Youth Work BA (Hons) (Single Honours)
2014 - 2015
Bachelor of Arts (Single Honours)
University of Chester
University of Chester
Undergraduate Modular Programme
Full-time and Part-time
Classroom / Laboratory,
3 years full time
Annual - September
Education & Children's Services
Academic and Professional Programmes
QAA Benchmark Youth And Community Work (2009), the professional National Occupational Standards 2012, Youth Association of University Departments.
National Youth Agency. The NYA / JNC (Joint Negotiating Committee) are the accrediting bodies for professional training in Youth Work and provide the guidelines and standards for the endorsement of programmes for training professional youth workers JNC (Joint Negotiating Committee) endorsed. This is the key endorsement for training programmes for careers in professional Youth Work.
Faculty of Education and Children's Services
Thursday 1st December 2011
The Programme aims to:
Offer a professional and vocational training and degree qualification in Youth Work, endorsed by the National Youth Agency as a professional Youth Work training programme.
Address the Subject Benchmark In Youth Work (and Community Studies) 2009.
Align with the Professional National Occupational Standards for Youth Work.
Prepare students for vocational and professional practice in a range of professions related to work with young people - Youth Centres, Juvenile Justice, Voluntary and Secular Youth Agencies, Faith-based organisations.
Develop understanding of the concepts and principles of Youth Work, work with young people and including a critical appreciation of their relevance to young peoples’ needs in a variety of contexts.
Develop intellectual skills appropriate to Youth Work, young people, contexts and approaches.
Develop a range of practical skills appropriate to Youth Work and working with young people in a variety of contexts and settings, including the making of critical judgements relative to the needs and constraints of context.
Encourage students to develop inclusive and anti-oppressive practice in their own settings as well as in the wider social context of education and integrated service approaches to work with young people.
Equip students with the ability to deal with complex ethical issues through sound moral reasoning, including an understanding of how values are explored and expressed in informal and formal contexts.
Draw on and extend current thinking and practice in relation to the development of knowledge and understanding, skills and abilities, and personal values and commitment.
Offer opportunities for students to audit, evaluate, interpret and enhance their own and other's skills within the context of Youth Work and the wider social and political context of work with young people.
Develop skills in a number of complementary methods of study, such as, social hermeneutics and discourse, empirical, speculative, and social scientific.
Develop transferable skills such as communication; formulating and evaluating a coherent argument, the appropriate use of data and evidence, the awareness of the implications of divergent views; the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making; resolving problems and making decisions in contexts involving some complexity.
To offer a Programme in full-time and part-time modes.
Qualify students for admission to Postgraduate Programmes.
Knowledge and Understanding Level 4: knowledge of key concepts and principles of Youth Work, including an appreciation of their relevance to a particular context, and an ability to evaluate and interpret them. This knowledge and understanding is drawn from classroom, private study and from work experience. Level 5: the ability to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and principles of Youth Work, including a critical appreciation of their relevance to specific contexts – and to evaluate and interpret these with recognition of their complexity. For example, students will have a knowledge of the history and development of Youth Work since 1945 (an NYA requirement), as well as a sound knowledge of the principles underlying personal and social education, group work, informal education, community action, Equal Opportunities and Diversity, policies, procedures, ethics and legalities relating to young people and the Youth Work curriculum – applicable to secular, voluntary and faith-based contexts. This knowledge and understanding is drawn from classroom, private study and from work experience. Level 6: detailed knowledge and critical understanding of the subject, with reference to advanced scholarship and with an appreciation of uncertainty and ambiguity. This will include an understanding of the concepts and principles of Youth Work, including a critical appreciation of their relevance to charitable, cultural, faith-based, secular and voluntary organisations andan evaluation and interpretation with recognition of their complexity; understanding of the expectations of employing bodies, the impact of social policy, and the links between these. This knowledge and understanding is drawn from classroom, research and work experience. Thinking or Cognitive Skills Level 4: demonstrate basic intellectual skills appropriate to Youth Work and contextual reflection, including the evaluation of the appropriateness of different approaches to problem-solving in these areas and an open and questioning approach to familiar and new material. Level 5: the ability to demonstrate their competence in intellectual skills appropriate to Youth Work and contextual reflection, including the evaluation and demonstration of the appropriateness of different and potentially conflicting approaches to problem solving in these areas. For example, students will be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of