Full-time: 3 years, Part-time: Up to 6 years
£9,250 per year (2020/21)
£14,045 per year (2020/21)
112 (September 2021 entry)
Kedleston Road, Derby Campus
If you want to be a positive force in the lives of young people and their communities this is the degree for you. Youth work and community development processes and values enable young people to make decisions about their lives, build personal resilience and raise aspirations. This is one of the largest professional youth and community work training courses in the country providing you with a challenging and worthwhile career that will:
- Prepare you for professional roles in public, voluntary and private organisations working with young people and communities.
- Achieve a JNC professional qualification in youth work endorsed by the National Youth Agency (NYA) and an endorsement for community development by the Endorsement and Quality Standards Board for Community Development (ESB).
- Undertake an exciting pathway in your final year to hone your knowledge and skills around particular groups, which could also include a further professional qualification in youth justice if you select that pathway (Youth Justice in Effective Practice Certificate - YJEPC).
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.
Ready for Current Practice
This course received recognition from professional bodies and agencies for student support, employer relations, (local, national and international placements), innovative assessments, creative use of technology, an outstanding teaching team and exemplary integration of inter-professional working. Therefore, this degree prepares you to develop and lead initiatives which help people build resilience and engagement skills, while addressing professional challenges ranging from complex lives.
Simon Williams, Senior Lecturer for Youth Work and Community Development, discusses a potentially more positive future for Youth Work and young people in his blog.
Responding to current changes in practice which are transforming the nature of services for young people and community work across the UK, the degree offers multiple specialist pathways which offer you the skills, knowledge and experiences which puts you at the forefront of practice:
- The Youth Justice Pathway, if you want to work with young offenders, youth justice or probation and have the opportunity to gain the nationally recognised professional award, the Youth Justice in Effective Practice Certificate (YJEPC).
- The Mental Health Pathway, if you want additional knowledge in the counselling, support and advocacy for young people experiencing poor emotional well-being.
- The Radicalisation Pathway, if you want to work to prevent and respond to the radicalisation of young people and communities.
- The Special Educational Needs Pathway, if you want to work with young people with special educational needs.
- The Outdoor Learning Pathway, if you want to work with people in outdoors environments such as outdoors, environmental or adventure education.
Please note that the specialist pathways are subject to minimum numbers in order to run.
11th Social work subject area satisfaction with teaching*
Throughout the course, you’ll undertake a minimum of 800 compulsory hours of placement, which our placement team will organise for you. On placement you apply theory to practice gaining significant skills and experience, which makes you more employable. Placement offers insights into different working environments, and can be undertaken across the country and sometimes overseas.
Current students undertake placement with:
- Alternative education providers
- Local authority multi-agency teams
- Hospital youth services
- Fire service
- Mental health support teams
- Young Carers
- Open access and Detached Youth projects
- Outdoor education groups
- Housing organisations
- The armed forces
- Faith organisations
- LGBT+ projects
- Youth Offending institutes
- Voluntary sector
And many more.
Placement has led to paid employment for many of our students and in some cases the creation of new jobs.
For students already working in the field it may be possible to use your own workplace for two of the three assessed placements.
Youth workers and Community development practitioners must be adaptable, versatile and prepared to work with other professionals. As part of this course, therefore, you have the opportunity of engaging with exciting Interprofessional learning opportunities across the University, helping to develop your skills and knowledge so you can work inter-professionally to achieve positive outcomes for individuals and communities.
You get to participate in a residential experience to build a community of practice among your peers while developing your youth work skills and knowledge and develop your reflective practice, at a local residential centre.
We “practise what we preach” in every aspect of the course, harnessing relationship building and motivational techniques. We see you as valuable resources to the course and will support our students to achieve the best they can in their studies.
This programme is designed around preparing you for practice. One third of the programme is on placement, with assessments designed with employers to ensure you are work-ready.
