Interested in this course? Book now for Open Day to find about more
Inspire, encourage and nurture: make a difference to people's lives. Gain real-life experience of issues that can affect young people and their communities. Learn how to build relationships and use your growing expertise to inspire and enable the people you work with.
Three A-levels at grades CCD or above
Or BTEC triple grades MMP or above
Or Access 3-36 D/M with min 3D
And GCSE English Language at grade 4 or grade C or above
A DBS check and an interview is required
Applicants should have sufficient practical experience prior to commencement of the course (i.e. 100 hours).
UCAS points 88
UCAS code L530
UCAS institution code P63
Duration Three years full-time
Through supervised professional practice placements and university-based study, you will learn how to work with young people and the communities in which they live to help them realise their potential. This delicate and expert approach will allow you to build relationships, helping to inspire and stimulate the people you work with to make positive changes in their lives.
BA (Hons) Youth and Community Work will develop your professional identity through your unique placements, theoretical knowledge and practical skills.
Placements are a significant part of the course and help you build the professional confidence and skills necessary to make a difference to other peoples’ lives. You can do your placement in three different environments, broadening your skills and experience as you progress. You may choose to do one of your placements overseas, for example, with our partners Helsinki Youth Service.
Each youth and community work student is unique, and therefore brings their own interests and skill sets to the profession. This course is all about fostering students’ individual passions within the field.
Sue: Marjon has just a great history of delivering youth and community work. We've been doing it for over 25 years. The programs really focus both on the taught modules that we have here in the university, and the placement modules that they do. We have some very, very good relationships with employers, which enable us to have a wide range of those placements. Most of our students will go into youth and community work posts, but range of opportunities now has changed incredibly. So we've got graduates in all kinds of different settings, both here and abroad.
Lola: Because obviously it's a small campus, you get the attention that you need, especially the stuff you're struggling with. A lot of the lecturers are very open. They share a lot of their life experience as well.
Ashleigh: The lecturers are all really good, actually. One thing that appealed me to the course is that it's a professionals degree, and all of them are professionals and they've worked in youth work, or still are, so they're really in there with youth work and they know what they're talking about and they've got that skills and experience. They're not just lecturers, they are professionals.
Lola: For me, the best part about this course is placement. I'm not naturally a very academic person, but I enjoy the face to face stuff a lot more. And I think it definitely made me realize that this was definitely an avenue I wanted to go down, whether it was with youth work or community work.
Ashleigh: We've got to do three placements, one every year. I'm in my second year and I'm doing my block full-time placement. So I'm going away for three months in-house in youth department, and that's just an amazing opportunity.
Stella: I'm a drug and alcohol worker with young people. I've been in this role for just over eight years, and I work primarily with young people on court orders. I found the depth of learning at Marjon, what I liked about it the most. I commuted, so I went in specifically for the modules and the classes. And for support from staff and from the resources that were on site. I just really enjoyed the topics that were covered in the modules as well. I found my time at Marjon hugely beneficial for both my personal development, my own learning, and my career, both historically and currently. It's remained relevant to me right throughout. So it's great to have done a degree that's still really relevant to me now.
UK and overseas work placements, for example with our partners Helsinki Youth Service
The tutors have personal experience of youth and community work, and are leaders in international research which means the course is informed by the most current thinking
Extensive placements - the equivalent of one year on placements over the three years - help you build the professional confidence and skills to make a difference to other peoples’ lives
Assessed and validated by the National Youth Agency to meet the professional qualification for youth work as set out by the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) for youth and community workers
Over 25 years’ experience in training outstanding youth and community professionals
Explore the current debates around how youth and community work is changing so you are ready to go out there and make a difference
“ In your first year you will explore the nature of youth & community work and gain an understanding of the key concepts and be able to apply this in practice over 250 hours on placement. During year two you will learn about groupwork, project management and how politics affects youth and community work, again applying this in practice across a 12 week block placement. In the third year you will develop expertise through your own research project and optional specialist modules. You'll understand the current debates around how youth and community work is changing, ready to start your career!”
“The course is amazing, and you meet so many brilliant people. I really enjoy the opportunities to work with professionals and learning at university too. I’m developing my skills and my practice. The thing I most enjoy is the debates and discussion that we have in lectures. It is also a practical course, and you get first-hand experience. You learn from leading professionals and the support from lecturers is amazing. I’m more aware, I’m exploring ideas that I hadn’t realised were there.”
“I have enjoyed all aspects of the course so far and I have been able to produce work which I am proud of. I’ve been taught how to write academically and I’ve realised that reading around the subject increases your knowledge, which has given me confidence in both my work and placements. The lecturers are extremely helpful and aid you to achieve to your highest ability.”
“Taking time to understand and explore why a person behaves in a certain way and how to react to this is something I explored throughout my degree. I am more confident in my own professional judgement and feel confident in managing and supervising volunteers. My three years at Marjon saw me grow as a person, and due to the support received from my lecturers, I leave feeling ready to take on new challenges.”
Is it more difficult being a teenager in the 21st century?
Are we really ready to listen to young people?
Are young people a cause of concern or a hope for the future?
Is society scared of or scared for communities in crisis?
What does the future look like to a 13 year old?
Have you got what it takes to make a difference?
“ I didn’t think I would ever go to Uni, the tutors were really good in giving me the confidence to go on and I did well, it’s one of the things I’m most proud of. Uni gave me the language to be able to have this job. Five years ago I’d never have thought I could have this job and that’s what’s going to Marjon gave me.”
“I am over the moon to be working in community work, paid to do a job I dreamt of. I am working at the place I most enjoyed in my university placements, with a team of dedicated people who are proud to help homeless and vulnerable young people. My university placements showed me policy and procedure in action and I engaged with ‘the real world’ of community support. I can only convey my gratitude to my lecturers and peers to thank you for all your help. I would not have done it without you.”
