September 2021

Youth and Community Work BA (Hons)

Honours Degree, Undergraduate, September 2021

Key Details

  • L530 Course Code
  • 3 Years
  • 96 Typical UCAS Tariff
National Youth Agency Logo


This course will result in you becoming a JNC professionally qualified Youth & Community Worker. We aim to help you understand how you can work effectively, and from a theoretically informed basis, with young people and communities both face-to-face and from a strategic perspective too.  Throughout the course you will develop critical thinking and critical reflection skills which will then be applied to ‘real life’ situations through your fieldwork practice.  You will undertake 800 hours of supervised fieldwork practice in a broad range of Youth and Community Work settings.  This will enable you to develop your own professional skills, understanding and reputation in the field throughout your studies.

Youth and Community Work at Newman is taught by a team of JNC qualified, experienced and enthusiastic tutors that have an excellent reputation for supporting students and established strong partnerships with local employers. You will also benefit from mixing with students from a variety of backgrounds and prior learning experiences.

Why study Youth and Community Work?

Newman is one of the few professional youth and community work courses in the West Midlands.  Holding the professional qualification means that you will be recognised nationally as a professional youth worker in the UK.

Studying with us at Newman will provide you with a broad range of fieldwork practice experiences in both the statutory and voluntary sectors in projects including young people and mental health, centre-based youth projects, detached youth projects, homelessness projects and addiction issues.  In all contexts, you will be supported to demonstrate your application of theory in practice directly with young people and communities – ‘hands-on’ learning.

You will benefit from being taught by a fully qualified, research-active teaching team all of whom have direct experience in the field both regionally, nationally and internationally.

You can expect a challenging and supportive learning environment as the Youth and Community Work team has an excellent reputation for supporting students throughout their studies.

What does the course cover?

What does the course cover?

During your first year of study you will develop a foundation of knowledge around understanding youth and community work and include:

  • Understanding Youth and Community Work, YCU401
  • Understanding groups and self, YCU404
  • Planning for applied reflective practice, YCU403
  • Study skills for university, YCU402
  • The Sociological Imagination, WWU404
  • Introduction to Social Policy, WWU405

In your second year, you will build upon these modules to explore topics that include:

  • Researching social issues, YCU501
  • Critical pedagogy, YCU502
  • Intersectionality, YCU503
  • Applied Reflective Practice, (400 hr block placement with scheduled recall days to university),YCU505,
  • Options module*

In your final year of study the modules you will be involved in are:

  • Capstone Dissertation (10,000 words), YCU601
  • Applied Reflective Practice (400 hr block placement with scheduled recall days to university), YCU602
  • Management, YCU603
  • Option module*

*The option modules are chosen from a selection each year.

You can expect a challenging and supportive learning environment as the Youth and Community Work team has an excellent reputation for supporting students throughout their studies.

How will I be assessed?

You will experience a range of assessment formats some of which include:

  • individual presentations
  • group presentations
  • seminars papers
  • peer assessment
  • poster presentations
  • traditional essays
  • e-portfolios

You will not have to undertake any exams!

What careers could I consider?

Students who have successfully completed this professionally qualifying degree have gone into employment in the following areas:

  • Youth Work Project Manager
  • Faith-based Youth Work Lead
  • Hospital Youth Work
  • Young Offenders Youth Worker
  • Family Support Workers
  • Detached Youth Worker
  • Pastoral Care roles
  • Youth mental health and wellbeing worker
  • School-based youth mentors
  • Community Development Worker
  • Community cohesion roles
  • Domestic Violence worker
  • Youth Homelessness worker
  • Social enterprises around specific issues
  • Statutory youth work roles
  • Voluntary sector youth work roles
  • Addiction issues and young people project workers
  • Youth engagement roles
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Contact Details

Entry Requirements

You must achieve at least 96 UCAS points including a minimum of CC at A level or equivalent (e.g.MM at BTEC Diploma; MPP at BTEC Extended Diploma) towards the total tariff.

Access Students can achieve the requirements with the following combination of Distinction, Merit and/ or Pass grades at level 3 achieved from a completed Access course. 96 UCAS Points: D21-M3-P21; D18-M9-P18; D15-M15-P15; D12-M21-P12; D9-M27-P9; D6-M33-P6; D3-M39-P3; D0-M45-P0.

