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Leading work with young people in practice

This module explores how you can use your practical experiences, and the knowledge you have gained from your OU level 1 study, to develop the practical and analytical skills needed to lead and manage work with young people. In addition, you’ll be encouraged to take a critical and reflective approach towards your work and your continuing professional development. You must meet the minimum requirement of five hours face-to-face contact with young people per week in an appropriate setting; undertake work in an additional work-based learning setting; obtain your organisation’s permission to do work-based learning; and attend a face-to-face day school (or online alternative learning experience).

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Module code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
Study level

Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU module levels correspond to these frameworks.

2 8 5
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
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Entry requirements
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What you will study

Through online study materials and supporting resources such as the Working With Young People (WWYP) and module websites, you’ll be developing the skills and understanding needed to lead work effectively with young people. 

The module focuses on developing effective leadership and management practices in working with young people. It will:

  • enable you to integrate concepts and ideas of leading work with young people into your own practice
  • help you to develop your critical understanding of anti-oppressive practices into your work and take a pro-active approach to your work in this area
  • assist you in developing and applying skills and approaches to lead work with young people in a range of contexts
  • assist you in developing as a critical reflective practitioner
  • support you in reflecting on and planning for your further professional development.

Day school

You’ll also attend a compulsory face-to-face Day School which provides an opportunity for experiential learning on aspects of leading and managing work with young people. There will be an alternative learning experience (ALE) if you are unable to attend, perhaps because of mobility problems, or geographical location. This alternative takes place online. If you are unable to attend either the Day School or take part in the ALE you will not be able to pass the module.

You will learn

You’ll use examples from your own practical work with leading and managing work with young people, plan and undertake a project and undertake an additional work-based learning experience in another setting from your regular work-place setting. You’ll be encouraged to become a more critical reflective practitioner. You’ll also learn how to compare and contrast different practices of leading work with young people and present evidence of your professional competence for assessment. You’ll develop your online communication skills to support your own learning.

Vocational relevance

This is a compulsory module in our Foundation Degree and Diploma of Higher Education in Working with Young People and in our BA (Hons) Youth Work. This module is for you if you are a practitioner currently working with young people to support their informal learning. The module defines ‘work with young people’ as professional interventions where participation is voluntary and the aims are to do with informal education. Such work can be within a voluntary or a statutory setting, but students must be attached to a suitable organisation (see Entry below).

For example, you might be involved in:

  • running a youth club or centre
  • outreach or detached work with young people
  • working in a community-based group that works with young people on social and personal development
  • advising young people on health or careers
  • supporting the informal learning of young people be that outside or within a formal education setting such as a school or college
  • working with a group of Scouts or Guides.

Outside the UK

The module is only available in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, the Republic of Ireland and British Forces Post Office (BFPO) addresses outside the UK.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will be allocated to a tutor who will give you advice and guidance on the study materials and will mark and comment on your written work. Your tutor is particularly concerned with helping you with your study methods and providing feedback on your assignments. You will be expected to communicate with your tutor and will have the opportunity to meet him/her through regular online tutorials.

You will also be able to gain support from other students on the module through the moderated online forums. You will have a tutor-group forum, moderated by your own tutor and a national student forum. There will also be a forum on professional issues where you can seek professional advice and discuss general issues relevant to the sector. In addition, the WWYP website will give you the opportunity to benefit from updates about changes to relevant policy and/or the requirements for the different qualifications in working with young people and youth work.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Support from your workplace

Since this module is a work-based learning module, you will need the support of your regular workplace and from the organisation where you intend to undertake your additional work-based learning experience.

In particular you will need:

  • permission to use your work activities as part of the module
  • a suitable Work-based Learning Mentor to support you with certain aspects of the module. 

The Work-based Learning Mentor is an appropriately qualified practitioner who is identified through negotiating between the student and the employer/ host organisation. The description of a ‘suitably qualified person’ is discussed in section 4.8 of the Work Based Learning Handbook.

