BA (Hons) Working with Young People and Communities (Youth Work or Community Development)
Why choose this course?
Professional youth and community work empowers individuals to make decisions about their lives and reach their full potential. If you’d like to succeed in what is a challenging and worthwhile career, this is the degree for you.
- Prepare for professional roles in public, voluntary and private organisations working with young people and communities
- Realise your ambitions on an innovative course described as ‘ahead of the field’ by the National Youth Agency (NYA)
- Gain crucial skills in tackling inequalities and social issues such as school exclusion, unemployment, homelessness, poverty, drug misuse, hate crime and abuse
- Achieve additional professional qualifications from the NYA and the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC)
- Boost your employability by undertaking work placements at each stage of the course
- Engage with our enthusiastic and highly experienced teaching team who are dedicated to your success
- Join a programme with an outstanding employability record: 100% of our graduates were in work or further study six months after finishing this course in 2015.
Simon Williams, one of our graduates, tells us about his career since graduating:
UCAS code: L530
Start date: September
Course length: Full-time: three years. Part-time: four to six years
Campus: Britannia Mill, Derby Campus
College: College of Health and Social Care
This course is available to international students
About this course
With its emphasis on innovation and effective informal engagement, this course equips you with the professional skills and knowledge to have a positive impact on people’s lives.
Make a difference
Youth and community professionals work with individuals and groups in many dynamic, imaginative and creative ways. Our degree prepares you to develop and lead initiatives which help people build resilience and engagement skills, while addressing professional challenges ranging from child sex exploitation and troubled families to youth offending, radicalisation and community engagement.
The course is designed in response to current changes in social policy which have transformed the nature of services for young people and community work across the UK. It offers two pathways which will put you at the forefront of latest developments in the field:
- The Youth Work Pathway, if you want to specialise in working professionally with young people and gain a nationally recognised professional award (JNC)
- The Community Development Pathway, if you’re seeking a professional community-based career working with all age ranges
Professional recognition for an ‘inspiring’ course
This course paves the way to a BA (Hons) degree, a professional qualification in youth work and a Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) qualification for youth and community workers. It means you will graduate with a substantial CV that raises your professional profile.
Our Youth Work Pathway has been accredited by the National Youth Agency (NYA) which hailed the degree as ‘imaginative’, ‘creative’, ‘inspiring’ and ‘ahead of the field’.
Gain practical experience on placement
At each stage of the course you’ll undertake a nine-week placement, which our placement team will find for you. On placement you will be supported to apply your academic learning to practice and boost your career prospects. You’ll gain insights into different working environments, agencies and organisations, with placement opportunities across the country and sometimes overseas.
Our students have secured work experience with youth centres, alternative education providers, local authority multi-agency teams, hospital youth services, the fire service, mental health support teams, outdoor education groups, housing organisations, the armed forces, faith organisations, LGBT projects, prisons and the voluntary sector.
Placements can lead to long-term career opportunities too. Many of our students make such an impression while on placement that it has led to paid employment in the organisation and in some cases the creation of new jobs.
If you are already employed in a setting where you work with young people or community groups, you can consider taking the course on a part-time basis. You can also use your own workplace for two of the three assessed placements you will undertake.
Working together to learn from each other
Successful professionals who work with young people and communities don’t just concentrate on one issue. They have to be adaptable, versatile and prepared to work with other professionals in multi-agency teams. You will therefore have opportunities to learn with, and from, students from other disciplines through our College of Health and Social Care's Inter-Professional Learning agenda.
This is really important in preparing you to work alongside other professionals after graduation so that you can achieve positive outcomes for individuals and communities. We adopt this approach right from the start of your course, where you will attend a major conference with other new Health and Social Care students representing courses ranging from nursing to counselling.
A rich and varied study experience
You’ll benefit from our wide-ranging partnerships with organisations that value youth and community professionals. We welcome guest speakers from national organisations such as the NHS, MIND and Barnardo’s as well as local social enterprises and voluntary groups.
One highlight is the chance to work on planning and facilitating a professional conference that will explore a topical theme selected by you and your fellow students. You will undertake research, invite keynote speakers, establish panels for debates and run the entire event.
Develop the qualities employers need
Our focus is on nurturing adaptable, resourceful, resilient and creative graduates – all the attributes you will aim to foster in others once you embark on your career. We place a strong emphasis on social pedagogy where we work alongside you to find common ground, build trust and respect, and promote a shared responsibility for learning.
We practise what we preach in every aspect of the course, harnessing relationship building and motivational techniques – from the social media groups you can join before you arrive at the University to the careers guidance curriculum which is integrated at every stage of your studies. We also run special sessions on the theme of resilience to help you remain grounded, focused and confident.
What you will cover
You’ll study modules such as:
- Inequalities: Social Structures and Experience
- Working with Communities
- Working with Individuals and Groups
- Working with Young People
- Professional Practice 1: Working with Others
- Community Learning
- Health and Wellbeing
- Research and Critical Thinking
- Working with Children, Carers and Families
- Professional Practice 2: Learning and Development
- Independent Studies
- Management and Development of Practice
- Resourcing Services and Social Enterprise
- Professional Practice 3: Managing Development.
