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BA (Honours) Youth Work

There are few things more important or rewarding than making a positive difference to the lives of young people. This degree will help you develop the knowledge and skills needed for a dynamic career in youth work, and with the fast pace of change in the sector, it’s an exciting time to get involved – whether you plan to work in statutory or voluntary settings. 

Key features of the course

  • A professional qualification recognised across the UK and the Republic of Ireland 
  • Designed to support young people’s personal and social development 
  • Ideal if you work with young people in informal settings, or if you have an informal educational role in a formal environment
  • Excellent preparation for further research, study and enquiry.
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Degree

Course code
Q55
Credits

Credits

  • 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.
360
How long it takes
Part time – 6 years
Full time – 3 years
Time limit – 10 years
Study method
Distance learning
Course cost
See Fees & funding
Entry requirements
For details see Am I ready?

Register

Registration for this course is now closed. The next opportunity to study this course will be in 2015/16 and registration will open in March 2015. Click to register your interest and we’ll keep you updated.


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Course details

This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits (equivalent to one year's full-time university study). Stage 1 provides the underpinning knowledge and skills needed for more advanced study at Stages 2 and 3.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

You’ll explore the origins and scope of youth work; its underpinning values and changing contexts; and the roles and responsibilities of practitioners and policy makers – reflecting on your own practice throughout. Then a work-based module will help you develop practical and analytical skills needed to work directly with young people (individually and in groups).


Compulsory modules (120 credits)

Stages 2 and 3 (240 credits)

As you deepen your understanding, you’ll develop the practical and analytical skills you need to lead and manage work with young people; investigate diverse experiences of childhood in different communities around the world; and learn the methods and analytical techniques involved in conducting research with young people. A final work-based module develops the critical, practical and analytical skills needed to work as a professionally qualified youth worker, and will help with professional development planning.



The modules quoted in this description are currently available for study. However, as we review the curriculum on a regular basis, the exact selection may change over time.


Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Read the detailed learning outcomes here

Credit transfer

If you have already studied at university level, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – reducing the number of modules you need to study. It’s not just study completed at a university that can be considered, you can transfer study from a wide range of professional qualifications as well. A full list of the qualifications and institutions we can consider for credit transfer can be found on our credit transfer website.

You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. We will need to know what you studied, where and when and you will need to provide original evidence of your previous study. We will compare this against the learning outcomes for your chosen qualification and inform you of any award.

For more details of when you will need to apply by and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.


Classification of your degree

On successfully completing this undergraduate course, you'll be awarded the BA (Honours) Youth Work degree. You'll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.

The class of degree (first, second or third class honours) depends on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:

These regulations are also available on our Essential Documents website.


Compare this course

Entry requirements

To study this qualification you will need to be working with young people by the time you begin studying the second module in Stage 1, as it involves work-based learning.

The work-based learning continues in Stages 2 and 3. To study these modules you will need to:

  • be working with young people, aged 13 to 19, in an informal education setting such as a youth club, scout group, or voluntary organisation, or working in a school or college in an informal education role. For Stages 1 and 2, you need to be working for a minimum of five hours a week (135 practice hours in total). For the Stage 3 work-based learning module, you need to be working six hours a week (174 practice hours in total).You may be in paid employment or working as a volunteer
  • have the permission of your employer to study, and identify work-based learning support from appropriately qualified individuals in your organisation
  • obtain the necessary clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (England and Wales), or have passed a Disclosure Scotland, Access NI or Garda (ROI) check.

It is your responsibility, and that of your employer, to ensure you meet these requirements. It’s also very important that you feel confident you meet the specific module requirements at the point of entry to the qualification. You and your employer will be asked to confirm these requirements when you register for the work-based learning modules. If your circumstances change at any point during study of this qualification, you will need to keep us updated.

When you register for the Stage 1 work-based learning module you will also be asked to confirm that you have recent experience of working in an informal education setting or role. A suitable level of prior experience might be six months of one session (two/three hours) per week during the last three years.

