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BA Youth Work Integrated Degree Apprenticeship

Inspire, encourage and nurture. Our Level 6 Integrated Youth Work Apprenticeship, delivered through off-the-job training one day per week and drawing on your work-based learning, enables you to become a catalyst for change and make a real difference to the lives of young people in your community.

2018 MA Youth & Community Practice 930 x 578

This programme is tailored to fit your Youth Work setting and enables professional JNC recognition.

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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 conducted jointly with employers

See full entry requirements

Duration 3 years

Course Summary

This programme supports employees and employers in the Youth Work sector. The curriculum has been designed to align with the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Youth Work, following guidance from the NYA (National Youth Agency), which is the PSRB (Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body) for Youth and Community Work. In response to consultation of stakeholders, the curriculum aligns to current and anticipated workforce needs and developments. This includes the co-delivery of specialist modules, bringing in experts from local organisations, further strengthening links into the community.

Off-the-job learning consists of one full day on campus, generally 6 hours a week, split between lectures and activity-based seminars, with some online study and 1-2-1 tutorials that can be arranged to suit the apprentice’s needs, with a timetable to fit around other life commitments, like work and childcare. Throughout the academic year, there is a consistent day on campus each week, allowing you to benefit from the full range of Plymouth Marjon University's digital and information resources and facilities.

The course has a design to help you achieve your best possible results, with an extended academic year of three terms, enabling modules to be taught in a way that paces the assessment and learning load, and allowing you to develop skills without feeling overwhelmed.
Three professional practice placements totalling 800 hours (minimum) take place in two different settings (to be agreed upon with employers) and are supported by professional practitioners as Visiting Lecturers/practice tutors. Professional practice is assessed against the National Occupational Standards. In the final year, apprentices are supported to prepare to submit and complete an End Point Assessment (EPA).
*We are seeking JNC recognition as a professional youth and community work qualification for this programme, though the validation process is not yet complete

Why this course at Marjon?

We have over 25 years' experience in training outstanding youth and community professionals.

As a student at Marjon you will be welcomed into the student community.

The course is accredited by the National Youth Agency (subject to validation).

The flexible design enables a diverse student body from across the South West region, providing opportunities to learn from each other.

The university offers all students the best support with digital information and learning, and pastoral care.

The research active programme team are recognised leaders in their field.

Modules for this course

Modules on this course

1st Year

Engaging with Learning: Youth & Community Work
You will develop a range of skills that will support your academic and professional development e.g. accessing & using resources, reflective practice, critical thinking and understanding assessment. Working collaboratively around a shared passion you will develop practitioner knowledge and awareness that will support the development of your professional self. As part of this module, you'll undertake or refresh your safeguarding training.
Intro to YCW: Principles and practices
You will explore the nature of youth & community work, its histories, values and process and the many different settings and methods associated with youth & community work practice. You’ll develop an understanding of key concepts such as participation and empowerment and how these are central to informal education.
Interpersonal communication and relationship skills
You will explore the elements of effective interpersonal communication and how conversation is used for informal learning purposes. You’ll develop an understanding of communication models, verbal, non-verbal and para-language. You will develop your understanding of personal & professional boundaries and skills in developing trusting relationships.
Level 1 Professional Practice
You will complete 220 hours of supervised practice in your setting over a twelve week period and achieve a range of National Occupational Standards. You’ll develop understanding and skills in forming positive relationships and using these to create opportunities for informal learning.
Diversity, inclusion and social justice
You will explore the key concepts of social divisions e.g. class, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, age and religion, and the nature and impact of discrimination. You’ll develop an understanding of the significance of power, language, discourse and inequalities and increase your awareness of your own history, biography and value base.
Issues and Interventions
You will explore a range of contemporary social issues e.g. health, housing, employment, crime and develop an understanding of the social construction of issues and policy responses. Using an enquiry- based groupwork approach you will create a learning resource for youth & community work practice.

2nd Year

Policy & Practice
You will explore the political landscape, political perspectives on social policy and the policy-making process of the UK, and the construction of the welfare subject. You’ll develop an understanding of the role of social movements and community action in challenging injustice and discrimination.
Developing and leading projects
You will develop an understanding of project management and, working collaboratively, use this to design and implement a project. You’ll develop skills in needs assessment, planning, project design and evaluation. You’ll demonstrate creativity, innovation and enterprise as well as team work, conflict resolution, self-management and accountability.
Youth & Community Practice in the Digital World* (name subject to validation)
You will explore the concepts and dimensions of digital practice, including digital equity, wellbeing, safeguarding, pedagogy and citizenship. You will develop knowledge and skills, and informed awareness of the increasing role of digital technologies in community life. You will demonstrate an understanding of the impact of digital and technological advances on community and society.
Practitioner Research
You will develop an understanding of the purpose and practice of practitioner research. You’ll gain an understanding of research ethics and reflexivity and skills in research methods, reviewing literature, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis. You’ll be prepared to conduct your practitioner research project.
Level 2 Professional Practice
You will complete 360 hours of supervised practice in your setting over a twelve week period and achieve a range of National Occupational Standards. You’ll develop understanding and skills in organising and managing a specific project within the setting.

