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)
  • ‘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

The Reg Vardy Centre,
Sir Tom Cowie Campus,


  • 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


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 96 UCAS points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (e.g. 1 x AVCE double award).

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

To apply for this degree you must have experience (voluntary or paid) in a community and/or youth work setting. This could include volunteering during weekends, evenings, or holidays. You should clearly describe this experience in the personal statement section of your application. As a guide, most successful applicants will have experience lasting at least a year, though in some cases we do accept students with a shorter, more intensive experience.

We interview all applicants, and you should be ready to talk about your voluntary or paid experience in a community and/or youth work setting in the interview.

If you don't currently hold a level 3 qualification you may still be eligible for this course – around half of our students are mature students with alternative qualifications or experience. In the interview we'll ask you about your experience, to see if it is equivalent to the required academic qualifications.

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.

Fees and finance

The annual fee for this course is £5,000 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.


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.


Meet our academics

Rick Bowler

Senior Lecturer