As you progress to the Stage 2 work-based learning module you will need to work in a different setting from that in Stage 1 for at least 111 out of the total 135 practice hours.

Note: if you are studying in Northern Ireland or in the Republic of Ireland, your practice hours on the Stage 3 work-based module will need to include a minimum of seven weeks of block placement (30 hours a week).

To study this qualification you must also:

  • be living in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, the Republic of Ireland or have a British Forces Post Office (BFPO) address outside the UK.
If you are unsure whether you meet these entry requirements contact the Working with Young People Team on 01908 654218, or send an to FELS-WWYP@open.ac.uk.   

General study skills

Anyone can study with The Open University, but if it's a while since you did any academic work it's worth checking that your time management, computing and English skills are up to speed. Visit Can I do it? to find out more.

Help! I'm not sure I'm ready!

Study for free

If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don’t worry! You can get started with an Access module – fascinating courses designed to introduce subject areas, build your confidence and prepare you for further study.

For this qualification, we recommend:

People, work and society Access module

What you will study

This is a multidisciplinary module that allows you to develop your subject knowledge and your general study skills. It provides an excellent introduction to a wide range of subject areas, including children and young people, health, law, management, psychology and social sciences.

The module is divided into four blocks:

Block 1: Individuals

In this block, each discipline discusses individuals from a subject-specific perspective or point of view. In Social sciences the individual is presented in relation to cultural and group identities. In Childhood, identity formation is demonstrated through relationships and maturation processes. Lifestyle choices are discussed in relation to individual biological and psychological factors in Health. Psychology takes you on a journey through ways of understanding how individuals think and perceive their world, while Law takes a life course approach to individual rights and responsibilities. Finally, Management takes a very practical view of how you as an individual can begin to organise and develop yourself and others.

Block 2: Families and relationships

Here you’ll encounter a range of perspectives from each of the subject areas on the theme of families and relationships. In Childhood, family and relationships are presented from the point of view of an adult who wants to understand more about the lives of children and young people. The Health perspective explores how family life affects health and considers the care demands on families during illness. Psychology reveals how interaction is key to understanding how families are built and sometimes fall apart. You’ll explore division of labour in families from a Social sciences perspective, and how the nature of family life shapes life chances. In considering parental rights and responsibilities, Law discusses serious cases such as child neglect and abuse. Finally, Management looks at relationships at work and how to manage them effectively.

Block 3: Organisations and communities

This block begins with a Management perspective on organisations, in which you will consider characteristics typical of organisations, including structure, culture, and management tools. Also, you’ll discover how adults support transitions for children and their families when children enter school for the first time or move between different educational settings. In Health, the school is again a focus, along with the built environment, this time for considering health influences and interventions. Having approached organisations and communities from a largely experiential perspective, the block then presents Law, and how rights and responsibilities influence and constrain practice in organisational settings. In Psychology, you consider how roles and groups develop within organisations, coming to a working understanding of certain observable behaviours. Finally, Social Sciences present how people can organise themselves to bring about social change.

Block 4: Society

This block opens with an examination of how social scientists view and consider society, including different types of cultures and how aspects of different cultures spread to different countries. The concept of multiple self is discussed in Psychology, showing how individuals can adapt and change when moving to a different culture. Next, you will consider the growth of fast food diets in Western society, their effect on children and young people, and action to foster healthy eating habits. Health is considered by debating the impact of government policy on the health and well being of society. In Law, you’ll consider the laws of negligence and duty of care within society today, drawing on real life cases that English law courts have judged.

The module includes a DVD and website which include further study materials and resources as well as online quizzes and interactive exercises to help test your understanding.

As you study this module you will build your confidence and develop your study skills, including:

  • reading and interpreting information
  • producing written communications
  • time management and organisational skills
  • problem solving.

You will also have the opportunity to gain skills such as working with audio and visual material, using online forums and searching the internet for information. This experience will provide you with a gentle introduction to using a computer to support your study, and will equip you with the basic computing skills you will need for the next step in your studies.