3rd Year

Organising, Leading & Managing Practice
You will explore a range of management and leadership theories and examine how these work in practice. You’ll develop an understanding of the distinctive and changing culture of youth work organisations, including social entrepreneurship, models of social enterprise and social investment. You’ll explore strategic development and leadership and the funding of youth & community work.
Working in and with communities
You will explore key concepts relevant to community-based practice and demonstrate an informed awareness of your professional role and your contribution to partnership, integrated teams and multi-professional practice. This will include confidently applying your own criteria of judgment, challenging received opinion and engaging in professional debate.
Changing Practice: contemporary controversies and dilemmas
You will explore the range of issues, controversies & complexities which underlie contemporary youth and community work practice. You’ll have the opportunity to critically assess a current issue, controversy or complexity which underlies your own practice. You’ll develop a critical understanding of the professional role as educator in relation to other professional interventions in the lives of young people and communities.
Level 3 Professional Practice
You will complete 220 hours of supervised practice in an alterntive appropriate setting over a twelve week period and achieve a range of National Occupational Standards. You’ll develop understanding of implementing youth & community work strategy within the setting, and awareness of how to engage young people in the strategic development of youth and community work.
My Professional Identity** (name subject to validation)
You will reflect on your practical and academic experiences on the programme and consider how you have developed your identity, agency and voice as a professional youth and community worker. You will explore key concepts including self-care, resilience, empathy and compassion, and undertake planning for continuous professional development.
End point assessment
You will undertake the Apprenticeships End Point Assessment, which comprises three assessment tasks: (1) observation of practice; (2) professional discussion and portfolio of evidence and (3) presentation.

Please note: This course is subject to validation which means that it is either a new course or that the content is currently being updated. You can apply for this course now while some of the details of the course are being finalised by the University. Please contact the course leader if you would like further information.

Perfect if you're curious about...

The current issues facing young people and communities, and how youth and community work helps address these issues.

The best practices for engaging with young people and fostering positive relationships.

How youth and community workers develop and implement effective programmes and initiatives that meet the needs of the community.

How youth and community workers effectively collaborate with other organisations and stakeholders to achieve common goals.

The ethical considerations and challenges involved in working with young people and communities, and how can these be navigated.

Developing the key skills and competencies required to be an effective youth and community worker, and how can these be maintained over time.

What might I become?

A JNC Professionally Qualified Youth Worker, with the ability to work across the public and voluntary sectors, in a range of settings, including youth and community work organisations, housing projects, and in public health-related projects.

How you’ll be taught and assessed?

How will you be taught?

Youth Work is a distinctive body of professional practice held together by a commitment to a set of shared values: participation, inclusion, empowerment, partnership and learning. Teaching on the programme is aligned with the educational processes that apprentices use in community settings, whilst recognising the formal and assessed nature of the degree. Apprentices’ ability to apply academic theory to their direct work with young people and communities is crucial to their achievement of professional status.

How will you be assessed?

Assessments reflect and enhance the duties and skills required within your employment, with assessment tasks based on coursework (essays, reports, academic posters, reviews, blogs), presentations and placement files that include reflective practice and self-assessment.

Tracy Hayes, lecturer at Plymouth Marjon University

Dr Tracy Ann Hayes

Course leader

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Tracy is excited to be leading this innovative and collaborative programme that supports the development of youth and community professionals across the south-west region.

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £ - The fees for this course are covered by your employer and the Government. You will not be required to pay any tuition fees or take out a tuition loan.

As an apprentice, you will be paid a salary as an employee. Through the Apprenticeship Levy of the supporting organisation (your employer), the following services are provided at no cost: tripartite reviews, End-Point Assessment (EPA), access to course-specific equipment and facilities including the Clinical Simulation Suite Associated academic services including the library, study skills training, IT support, student support and wellbeing services, and membership of the Student Union.

Additional costs:

You should budget for these potential additional costs:

  • Travel to and from placement
  • Accommodation and general living costs
  • Textbooks
  • Stationary
  • Printing/photocopying
  • Possible discretionary trips and activities

Funding available for this course

Note for employers: For larger employers, apprenticeship levy funding can fully meet the costs of training, assessment and certification. For smaller employers, funding may be available to support fees. Please contact the Programme Leader for further details.


Professor Jon Ord


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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 practice 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.

Robert Reynolds

Visiting Lecturer

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I have been a practising youth and community worker for 25 years. I started my youth work career as a volunteer and over the years worked my way up to full professional practice and management.

Apply now for this course