Community Youth Studies - Certificate

2025/26 Part-time Undergraduate course

Award:

Certificate

Faculty:

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School:

School of Applied Social and Policy Sciences

Campus:

Derry~Londonderry campus

Start date:

September 2025

With this degree you could become:

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

Graduates from this course are now working for:

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

Overview

A one year pre-vocational introduction to Community Youth Studies

Summary

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.

We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.

About this course

About

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.

Attendance

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 2025

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

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.

Attendance and Independent Study

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:

  • Attendance and Independent Study

    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 close to the start date and may be subject to some 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 and periods of attendance will 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, 20, or 40 credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate courses 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. Teaching and learning activities will be in-person and/or online depending on the nature of the course. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

    Postgraduate Master’s 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

    Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes.  You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessments. This feedback may be issued individually and/or issued to the group and you will be encouraged to act on this feedback for your own development.

    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, the assessment timetable and the assessment brief. 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 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 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 module pass mark for undergraduate courses is 40%. The module pass mark for postgraduate courses is 50%.

  • Calculation of the Final Award

    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 Master’s 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 from the academic year 2022-2023.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 60% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (19%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (22%) 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 and learning support staff (85%) are recognised as fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advance 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 from the academic year 2022-2023.

Modules

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

Perspectives on Young People

Year: 1

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.

The Reflective Practitioner

Year: 1

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.

Working with Young People

Year: 1

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.

Standard 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.

A level

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

GCSE

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

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.

Exemptions and transferability

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

Careers & opportunities

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course are now working for:

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

Job roles

With this degree you could become:

  • 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 within their work organisation.

Apply

Start dates

  • September 2025

Fees and funding

2025/26 Fees

Undergraduate fees are subject to annual review, 2025/26 fees will be announced in due course.

See our tuition fees page for the current fees for 2024/25 entry.

Additional mandatory costs

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.

Contact

We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.


For more information visit

Disclaimer

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.