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Youth Work and Communities - BA (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2025/26 Entry. Switch to 2024/25 Entry

The Youth Work and Communities degree at BCU is a contemporary and exciting course, which has accreditation from the Joint Negotiating Committee, which is the Professional body that accredits Youth Workers in England and Wales....

  • Level Undergraduate
  • Study mode Full Time/Part Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School School of Social Sciences
  • Faculty Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences

This course is:

Open to International Students


[00:00:02] Sangeeta Soni Youth and Community Work is a vocation that comes from the heart. We've got some really innovative practise here, for example, in the second year, we've got a module on entrepreneurship, things like digital youth work.

[00:00:15] Sarah Humpage The course, the fact that it is JNC recognised, which is important for me. It comes with placements as well, so that by the time I do finish my degree, I won't only have the qualification, but I'll have the relevant work experience to be able to go out and get a job.

[00:00:29] Sangeeta Soni We have 800 hours of placement, which runs over all three years of the course.

[00:00:33] Chloe Dennis-Green The types of organisations that we have on board at the moment are quite a big mixture.

[00:00:38] Aftab Rahman We're very excited at the prospect of taking on student placements because they will bring energy, ideas and also be able to engage with young people in a new and meaningful way.

[00:00:49] Tom Clarke-Forrest Whilst on placement with us, students will be supporting the front line staff, so we'll be working with them on the ground, really getting experience and skills of working in the community and with young people.

[00:01:00] Sangeeta Soni This is a good time to be a youth work student because I think there's a regeneration taking place within the sector.

[00:01:06] Aftab Rahman The traditional youth work settings, they don't operate in the same way. They need a new breed of youth workers.

[00:01:12] Tom Clarke-Forrest There's a real eclectic range of jobs that you can go into. It's not just directly working with young people. There's also opportunities around marketing and administration, management leadership strategy - so much.

[00:01:24] Chloe Dennis-Green Could potentially fund their own enterprise within youth work.

[00:01:27] Sangeeta Soni Community interest companies, social enterprises, et cetera.

[00:01:30] Tom Clarke-Forrest Students can be really ambitious about what the sector can provide to them.

[00:01:34] Sarah Humpage For anyone that's considering to study youth work and communities at BCU, I'd definitely say go for it.

[00:01:40] Sangeeta Soni You're coming onto a course creating professionals with skills where ultimately they can do impact on other people's lives in a huge way. It's a very unique profession. A very unique way of working with people, and I think is phenomenal.

The Youth Work and Communities degree at BCU is a contemporary and exciting course, which has accreditation from the Joint Negotiating Committee, which is the Professional body that accredits Youth Workers in England and Wales.

The course has been designed with key stakeholders, including the National Youth Agency, UK Youth, youth work managers, practitioners and young people themselves, to integrate the core knowledge and skills required to jump-start a successful career, working with young people and communities, whether that be in the public sector, non-governmental organisations/voluntary field or private sector.

Practice skills, cultural competencies, communication, placement and community engagement opportunities, have been built-in throughout the programme, to ensure students incrementally develop the essential and specialist skills and expertise to build thriving careers, working with diverse young people and communities.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

  • A JNC recognised qualification to work in Youth Work, which is also valued and recognised in many other ‘people work’ contexts and sectors, in the UK and across the globe
  • A core focus on diversity, equality and social difference. We offer opportunities to learn and work on placement in Britain’s second biggest city, with highly diverse young people and communities, in a vibrant urban context of rapid social change. This experience is supported with diversity-oriented learning on core modules
  • A core leadership and enterprise strand, which runs throughout the programme, to develop skills to fast-track your career through strategic, project management and youth work organisational skills
  • A global focus and commitment throughout modules, and in two dedicated modules, situated in level 5 and level 6, which prepare students for careers that could lead to employment anywhere in the world. We integrate global issues in youth and community across your studies, such as refugee and migrant support, cross-cultural working, working in situations of conflict and anti-modern slavery/anti-trafficking practice
  • Opportunities at level 5 and 6 to select optional modules including: mental health and counselling approaches, black political activism, youth, crime and justice
  • Excellent placements throughout the three years to provide experiential learning and opportunities to build professional networks and your own field of interest in youth and community
  • Research skills training specifically focused upon working with diverse communities and young people
  • Coverage of innovative and creative digital skills and practice for youth and community work

Why Choose Us?

