September 2023

Youth and Community Work BA (Hons)

Honours Degree, Undergraduate, September 2023

Key Details

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

We’ve helped students gain a Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) professional Youth and Community Work qualification at Newman since 2007.  

Newman has a long and proud history of teaching Youth and Community Work and has been at the forefront of developing Youth and Community Work education and training in the West Midlands. Our degree is accredited by the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) for youth workers which means that you leave with a degree and with a professional qualification. This is an essential step in gaining graduate employment.

Our course is an exciting application of theory in real-life practice, which will develop you as a critically reflective practitioner.

You will undertake 800 hours of supervised practice in a broad range of Youth and Community Work settings, which will enable you to develop your own professional identity, skills, understanding and reputation throughout your studies and prepare you for your future career.

Our course welcomes socially-conscious and diverse student voices, from a range of backgrounds and learning experiences. To support your studies, you will be taught by a team of JNC Youth and Community Work professionally qualified, research-active and enthusiastic tutors, who have strong partnerships with local employers and experience nationally and internationally.

Hear from our Youth and Community Work alumni about their experiences of studying their degree at Newman, and what they have been up to since graduation. 

We continue to accept applications for September 2023. Applications to join us in 2024 can be submitted on UCAS from this September.

We support students to gain a JNC professional qualification and gain a wide range of employment opportunities. Below are examples of roles in which our students have gained employment after graduation:

  • Youth work project manager
  • Faith-based youth work Lead
  • Hospital youth worker
  • Young offenders’ youth worker
  • Family Support worker
  • Detached youth worker
  • Pastoral care
  • Youth mental health and wellbeing worker
  • School-based youth mentors
  • Community development worker
  • Domestic violence worker
  • Youth homelessness worker
  • Social Enterprises around specific issues
  • Statutory and voluntary youth work
  • Addiction issues and young people project worker
  • Youth engagement roles

Newman is one of few professional Youth and Community Work courses in the West Midlands. Holding the professional JNC qualification means that you will be recognised nationally as a professional Youth Worker in the UK – expanding your employment options.

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 with ‘hands-on’ learning.

You can expect to be challenged and supported while at Newman, and gain an understanding of the contemporary world, which will set you up for a long and satisfying career.

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 includes:

  • Understanding Youth and Community Work
  • Understanding groups and self
  • Planning for applied reflective practice
  • Study skills for university,
  • Key thinkers and their big ideas
  • Introduction to Social Policy

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

  • Researching social issues
  • Critical pedagogy
  • Intersectionality in Youth and Community Work
  • Applied Reflective Practice, (400 hr block placement with scheduled recall days to university)
  • One option module from a selection in Criminology or Working with Children, Young people, and Families*

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

  • Dissertation (10,000 words)
  • Applied Reflective Practice (400 hr block placement with scheduled recall days to university)
  • Management
  • One option module from a selection in Criminology or Working with Children, Young people, and Families*

*The option modules are chosen from a selection each year and they may change from year to year.

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
  • Small-scale research on topics/issues related to practice

You will not have to undertake any exams!

Newman University is located in Britain’s second city – Birmingham. With one of the youngest city populations in Europe, it is a vibrant and dynamic place to study.

Studying at Newman University, you have the advantage of being near to the city, but living in, or commuting to peaceful and comfortable surroundings on campus.

Dining out

Birmingham has lots of wonderful places to dine out with a range of different cuisines. Places where you can dine out include; Brindley Place, Mailbox and Hagley Road (just 10 minutes’ from Newman).


Whether you like to go to; the theatre, gigs or clubs, or enjoy: sports, shopping visiting art galleries or exhibitions – Birmingham will not disappoint and you will be spoilt for choice!


Getting around Birmingham is easy via train, bus or by car. Birmingham has excellent transport links to the rest of Britain, making it easy for those weekend getaways!

Why not explore the city for yourself by visiting one of our Open Days?

Want to find out more about Birmingham? Then take a look at some Birmingham City Secrets.

Ask Us a Question

Clearing 2023

Call our Clearing hotline now to see if we can offer you a place to start this September. 

If on results day you wish to re-consider your choice and want to choose Newman University, you can apply to us over the phone (+44 121 476 1181) , on LiveChat or through Whatsapp.

You can also join us on Saturday 19th August for an Open Day to look around the facilities and talk with subject and support staff. No need to book, simply turn up.



Find out more

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.

The University accepts appropriate T Levels as part of its usual entry requirements.

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 an Enhanced 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
The 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.

September 2024 applications will go live in September.

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

Course Fees

The full-time course fee for September 2023 is £9,250.

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, 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

An Enhanced 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.

In addition to the core modules, there are option modules from a selection in Criminology or Working with Children, Young people, and Families*

Option modules may vary per year.

  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.

In addition to the core modules, there are option modules from a selection in Criminology or Working with Children, Young people, and Families*

Optional modules may vary per year.

  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.