BA (Hons) Community Development and Youth Work (endorsed route)

Our BA (Hons) in Community Development and Youth Work is the first in North West England to offer dual professional recognition from the NYA and ESB. Incorporating 800 hours field work experience, it offers the flexible and adaptable skills and knowledge needed for a career making a real difference to young people and communities.

BA (Hons) Community Development and Youth Work (endorsed route)

Course details

Our BA (Hons) Community Development and Youth Work degree offers dual accreditation from two nationally-recognised professional bodies. Recognised by the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) and endorsed by the Endorsement Standards Board for Community Development (ESB) and National Youth Agency (NYA), it involves 800 hours of fieldwork practice. Work-based learning through fieldwork placements, and academic studies that support the development of knowledge and skills for practice, are central to this course.

The core values of community development and youth work are at the heart of this degree. Our passionate and knowledgeable staff will guide you to explore issues such as social education, social policy, community engagement, politics, globalisation, social justice, equality and diversity, social history, housing and homelessness. You'll also be supported to develop key transferable skills such as communication, self-awareness and time management.

Fieldwork placements or work-based learning could be in a number of distinct settings that work to improve the lives of people in communities and young people, preparing you to adapt to the changing environments in which you may be employed in future.

  • UCAS points: 96
  • Start date: 21/09/2020
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BA (Hons)
  • UCAS code: L540
  • Duration: 4.5 years

Course highlights:

  • The University of Bolton’s BA (Hons) Community Development and Youth Work degree is the first in the North West to be professionally recognised by the Joint Negotiating Committee for Youth Work, as validated by the National Youth Agency (NYA) and the Endorsement and Quality Standards Board for Community Development (ESB).
  • The course has been designed in consultation with employers, ensuring the relevance of the skills and knowledge gained by graduates.
  • Extensive work placements mean you can amass hundreds of hours of practical and professional community development and youth work experience.
  • Our excellent links with over 70 partners and external agencies means we can offer a wide variety of placements; for instance, in youth and community centres, schools, alternative education projects, women's refuges and community projects, or housing, health, leisure and youth training schemes, resettlement projects, and detached, outreach and mentoring projects.
  • You have the chance to graduate with a wide range of practical and transferable skills that apply in all kinds of social, professional and academic areas.

Key features:

  • Our programme gives you the chance to enjoy extensive practice-based experience at each level of your studies.
  • You’ll have access to excellent academic and pastoral support from teaching staff who are also experienced professionals in community development and youth work.
  • Throughout the course, we’ll support and encourage you as you develop your understanding and articulation of the key theories of personal and social change affecting young people and communities today.
  • Specialists in the field of community development and youth work join us as guest speakers and lecturers throughout the course.
  • If by the end of semester 1 you decide that you don’t want the professional endorsements, or your circumstances change, you can transfer to our parallel course – the BA (Hons) Community Development and Youth Studies.

Entry requirements

  • UCAS points: 96
  • Start date: 21/09/2020
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BA (Hons)
  • UCAS code: L540
  • Duration: 4.5 years

Any subjects are acceptable at Level 3. You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) in English and Mathematics.

For this endorsed pathway, you'll need to provide evidence that you've completed at least 100 hours work experience, either working with young people, or in a youth work or community practice setting.

You'll be required to attend an interview as part of the application process.

If you lack the required formal qualifications, but have many years’ experience of working with young people and adults in the community, we encourage you to apply. You'll be expected to attend a face-to-face interview and undertake a written assessment.

If you don't meet the above entry requirements, and would benefit from preparatory study, you may wish to consider our BA (Hons) Community Development and Youth Work with Foundation degree.

This course involves working unsupervised with young people and/or vulnerable adults and you must gain an Enhanced Disclosure certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) before starting your studies. Charges are payable to cover the cost of the DBS Enhanced Disclosure application and annual registration with the online Update Service. Find out more

If English isn't your first language you'll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). Find out more

Career opportunities

Community development work seeks to actively engage communities in making sense of the issues which affect their lives, setting goals for improvement and responding to problems and needs through empowerment and active participation.

The community development and youth work sector is currently undergoing significant change. Traditional sources of employment in the public sector and the voluntary, faith and community sector are changing, and are therefore having to adapt their services towards a broader set of activities. This shift is requiring employees with flexible, transversal and adaptive knowledge, skills and attitudes.

Enabling students to gain a range of skills that can be applied in a range of contexts is a central principle of this degree. Research suggests that future employment in the field will be non-routine, creative and people-centric. This degree is designed to support this broad curriculum and organisations that employ graduates have been involved in the overall course design.

During this course, you’ll have the opportunity to develop a wide range of transferable skills that will support your employment in a number of positions and sectors. These skills include presentation skills, oral and written communication skills, the ability to work idependently and to deal with difficult and challenging situations, advocacy and empathy skills, team work and the ability to understand and work with people from all backgrounds.

