BA (Hons) Youth and Community Work
91% of our BA (Hons) Youth and Community Work students were satisfied with their course National Student Survey 2023
“When I feel lost, scared and alone, youth work is home”.
(Young person interviewed by Welsh Government Interim Youth Work Board research team, 2020).
Do you want to make a real difference to the lives of young people and communities? Youth and Community Work is a methodology. Taught in one classroom day a week, it teaches you a way of working with young people to find the best in them, support them as individuals to ultimately develop and thrive. Every young person deserves the chance to be the best version of themselves and this course teaches you how to do that.
The course has been co-written with employers from the field to ensure you are gaining the skills, knowledge and qualities that are essential to make you employable as a Youth and Community Worker. Lecturers are experienced and award-winning qualified youth workers who come from vast and varied young people focussed backgrounds. These include youth centres, working with children with disabilities, young carers, youth justice, education, outdoor learning, outreach and detached and many more bespoke projects. The learning 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.
A third of the course is carried out in practice with opportunities for you to use employment where you work with young people between 11 and 25 years as your placement opportunity. If this is not possible, we have a dedicated placement officer to support you to find a placement in a wide range of settings. We have exceptional relationships with third sector organisations and local authorities to support this.
In the second year, there are optional modules to choose from which include Positive Youth Justice and Global Youth Work where there are additional opportunities for specialist learning and travel.
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).
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)
- 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.
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]
The taught element of this course happens on one allocated day of teaching a week in a dedicated Youth and Community Work Classroom. The rest of the week is for self-study and carrying out your placement hours.
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.
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.
We may make you a lower offer based on a range of factors, including your background (where you live and the school or college that you attended for example), your experiences and individual circumstances (as a care leaver, for example). This is referred to as a contextual offer and we receive data from UCAS to support us in making these decisions. USW prides itself on its student experience and we support our students to achieve their goals and become a successful graduate. This approach helps us to support students who have the potential to succeed and who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university. Here is a link to our Contextual Admissions Policy.
Other qualifications and experience
We can also consider combinations of qualifications and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable. We can sometimes consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or advanced entry to year two or three of a course where this is possible.
To find out which qualifications have tariff points, please refer to the UCAS tariff calculator.
If you need more help or information or would like to speak to our friendly admissions team, please contact us here
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
CCD to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 88 UCAS tariff points).
Typical Welsh BACC Offer
Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and CD - CC at A Level to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 88 UCAS tariff points).
Typical BTEC Offer
BTEC Extended Diploma Merit Merit Merit (this is equivalent to 96 UCAS tariff points).
Typical Access to HE Offer
Pass the Access to HE Diploma and obtain a minimum of 88 UCAS tariff points
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.
- 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 2024 - July 2025 Fees
Full-time UK: TBC
Full-time International: £15260
August 2025 - July 2026 Fees
Full-time UK: TBC
Full-time International: TBC
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.
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.
|Field Trips : European Exchange Activity||£200||
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
Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs
Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).
To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.
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.
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.