the educational techniques and interventions employed in Youth Work, the relational, support and educational role of the youth worker, and an ability to reflect critically (professionally and personally) upon their own and other's experience. Level 6: application of a number of complementary methods of study, such as, philosophical, phenomenological, empirical, speculative, and social scientific; apply these methods to review, consolidate and extend their knowledge and understanding; Intellectual skills appropriate to Youth Work and contextual reflection, including the evaluation and demonstration of the appropriateness of different and potentially conflicting approaches to problem solving in these areas; reflection on their personal development in relation to issues within Youth Work and personal beliefs and values in variety of contexts. Practical Skills Level 4: the ability to demonstrate basic practical skills and the application of knowledge appropriate to Youth Work and contextual reflection, including the making of sound judgements relative to the needs of context. Level 5: the ability to demonstrate a range of practical skills and the application of knowledge appropriate to secular, faith-based and voluntary sector Youth Work contexts, including the making of critical judgements relative to the needs of context. For example, students will have a proven ability to assess and respond appropriately to individual needs, manage a range of intervention techniques and initiate and implement developmental work relative to group, community and cultural context. Practical skills in group work, listening skills, working with individuals, designing learning programmes, identifying and responding to need. Level 6: the ability to demonstrate a range of practical skills and the application of knowledge appropriate to Youth Work in secular and voluntary sector contexts, including the making of critical judgements relative to the needs of context. The ability to use library resources in order to identify and retrieve source material, compile bibliographies, inform research and enhance presentations. The ability to use information technology (IT) and computer skills for data capture, to identify and retrieve material and support research and presentations. Key Skills - Communication, Application of Number, Information Literacy and Technology, Improving own Learning and Performance, Working with Others, Problem Solving
Oral, written, non-verbal, I.T. and presentation skills; ability to communicate with a wide variety of individuals and groups in a variety of ways.
Project planning, aspects of finance, statistics, fundraising.
IT supported presentations, internet knowledge, IT data retrieval, general IT literacy.
Lifelong learning, reflective practice, personal development.
Working with individuals, group work, team work, listening, intervention, advocacy, enabling learning and management and supervisory skills.
Decision making, resolving conflict and problems of some complexity, identifying and addressing need, project development, designing learning, critical reflection and analysis.
Transferable Professional Skills Level 4: the ability to communicate accurately and demonstrate appropriate use of primary and secondary sources, with full and accurate references, within a structured and coherent argument; demonstrate basic skills of auditing, evaluating and interpreting their own skills within the context of Youth Work and contextual reflection. Level 5: the ability to formulate a coherent argument, with appropriate use of data and evidence, and with an awareness of the implications of divergent views; audit, evaluate, interpret and enhance their own and others’ skills within the context of Youth Work and contextual reflection, with particular attention to the exercise of personal responsibility and involvement in decision-making processes; communicate the results of their study in a variety of forms and with accuracy and coherence, as well as identifying the broader principles, issues and implications involved; resolve problems and make decisions in contexts involving some complexity. For example, students will have a range of communication (active and passive) techniques, planning and evaluative skills and an ability to demonstrate a capacity to plan and manage in a manner appropriate to context. Students will also exercise and develop written and oral skills, relational, supportive and supervisory skills, critical and reflective skills, and those necessary for project development and teamwork. Level 6: skills appropriate for project development and curriculum development; management and organisation skills related to projects, staff and Youth Work development. Development of projects and assignments which sustain and evaluate an argument, largely through independent enquiry and which draw on a range of scholarly resources including research articles and primary sources; resolve problems and make decisions in contexts involving some complexity.
The BA in Youth Work offers students both the opportunity to study for a JNC endorsed qualification and to develop an understanding of wider opportunities of professional work with young people in a variety of related areas. The over-arching structure of this three year Programme has been designed to incorporate key values, skill sets and principles necessary for professional accreditation (JNC framework and Professional National Occupational Standards) and facilitate best pedagogical practice (FHEQ and wider requirements). Taken together, every element of the Programme design also embodies the core accepted values of contemporary professional Youth Work: relationships; informal education; Equal Opportunities; employability; voluntary attendance and advocacy.
