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Youth Work (JNC) BA (Hons)

  • Level(s) of Study: Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code(s): L53C
  • Start Date(s): September 2024
  • Duration: Three years full-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


NTU has a national reputation as a leading institution for teaching and research in relation to working with young people. BA (Hons) Youth Work / Youth Development is for students wishing to work with young people. The course combines full-time academic study with placements and a practice pathway for JNC qualification, which is the recognised entry route for professional Youth Work. Youth Development has wide application within the field of education, social work, politics and psychology, which generates insights, research and theoretical knowledge of what it means to be young.

Why choose this course?

This course will explore the most significant social, cultural and economic changes that affect the lives of young people today. Key themes include youth culture, social inclusion and social policy, youth rights, ethics and safeguarding.

The course benefits from a diverse range of students on the programme. We welcome and support students from a range of educational background and those who have worked in practice and are now returning to study.

This course is approved and endorsed by the National Youth Agency.

Professionally Endorsed Pathway

In Year Two, students will be able to opt to gain the JNC Youth Work qualification by undertaking a sustained placement of 800 hours across various settings. Key learning areas include reflective practice, informal education, critical pedagogy and ethically-informed practice. The curriculum, including professional practice, is mapped against the QAA Subject Benchmark Statement for Youth and Community Work and the National Occupational Standards for Youth Work. Students opting for this pathway will graduate with a BA (Hons) Youth Work, which is professionally endorsed by the National Youth Agency.

Youth Development Pathway

For those students wanting to work with young people in a wider range of settings, the Youth Development pathway offers a range of bespoke modules to support students with future directions of work. These include a focus on young people and education, youth health and wellbeing and youth activism. In year 3 students will benefit from undertaking modules tailored to specific settings, such as alternative, inclusive and informal education and advice, guidance and counselling. Through the experience of engaging with these contemporary issue-based modules and the diet of assessments, students on this course are supported through volunteering and student-led research opportunities. Students opting for this pathway will graduate with a BA (Hons) Youth Development.

What you’ll study

In Year One students will engage with the core foundation to understanding and working with young people. The introductory modules include a range of academic skills development and the application of theory to practice.

Core modules

  • Research and Study Skills
  • Perspectives of Youth
  • Youth and Social Inclusion
  • Child and Adolescent Development
  • Youth Rights, Ethics and Safeguarding
  • Reflective Practice 1

Core modules

In Year Two, students will choose between the professionally endorsed pathway to undertake a 60-credit placement and the youth development pathway to explore contemporary issue-based modules. This year further develops further theoretical knowledge, which students will learn to apply to a variety of practice settings, as well as developing skills for employability.

  • Youth Social Policy in Practice
  • Researching Youth
  • Reflective Practice 2

Choice of pathways

Professionally endorsed pathway

  • Supervised JNC placement (60 Credits)

OR youth development pathway

  • Education and Young People
  • Youth Health and Wellbeing
  • Young People and Protest

In Year Three students complete their skills development in working with young people through a variety of placement options (endorsed and non-endorsed pathway). The focus in year is on employability and a synoptic assessment will enable students to draw on all that they have learnt throughout the three years of the course. All students undertake a dissertation or work-based research project of their choosing, alongside modules, which address bespoke work settings that many of our students graduate to in future.

Core modules

  • Youth Cultures and Lifestyles
  • Transition and Practice
  • Dissertation or work-based research project (40 credits)

Chosen pathway

Professionally endorsed pathway

  • Supervised JNC placement (40 credits)

OR youth development pathway

  • Informal, Inclusive and Alternative Education
  • Advice, Guidance and Counselling

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from our students themselves

Student Profiles

Gemma Francis

Everything is a journey, I don’t have to know everything now, I will progress at my own rate, stay committed to learning and developing and everything will come in its own time.

Selena Phillips

Youth Justice

My experience as an NTU student has been very rewarding. I have been challenged by my lecturers to push my learning to achieve above what I thought I was capable of.