Five GCSEs at grade 4 (or C) or above (or recognised equivalents), including English Language, are also required.

We would expect all students applying to the degree to have a minimum of a relevant or related Level 3 qualification prior to entry such as; BTEC L3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care, A Level Social Science subjects, Adult Education courses relating to Access to HE or Social Care courses, and a minimum of 100 hours relevant experience in a youth or community setting (verified by a reference).

Although not required prior to starting this course, Applicants will need to apply for Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance for the Planning for Applied Reflective Practice module. For more information on your DBS application please click here.

For those without a relevant or related Level 3 qualification, we signpost onto the Youth and Community Work (with Foundation Year) which enables such applicants to access a university degree via a four year route. Upon successful completion of their foundation year, students will progress to Year 1 of a named degree. Whilst not a condition of entry onto the Foundation Year, students wishing to follow particular named routes with additional entry requirements, will need to meet these requirements before they make the transition from their foundation year to year 1.

In all cases we will assess their ability to write, function and conceptualise at degree level through the interview process:

Interview Process

As part of the conditions of our professional endorsement, we interview all prospective students. This is a four-stage process. All prospective students begin by applying through the UCAS process. Applications received by the Admissions Team are then reviewed and those meeting the criteria are called to interview.

The interview process consists of:

  1. An introduction to the course and the university,
  2. A group discussion (part of assessing aptitude to becoming a worker and ability to function and conceptualise at degree level),
  3. An unseen written exercise (part of assessing both academic ability and aptitude to becoming a worker)
  4. An individual interview (part of assessing aptitude to becoming a worker and ability to function and conceptualise at a degree level).

International Students
Newman University is not licenced by the UK Government to sponsor migrant students under the Student route and is therefore unable to accept applications from international students at present.

Applying Direct Option

You can apply direct to Newman University for this course if you have not previously applied to Newman University through UCAS and you are not applying to any other universities.

Simply click on this Direct Application link to do this.

N.B. will need to enter ‘New User’ account details when first accessing this portal.

Course Fees

Fees per academic year:
Full-time UK students: £9,250 *

* Fees shown are for 2021/22 academic year. The University will review tuition fees and increase fees in line with any inflationary uplift as determined by the UK Government, if permitted by law or government policy, on enrolment and in subsequent years of your course. It is anticipated that such increases would be linked to RPI (the Retail Price Index excluding mortgage interest payments).

Additional Costs

A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is required by Newman University before students can begin their Year 2 (level 5) fieldwork practice, students will be required to pay for their DBS in the second semester of their first year of study.  Find out more about completing the DBS application form and the related additional costs.

Students are also responsible for their own travel costs to fieldwork practice organisations.

Find out more about the other additional costs associated with our undergraduate degrees. 


Please be aware that, as with any course, there may be changes to the modules delivered, for information view our Changes to Programmes of Module Changes page.

