The BA (Hons) Community and Youth Work degree will prepare you for a successful career in working with young people and in communities across a variety of settings.
Our recently updated youth work course offers you the opportunity to develop your ability to work with communities and young people (both theoretically and via extensive practice) and study the knowledge, skills and values of youth work and community development in order to graduate with a professional JNC qualification in Youth Work alongside your degree.
Just like the practice of community development and youth work, this course has been designed in a creative way and offers much more than lectures and writing essays, by going beyond the theoretical. You'll learn how to understand the problems faced by young people and communities and how to change situations and realities. The curriculum focuses on achieving social justice and celebrating the assets that are abundant in communities and societies, particularly within those communities that have been disadvantaged. The curriculum offers you a holistic learning experience which has professional practice and employability built in.
If you're ready to make a positive difference in the world, the team are ready to hear from you.
During your studying, some of your learning will take place in the classroom, learning from each other and reading. However, community development and youth work are vocations, 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 Community and Youth Work degree. By the time you graduate, you'll have spent at least 800 hours in professional practice, within a minimum of two local community development and youth work organisations. This means your learning can evolve in surprising places, such as around a pool table, on a walk, in a community café, or in a multi-agency meeting.
If you’re already working in a community and youth work setting, then you may be able to complete your 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.
Learning on campus will reflect the collaborative, empowering and reflective nature of community development and youth work – so expect a lot of dialogue, reflection and group work. Throughout your degree, you'll have one-to-one support from a designated Personal Academic Tutor who will support your progress from Fresher’s Week to graduation.
The course utilises a range of assessment methods, including written assignments (reports, essays, reflections); individual, paired and group presentations; professional discussions; and the construction of portfolios. The broad range of assessment strategies encompasses the skills required within the community development and youth work profession, allowing you to develop a wide range of competencies while gradually increasing your confidence.
Learn about the history and evolution of community and youth work as a distinct profession. Enable current contexts to be understood through historical and developmental lenses with a focus on social justice.
Focus directly on the profession of community and youth work in its contemporary context. Develop your confidence and academic skills in reading, writing, group work, presentations, analysis of information, using library resources, referencing, and others to enable you to fulfil your potential.
Reflect on the concepts of “self”, “young people”, “community”, and “professionalism” alongside your experiences in the workplace. Build your confidence in applying theory to practice and start to form your professional identity.
Gain an understanding of theorising as a useful, everyday practice rather than as a remote academic pursuit. Bridge the transition to Year 2 while consolidating learning from Year 1.
Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.
Explore the concept and practice of reflexivity to optimise your learning via teaching inputs, workplace activity (including the development of a specific piece of work), supervision and reflection on your progress in meeting the professional expectations in the NOS for Youth Work and Community Development.
Focus on the impact of multiple forms of oppression. Link the local with the global and personal to develop an appreciation and understanding of how oppression serves to exclude and subjugate young people and communities. Challenge yourself to consider how you risk improving rather than transforming oppressive forms of practice and how this can be resisted.
Analyse leadership of self, organisations, practice and change through the lenses of rights, empowerment, equalities, ethics, and professionalism. Compile a reflexive account of your journey with leadership and create a plan for your further development and associated support needs.
Explore the complex cultural landscape in which the identities of young people and members of communities are formed and through which their lives get played out. Examine forms of resistance through subcultures, cultural movements, and collective action for social change.
Build on your research skills developed during Year 2 and demonstrate your capacity to undertake a research project. Benefit your own learning, your placement organisation, and the needs of young people in the community via a traditional dissertation or an organisational needs analysis.
Focus on a critical evaluation of the work of leading theorists and within frameworks of critical theory relevant to community development and youth work practice. Undertake an evaluation of contemporary cultural discourse, including the role of media in our understanding of the world. Explore key concepts such as social justice and empowerment and determine how practice-based concerns related to a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal can be analysed and solved.
Use techniques of reflexivity to appraise your progress across the whole course to consolidate and confirm your identity and growth as a professional, critical practitioner. Complete the module ready to bring about transformative change in the field.
Examine an area of interest that directly influences community development and youth practice in depth. Shape the module to support your professional development and competencies, giving you an additional edge when you graduate.
*Alternatively, you may choose to engage with learning from another course for this elective module.
Our typical offer is:
|High School Diploma along with one of the following at the required grade: SAT I and SAT II, ACT or Advanced Placement
|GPA 3.0 or above and: Sat score of 1100/1600 from SATs AP (Grades 3+ in at least 2 subjects) ACT (score of 26+)
If you don't meet our standard entry requirements, you can take one of the foundation pathways at our partners ONCAMPUS Sunderland. Find out more information and whether your course is eligible on our ONCAMPUS page.
If your qualification is not listed above, please contact the Student Administration team at firstname.lastname@example.org for further advice.
It's recommended that you've completed a minimum of 100 hours of practical work with young people and/or communities prior to commencement on a course.
If English isn't your first language, please see our English language requirements.
We're seeking ESB recognition as a professional community development qualification for this course, though the validation process isn't yet complete.
Take a look at the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.
This information was correct at the time of publication.
Qualified community and youth workers are in high demand. With a varied repertoire of value-based and practice-related skills, community and youth workers find employment throughout local authorities and the voluntary, charity, and social enterprise sectors.
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.
An important part of our Community and Youth Work course is the work-based experience you'll gain from your placements. By the time you graduate, you'll have spent at least 800 hours in professional practice to enhance your training. As well as exposing you to a range of experiences and helping you understand the realities of community and youth work, placements are an excellent way of establishing professional contacts for your career.
You'll also have the opportunity to engage with the community development and youth work sector via guest lectures and speakers.
The University of Sunderland’s Centre for Applied Social Sciences (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 in areas relating to children, young people and families.