How you’re taught

Structured teaching is delivered through a combination of traditional lectures and seminars. The smaller group seminars provide opportunities to develop skills in problem-solving, group working, analysis, debating and presentation, and to discuss a wide range of views. You will also learn from audio-visual presentations, information technology-based exercises, and practical experience.

Students on the professionally endorsed pathway are allocated practice based supervisors to support learning in the work place.

Tutorials with staff

The high quality of our academic and pastoral support enables our students to thrive within the university environment.

As the relationship between students and tutors is an important one, you can expect to have lots of direct contact and support through seminars and one-to-one tutorials. At these sessions you'll have the opportunity to:

  • discuss and gain feedback about your work
  • ask questions about the projects you're working on
  • raise any difficulties you are experiencing relating to your work, personal circumstances, or your university experience.

Independent study

This is an important part of this course. From the outset, you are expected to engage weekly reading and independent or group based activities outside of lecture time. Throughout your three years of study, the scheduled contact hours you receive will gradually decrease as you develop the skills required to undertake an independent study or dissertation in your final year. You'll still have regular contact with your tutors and, if necessary, ad hoc tutorials can be arranged.

Learning from experts

You'll be taught by enthusiastic and expert staff who are highly accomplished and experienced in the youth sector locally, nationally and internationally, as both practitioners and researchers. Staff work with partner agencies to support student placements; formally evaluate practice-based projects and offer CPD, training or knowledge exchange based events.

How will I be assessed?

The course's assessment methods are varied. We use a wide range of approaches that acknowledge that different students have varied learning styles, capabilities and preferences. The assessment methods used replicate those required in the work environment as far as possible. You will gain a range of transferable skills for employability, not only for the youth based sector, but also beyond.

Assessment tasks recognise an appropriate mix of academic writing, practical applications and reflection on linking theory to practice. In addition, our range of non-exam based include activities and assignments that mirror workplace scenarios such as group presentations, designing resources, case study work, analysis and appraisal, and report-writing.

In response to student feedback, the University have introduced a policy ensuring marked work is returned to you electronically within three weeks of submission.

Assessment methods

There are no exams and the course is 100% assessed by coursework.

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1,200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (25%) and independent study (75%)
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (25%), independent study (70%) and placements (5%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (19%) and independent study (81%)

Staff Profiles

Dr Frances Howard

Senior Lecturer

Social Work, Care and Community

Dr Frances Howard is a Senior Lecturer in Youth Work for the Department for Social Work, Care & Community. She is also lead for the Youth Research group across the

Ian Jones

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Ian Jones, Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences; Department of Social Work, Care & Community. Lead for the Professional Practitioners network (PPN).

Careers and employability

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be prepared with skills for practical application and research experience for working with young people. Students will also be able to apply for further study at Masters Level. For example: MA Youth Work Leadership and Practice: MA Social Work or MA Career Development and a wider variety of other courses.

On the professionally endorsed pathway, students will have the skills, knowledge and experience to be qualified Youth Work practitioners.

Excellent work experience opportunities

Whether you choose to undertake the professionally endorsed pathway, or the youth development pathway, work experience is a valued feature of this degree. The course team work closely with local youth based organisations and NTU’s Employability team to make you aware of the significant number of voluntary and sessional paid opportunities that are available.

To achieve the requirements of the professionally endorsed pathway you will need to complete 800 hours of practice-based learning in an approved placement.  This could be either a volunteering based placement or paid employment.

Our Employability team

We have a dedicated Employability team located on the City Campus. The team can give you specialist guidance and practical help that will support you during the course and really make a difference to your prospects once you do graduate.

Campus and facilities

As a Social Sciences student you will have easy access to the fantastic facilities in the Chaucer and Taylor buildings, including:

  • lecture theatres and teaching classrooms
  • open access PCs and secure wireless points
  • study areas and social spaces
  • Chaucer café, serving drinks and light snacks
  • our School of Social Sciences reception, providing you with easy access to our helpful and friendly support staff.