The dual professional accreditation offered by this course is becoming the industry standard and offers graduates a wider career path and greater value for money.

What can I do with this qualification?

Community Development and Youth Work graduates can choose to work in a range of settings which can include schools and colleges, youth and community centres, charities, youth training schemes, housing associations, outdoor centres, youth offending teams, churches, community-based groups and residential settings such as care homes. Roles are often project-based, on fixed-term contracts and tackle issues such as social cohesion, homelessness, substance misuse, sexual health education and crime prevention.

Community development and youth work is challenging, as well as frustrating. You need to be prepared to cope with certain conflict and setbacks. Results are often long term rather than immediate, so patience and perseverance are essential.

Graduates may move on to postgraduate study; for example, a research-based Master’s degree or a PhD in education or community/youth studies. MA courses for qualified youth and community workers are also available. Other graduates take vocational courses; for example, the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), which qualifies you to work as a teacher.

Alternative career options

  • The Arts
  • Mentoring
  • Teaching and education
  • Health promotion
  • Behaviour management
  • Learning support
  • Work with refugee and asylum seekers
  • Advice work
  • Community education
  • Family support
  • Probation
  • Social work
  • Careers advice
  • Prison service
  • Outdoor education/activities
  • Residential care
  • Volunteer co-ordination
  • Youth offending

Professional recognition

The University of Bolton’s BA (Hons) Community Development and Youth Work (Endorsed Route) is professionally recognised by the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) for Youth Work (as validated by the National Youth Agency (NYA)) and the Endorsement and Quality Standards Board for Community Development (ESB).

Successful achievement of the BA (Hons) Community Development and Youth Work (Endorsed Route) confers professionally qualified status for youth workers in England.

Fees & funding

No fee information is currently available, please contact Student Data Management on 01204 903059 or for more information

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The University is currently awaiting Government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2019/20.

UK undergraduate tuition fees are subject to UK government approval and are subject to the outcome of the Teaching Excellence Framework.

How to apply


You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or


International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

Teaching & assessment


Modules listed below are a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules as part of the course.

  • Group Work and Informal Education
  • Introduction to Social Justice, Power, People and Policy
  • Working with Individuals and Groups in Community
  • Youth Work, Policy and Practice
  • Placement 1: Exploring Practice in a Youth and Community Setting (Endorsed Route)
  • Ethics, Values and Reflective Practice
  • Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice
  • Professional and Academic Research Methods
  • Enabling Healthy Communities
  • Placement 2: Understanding Practice in a Youth and Community Setting (Endorsed Route)
  • Contemporary Issues in Youth Work
  • Community Development, Policy and Practice
  • Placement 3: Youth and Community Project
  • Global Youth Work and Sustainable Communities
  • Management Governance and Organisational Development
  • Housing and Homelessness
  • Transitions

Teaching, learning and assessment

We offer a carefully balanced mix of lectures, tutorials, seminars, discussions, role play, case studies, group work and field trips throughout your studies. Self-directed study is also important.

During fieldwork placement practice, you’ll be supported by a suitably qualified supervisor as you develop key competencies set out in the National Occupational Standards in Community Development and also in Youth Work.

We have established relationships with many voluntary and statutory agencies in the Bolton area and the wider North West region, helping to ensure you can find practice placements of interest. For example, students have been placed in settings such as, alternative education providers, youth training agencies, faith-based youth clubs, LGBT groups, women and girls groups, sexual health, mental health and disability groups, refugee and asylum seeker providers, community allotment projects, housing providers, theatre and arts groups, drugs and alcohol teams, and participation and inclusion teams.

Assessment is via coursework, including methods such as portfolios, essays, reports, case study analysis and oral presentations. You can also benefit from the input of guest speakers throughout the degree.

This programme has a parallel course which shares the same core modules. Our BA (Hons) Community Development and Youth Studies programme includes a reduced length of time spent on fieldwork practice, meaning the course does not attract the dual professional recognition. If you wish to transfer to the BA (Hons) Community Development and Youth Studies programme you have until the end of semester 1 in your first year to make that choice.


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up to date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

Assessment methods

Level Assessment method
Level One Coursework (64%), Practical exams (36%)
Level Two Coursework (85%), Practical exams (15%)
Level Three Coursework (66%), Practical exams (34%)

Learning activities

Level Learning activity
Level One Guided independent study (54%), Placement/study abroad (16%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (30%)
Level Two Guided independent study (64%), Placement/study abroad (15%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (21%)
Level Three Guided independent study (56%), Placement/study abroad (27%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (17%)

Contact The University

Key facts

  • UCAS code:
  • Course type:
  • Start date:
  • Location:
    The University of Bolton
  • Award:
    BA (Hons)
  • UCAS points:
  • Duration:
    4.5 years

Contact us

Bren Cook
Programme Leader
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903893

Paula Connaughton
Admissions Tutor
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903764

Kevin Burke
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903698

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903903