Sonya is an Early Intervention Worker for The Zone.
“As a mature student returning to education, I had little experience with working with young people. The course helped me develop many skills and increased my knowledge base, which helped me gain employment. Hands on experience and learning in placements throughout the course really prepared me for a career in youth work and allowed me to see just what the work entails. Supportive lecturers helped me develop my abilities and increased my confidence.”
Beth is a Professional Youth Worker for Plymouth City Council.
“I support young people to improve their overall health by reducing problematic drug and/or alcohol use and associated harms. The work is diverse, no two sessions ever the same. What I love most is building the rapport and therapeutic relationships critical for the meaningful work to take place and improve wellbeing and future outcomes. The degree has given a solid foundation to all of my practice and vital understanding of the theory behind the dynamics of therapeutic relationships.”
Stella is an U18’s Drug and Alcohol Worker.
The jobs market has changed significantly over the past few years and these are exciting times for graduates from this programme as the range and scope of employment opportunities has never been so diverse.
Opportunities exist across the sectors, in voluntary and charitable organisations, in the public sector, for example children’s services, schools and colleges, and in the private sector.
Recent graduates have forged careers in a range of settings including: school inclusion projects and alternative curriculum projects, in youth offending teams, in youth projects and detached projects, in housing and advice agencies and in housing projects.
Carin: So, my name is Carin Laird and the course I did was the BA Honors in Youth and Community work. So, I currently work for Barnardos. I work for the child sexual exploitation team. So, I work in a very different way to the way I've worked historically. So, youth work is normally quite informal, it's about young people, helping them to make informed choices. In that sense, my role is very different. A lot of young people are forced to work with me, it'll be part of their child protection plan. There are two of us that are youth workers in the team, and we work with around about 15 young people each at any one given time. Aged between 10 to 18, who are extreme high risk of, or currently experiencing, child sexual exploitation. So for that reason, they tend to be on child protection plans and they come to us either just before they go to child protection or just after.
So we make part of a multi agency team that supports that young person. For me, it's all about the one to one work. You can have a really bad day, and then your last session of the day will be a young person and they just let you know they've made a really healthy choice, and it can be something as simple as not running away last night, not self-harming last night, not taking an overdose last night. And you get that real buzz and you think, "Yeah, this is what it's all about. Nevermind the paperwork that I'm going to be up to really late doing." It's that sort of stuff.
I was a mature student going back. I had a job, I had to work financially. Even if you took away those barriers, I would pick Marjon now, I would pick it again, if I was 18. Uni just gave me the confidence I needed and like I said, I didn't think I'd ever be able to go to uni, and in that first semester, I remember getting out of my little Dictaphone in my first ever lecture, putting it on, thinking "I can't miss a word. If I miss a word, I'm going to fail, be thrown off the course. They're going to realize I don't belong here." And I can say the tutor was really good at giving me the confidence to carry on. And I did well. It's one of the things, other than my children obviously, and my husband, it's one of the things I'm most proud of. I came out with a first and that was just such an amazing feeling.
I'd worked really hard and got that. And then since then, it's kind of like with all that theory, I can now sit in meetings, whereas before I'd go along to a meeting and I was just a youth worker. Now I am a youth worker, I'm not just, I can hold the same academic conversations, use the same language as other professionals and not feel intimidated or undervalued in a way that I maybe did before. I'm not sure if that was a confidence thing, but uni certainly gave me the language to be able to have this job and the understanding of the law, and like I said, all that theoretical stuff that you, well you're sitting in class, you're thinking "Really? Really?" But actually underpins everything we do.
So going to Marjons opened so many doors. I was able to apply for jobs that I hadn't been able to apply for before because of the qualification, the JNC. And five years ago, I'd have never have thought I could have ever had this job. So that's what going to Marjons gave me.
This course is assessed and validated by the NYA to meet the professional qualification for youth work, as set out by the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC).
Teaching generally includes 9 hours a week, split between lectures and activity-based seminars. Tutorials focus on individual personal and professional development. Three professional practice placements totalling 800 hours take place in up to three different settings and are supervised by professional practitioners. In the final year, the practitioner research project enables students to specialise in an area of their choosing.
Assessment methods are based on coursework (essays, reports reviews), presentations and the production of placement files that include reflective practice and self-assessment. Professional practice is assessed against the National Occupational Standards.
Course leaderView full profile
Sue is a youth work academic and author, specialising in participatory practice. She was youth and community worker for thirty years, working as youth worker in Norfolk, Birmingham and Gloucestershire and then and as a senior manager in Hampshire. Currently, her work on evaluating the impact of youth work is influencing youth work practice regionally and internationally (Scotland, France, Italy, Estonia, Finland and Western Australia). Her book ‘Participatory Evaluation in Youth and Community Work’ was published in 2017.
Fees UK students: £9,250 per annum
Fees for International students: £12,500 per annum
This fee covers your tuition and access to course-specific equipment and facilities, as well associated services including access to the library, study skills support, IT support, student support and wellbeing services and membership of the Student Union. There may be additional costs by course.
Our Student Funding Advisors offer confidential and impartial advice about your funding options.Learn more
Associate ProfessorView profile
Jon worked for 20 years as a youth worker before joining Marjon in 2003. He brings his knowledge and commitment to youth work to his teaching and research. He is particularly interested in the impact of policy on practice as well as theory and pracitce of youth and community work, as well as outdoor education. In 2018 Jon led a major research project into the value and impact of Youth Work on the lives of young people in Europe.
Senior LecturerView profile
Five recent placement examples:
Discover Uni collects data about university courses in the UK. All universities publish Discover Uni data on their online course pages enabling you to compare similar courses at different universities.