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Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations

  • Youth Justice Agency
  • Youth Club
  • Opportunity Youth
  • Start 360
  • Youth Action
  • 5 Health & Social Care Trusts
  • Education Authority

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Assistant Youth Support Worker
  • Community Support Worker
  • Support Worker
  • Youth Leader
  • Youth Worker


A one year pre-voational introduction to Community Youth Studies


This course is run by the Ulster University in partnership with Youth Action Northern Ireland and YMCA Ireland (in Belfast and Magee).

This one-year programme provides training at pre-vocational level. Attendance is one day each week. The course provides education and training for students in the concepts and methods of community youth work relevant to the needs of the young people from diverse backgrounds. The course has an excellent track record for providing further access into Higher Education and those interested in continuing to a recognised NSETS/JNC professional qualification in youth work. Successful completion of the course enables students to apply for the BSc in Community Youth Work. Students come from all backgrounds and regularly include mature students returning to study.

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About this course

In this section


The aim of the Certificate in Community Youth Studies is to introduce students to the basic principles and practice that are needed to work with young people and to become competent practitioners at this level, informed by appropriate theoretical perspectives, models of good practice, and evidence. It will equip students with the relevant skills, knowledge, values and understanding to enable them to engage and build relationships with young people, achieve academic results, as well as improve performance and productivity in the work place. The course provides students with an introduction to the approaches and frameworks used within contemporary youth work practice in Northern and Southern Ireland. It also provides an introduction to local and national contexts in which community youth work operates and gives an insight into the historical, theoretical and research perspectives that inform contemporary youth work practice.

Students will also be encouraged to draw on experience in their own work-based agencies to reflect on practice in order to integrate theory and utilise evidence informed approaches.

It also seeks to challenge, motivate and encourage aspiration in individual students to pursue further study and undertake professional study.


The course is delivered by part-time mode with a one day per week attendance requirement over one year (Thursday at Magee or Wednesday in Belfast). The venue for the Belfast course is 14 College Square North, Belfast.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Students will be engaged in a range of learning environments including lectures, workshops, small group work and tutorials. Asessments includes presentations, poster presentations, essays, reflective journals, project proposals, report writing and work-based projects.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

Read more

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

The Context of Youth Work

Year: 1

This module assists students to develop a deeper understanding of the backdrop and context within which youth work operates. To understand the backdrop, students will grapple with a historical perspective on how the youth work sector has developed; to include the impact of 'the troubles' on the shape of youth work responses. This understanding of youth work policy will equip students to understand the current structures and funding mechanisms of the youth sector. This module brings together local and global influences, perspectives and drivers that impact upon the direction and practice of youth work. This is foundational in understanding the guiding principles of the youth work discipline.

The Foundations for Youth Work Practice

Year: 1

This module aims to support Community Youth Work students to develop interpersonal skills in working with individuals and groups and understand the pedagogical processes of youth work. It is designed to build upon existing experiences of the student and hence experiential learning and participatory teaching methods are utilised. The module will equip students with the core theoretical concepts and methods of interpersonal skills in a community youth work context. It will provide students with an in-depth grounding in the principles and practices of informal education.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

There is no A Level requirement for this course. Please refer to Additional Entry Requirements for more information.


You must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE pass in English Language at grade C or above (or equivalent).

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

Applicants should be working (paid or voluntary) for 12-16 hours per week for an employer within the Community Youth Work field. Applicants must also provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English. (GCSE English ‘C’ grade or equivalent). Evidence of Level 2 and Level 3 study in a community youth work recognised by the Youth Work Training Board is preferred for example OCNNI Level 2 Certificate in Youth Work Practice.

Exemptions and transferability

There are no options to transfer, as this is a pre-vocational and pre-degree course.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:

  • Youth Justice Agency
  • Youth Club
  • Opportunity Youth
  • Start 360
  • Youth Action
  • 5 Health & Social Care Trusts
  • Education Authority

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

  • Assistant Youth Support Worker
  • Community Support Worker
  • Support Worker
  • Youth Leader
  • Youth Worker

Career options

A career in community youth work can lead to jobs in the public, voluntary and community sectors and in a wide range of areas, such as;

  • Youth Centre Based Work
  • Projects and area based work in the Education Authority
  • Community Relations Work
  • Alternative Education
  • Various project based work that may address issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, mental health, gender equality etc
  • Some community youth workers also follow careers in the criminal justice system.

The course has an excellent track record for providing further access into Higher Education. A significant number of students progress on to the BSc (Hons) Community Youth Work degree to pursue their professional qualification. As a professionally qualified youth worker a wider range of positions and career paths are available.

Also some students undertake further study in other related fields and disciplines, for example Sociology, Psychology and Community Development.

Work placement / study abroad

Students are required to undertake a small work-based project in the organisation they work in.


How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to our part-time undergraduate courses are made through the University’s online application system.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

To find out more about fees related to this course please visit

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


  1. The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
  2. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  3. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  4. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  5. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.