BA (Hons) Community Development and Youth Studies (top-up)

Based at our town centre campus in the North West of England, our BA (Hons) Community Development and Youth Studies (top-up) course allows you to build on your existing foundation degree or HND in a community development and youth studies-related subject. Completing your honours level studies can open doors to graduate entry careers in the youth and community sector, areas of social work, local government or the non-profit and voluntary sectors, as well as postgraduate education.

Community Development and Youth Studies (top-up)

Key information

Award:

BA (Hons)

Mode of Study:

Part-time

Duration:

2 years

Location:

University of Bolton

UCAS code:

L547

Start date:

25/09/2023

Course Details

The University of Bolton's BA (Hons) Community Development and Youth Studies (top-up) course focuses on academic studies that support the development of knowledge and skills for practice. The course is ideal if you're seeking the flexible and adaptable skills and knowledge needed for a career changing lives by challenging discrimination and oppression through informal social inclusion. It's also a fantastic springboard for master's level or postdoctoral study.

Our passionate and knowledgeable staff will guide you to explore issues such as globalisation and sustainable communities, housing and homelessness, management and leadership in community development and youth work, and the governance and organisational development of public, private and third sector organisations. We'll support you in developing key transferable skills such as communication, self-awareness, time management and critical thinking. The dissertation is an essential element of your honours-level studies and offers an excellent preparation for higher-level study.

Our professionally experienced tutors bring their wealth of on-the-job expertise and practical knowledge into their research, teaching and one-to-one advice, ensuring you can benefit from a wide range of highly informed youth work and community development perspectives. Throughout the course, we'll support and encourage you as you develop your understanding and articulation of the key theories of personal and social change affecting young people and communities today.

Highlights
  • Our Childhood and Youth Studies courses are top in the UK for student satisfaction, according to The Complete University Guide 2022.
  • The course has been designed in consultation with employers, ensuring the relevance of the skills and knowledge gained by graduates.
  • We work with over 70 partners and external agencies such as youth and community centres, schools, alternative education projects, women's refuges and community projects, housing, health, leisure and youth training schemes, resettlement projects, and detached, outreach and mentoring projects. This ensures our course offers a truly holistic view of community development and youth studies and fosters a culture of multi-disciplinary working.
  • You have the chance to graduate with a wide range of practical and transferable skills that apply in all kinds of social, professional and academic areas.
  • We'll work to help you to develop the high-level skills in research and critical thinking that successful and ambitious professionals use in the analysis of situations, the construction and defence of persuasive arguments, the production of high-quality management reports, and their application of evidence-based practice.
Key Features
  • Community development and youth work offers a wide range of rewarding and challenging careers. We'll support you to gain the professional and personal skills to succeed, coaching you in areas like critical thinking, evaluation and analysis, self-reflection, cultural sensitivity and mental resilience.
  • We'll also support you in gaining vital academic and lifelong learning skills so that you are well prepared to research innovations, apply your knowledge in new ways, and keep abreast of shifts in policy and practice in community development and youth work throughout your career.
  • We prefer to keep seminar and practical classes relatively small so that you have plenty of opportunities to ask us questions and get help, as well as benefit from the ideas and support offered by your classmates.
  • We're committed to helping you develop your employability and career network. You'll be encouraged to attend guest lectures and undertake volunteering activities that enhance your learning, help you make contacts in the industry, and contribute to your professional development.
  • You'll have access to excellent academic and pastoral support from teaching staff who are also experienced professionals in community development and youth work.
  • Specialists in the field of community development and youth work join us as guest speakers and lecturers throughout the course.
  • By choosing to study with us, you'll have the chance to enjoy Bolton's many shops, bars, restaurants and leisure facilities. Manchester, one of the UK's most multicultural and lively cities, is less than 20 minutes away by train. Not forgetting, the North West of England is renowned for its beautiful countryside, coastline and heritage. This makes Bolton an ideal base from which to explore some of the best cultural and outdoor activities the UK offers.

  • You’re normally expected to have successfully completed a relevant qualification at Level HE5, such as a foundation degree or HND, or a professional qualification at an equivalent level.
  • You're expected to have substantial experience working with young people and communities.
  • We'll be happy to consider your application if you have non-traditional entry qualifications and relevant experience or a suitable portfolio of work that we deem a reasonable substitute for the qualifications we typically accept for this course.
  • You’ll be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.
  • If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.
  • Please note that this course is subject to the University of Bolton's Fitness to Practise procedure.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.


Community development work seeks to actively engage communities in making sense of the issues which affect their lives, setting goals for improvement and responding to problems and needs through empowerment and active participation.

The community development and youth work sector is currently undergoing significant change. Traditional sources of employment in the public sector and the voluntary, faith and community sectors are changing and therefore have to adapt their services towards a broader set of activities. This shift requires employees with flexible, transversal and adaptive knowledge, skills and attitudes.

Enabling you to gain a range of skills that can be applied in multiple contexts is a central principle of this degree. Research suggests that future employment in the field will be non-routine, creative and people-centric. This degree supports this broad curriculum, and organisations that employ graduates have been involved in the overall course design.

