year of study (subject to additional costs). Previous students have benefitted from experiences in Zambia, Bangladesh and Australia. 
  • Boost your employability - You'll pick up a range of additional qualifications during your studies, including the Safeguarding Certificate, First Aid Certificate, Mental Health First Aid Lite Certificate and Institute of Leadership and Management Certificate
  • Fresh research - Our tutors are highly experienced researchers, exploring areas such as empowerment and agency, the spaces needed or young people to discuss extremism and radicalisation, and the impact of youth work - which means your studies will be informed by the latest research
  • Applied course and assessments – The course features a high number of applied tasks and assessments such as report writing, designing curriculum packs, evaluating services, ensuring that you have all the practical skills you need to go out into the field.
  • Excellent student support - Academic, financial and wellbeing advisers are available to provide personal, professional support during your studies, whether it's with essay writingor preparing for your career after study

These benefits mean that you will graduate with confidence in your ability to work, manage and lead youth and community organisations and services across the UK.

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Progress to postgraduate for free

We’ve waived the fees for many postgraduate courses* for students like you planning to start an undergraduate degree with us to help you extend your education.

Graduate destinations

Youth Work and Community Development offers a wide range of employment prospects. You may work in a range of distinct youth and community work organisations, or in integrated settings within education, social care, health and wellbeing, sport and culture, crime and justice. Within each of these sectors there are employers who provide statutory services, voluntary and charitable services and private services, so you will have a wide range of employment options. Recent graduates have gone on to work in a wide variety of these organisations as front line staff and project managers. 

Working with children

The children’s workforce comprises the following sectors:

  • Education
  • Health
  • Early years
  • Sports and culture
  • Justice and crime
  • Youth work
  • Social work
  • Family work

Whilst the children’s workforce represents a range of employment options, we recognise that many people will be working outside of these fields supporting community engagement with a diverse range of people and groups.

Further study

You may also want to progress onto a Masters programmes to gain an accredited professional status. We hope that you will continue your professional career by studying the MA in Youth Work and Community Development (ESB and JNC accredited), however other study routes are also available to you. Recent graduates have progressed onto the following programmes available at the University of Cumbria:

  • MA Social Work
  • MA Counselling and Psychotherapy
  • PGCE Primary Education with QTS