Beyond these guiding philosophies, the framework of the three year Programme can be seen to rest upon four complementary and interlocking themes: a) Youth Work theory and practice; b) Understanding of young people, their needs, growth and development; c) Legal, social and professional contexts; d) Fieldwork practice / placements. These themes form the central 'pillars' of a spiral approach to the curriculum (Bruner): the structure of the curriculum and ordering of each of the individual modules will allow students to re-visit and reflect on each of the fundamental areas at every stage, gaining deeper understanding and specialism at each level. Such design also ensures that core professional skills can be practised and developed throughout the Programme and that there are multiple opportunities for cross fertilisation and reinforcement between modules. This can be seen in the BA Youthwork Programme Map (appendix one).
Levels 4 and 5 are entirely comprised of core modules. Each of the modules, however, offer opportunities for student reflection (in line with the principles outlined above) and opportunities for students to draw upon their professional experience, where relevant through processes of reflection, application and exploration.
The Level 4 exit award is a Certificate in Youth Studies (not professionally endorsed)
The Level 5 exit award is a Diploma in Youth Studies (not professionally endorsed).
At Level 6, 100 credits are core due to professional requirements integral to the study.
Students choose one option from a range of topics - from Education, or where the schedule permits it from Law or TRS. These optional modules include, for example, LA6004 Child Law and Th6046 Religion and Culture.
Modules from different departments and Faculties within the Programme may have a different amount of contact time. In addition, hourage reflects the experiential nature and pedagogical approaches of the Programme.
At Levels 4 and 5 fieldwork placements are for each student, of a different nature: typically one in a voluntary organisation and one in a secular placement. Critical reflective practice of self in situ as well as the context is a requirement in both the secular and voluntary placement and thus students are able to explore organisational aims, values and professional approaches in context as well as reflect on personal growth and development gained from the experience of both settings.
The double Fieldwork Placement module is a longitudinal placement, part-time from October to April, which also affords opportunity for critical analysis of self in situ and a critical evaluation of the agency leading to recommendation for change and development for the future. The ability to use a range of skills to plan, facilitate the personal, social, educational and spiritual development of young people is brought together with the opportunity to plan an event with young people or related to work with young people e.g. training staff / volunteers and thus further develop skills in organisation, planning, leadership and teamwork.
The Fieldwork Placement modules at each level provide for 300 hours of placement-related work: at each level at least 150 hours is face-to-face with young people aged between 13-19. The total hourage over the 3 levels fulfils the minimum JNC requirement of 888 hours.
Part time students will share the same experience as full time students. The Programme team will ensure the relevant tutor is available to students for PAT meetings, tutorials and other supportive mechanisms as appropriate. All available opportunities to bring full and part time students together will be utilised for teaching, tutorial support and specific areas of the Programme.
The Programme delivery pattern is outlined in the Programme Management Document (pg 13).
R. Management in the context of multi-professional and multi-agency settings
Religion and Culture: Transformations of British Religious Life (1960-2010)
Level 4, 120 credits (60 ECTS)Interim Exit Award - Cert H.E. in Youth Studies (this is an academic award only, not professionally endorsed) Level 5, 120 credits (60 ECTS) Interim Exit Award Dip H.E. in Youth Studies (this is an academic award only, not professionally endorsed) Level 6, 120 credits (60 ECTS)BA Honours in Youth Work (JNC endorsed)
A minimum of 240 - 280 UCAS points, of which 160 - 200 points must be obtained from GCE A Levels, including a grade C in one subject.
The remaining points may be achieved from GCE AS Levels, or Level 3 Key Skills BTEC National Diploma/Certificate: pass/merit profile OCR National Extended Diploma/Diploma: pass/merit profileIrish Highers/Scottish Highers: C in 4 subjects International Baccalaureate: 24 points QAA recognised Access to HE Diploma, Open College Units or Open University Credits The Advanced Diploma: acceptable on its own.
These are the formal entry requirements but we welcome applications from students without the formal requirements but who nevertheless have an interest in and an aptitude for the Programme, and a commitment to the values and practice of Youth Work. Applicants need not have a qualification in Education or Law, although they need to be able to demonstrate their interest in Youth Work values and principles.
