Youth work has been described as ‘the science of enabling young people to believe in themselves and build positive futures’ (National Youth Agency).
Working with people primarily aged between 11 and 25 is both a challenging and rewarding career choice and the professionals specialising in this field aim to support a young person to develop both personally and socially.
On this course, you’ll cover the history and development of youth and community work, explore the self, groups and learning, society and social policy, and develop your understanding of social science.
You’ll also be looking at oppression, globalisation, how agencies work together, and community development and management, as well as enhancing your research, practical and managerial skills.
Compulsory work placements in youth and community centres, and schools and voluntary organisations, provide ample opportunity to achieve hands-on experience working alongside professional youth and community workers. And you’ll see, first-hand, some of the issues that can affect young people and their communities.
- Professionally recognised by the Joint Negotiating Committee and validated by the National Youth Agency.
- Throughout the course you will undertake up to 800 hours of practical work placements as well as volunteering opportunities, in a range of relevant organisations and projects, to enhance your learning experience in areas such as mentoring, advice and guidance, youth justice, drug and alcohol misuse work and sports-based work.
- You will study a range of topics including learning, education and youth work, youth and community work in context, developing the professional practitioner and globalisation and global youth work.
- Gain an international perspective on your studies through our DMU Global programme. Recent trips have seen Youth Work and Community Development students focus on the role of young people as change-makers to create positive social change in India and The Gambia, and consider poverty, health and social problems in Florida.
- Graduate employment opportunities include detached youth work, community development, Schools and colleges, work with refugee and asylum seekers and mentoring.
- We have one of the UK’s largest youth work teaching and research teams, with an established reputation of more than 55 years’ experience.
Structure and assessment
The first year explores the history and development of youth and community work and other services that work with young people. It includes work around identity and anti-oppressive practice and observation of different organisations that work with young people.
- Learning, Education and Youth Work
- Youth and Community Work in Context
- The Self in Context
- There may be an opportunity for an international study visit looking at disaffection/marginalisation
- Developing the Professional Practitioner 1
The second year develops skills and understanding of youth and community work, society and social policy, along with your ability to identify and tackle oppression. It promotes a greater understanding of inter-agency work, community development and management.
- Black Perspectives
- Developing the Professional Practitioner 2
- Context, Management and Governance
- There may be an opportunity for an international study visit – looking at Social Policy
- Research Methods/Negotiated Module
- There may be an opportunity for an international study visit – European Seminar about Immigration /Super-diversity
The third year focuses on enhancing your research skills, increasing your understanding of social issues and extending your range of practical and managerial skills.
- Globalisation and Global Youth Work
- There may be the opportunity for an international study visit -The Gambia / Globalisation
- Practice-Related Research
- Professional Formation and Action Learning
- Developing the Professional Practitioner 3
- There may be the opportunity for an international Youth Camp
Teaching and assessments
You will be taught with a variety of teaching methods, including:
- Group Work
- Problem Solving
- Guided Reading
Assessment methods are covered through:
- Reflective logs
Each module is taught for two to three hours a day over 11 weeks in the school term.
You are expected to engage in additional self-directed study throughout the course.
Teaching Contact Hours
Contact hours in a typical week will depend to some extent on the optional modules you choose to study. However, typically you will have up to 14 contact hours of teaching and this will break down as:
Personal tutorial/small group teaching: Approx. 2 hours of tutorials (or later, project supervision) each week.
Medium group teaching: Approx. 4 hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week.
Large group teaching: Approx. 8 hours of lectures each week.
Personal study: Approx. 6 hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using hand-outs, online activities, etc.
Facilities and features
Health and life sciences
Investment of £12 million in Health and Life Sciences has developed our first-class teaching and learning facilities to help you develop your practical experience and theoretical knowledge beyond the classroom.
The 19th century Hawthorn Building has facilities designed to replicate current practice in health and life sciences, including contemporary analytical chemistry and formulation laboratories, audiology booths and nursing and midwifery clinical skills suites.
Purpose-built clinical skills areas allow you to apply theory to practice in a safe environment. You will receive guidance and support from staff, to ensure that your practical ability in the clinical skills suites is accurate.
The main Kimberlin Library is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (other than in exceptional circumstances) and offers a huge range of online resources, all of which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose.
The library is run by dedicated staff who offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching and reference management and assistive technology, and mathematical skills for non-maths students. There is also a Just Ask service for help and advice, available via email or telephone.
Our comfortable and well-equipped study areas provide a range of environments to suit your needs.
Our Learning Zones and The Greenhouse provide flexible spaces, whether you are working as a group, practising a presentation or working quietly on your own.
They feature workstations with power supplies for laptops, plus bookable syndicate rooms with plasma screens, laptops and DVD facilities. Wi-Fi is available across all campus locations.
Opportunities and careers
Work experience and placements
In the first year you will undertake approx. 120 hours of supervised practice to support and empower young people in the wider community. This takes place in settings from youth and community centres to schools and voluntary organisations; where you will provide informal education programmes to stimulate creativity and learning.
The second and third years involve a approx. 320 hour assessed practice placement. You gain experience in an exciting range of organisations and projects, working on issues including mentoring, advice and guidance, youth justice, homelessness, drug and alcohol misuse, global youth work and arts and sports based work.
Employer-based students normally carry out the first placement with their employer and the practice placement in a new work environment.
Placements provide the opportunity to have hands-on experience and to learn directly from working professionals.
Third year placement develops two specific areas of practice; Development of Service Provision, and Leadership and Management (please note, that there may be travel costs associated with placement attendance).
Graduates with a professional qualification have a proven range of transferable skills and employment opportunities include:
- Detached Youth Work
- Community Development
- Work with Homeless/Hostels
- Schools and Colleges
- Work with Refugee & Asylum Seekers
- The Arts
- Youth Justice Work
At DMU, our range of postgraduate courses further enhances your knowledge and professional development.
The valuable experience gained from taking the JNC professional qualification, by being placed each year in a real working environment, provides our graduates with considerable benefits when seeking professional careers – this is reflected in our successful rates of graduate employment
This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons — helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.
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