During this course, you'll have the opportunity to develop a wide range of transferable skills that will support your employment in a number of positions and sectors. These skills include presentation, oral and written communication, the ability to work independently and deal with complex and challenging situations, advocacy and empathy, teamwork and the ability to understand and work with people from all backgrounds.

What can I do with this qualification?

As a BA (Hons) Community Development and Youth Studies (top-up) graduate, you'll be able to seek work in a wide range of youth and community organisations, in public service, charities, the voluntary and faith sectors, schools and colleges, youth training schemes, housing associations, outdoor centres, youth justice, and residential settings such a care homes. Roles are often project-based, on fixed-term contracts and tackle issues such as social cohesion, homelessness, substance misuse, sexual health education and crime prevention.

Community development and working with young people can be challenging and frustrating. You'll need to be prepared to cope with conflicts and setbacks. Results are often long-term rather than immediate, so patience and perseverance are essential.

After graduation, you may pursue postgraduate study; for example, a research-based master's degree or a PhD in education, community or youth studies. Alternatively, you might apply for a vocational course such as a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), which qualifies you to work as a teacher, or a Master's in Social Work.

Alternative career options

Graduates can also use the qualification to step into a range of other careers. You may need relevant experience and/or postgraduate study for some of these roles. Possible careers include:

  • Social work
  • The Arts
  • Mentoring
  • Teaching and education
  • Health promotion
  • Behaviour management
  • Learning support
  • Work with refugee and asylum seekers
  • Advice work
  • Community education
  • Family support
  • Probation
  • Careers advice
  • Prison service
  • Outdoor education/activities
  • Residential care
  • Volunteer co-ordination
  • Youth offending

Course fees

Home students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Home fee of £6,000 for the academic year 2022/23.

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2022-2023 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for 'Home' fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for 'Home' fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance for EU students web page on www.gov.uk for information.

The fees for a student's course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

For 2022-2023 entry, the maximum government approved undergraduate tuition fee for UK students is £9,250 per year. The University is able to charge this fee subject to an approved Access and Participation Plan for 2022-2023 and its current rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework.

Bursaries

Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton students.


For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or admissions@bolton.ac.uk

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

University of Bolton Group Partners

Bolton College
University Collegiate School
Alliance Learning
University of Bolton

For valued members of the University of Bolton Group and progressing students, we try to make our application process as simple and as fast as possible.

By selecting the link for your chosen course from the list shown below, you will be taken directly to our online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this, and ensure you upload all supporting documents such as certificates and your personal statement when you apply.

When you are asked to add a contact email address, please ensure you add your college/university email account address as well as your personal address. If you do not add your college address as your contact address, we will be unable to identify you as a partner and offer you the benefits of being part of our group.

If you are ready to apply directly, please select your chosen start date from the list below.

Before applying, please read the entry requirements section of this page.

If your course runs at multiple locations or has various start dates, please be sure to select the correct application link from the list below.

Before beginning your application, you should have the following information to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history, including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including email addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already inputted.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Undergraduate Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or UGadmissions@bolton.ac.uk

We look forward to receiving your application and you continuing your academic journey with us!


Teaching and learning on our BA (Hons) Community Development and Youth Studies (top-up) course are supported by a variety of methods. You can expect lectures, tutorials, seminars, discussions, role play, case studies, group work and field trips.

In the majority of modules, formal lectures are used to introduce a topic, with follow-up small group seminars where you're encouraged to explore this knowledge in greater depth. We'll offer additional tutorials, ensuring you have space to ask questions or seek individual help. Independent learning is essential for the course, and you should spend much of your time reading around and researching the topics covered in your modules.

We'll also offer you chances to hear guest speakers from local community development and youth work organisations. Moreover, you'll be strongly encouraged to undertake voluntary activities that support your studies and expand your already considerable practice experience.

In terms of assessment, we aim to provide creative ways for you to demonstrate your theoretical and practical knowledge. You can expect coursework, including methods such as portfolios, essays, reports, case study analysis and oral presentations. An essential element of assessment at the honours level is your dissertation. This in-depth research report allows you to showcase your critical understanding of theoretical models and contemporary literature relevant to a specific area of thought or practice. Overall, some assessments will contribute to your final module mark and allow you to demonstrate that you've met the learning outcomes. In contrast, others are designed to help you identify areas that need extra attention on your part or where you need additional support from your tutors.

Modules

The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Global Youth Work and Sustainable Communities
  • Professional and Academic Research Methods
  • Community Living: Housing and Homelessness
  • Management, Governance and Organisational Development
  • Dissertation
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 72%, Practical exams 28%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 80%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 20%

Disclaimer

The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Andrea Walker
Programme Leader

A.Walker2@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903752

Paula Connaughton
Admissions Tutor

P.Connaughton@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903764

Kevin Burke
Senior Lecturer

K.Burke@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903698

Bren Cook
Lecturer

B.Cook@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903893

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903903

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We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

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