Community and Youth Work Studies with Integrated Foundation Year BA (Hons)

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This is a four-year version of our popular BA (Hons) Community and Youth Work Studies course, with an integrated foundation year. Transform the lives of vulnerable communities. Empower disadvantaged young people to achieve their potential. Qualify for an incredibly satisfying career where you'll be changing lives every day.

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Overview

This degree combines an honours degree with a professional qualification in youth work, training you to become a fully qualified youth worker with a nationally recognised professional qualification.

As a professional Community and Youth worker you will make a real difference to the lives of young people aged between 13 and 19. You'll promote their personal and social development, and empower them to make positive decisions for themselves and for their communities.

Why us?

  • Accredited by the National Youth Agency
  • ‘World-leading’ research in Social Work, according to the latest Research Excellence Framework
  • We are a University that is nationally recognised for supporting learners particularly from non-traditional backgrounds and many students come to us with no formal qualifications but with valuable work experience
  • 100% of our BA (Hons) Community and Youth Work Studies graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2015/16 (based on UK students)
  • Opportunity to study abroad as part of the course

Course structure

Community and Youth Work is a vocation, and it’s important to learn from real work-based experience as well as from academic study. For this reason, work placements are an integral part of the degree. By the time you graduate you will have spent at least 888 hours in professional practice.

If you’re already working you can take a placement at your workplace, as long as the work is relevant and there are adequate supervision arrangements in place. You’ll also need to complete at least one placement in a setting which is not your workplace, to ensure that you get the maximum benefit from your placement experience.

Foundation year 

The Social Sciences and Law Integrated Foundation Year includes four modules:

  • The Law and Society (40 credits)
  • Practical Numeracy Skills (20 credits)
  • Foundation Project Module (20 credits)
  • Succeeding at University and Beyond (40 credits)

 

Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

Year 1 (national level 4):

  • Learning from Lives (20 credits)
  • Understanding Society (20 credits)
  • Principles of Informal Education (20 credits)
  • Skills for Practice (20 credits)
  • Placement Part One (20 credits)
  • Placement Part Two (20 credits)

Year 2 (national level 5):

  • Ethical Practice (20 credits)
  • Policy Context (20 credits)
  • Organisational Management (20 credits)
  • Group Work and Integrated Practice (20 credits)
  • Placement Part One (20 credits)
  • Placement Part Two (20 credits)

Final year (national level 6):

  • Supervision (10 credits)
  • Entrepreneurship/ Project Management (20 credits)
  • Education for Transformation (20 credits)
  • Equality, Diversity and Social Justice (20 credits)
  • Applied Research for Professional Practice/Dissertation (30 credits)
  • Advanced Practice (20 credits) or an elective module

The Reg Vardy Centre,
Sir Tom Cowie Campus,
Sunderland,
SR6 0DD

54.912052,-1.374524

  • You can access free Wi-Fi throughout the University campus, so you can work from anywhere. If you don't want to carry a laptop around, just use one of the University’s PCs or Apple Macs. We have hundreds of computers for you to use in the Murray Library, St Peter's Library, and the David Goldman Informatics Centre. If you ever have any technical problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

    IT provision
  • We’ve got thousands of  books and e-books, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.

    Library resources which you might find particularly useful include:

    • JSTOR (short for ‘Journal Storage’), which provides access to important journals across the humanities, social sciences and sciences
    • Project Muse, which provides over 180 full-text humanities and social sciences journals
    • SocINDEX with full-text articles, which is probably the world's most comprehensive and highest-quality sociology research database
    • Archival Sound Recordings with over 12,000 hours of recordings
    • Lexis, which provides access to legal information as well as full-text newspaper articles
    • Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Database, which includes full-text journal articles on topics spanning emotional and behavioural sciences, psychiatry and psychology
    Library Services - social sciences

Facilities

You'll be based at The Reg Vardy Centre, situated on the award-winning St Peter's riverside campus. The location benefits from dedicated library services and has superb transport links with the city centre and City Campus.

Entry requirements

The Integrated Foundation Year is specially designed to support you where you have just missed the grades required for direct entry onto a three-year degree, or if you have relevant work experience and are now looking to broaden your subject knowledge but want more time to develop study skills before starting your degree.

Entry requirements are provided for guidance only and we may offer you an entrance interview which will help us determine your eligibility for your chosen degree. This enables us to consider making you an offer if you are perhaps a mature student who has been out of education for a period of time, or you have gained significant knowledge and skills through employment rather than traditional education.

Eligible entry qualifications:

1. Normally a minimum of three Level 2 qualifications (NVQ, GCSE or equivalent ), including Maths and English at grade C or above** and a minimum of 40 UCAS tariff points from Level 3 qualifications (e.g. A or AS Levels, BTEC certificates/diplomas, access courses or equivalent)
OR
2. Demonstrable evidence of appropriate knowledge and skills acquired from at least three years of post-school work experience.

If you are unsure of whether you think you might be suitable for the course, please contact us!

** If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above. Equivalent alternative qualifications are also accepted, such as Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have not achieved a grade C in Maths and English we may be able to work with you to ensure that you are able to gain these in the first year of the course, depending on your experience.

Please note that you must also have a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure Barring Service check in order to go on placements.

If English is not your first language, please see our English Language requirements.

For more information about Integrated Foundation Year programmes, including more detailed module information, please see our Help and Advice articles

Fees and finance

The Foundation Year will be £4,000. For the following three years, the annual fee will be £9,250, but you will receive £1,250 cash-back in the first and final year of the three years.

In addition, you will receive free travel across the Tyne and Wear region, and you may be eligible for means-tested scholarships if you are from a low-income household.

Register with StudyPLUS and enjoy up to £200 worth of books and university study essentials.

If you are a full-time UK student you will be eligible to receive financial support to cover your fee and maintenance loan for the full four years.

Please note, this course is not available to international students.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's by night

Employment

Qualified Youth Workers are always in high demand. Many Youth Workers are employed by Local Authorities, who have a responsibility for the provision of youth work in their area. Youth Work opportunities are often in children’s services, or related areas such as housing, leisure, or arts.

As a qualified professional, you’ll be eligible for the higher levels of salary scales set by the Joint Negotiating Committee for Youth and Community Workers.

Centre for Applied Social Sciences

The University of Sunderland’s Centre for Applied Social Studies (CASS) regularly hosts visiting speakers, and it can be an excellent way to learn from the real-life experience of people who already have a strong track record in social policy.

CASS is the centre for applied social science research at the University, and you may find opportunities to collaborate with the academic team – particularly on areas relating to children, young people and families.

 

888 hours of placements

Work placements are an essential part of this degree, and by the time you graduate you will have spent a minimum of 888 hours in a range of different work environments.

As well as exposing you to a range of experiences and helping you understand the realities of community and youth work, placements are also excellent for your career. When you’re ready to start searching for a relevant job, you will already have a wide network of professional contacts who can help you find the right opportunities.

  • The state of the art services provided by the University and online resources are second to none.
    David Smurthwaite, Community and Youth Work graduate

    David Smurthwaite

  • The programme provided interesting and informative modules.
    Megan O'Neill, Community and Youth Work graduate

    Megan O'Neill

Meet our academics

Rick Bowler

Senior Lecturer