BA (Hons) Youth and Community Work

Delivered by experienced and award-winning youth workers, this youth and community work degree will prepare you for a career working with children and young people in a range of settings, helping them to enhance their personal, social and educational development.

Throughout the youth and community work qualification you will expand your knowledge and skills to include critical, analytical and reflective thinking within a youth and community work setting. Our strong partnerships with local employers provide work placement opportunities to enhance your learning and employability.

On successful completion of our youth work course, you’ll not only graduate with a degree, but with a professionally recognised qualification that is recognised UK-wide by the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) and endorsed by Education and Training Standards Wales (ETS). Covering everything from Safeguarding to Informal Education methods and Facilitation skills, your study here will prepare you for this rewarding profession and career.

As well as attaining professionally qualified youth worker status, you will also be eligible to register with the Education Workforce Council (EWC).

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
L521 Full-time 3 Years September Newport City C
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
L521 Full-time 3 Years September Newport City C

Year One: Youth and Community Work Degree

  • Safeguarding Children And Young People (20 Credits)
  • Youth and Community Work and Social Change (20 Credits)
  • Adolescence and Wellbeing: identifying and supporting developmental transitions (20 Credits)
  • Professional Values and Ethics In Youth and Community Work (20 Credits)
  • Youth Work in Action: Role of Youth and Community Worker 1 (20 Credits)
  • Youth Work in Action: Role of Youth and Community Worker (20 Credits)

Year Two: Youth and Community Work Degree

  • Animating the lives of young people (20 Credits)
  • Rights-based work with young people and active citizenship in communities (20 Credits)
  • Shaping Success; Management, Measurement, and Quality of Youth and Community Work (20 Credits)
  • Developing Youth and Community Work 1 (20 Credits)
  • Developing Youth and Community Work 2 (20 Credits)

Optional Modules

  • Models & Methods of Global Youth Work & Social Pedagogy (Optional Module) (20 Credits)

Students are encouraged to develop a moral and ethically sound, rights-based approach to work with young people as global citizens, applying models of social pedagogy and global youth work to their youth and community work practice in order to promote building of social capital.

  • Positive Youth Justice (Optional Module) (20 Credits)

Students will gain a critical understanding of the factors that contextualise young people’s offending and problematic behaviour, and the consequences of this for young people, families and communities. Students will also gain a critical understanding of the practice of Youth offending and related services working with children who offend, in Wales and England, understanding the legislation, policy, research and theoretical ideas that underpin such practice.

Year Three: Youth and Community Work Degree

  • Influencing Youth and Community Work Practice (40 Credits)
  • Interprofessional Practice and Leadership in Youth & Community Work (40 Credits)
  • The Critically Reflective Youth & Community Worker (1) (20 Credits)
  • The Critically Reflective Youth & Community Worker (2) (20 Credits)

Students can also qualify as a youth and community worker through our innovative specialised pathway Youth and Community Work – Youth Justice.

Foundation Year

The BA (Hons) Youth and Community Work is also available as a four year course including an integrated Foundation Year, and is designed for students who do not currently meet admissions criteria for direct entry onto the degree. You will start by completing a foundation year, which provides well structured support, allowing you to develop your skills and knowledge before continuing onto the three year degree programme. Please note the integrated first year will be studied at Treforest Campus with the following three years of the degree at Newport City Campus. For more information please email [email protected] 


All Academic Lecturers on the Youth and Community Work Team at USW come from a practice background, and all are JNC Qualified youth workers, with some still in practice. This means our teaching and training are up-to-date and linked to current practice and policy. Academic staff enjoy working with University of South Wales students to grow research that proves the impact practitioners with young people can make and demonstrate that Youth Work works!

Academic staff across the team have recently published research and journal articles related to youth and community work.


You will be assessed through a diverse range of methods to suit all learning styles and preferences, including written assignments, spoken assignments, Digital resource production, Group presentations, portfolio building, placement assessor reports, individual presentations, critiquing journal articles and peer assessment.


The BA (Hons) Youth and Community Work degree is recognised UK-wide by the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) and endorsed by Education and Training Standards Wales (ETS).


A third of this youth and community work degree is practice-based, so you’ll have hands-on experience of working with young people. You will also be assigned a professional supervisor who can offer you one-to-one guidance. So you’ll see how what you learn in the classroom works in the real world and have relevant experiences to talk about at interview.

The University has established excellent partnerships with local employers, so you will have access to professionally qualified practitioners. 

The work placements will specifically focus on developing your skills and abilities as a youth and community worker in training. The block placements will immerse you within the professional field and you will be expected to put your skills, knowledge and abilities into practice.

These placements will boost your confidence and overall knowledge of youth and community work. You will be equipped to:

  • Use your skills, knowledge and abilities to build positive and effective relationships with young people
  • Work in partnership with colleagues and partners and members of the community
  • Develop innovative and creative learning opportunities
  • Open the doors to opportunities for young people and engage them in a variety of different learning opportunities
  • Link theory to practice
  • Enhance, improve and raise your awareness of your employability skills and abilities as a professional qualified worker

There are also excellent opportunities to study and practice overseas. These intercultural experiences will improve your skill base and awareness of working with young people in a global context, as well as locally and nationally.


Mick Conroy, Course Leader

Kate Haywood, Senior Lecturer, Course Leader MA Working for Children & Young People
Lise Jacobsen, Lecturer, Partnership Link Officer Cardiff & Vale College
Kelly McCarthy, Lecturer


We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. The University has a Contextual Admissions Policy, therefore, whilst most offers we make are at the top of the range, under the Policy we take certain aspects of an application into consideration and eligible UCAS applicants can receive a personalised offer or have results considered individually when you receive them.  Here is a link to our Contextual Admissions Policy Statement.

Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable. 


You may also apply if you feel you have a relevant career history and experience of working with young people. This will usually include the following:

Direct experience of youth or community work (six months minimum)
Agored Cymru Level 3 Certificate in Youth Work / NOCN Level 3 Certificate in Working with Young People.

Interview Youth and Community Work

Tutors will explain the course content and you will be given the opportunity to ask any questions in addition to us assessing your suitability for the Youth and Community Work course.

Typical A-Level Offer

BCC - CDD to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum score of 29 overall including 5 or above in English at standard level

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma and obtain a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances. 

Additional requirements

  • Evidence of 100 hours work experience of direct work in a youth and community setting
  • An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on the Child & Adult Workforce and Child and Adult Barring Lists and subscription to the DBS Update Service. (Overseas equivalent required for non-uk applicants)



Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course


August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £14000 

August 2023 - July 2024 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

Student Perks

At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.

Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.

Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Field Trips : European Exchange Activity £200
One payment
DBS * £55.42
This fee includes £40 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
DBS Updating Service * £13
Subscription required for each year of the course for a yearly fee of £13. Please note the service has to be joined within 30 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
Other: Travel Costs for Professional Training Placements £0 - £500
Students need to cover their transport costs for their professional training placements. Year 1, 2 and 3

UK Students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International and EU students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK.

Admissions statement

On successful completion of the youth and community work course, you will have gained a qualification that is professionally recognised UK-wide by the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) and endorsed by Education and Training Standards Wales (ETS). You will be able to work in partnership with young people, and communities within the context of current policy. As a youth and community worker, you will work in a variety of settings utilising individual and group work, mentoring and communication skills with individuals and groups.

On completion, there may be opportunities for you to progress into further study via a Masters course including the MA Working for Children and Young People at the University of South Wales.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.