IT resources

Our IT resource rooms and PC clusters are distributed across the City Campus, with PCs providing access to:

  • Microsoft Office
  • email
  • web browsing
  • networked file storage
  • high-speed online printing services

The University’s main resource room in the library is available 24 hours a day.

Book and library resources

In our library you will have access to an extensive and diverse range of books and periodicals that focus on specialist areas within Criminology. The library's OneSearch system provides access to all our:

  • electronic resources
  • journals
  • books.

We have a liaison librarian who is available to give you detailed help in finding and using print and electronic resources. They can also help you with things such as Harvard referencing and research skills.

City location

The location of the City Campus also means that you have easy access to:

  • sports facilities
  • shops
  • student accommodation
  • music venues
  • cafés.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • 104-112 UCAS Tariff points from up to four qualifications.
  • You will be required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check (formerly known as a Criminal Records Bureau disclosure).

To find out what qualifications have tariff points, please use our tariff calculator.

Contextual offers

A lower offer may be made based on a range of factors, including your background (such as where you live and the school or college you attended), your experiences and individual circumstances (you may have been in care, for example). This is called a contextual offer and we get data from UCAS to make these decisions. NTU offers a student experience like no other and this approach helps us to find students who have the potential to succeed here but who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university. Find out how we assess your application.

Other qualifications and experience

We may also consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or beyond the beginning of a course where applicable, for example, into year 2. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available for this route.

Getting in touch

If you need more help or information, get in touch through our enquiry form.

What are we looking for?

  • 112 UCAS Tariff points from up to four qualifications.

We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations. All applicants should be able to demonstrate an interest in, and an aptitude for, engaging young people. Although it is not essential, we positively encourage applicants who have experience of working within a youth justice setting or can evidence relevant voluntary work, particularly with young people. Specifically, mature applicants are encouraged to apply as, alongside academic qualifications, relevant practical experience and achievements are seen as an asset. Non-standard applicants may be interviewed.

As with all vocational courses related to working with children and young people, all students are required to provide full details of any previous criminal convictions on admission and confirm the nature of these upon course commencement. Students are required to disclose any subsequent criminal convictions while on the course; failure to provide full disclosure of previous or new convictions can lead to termination of a student’s studies. Students eligible for the work-based learning observation may be required to complete an enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Disclosure. If this highlights a potential risk to a child this could lead to termination being considered.

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:

Undergraduate preparation courses (Foundation)

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Foundation courses through our partner Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), based on our City Campus:

English language entry requirements

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Advanced standing (starting your undergraduate degree in year 2 or 3)

You may be able to start your undergraduate course in year 2 or 3 based on what you have studied before.  This decision would be made in accordance with our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy.

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Important information

Social Work at NTU has a limited number of places available to ensure that you receive a good quality placement experience. In exceptional circumstances this may result in the course becoming full before you have completed the admissions process. In this situation we will offer you the opportunity to be considered for the following year’s entry.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Additional Costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.


If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Tuition fees for September 2022 entry

Mode of study

International tuition fee



Tuition fees are payable for each year that you are at the University. The level of tuition fees for the second and subsequent years of your undergraduate course may increase in line with inflation and as specified by the UK government.


We offer scholarships of up to 50% of your tuition fee. You can apply for your scholarship when you have an offer to study at NTU.

Living costs

Get advice on the cost of living as an international student in Nottingham and how to budget:

Paying fees

Find out about advanced payments, instalment plan options and how to make payments securely to the University:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember that we can only make a decision based on what you tell us, so include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application – it’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place. You’ve got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

You can apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not applying to any other UK universities, you can apply directly to us on our NTU applicant portal.

Application advice

Apply early so that you have enough time to prepare – processing times for Student visas can vary, for example.  After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Writing your personal statement

Be honest, thorough, and persuasive – we can only make a decision about your application based on what you tell us:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

The University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.