The primary role of the Work-based Learning Mentor is to:

  • support the student in identifying and securing appropriate experiences relevant to the work-based learning module they are studying
  • provide opportunities for the student to reflect on practice through the provision of regular professional supervision of  six hours over the duration of the module.
  • undertake an observation of student’s practice in the work-based learning setting
  • provide feedback on the student’s practice and professional development through the provision of an observation report and an end-of-module report
  • confirm that the evidence that student submits is based upon student’s own work with young people.

The Work-based Learning Mentor will be supported through the provision of a Guide (currently the Guide to Good Supervision).

If you are not able to find an appropriate person from within your own workplace to take on one or more of these roles, then you are encouraged to find an alternative from another organisation. Further guidance is available in the WBL Handbook and a list of employers who may be able to help you will be available on the WWYP website (contact the Qualifications team on (01908) 653275 for further information if required).

It is important to check with your employer that this support is available in principle before you register.


The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit some of your tutor-marked assignments.Your assignment booklet will tell you which method of submission you should use for each assignment.

It is also a requirement that you attend either a face-to-face day school or take part in the online alternative learning experience instead. You will not be able to pass the module without satisfying this requirement.

As part of your assignments, you will also be required to identify evidence from your practice to back up your reflections on your practice. You will be shown how to use evidence effectively and efficiently, avoiding excessive evidence gathering.

Future availability

Leading work with young people in practice (E218) starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2018 when we expect it to start for the last time.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Essential Documents website.

    Course work includes:

    6 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
    End-of-module assessment
    No residential school

    Entry requirements

    This is an OU level 2 module and you need to have a good knowledge of the subject area, obtained either through OU level 1 study or by doing equivalent work at another university.

    Before starting this module you are strongly advised to have studied one of the following combinations of modules:

    As this is a module leading to a professional validation, you need to meet the requirements set out by the National Youth Agency and equivalent bodies in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. These requirements state that you need to be in direct practice with young people for a total of 270 hours (paid or unpaid) over the foundation degree and for a total of 444 hours if you go on to complete the honours degree.

    You will have completed 135 of these hours at OU level 1 and you need to complete a further 135 hours on this module at OU level 2. This means working at least 5 hours a week in direct work with young people and an additional 3 hours per week planning and evaluating your work with young people. Additionally, for the professional qualification, you will need to demonstrate that you have practised in two workplaces, with at least 111 hours at OU level 2 being in the second setting. These 111 hours will be counted as part of your OU level 2 total of 135. You can meet this requirement in a range of ways – either by moving work setting completely, by working in two settings simultaneously or by moving for a short period to an alternative setting.

    If you do not have the same contact time with young people each week, this figure can be treated as an average. However, the contact must be on a regular rather than a sporadic basis i.e. 135 hours over the duration of the module, but a minimum of 17 hours each month.

    You will also need to:

    • be working within an organisation in a suitable setting
    • have support from your employer for your participation in the module (see ‘Support from your workplace’ below)
    • have successfully passed through recruitment and induction processes within your organisation
    • have successfully completed all appropriate vetting procedures for the country in which you are working (e.g. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check in England). It is the responsibility of you and your employer to ensure you meet these requirements, and not that of the OU. You should contact the relevant agency that deals with criminal records disclosure in your country for more information if you are in doubt about your eligibility, or to find out more
    • have access to, or be able to obtain access to, the types of work required by the module. This work must enable you to develop leadership and management skills, undertake a new and innovative piece of  work, develop a project and work in an alternative setting from your regular practice
    • for each of your regular work and alternative work-based learning experience you must secure a person, or persons to take on the roles of: confirming that your evidence is authentic; observing your practice on one occasion; and providing supportive professional supervision. Your observer/supervisor should be professionally qualified (Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) or equivalent) and have at least two years’ post-qualifying experience.