Timetables: find out when information is available to students


  1. This module will form a foundation of the historical philosophies, origins, policies and present-day contexts of youth and community work.  It will aim to encourage students to begin to contextualise their own professional identities in relation to the broad range of areas that practitioners work with young people and communities.  Finally, the module will critically analyse the inherent political nature of youth and community work practice.
  2. Students will use experiential learning through weekly-directed learning activities which will introduce them to the demands of individual and group academic study. The module provides space and time to practice academic tasks designed to explore key university systems, processes and support mechanisms, whilst encouraging students to plan for the maintenance and development of their individual skills and abilities needed for success in Higher Education.  The module will introduce students to the concept of ‘reflective practice’ and its theoretical underpinnings. By the end of the module the students will be able to reflect ‘on action’ (Schon). Students will be expected to be able to discuss reflections theoretical applications and display a degree of autonomy in doing so.
  3. WWCYPF is a multi-disciplinary subject that draws on key ideas from a range of different academic traditions – sociology, psychology, development studies, cultural studies and philosophy, politics and Economics (PPE). In this module students will be introduced to some of the key thinkers and the big ideas that have shaped the way these different academic traditions have characterised children, young people and families and what they have had to say about working professionally in that field. The module will seek to give students a broad foundation of the theory that has shaped and influenced service developments and delivery and introduce them to the way conflicting ideas help to shape the way we think about basic questions for example, what we mean by notions of ‘family’, ‘childhood’, ‘kinship’ or our ideas about ‘need’, ‘vulnerability’ and ‘good’ or ‘bad’ childhoods.
  4. This module seeks to support students in preparation for their 800 hours fieldwork practice across levels 5 & 6.  The module aims to provide students with the opportunity to explore and visit a range of contexts; both statutory and third sector, that Youth & Community Work practice takes place in and as a result; identify and secure their fieldwork practice organisation in preparation for level 5. This module seeks to provide students with the opportunity to begin to shape their own professional identities.
  5. This module will examine some of the over-arching social policy issues that shape the working agenda around children, young people and families. To do this it will be structured around the key issues identified by William Beveridge as the ‘giants’ of social policy – education, poverty, housing, health (including safeguarding and protection of the vulnerable) and work. These topics will be analysed in the context of the challenges that face professionals working within the current model of the welfare state.
  6. This module will examine group development, group work and the importance of the impact of ‘the self’ in these contexts.  Using theoretical input from tutors; students will apply their learning to ‘real life’ group experiences and themselves both within and outside the university setting; to enrich their understanding.  Students will be encouraged to examine their own behaviour within groups and then articulate, using theory, their understanding of these behaviours and impact on group dynamics. Students will keep a weekly reflective blog based on a variety of groups they belong to and illustrate the groups development.
  1. The approach to this module will be negotiated by the students under the guidance of the lecturer.  As the module progresses the self-directed nature of the course will increase.  Students will be expected, initially using the What do we know, what do we need to know, what are the things we need to do? Structure taken from Shor (1987) will begin to develop their understanding of Critical Pedagogy.  Following this process and informed by theorists identified in the reading strategy, students will explore emerging generative themes.  The ‘Ideology Critique’ (Marcuse – 1964) that develops will inform the subject, structure and criteria of the negotiated assessment.  
  2. This module focuses on the importance of recognising the interplay of social categorisations such as race, class, nationality, sexuality, age, (dis)ability, gender etc. and how systemic structures and their power can oppress, marginalise and 'other' individuals and communities with which we work. Using Intersectionality (Crenshaw, 1989) as an analytical framework and Thompson's (2011) PCS model of discrimination analysis; students will have the opportunity to explore how processes of social and cultural change can be initiated in their practice and therefore act as agents for change by questioning and challenging existing norms and structures in the professional environment.  Students will engage with a range of theories and will be required to apply these theories in action over 30 hours of professional youth and community work practice.
  3. This module seeks to bring together the application of theory to a practice context, critical reflection and professional development. This module provides the opportunity for students to build on the learning demonstrated in Module YW403 within a professional setting.  Students will be required to work to the Youth Work National Occupational Standards (NOS) competencies within a diverse range of organisations that relate to Youth and Community Work.  Students will be required to explain and verbally defend their professional identity as part of the assessment for this module.
  4. The course provides participants with an understanding of the nature of inquiry in youth and community work, its philosophical foundations, its different approaches, and the framing of research questions and methods used within these approaches. It is designed to enable the participant to interrogate critically the claims made in the research literature and to understand the assumptions on which research is based.  Then, emphasising the importance of being aware of social issues and the ways that young people are represented in relation to them through the media, the political system and the community. Students will discuss and examine interventions and professional strategies to social issues in the field and engage in a small-scale piece of research about an issue within their fieldwork.  They will be encouraged to evaluate the effectiveness and underlying theoretical, ideological and value base of suggested interventions by presenting a seminar paper, based on their research, to fellow students.
  5. This module will explore the diverse and contested meanings of community and community work within cultural and sociological frameworks and contexts. It will analyse different models of how to intervene in communities, including how to challenge inequality and discrimination and examine contested terms such as community capacity and resilience. It will emphasize the importance of workers knowing the community contexts of their work and how this is variously perceived by other professionals, and different members of the community.