September 2016 typical entry requirements UCAS points 240 (up to 40 from AS-levels) Specific requirements at A-level N/A Specific requirements at GCSE Five GCSEs at Grade C or above, including Maths and English Interview / Audition
Yes - please see below
The way UCAS Tariffs are calculated is changing in 2017. The entry requirement below reflects this change. Read more about these changes.
September 2017 typical entry requirements UCAS points 96 (up to 16 from AS-levels) Specific requirements at A-level N/A Specific requirements at GCSE Five GCSEs at Grade C or above, including Maths and English Interview / Audition
Yes - please see below
To take this course, you'll need to:
- have experience of work with young people or communities where you have taken responsibility for aspects of the work;
- show you are ready for study by completing a small piece of written work as part of your application;
- come to an interview to discuss your experience and your understanding of community and youth work.
Some people who join this course don't have formal qualifications and often doubt their ability to study, but they do have a good track record of working with young people and adults in the community. If this sounds like you, you can be sure that this course will build on the strengths you bring: your experience, your commitment and your willingness to learn. Otherwise, our typical entry requirements will apply.
A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is required at the point of accepting a place at the University. The Disclosure and Barring Service was established when the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged in 2012 and will now provide the criminal records checking service for this programme.
Use our UniPoints app as a guide to calculate your UCAS Tariff points, search for courses and check entry requirements for 2017 and beyond.
Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.
How to apply
- Full-time students applying in September should apply for this course through UCAS
- Part-time students should apply directly to the University
- Students applying in September should apply for this course through UCAS.
Information for international applicants
Fees and finance
Full-time Part-time UK/EU
£9,000 per year
£1,125 per module
£11,500 per year
For students starting their course in 2017/18, the full-time undergraduate fees will be £9,250 per year for all courses (or £1,155 per module if a part-time option is available).
Further information for 2017/18 fees will be released January 2017.
How you will learn
This course is exciting and challenging. You’ll undertake three different work placements to gain experience and develop your skills. You’ll be taught in a number of ways, including activity-based group work, lectures, tutorials, seminars and workshops. You’ll also complete your own self-directed study.
How you're assessed
There are no exams. You’ll be assessed through work placements and assignments including essays, placement portfolios, posters, presentations, reflective diaries and reports. We offer a wide range of support to help you with the assessments at all three stages of the degree.
Who you will meet
Our teaching team has extensive experience of youth and community work, along with wide-ranging professional networks.
Sarah Barley-McMullen, our Programme Leader, is an alumna of this course and has significant experience in the management and development of youth and community work delivery, youth arts work, career education and youth work in faith-based organisations. She was also a Manager in Student Support Services in Further Education. Sarah’s research interests include social pedagogy, risk and resilience.
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will be communicated after enrolment on your course.
Careers and employability
This course will broaden your career scope at a time when exciting new roles are emerging in education, health, social care, community and voluntary settings. You’ll be ideally prepared for positions in:
- Multi-agency teams working with children, young people and vulnerable adultsAlternative curriculum projects
- Teenage pregnancy projects
- Voluntary sector youth work
- Homelessness and social housing initiatives
- Youth/adult offending and rehabilitation work
- Refugee and asylum seeker support agencies
- School and FE student support
- Care-leaving and advocacy work
- Faith-based community and youth work
- Dual-diagnosis youth support teams, addressing issues such as mental ill health and drug use
- Health promotion
- Community mental health
- Community development
- Community arts
- Outdoor education
- Agencies which support young people and adults into employment.
Our employability track record speaks for itself – with 100% of our 2015 graduates in work or further study within six months of completing the course.
If you're already employed in community and youth work, this qualification could be your springboard to more senior and specialist roles where you can add further value to your organisation.
Ongoing careers support
Our Careers and Employment Service will provide you with help, guidance and support from day one of your course – and for up to three years after you’ve completed your studies.
What our students say
When Matt started his degree, he was working full time as a youth worker and studying part time. The course gave him the flexibility he needed to fit studying around his job. After Matt graduated he started working in a challenging new post. It involves managing youth work, adventure education, a drugs project, a young mum's project and work with young people not accessing education, training or employment. Having had a bad experience of education at school, Matt thought he wanted nothing to do with higher education. Now with a degree and a new job, he's glad he changed his mind.
He says: "The course helped me to build on my experience and understand the bigger picture of policy and theory, and how these can link with my practice."
Jane Birkin is a graduate who now works as an Equality Outreach Officer for the Police. She says: "Since graduating, I have managed a Youth Offending Service in Leicester, been a Project Manager working with Young Carers, a support worker to young people on Apprenticeships and now I'm working as an Equality Outreach Officer for the Police."
Andy is a recent graduate who says: “My degree and placements equipped me with the knowledge and skills to work effectively in this field, which is changing rapidly. Derby’s course reflects this, and I know that it will continue to produce graduates with attributes that are sought after in community and youth work.”
Key Information Sets