    Further details of the requirements for studying E218 are contained in the Work-based Learning (WBL) Handbook available in electronic format on the WWYP website for existing students, or alternatively from the Qualification team on (01908) 654218. You will receive a printed copy of the WBL Handbook in the first mailing of study materials.

    If you are unsure whether your current practical work with young people meets the requirements, then please speak to an adviser.

    Preparatory work

    This module will assume you have knowledge of working with young people that is equivalent to successful OU level 1 study described in Entry above.

    Before you start this module, you may find it helpful to collect together your E108 (or E131), E118 and E132 assignments and your work on significant activities which may be contained in any prior learning journals and/or notebooks.

    If you have not studied Leading work with young people (E132) but have gained entry through showing equivalent learning, then you will need to familiarise yourself with the E132 materials. Specific extracts from the E132 materials are referred to throughout this module. If you have bypassed E132 and begin your studies with this module you will be required to purchase the E132 materials in pack format. Details of how to do this will be in the first mailing of materials for this module.

    In addition, it would be helpful to ensure that you are confident using the internet and basic office applications such as word processing.


    Start End England fee Register
    06 Oct 2018 Jun 2019 £2928.00

    To register for this course - see 'Entry requirements'. Registration closes 20/09/18

    October 2018 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.

    To register for this module, please refer to the entry requirements and contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service (online registration is not available).

    Additional Costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

    If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after your module has started.

    Ways to pay for this module

    Open University Student Budget Account

    The Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) offers a convenient 'pay as you go' option to pay your OU fees, which is a secure, quick and easy way to pay. Please note that The Open University works exclusively with OUSBA and is not able to offer you credit facilities from any other provider. All credit is subject to status and proof that you can afford the repayments.

    You pay the OU through OUSBA in one of the following ways:

    • Register now, pay later – OUSBA pays your module fee direct to the OU. You then repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. 0% APR representative. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding to repay OUSBA.
    • Pay by instalments – OUSBA calculates your monthly fee and number of instalments based on the cost of the module you are studying. APR 5.1% representative.

    Joint loan applications

    If you feel you would be unable to obtain an OUSBA loan on your own due to credit history or affordability issues, OUSBA offers the option to apply for a joint loan application with a third party. For example, your husband, wife, partner, parent, sibling or friend. In such cases, OUSBA will be required to carry out additional affordability checks separately and/or collectively for both joint applicants who will be jointly and severally liable for loan repayments.

    As additional affordability checks are required when processing joint loan applications, unfortunately, an instant decision cannot be given. On average the processing time for a joint loan application is five working days from receipt of the required documentation.

    Read more about Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).  

    Employer sponsorship

    Studying with The Open University can boost your employability. OU courses are recognised and respected by employers for their excellence and the commitment they take to complete. They also value the skills that students learn and can apply in the workplace.

    More than one in ten OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the module you’ve chosen is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could approach your employer to see if they will sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. 

    • Your employer just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.
    • You won’t need to get your employer to complete the form until after you’ve chosen your module.  

    Credit/debit card

    You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module. 

    We accept American Express, Maestro (UK only), Mastercard, Visa/Delta and Visa Electron. 

    Mixed payments

    We know that sometimes you may want to combine payment options. For example, you may wish to pay part of your tuition fee with a debit card and pay the remainder in instalments through an Open University Student Budget Account (OUSBA).

    For more information about combining payment options, speak to an adviser or book a call back at a time convenient to you.

    Please note: your permanent address/domicile will affect your fee status and therefore the fees you are charged and any financial support available to you. The fees and funding information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2019. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. 

    This information was provided on 17/07/2018.

    What's included

    Online study guides, online supplementary materials, website and a set of electronic module resources.

    Computing requirements

    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

    Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

    A desktop or laptop computer with either:

    • Windows 7 or higher
    • Mac OS X 10.7 or higher

    The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    To participate in our online-discussion area you will need both a microphone and speakers/headphones.

    Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.

    If you have a disability

    The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying E218 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

    To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our Overcoming barriers to study if you have a disability or health condition website.