You’ll study modules such as:
- Social Inequalities
- Youth Work
- Community Development
- Group Work
- Reflection and Resilience in Practice (placement, double module)
- Creating Learning
- Managing Inter-Professional Working
- Managing Learning in Practice (placement, double module)
- Research, Change and Impact
- Self, Culture and Identity
- Resources, Enterprise and Project Management
- Responding to Emerging Issues (Independent Study)
- Pathway-specific Module
- Pathway-specific Module
- Pathway in Practice (placement, double module)
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
Virtual Open Day
Delve deeper into the course with our Virtual Open Day, packed with subject and course information to help you make your choice, including tours of facilities, 360° views of award-winning accommodation plus advice and insight from students and academics.Explore our Virtual Open Day
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, Wikis, reflective diaries and reports. We offer a wide range of support to help you with the assessments at all three stages of the degree.
Staff you will meet
Our teaching team has extensive experience of youth and community work, along with wide-ranging professional networks.
Simon Williams, our Programme Leader, is an alumni of this course and has significant experience in management and development of difficult and unusual youth and community work settings, including faith based organisations, and work with refugee and migrant communities. Simon has vast experience of organisational policy and culture, and is involved in sourcing student placements for the course. Simon has written about working with migrant communities and continues to research in this area.
Laura Fox-Lee is an alumna of this course and has significant experience in youth work delivery including youth work in alternative education provisions, co-ordination of Play-Work setting which specialise in working with children and young people with autism, faith based residential youth work and faith based youth clubs and outreach. Laura's research interests include Managing Behaviours which may be perceived as challenging and Child Development.
Tim Howell, has extensive experience both as a youth and community worker in the voluntary, statutory and commercial sector in a huge range of contexts of delivery and organisation and in Further Education as a course leader, lecturer, assessor and trainer. His research interests include social media, outdoors and adventure education and responding to challenging behaviour. He is Admissions Tutor for the programme.
Tim Rosier has over twenty years of experience working in a variety of settings with young people and communities. These range from performing arts based youth empowerment projects and residential camps to faith-based youth clubs and prison-based work with young offenders. For the last fifteen years, Tim has been a criminal justice practitioner working with juvenile and young adult offenders in both the community and custodial settings, as well as in a specialist multi-agency team within the counter-terrorism related arena. His research interests include chaplaincy work with children and young people, inter-generational offending and faith and desistance.
Personal academic tutoring
Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.
Find out more about personal academic tutoring
September 2021 typical entry requirements
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|Specific requirements at A-level|
No specific subject requirements
|Specific requirements at GCSE||GCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification|
|IELTS||6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)|
|Interview / Audition||Yes - see interview details|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - DMM
- Pass Access to HE Diploma - 60 credits: 45 at level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 15 Merit: 24 Pass: 6
- An Occupational Health Assessment and Clearance by the University is required for this course. We will contact you with information on how to complete this when required
We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.
An Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service certificate cleared by the University is required for this course. We will contact you with information on how to complete this once you have applied. More information.
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.
£9,250 per year
£1,155 per 20 credit module
£14,045 per year
Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.
Additional costs and optional extras
Anywhere you find young people, you can work professionally with them as youth workers in diverse multi-professional fields. Our graduates go on to work in education, health promotion, mental health, youth justice, housing, multi-agency teams, voluntary sector, community projects, community arts, outdoor learning, advocacy, advice, counselling and employment sectors, for example:
Multi-agency teams working with children, young people and vulnerable adults
- Alternative 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
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.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.Contact us
Additional information about your studies
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 usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.
Included in your fees
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- Travel expenses to placements, the student pays the first £5 of travel costs
- Two bound copies of independent study approx. £6 per copy
Optional costs not included in your fees
- Text books to supplement anything available through the library
- Study trips and conferences are made accessible throughout the programme. Where possible the programme will pick up the costs for these
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.
Please note that this course is subject to minimum numbers in order to run. This also relates to individual pathways where minimum numbers must also be met.