  • We aim to infuse learning with exposure to real-world experiences. Through participation in the Social Impact Hub, we give students the chance to work on real-life projects. These offer a unique opportunity for students to gain this invaluable experience while they study.
  • We pride ourselves on being the University for Birmingham and our commitment to contribute to the city and local community. As part of this commitment, we have forged strong links with local organisations across the city and many graduates end up playing valuable roles in the local community.
  • We have strong links with West Midlands Police and regularly welcome serving officers and experts to give guest lectures and provide opportunities for exposure to real-world activities.
  • We have a strong focus on employability and through placement opportunities and our links with local businesses, we aim to ensure you graduate not only with your degree but also with the skills and knowledge needed to embark on your chosen career.
  • The STEAMhouse offers amazing opportunities for entrepreneurial students to kick start and build a business or organisation. Services available include the Incubator which helps focus and solidify business ideas and the Hatchery which offers support in getting your business or organisation off the ground.

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to learn about this course in detail, chat to students, explore our campus and tour accommodation. In the week before the event, we’ll post you an event programme to plan your day and find your way.

Next Open Day: 29 June 2024

Book Now

Entry Requirements

These entry requirements apply for entry in 2025/26.

All required qualifications/grades must have been achieved and evidenced at the earliest opportunity after accepting an offer to help confirm admission and allow for on-time enrolment. This can also include other requirements, like a fee status form and relevant documents. Applicants can track their application and outstanding information requests through their BCU mySRS account.

Essential requirements

112 UCAS tariff points

Please note: If you qualify for our BCU Accelerate scheme, you could receive an offer that is two grades below our normal entry requirements. Find out more about BCU Accelerate.

If you have a qualification that is not listed, please contact us.

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2025

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • £1542 per 20 credits
  • Year 1 - 80 credits
  • Year 2 - 80 credits
  • Year 3 - 80 credits
  • Year 4 - 80 credits
  • Year 5 - 40 credits

Fees for Part-time students

This course can be studied on a Part-time study basis. The cost per year of study is based on credit requirements for that year.

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2025

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.


You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites and available through our library.


We will cover the cost of any Enhanced DBS related to placements, and offer a small bursary towards placement costs.

Placement expenses (mandatory)

When undertaking your placements in each of the 3 years of your course, which are built-in components to the course, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

Some modules may suggest that you purchase a key textbook. All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. Many students choose to purchase a copy.

Field trips (optional)

This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Guidance for UK students

UK students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS

  1. Register with UCAS
  2. Login to UCAS and complete your details
  3. Select your course and write a personal statement
  4. Get a reference
  5. Pay your application fee and submit your application

Guidance for International students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

The personal statement gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

  • Course choice - Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
  • Career plans - If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
  • Work experience - Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
  • School or college experience - Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
  • Non-accredited skills or achievement - eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Worried about Personal Statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Course in Depth

First Year

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Second Year

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits).

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules.

Final Year

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 80 credits).

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete at least 40 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules.

Download course specification

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"The youth and community degree provides an opportunity for students to engage in a bold and thoughtful new subject of study at BCU. The course will meaningfully engage with contemporary issues that require responses from across the voluntary and public sectors.

Students will not only be provided with learning opportunities on the social, cultural, political and economic factors that impact youth and community work, they will also learn about employment pathways upon completion of the degree. BCU’s strong partnerships with local employers will provide work placement opportunities to enhance students’ learning and employability.

Combining theory and practice, this degree is an essential offer to young people who wish to develop and enhance their knowledge and skills to include critical, analytical and reflective thinking within a youth and community work setting."

