Full-time: 3 years, Part-time: Up to 6 years
£9,250 per year* (2020/21)
£14,045 per year (2020/21)
112 (September 2020 entry)
Kedleston Road, Derby Campus
If you want to make a difference in the lives of children, young people and their families this is the degree for you. It enables individuals to make decisions about their lives, build personal resilience and reach their full potential. This is one of the largest professional youth and community work training courses in the country providing you with a challenging and worthwhile career.
Youth work is a hands-on, face-to-face skill set and process which enables young people aged 11-25 to learn the skills, knowledge, values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviours to support their transition from childhood to adulthood. It is a distinct educational process based on voluntary participation, equality of opportunity and empowerment enabling the holistic development of young people.
At Derby, we see youth work as taking place anywhere where young people are present and purposeful relationships can be built. It is about making a difference alongside young people, supporting young people in context within their families and communities and promoting the collaborative involvement of young people and their influence in their self-determination.
- Prepare for professional roles in public, voluntary and private organisations working with young people and communities
- With two additional professional endorsements, you’ll 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).
- There’s also a further professional qualification in youth justice if you select that pathway (Youth Justice in Effective Practice Certificate - YJEPC).
- This relaunched course received fifteen commendations from the professional bodies and panel, including praise 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
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 mental health and troubled families to youth offending, radicalisation and community engagement.
The course is designed in response to current changes in social policy and practice which have transformed the nature of services for young people and community work across the UK. It offers multiple specialist pathways which add value, knowledge and expertise and will put you at the forefront of latest developments in the field:
- 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 Social Pedagogy Pathway, if you are concerned with well-being, learning and growth of children, young people and families within their communities, especially where they are parented by the state.
- 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
Professional recognition for an ‘inspiring’ course
This course paves the way to a BA (Hons) degree, with two additional professional awards. One endorsed by the National Youth Agency (The JNC) for Youth Work and the other from the Endorsement and Quality Standards Board (ESB) for Community Development. It means you will graduate with a substantial CV that raises your professional profile.
In the past, our Youth Work degree has been endorsed by the National Youth Agency (NYA) which hailed the degree as ‘imaginative’, ‘creative’, ‘inspiring’ and ‘ahead of the field’.
Top 20Social Work subject area ranked*
3rdSocial work subject area for student satisfaction*
2nd Social work subject area satisfaction with teaching*
Gain practical experience on placement
Throughout the course, you’ll undertake over 800 hours of placement, which our placement team will organise 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, alternative education providers, local authority multi-agency teams, hospital youth services, the fire service, mental health support teams, youth projects, 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 (Inter-Professional Learning)
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 inter-professional environments. 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.
You will participate in a residential experience to build a community of practice among your peers while developing your youth work toolbox at a local residential centre.
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.
Finally, the programme has its own Career Curriculum which is embedded into the teaching for practice at all three stages of the degree. The programme team works alongside colleagues from the University’s Career Education Service to ensure that you are as employable as you can be when you leave the course. The career curriculum contributes to the high level of graduate employment that the programme enjoys
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.
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.
Sarah Barley-McMullen is an alumna of this course and has significant experience in the management and development of youth and community work delivery, youth arts work, youth work in schools and colleges, 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.
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.
Jodie Low has worked in the Youth and Community field for over 15 years with specialism in working with children, young people and families in Youth Offending and Children’s Rights. As a change manager in a Local Authority Jodie led work in implementing safeguarding and prevention strategy in line with Working Together 2012. Jodie is currently still in practice managing Youth and Community Work; Parenting and Counselling in areas of deprivation in Northamptonshire.
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 2020 typical entry requirements
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|UCAS points||112 (up to 16 from AS-levels)|
|Specific requirements at A-level|
No specific subject requirements
|Specific requirements at GCSE|
GCSE English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification. Level 2 Maths is not required for entry to the programme.
|IELTS||6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)|
|Interview / Audition||Yes - see interview details|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - DMM
- Access to HE Diploma - 60 credits: 45 at level 3 with a minimum of Dist: 15 Merit: 24 Pass: 6
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.
Many of our students come direct from practice as we consider applicants with alternative academic profiles and significant paid or unpaid experience of working with young people that can demonstrate ability at interview.
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 module*
£14,045 per year
* The fees stated above are for the 2019/20 academic year; fees for 2020/21 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. We will update this information as soon as it is available.
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
Download programme specification
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.
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.