All suitable applicants will be interviewed. They must have worked for a period of time with young people in the 13-19 age-range, and this means on-going involvement, not just an occasional session,over a period of time, prior to starting the Programme. As a professional Youth Worker, they will need to show their commitment to the value-base of Youth Work, an open attitude, a willingness to listen, learn and critically reflect, as well as showing a commitment to build on their experience.
All applicants are required to be in possession of a Disclosure and Barring Service Enhanced Disclosure at the beginning of the Programme.
Admissions procedures and policies are consistent with other professional Programmes in the Faculty of Education and Children's Services, for example, the use of a standard proforma for the initial scrutiny of the UCAS application form; the use of a standard proforma to record the outcomes and decision making process of the interview process; invitation for Placement Supervisors to participate on interview panels.
As an integrated Programme equipping its students with the requisite skills-base in Youth Work the BA in Professional Youth Work is structured with reference to a number of 'benchmark' statements. The Programme Aims and Learning Outcomes and the corresponding module learning outcomes have been written to match guidelines in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.
The credits of the awards match FHEQ guidelines. Levels 4, 5 and 6 are FHEQ levels C, I and H.Youth Work - The most relevant ‘benchmark’ relating to Youth Work is the QAA Benchmark for Youth Work, Community Education and Development (2009). This benchmark statement has informed the development of the Programme, for example with respect to placements, inter-agency work, management focus at Level 6 and research element at Level 6. The Programme and student learning is also mapped against the Professional National Occupational Standards for Youth Work. An exercise, mapping the benchmark statement to the Programme can be found in appendix 10.
At the heart of all teaching and learning on the Programme are the essential skills of critical analysis and reflection, including reflexivity. Students are encouraged to become more aware of who they are by observing themselves and others, listening and discussing different perspectives and acting on the learning to become more effective Youth Work reflective practitioners who have developed the skills of criticality which has enabled them to identify and address areas for development. The starting points for learning are the students' experiences and knowledge and the learning needs and experiences of young people. The Programme learning and teaching strategies aim to draw out students' views and understanding and provide 'safe' opportunities for views and beliefs to be challenged, reviewed and discussed. Learning is further enhanced and progressed with tutors' teaching, experience, knowledge, reading and analysis of national policy shifts and theories and methodologies that are applicable to Youth Work practice which will be drawn from a wide pedagogic framework.
Thus students are active particiapants in the learning process, through classroom participation and discussion. The range of learning methods includes:
Informal and non-formal education
Presentations, discussions, debates
Personal reflexion, contextual reflection
Students leading sessions and seminars
These learning experiences are supported in fieldwork and class-delivered, tutorial-based activities and tutor-guided private study. The teaching methods are designed as much as possible to reflect Youth Work pedagogy and practice, i.e. informal and non-formal education, participative, empowering, group work and creative methods of encouraging learning.
The assessments address both academic learning outcomes and NYA Professional Competences, and a range of formative and summative assessment methods/tasks are used. Each method of assessment is chosen because of its fitness for purpose, relating to what is being assessed and the context (e.g. placement) within which assessment is taking place.
Many of the methods of assessment reflect forms of recording, reporting, presenting and other work-related activities which are required of professional youth workers.
Summative assessment methods include written assignments of varying lengths (e.g., 1,500 and 2,000, 4,000 words) and kinds (e.g., essay, book review) which are used as a staple form of summative assessment across the Programme. Students will also be assessed summatively by way of individual and group presentations, internet data-retrieval and IT-based exercises, portfolio composition, journal development, research and group-work projects, programme packs and placement recordings.
The fieldwork at level 4 and 5 is assessed through 2 forms of written work (a reflective placement report and a critical incident report) at level 6 one form of written work; and at all levels also through a holistic assessment by the academic tutor using the placement supervisor's observation, the student's oral report, and a student/tutor interview. These elements take place whilst the student is on a placement in a Youth Work setting. A tutor will attend the setting 3 times over the length of the placement, initially to set up the placement, then to offer formative assessment and further guidance (formative assessment is an intrinsic part of student learning: for example, recordings, group work, experiential exercises, presentations, fieldwork visit and peer assessment form a significant part of the learning experience in preparation for forms of summative assessment), and finally to formally assess the practice element of the module.