Halima Nessa, Head of National Programmes, UK Youth

"This course is an excellent opportunity for an individual to gain both theoretical and practical experience to prepare them for a career in youth work. It balances knowledge with real life experience to support people for a real world role, ensuring that students engage with different types of working and learning as a practice for the working world.

Students will be able to specialise in subject areas that resonate with them, and I am particularly excited about the discussions on themes surrounding diversity and inclusion for students that want to work in those areas.

The course situates itself well in the wider context of the University’s aim to become embedded in its local landscape, helping to support the people of Birmingham."

Sharan Dhanda – BeatFreeks


Enhancing employability

We work closely with employers in the West Midlands working in Youth Work organisations to support the course with placement opportunities, guest lectures and the occasional field trips to see the work in action.

Throughout your time on the programme there will be the option to seek additional support from the Careers + service and Graduate + service helping you to shape your skills in CV writing and Interview preparation.

We will work with you throughout your time on the programme to seek the best next steps whether that be employment, research or building on your education level to study a Master’s degree.


Having accreditation from the National Youth Agency, our degree programme includes a mandatory 800 hours of placement to complete in order for you to get your professional Youth Work status from the JNC (Joint Negotiating Committee).

There will be a number of placement opportunities throughout your time on the programme and we have links with local authorities, community, and charity organisations as well as encouraging you to develop your own youth work projects and programmes.

As placement is an integral part of the course, with one placement module per year, there is opportunity to network with employers, gain valuable and relevant experience and shadow other youth workers in their field.

This will not only develop your professional skillset but will leave you with a portfolio of contacts and potentially paid opportunities beyond your degree.


Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Facilities & Staff

Curzon facilities eatery
Curzon facilities staircase
Curzon facilities student hub

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and have spent over £400 million on new learning facilities.

The Curzon Building

This course is based at our City Centre Campus – and specifically The Curzon Building, alongside other social sciences, law and business students.

The £63m building offers students a unique social learning space, including a dedicated student hub incorporating student support services, in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development.

Realistic, simulated environments include two mock court rooms, a Magistrates' and Crown Court, and an interviewing suite. We’re also exploring the use of virtual environments as a way to develop case study analysis.

For those studying on the BSc (Hons) Professional Policing or BA (Hons) Criminology, Policing and Investigation degrees, you’ll experience simulations of police interviewing environments for both suspects and witnesses, with access to tape recording and video playback analysis. You’ll also be able to utilise our unique mobile crime scene to simulate true-to-life and interactive situational simulations.

Crime investigation files are prepared using computer-based technology, and the crime data analysis requirements of the degree are supported by appropriate statistical and analytical software.

Psychology students can look forward to using state-of-the-art equipment as well, including the latest in eye-tracking software, and our new EEG machine, all geared towards giving you true hands-on experience with tools you’ll be using in your later career. You will also benefit from facilities across the wider campus including the Parkside and Millennium Point buildings.

The Curzon Building also features:

  • An impressive library with access to over 65 million full text items and stunning views of Eastside City Park
  • Your Students’ Union which is located in a beautifully restored 19th century pub, The Eagle and Ball
  • A modern 300-seat food court with space to study and socialise
  • Accessible IT facilities with full Office365 for all students for free
  • Shared facilities with the wider campus including the Parkside Building and Millennium Point

Our staff

Dr Sarah Pemberton

Head of Law, Social and Criminal Justice

Having initially studied Social Policy as an undergraduate Sarah became immersed in the study of the social world, this served as the foundation for an unrelenting interest in social research which she pursues to this day. 

More about Sarah

Chloe Dennis-Green

Lecturer in Youth Work and Communities

Having years of practice experience with young people, Chloe Dennis-Green is now keen to support the next wave of innovative youth workers in the sector. The underpinning of youth work is something she is passionate about passing on but also Chloe is also looking forward to shaping what youth work looks like in this digital age.

More about Chloe