  6. This module aims to develop students’ critical understanding of central debates concerning crime in contemporary society.  It will focus on selected topics in relation to the social construction of crime and victimisation, and examine policy and agency responses to them. Students will asked to consider the social dimensions of different types of crime and the ways in which these are represented in the media, public opinion and official discourses.  Crimes considered may include the regulation of sex work, alcohol and drug related offending, and youth crime.
  7. This module will provide students with the opportunity to explore the theoretical concepts of rehabilitation and desistance within criminology. It will then analyse a range of court disposals and interventions used across the criminal justice system.  The module will include an investigation of the policy ideas of ‘what works’ and ‘evidence based practice’.  Consideration will be given to the importance of justice and proportionality alongside the rights of victims and the role of the community.  Students will critically examine some key offender management and ‘treatment’ models using critical discussion and research.
  1. This module provides students with the opportunity to explore a topic or subject-area of particular interest to themselves that also relates to wider Youth & Community Work or Youth Studies disciplines.  By undertaking a small-scale empirical research project; supported by a member of staff from the subject area (or elsewhere) with appropriate specialist subject or methodological knowledge, each student will have first-hand experience of the academic research process and contribute to the existing canon of knowledge in relation to their chosen topic or subject-area.
  2. Drawing on a range of management and leadership theory; this module will introduce students to the necessary skills and knowledge required to effectively lead and manage youth and community work projects in an ever-changing and challenging landscape. Exploring the role of enterprise and setting up Community Interest Companies (CIC) will take place to reflect the diverse ways that practice are being continued in the current climate. The module will consider how to lead and manage teams through conflict and change. The safeguarding of vulnerable individuals, groups and communities will be explored. The module will include students demonstrating their ability to plan, deliver, evaluate and produce a fully costed funding proposal to reflect the current requirements of youth and community work practitioners.
  3. This module seeks to bring together the application of theory to a practice context, critical reflection and professional development. This module provides the opportunity for students to build on the consistent demonstration of their skills from module 505 within a professional setting.  Students will be required to work to NOS competencies within a diverse range of organisations that relate to Youth and Community Work.  Students will be required to explain and verbally defend their professional identity through themes generated across their practice experience and documented through critical reflections as part of the assessment for this module.
  4. This module critically examines a range of criminological theory, both historical and contemporary, that seeks to explain why young people commit crime and how it has and continues to inform governmental responses to youth crime. This will include some discussion of current policy and legislation and an analysis of structures within the British Criminal Justice System (focusing on England and Wales) such as Youth Offending Teams. Particular focus will be on how young peoples’ criminal behaviour is interpreted and contested in the media and political discourses and how youth crime policy impacts disproportionately on certain groups of young people within society (e.g. black young people, young people who meet on the street, etc.). A recurrent theme will be how current models of work with young people involved in crime and multi-professional efforts to bring about desistance from that behaviour may conflict with the workers reluctance to engage in social control.
  5. This module provides students with the opportunity to explore the historical, legal, social and cultural dimensions of sex and sexuality in the context of the criminal justice system. The module seeks to consider the ways in which concepts such as vulnerability, sexuality and gender operate in, often, exclusionary ways. In light of this, students will critically appraise the ways in which technology, sex(uality) and law intersect in this context. The module will also focus on how new technology has been weaponised against particular groups in the 21st Century – providing another medium for heteronormative assumptions about sex and sexuality and gender based violence to be realised.  Considering a range of topics such as pornography, sexting and the age of sexual consent, students will draw on key theoretical concepts, to critically discuss the operation of the law in this area and the concept of ‘justice’.
  6. This module explores some practical challenges of working with families where there are concerns around violence, harm and/or abuse.  It seeks to explore different ways of thinking about vulnerability and risk and how this relates to the ways in which families are constructed in policy and practice. It also seeks to look at key practice issues around working with family members and other professionals.
  7. In a historic period characterised by uncertainty and increasing social insecurity this module will look at the applied challenges involved in promoting social justice. The module will look at what is driving this uncertainty: the ideology of neo-liberalism; the implementation of post welfare state arrangements legitimised by ‘austerity; an increasingly authoritarian and punitive public policy for the management of the ‘other’ internally and the (attempted) construction of ‘Fortress Europe’ to exclude the external ‘other’. Within this challenging environment students will be given opportunities to move beyond a critique of the impact of these trends to explore applied ways that social justice can be promoted, structural disadvantage overcome and equality and inclusion promoted.
  8. This module will provide students with the opportunity to explore current legislation and its implications for practice for all those working with children, young people and adults with care experience.  The module will seek to examine the rhetoric within policy and initiatives concerning children who are in Care and the underlying political ideologies around the role of the state in caring for children.  Students will investigate the range of provision for people with care experience including models popular in other countries.  A wide view of the diverse needs of children, young people and adults with care experience will be presented, underlining the challenges in balancing protection and support with learning and development and the associated importance of partnership and collaborative working.