Community and Youth Work Studies - PT BA (Hons)

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

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?

  • 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)
  • Our Social Work courses (which include BA (Hons) Community and Youth Work Studies) are in the top 25% in the UK for Organisation and management, according to the National Student Survey 2018
  • ‘World-leading’ research in Social Work, according to the latest Research Excellence Framework
  • Accredited by the National Youth Agency

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 setting which is not your workplace, to ensure that you get the maximum benefit from your placement experience.

In the second year you’ll have the opportunity to complete one of your work placements in Germany.

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)


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

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
  • 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
  • Map and directions


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

Our typical offer is

  • GPA 3.0 or above from High School Diploma along with one of the following at the required grade - SAT I and SAT II, ACT or Advanced Placement

If your qualification is not listed above, please contact the Student Administration team at for further advice.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or an equivalent qualification, for example; a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have studied for a new GCSE for which you will be awarded a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

If English is not your first language we will require an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with an overall score of 6.0 and at least 5.5 or higher in each component: reading, writing, listening and speaking. An alternative approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) can also be considered if the applicant's element scores are equivalent to those required for IELTS.

It is essential that you have experience (voluntary or paid) in a community and/or youth work setting. This could include volunteering at weekends, evenings, or school/college holidays. You should clearly describe your experience in the personal statement section of your application. This will be discussed with you at an interview. As a guide most successful applicants will have experience lasting at least a year, though in some cases a shorter more intensive experience is sometimes acceptable.

Please note: all applicants are interviewed, even those who do not currently hold a level 3 qualification. This enables us to identify those people who have experience which may be equivalent to the above academic qualifications.

Students must have a satisfactory Enhanced Discloure Barring Service check in order to undertake placements.

Fees and finance

The annual fee for this course is £6,935 per 120 credits if you are from the UK or EU. This part-time 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


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.


800 hours of placements

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 this degree. By the time you graduate you will have spent at least 800 hours in professional practice. As well as exposing you to a range of experiences and helping you understand the realities of community and youth work, placements are also an excellent way of establishing professional contacts for your career.

Meet the team

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