Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
School of Applied Social and Policy Sciences
A one year pre-vocational introduction to Community Youth Studies
This course is run by 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 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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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.
Students will be engaged in a range of learning environments including lectures, workshops, small group work and tutorials. Assessments include presentations, poster presentations, essays, reflective journals, project proposals, report writing and work-based projects.
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until near the start date and may be subject to change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days of attendance will often be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Masters courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have four learning outcomes, and no more than two items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6 (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Masters degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
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 (20%) or Lecturers (55%).
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) by Advanced HE - 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.
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 2021-2022.
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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.
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In this module, students will build their understanding of the concept of youth, development and of issues related to youth-adult transitions. Students will engage with knowledge and theoretical concepts from sociology to build a richer understanding of the complexity of young people's lives. Students will use these perspectives to link this new knowledge with existing and emerging trends in youth work methodologies and approaches.
In this module students will be asked to examine their own practice and be expected to make connections with teaching and learning across the taught modules. It will help students track their learning and development from the Working with young people module and build reflective and critical thinking skills. This will build an understanding of self and how the self is a core tool in working with young people in transformative practice.
This work-based learning is designed for students to practice their programming skills and youth work concepts in a real-world scenario. Students will gain knowledge of models of practice and youth work approaches and test their skills in operationalising these theories in practice. Students will build planning skills and evaluative skills in preparing for assessments and consider ways to navigate the complexities of working on behaviour change with young people.
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.
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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 area recognised by the Youth Work Training Board is preferred e.g. OCNNI Level 2 Certificate in Youth Work Practice
You must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE pass at Grade C/4 or above in English Language
Level 2 Certificate in Essential Skills - Communication will be accepted as equivalent to GCSE English.
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.
There are no options to transfer, as this is a pre-vocational and pre-degree course.
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Graduates from this course are now working for:
With this degree you could become:
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:
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.
Students are required to undertake a small work-based project within their work organisation.
Fees illustrated are based on academic year 22/23 entry and are subject to an annual increase.
If your study continues into future academic years your fees are subject to an annual increase. Please take this into consideration when you estimate your total fees for a degree.
Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply.
The price of your overall programme will be determined by the number of credit points that you initiate in the relevant academic year.
For modules commenced in the academic year 2022/23, the following fees apply:
|Credit Points||NI/ROI Cost||GB Cost||International Cost|
NB: A standard full-time undergraduate degree is equivalent to 120 credit points per year.
It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. 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 Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.
There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.
See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.
Course Director: Gail Neil
Bridget Madden, Admissions
International Admissions Office