On successful completion of the Programme, students will be able to demonstrate a secure understanding of the concepts and principles of Youth Work, including a critical appreciation of their relevance to a variety of settings and contexts.They will possess developed intellectual skills appropriate to Youth Work and critical reflection, including the evaluation and demonstration of the appropriateness of different and potentially conflicting approaches to problem solving in these areas.
Graduates in Youth Work will be in possession of a range of practical skills appropriate to Youth Work and critical reflection, including the making of critical judgements relative to the needs of young people in both faith-based and secular contexts.
Further, students will be able to communicate the results of their study in a variety of forms and with accuracy and coherence, as well as identifying the broader principles, issues and implications involved. An ability to audit, evaluate, interpret and enhance their own and other's skills within the context of Youth Work studies, with particular attention to the exercise of personal responsibility and involvement in decision-making processes, will also be in evidence.
Typical and potential career paths: following the acquisition of this award and professional endorsement, students will be equipped to follow a number of related career pathways, including, e.g. Youth Work in the fith based, voluntary and public sectors, employment related to Social Services provision and other community and care-based professions, Connexions, schools' work, youth forums, youth arts, young women's projects, Youth Offending Teams, Young Offenders Prisons, International Camp Counsellors, and where faith-based, voluntary sector and areas of the public sector are looking to employ professional youth workers with a specialised knowledge and understanding of issues facing young people.
Diversity and equality are explicitly addressed as part of Youth Work core values. As a consequence, students examine issues relating to gender, age, race, religion, sexuality and disability etc.
The NYA's Statement of Values and Principles includes (5.1.4) the following practice principles:
Promoting just and fair behaviour, and challenging discriminatory actions and attitudes on the part of young people, colleagues and others;
Encouraging young people to respect and value difference and diversity, particularly in the context of a multi-cultural society;
Drawing attention to unjust policies and practices and actively seeking to change them;
Promoting the participation of all young people, and particularly those who have traditionally been discriminated against, in Youth Work, in public structures and in society generally;
Encouraging young people and others to work together collectively on issues of common concern.
A number of modules will address questions of equality and diversity: disability, gender, race and religious identity etc. creating an arena for the sharing of good practice, mutual understanding, sharing of common Youth Work and spiritual values from both professional and religious perspectives.
There are no faith requirements: the Programme is for those with a commitment to Youth Work values and principles, however we welcome students of different faiths and will support their specific beliefs, vocations and interest in faith based youth work - in keeping with youth work values and ethics. .
The Faculty of Education and Children Services actively and successfully address the University priorities regarding admissions, widening access and participation, Equal Opportunities and AP(E)L and it offers individual academic support to all its students.
Accreditation for Prior Experience and Learning (APEL) / Accreditation for Prior Learning (APL)
For JNC validated BA Youth Work Programmes:
Accreditation of prior learning (APL) refers to the accreditation of prior formal learning including assessed fieldwork practice. The Programme therefore:
· Only accepts tangible and assessable evidence, such as copies of certificates or transcripts, of a similar level of attainment in a comparable programme of study in an equivalent institutional setting;
· Allows advanced standing into level 4 or 5 of a BA Programme, only on condition that evidence clearly supports a level of professional formation equal to that of students on the Programme they are entering.
· Obtained by completing modules within a JNC Programme or by demonstrating academic understanding from completing related academic study, so that by the end of the third level they have met the full curriculum requirements of the Programme and Youth Work is evident at each level of student learning.
Professional practice: has completed field practice on another JNC validated Youth Work.
APEL refers to the accreditation of prior experiential learning that has not been formally assessed within credit bearing programmes but is the result of work and life experience. This is not permitted for advanced standing at Level 4 and 5 of this JNC validated Programme.
Admission to the beginning of professionally validated Programmes through the accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL) is valid, valuable and encouraged
The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.
Students successfully completing this Programme earn both an academic award and a professional endorsed award - JNC Youth Worker. The Programme will work with other Faculties and Departments to endeavour to promote opportunities to gain additional minor qualifications (over the course of 3 years) relevant to future employment and to enhance employability.e.g Child Protection Certificate; ASDAN Assessor; SRE, Food Hygiene; First Aid etc.
Students will be expected to read, sign and adhere to a Code of Conduct, which relates to their conduct as a student on a professional and vocational programme and to their conduct and professionalism whilst on their fieldwork placements.
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