Please note that you will need access to the internet and a computer to study and pass this module. You will need to use a computer early on in the module but not straight away, so if you don’t currently have one you’ve got time to make arrangements. You can use your own computer or one at a library or drop-in centre.

On successful completion of this module you will receive an Open University Access Module Certificate.

Course work includes:

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
6 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

Your next step

Call us on +44 (0)1908 659253 or request a call back. Our friendly team of advisers will discuss your study options with you, and help you decide on the best starting point for you. Or come and meet us at an event near you.

How much will it cost?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

The fee information provided here is valid for courses starting before 31 July 2015. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification upfront.
  • If like most OU students studying part time, you study an average of 60 credits a year – you’ll study for six years to complete a degree. Our typical fee for 60 credits is £2,632.
  • Our current fee is £5,264 – based on 120 credits of study – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study.
  • The total cost of your chosen qualification starts from £15,792 based on our current fees.

Additional costs

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.

Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how you can pay. That’s why we offer a wide range of flexible payment and funding options to help make study more affordable than you might think. Options include Tuition Fee Loans (also known as student loans), monthly payment plans and employer sponsorship. 

We’re confident we can help you find an option that’s right for you.

Just answer these simple questions to find out more about the options available to you.




How many credits are you planning to study per year? You will need [xxx] credits to complete this qualification

Part time study

Full time study


Do you already hold a degree?

Are you employed?

British Forces

  • Only currently serving members of the British armed forces, who are temporarily and unavoidably working abroad and using BFPO addresses, are eligible to pay UK course fees for the total time spent outside the UK. Other students who are able to use BFPO addresses need to contact the Student Registration and Enquiry Service (SRS) Pricing Area Team on +44 (0)300 303 5303 for UK fee eligibility to be assessed.
 

An OU qualification will always help you stand out from the crowd, now and in the future – whether you’re just starting out, developing your career, or changing direction entirely.

Skills for career development

This degree course includes work-based learning at each stage of study, and is mapped to the National Occupational Standards for Youth Work.

It will develop your skills in:

  • assessing young people’s needs
  • working with young people in groups
  • designing learning activities
  • planning and evaluating projects
  • working in teams and in community-based organisations.

In addition to these specialised skills, you will also develop a wide range of employability skills that are highly valued by employers. These include:

  • analysing, critically evaluating and effectively communicating information to others
  • competence in team and project work, supporting and/or supervising others
  • organising, synthesising and questioning opinions and arguments
  • evaluating the appropriateness of different approaches to problem-solving
  • managing and organising time, resources and information to support decision-making
  • reflecting on your own learning and performance and taking steps to improve it
  • using ICT effectively and being able to interpret data.
 

Career relevance

Youth workers engage with young people in a wide range of roles and settings, including in youth services, in voluntary and community organisations, in schools and colleges, and in youth participation projects. 

This degree course can provide an effective foundation for a range of careers including:

  • teaching
  • counselling
  • voluntary sector work
  • youth work
  • education support and welfare
  • social work
  • probation work
  • personal and careers guidance
  • sport and fitness.
 

Accreditation

This BA (Honours) Youth Work degree is recognised as a professional youth work qualification by the National Youth Agency (NYA) on behalf of the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) for England; the ETS Advisory Committee for Wales; the Standards Council for CLD for Scotland; and the North/South Education and Training Standards Committee for Youth Work in Ireland.

Other careers

Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.

In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills. 

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree):

  • teacher
  • youth worker
  • counsellor
  • child psychotherapist
  • early years worker
  • careers adviser
  • advice worker
  • probation officer
  • social worker
  • education welfare officer
  • sports and fitness coach
  • learning mentor
  • community development worker

Want to see more jobs? Use the career explorer for job ideas from the National Careers Service, PlanIT Plus in Scotland and Prospects across all nations. You can also visit GradIreland for the Republic of Ireland.

career_explorer

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