BA (Hons)

Youth Studies

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  • UCAS code(s): L53A
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2018
  • Course duration: 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information
  • * This course is now closed for entry for 2018, please ring our Clearing Hotline 0115 848 6000 to speak to one of our team to discuss current vacancies. *

You’ll be joining a course with great employability! 100% of our BA (Hons) Youth Studies and BA (Hons) Youth Justice graduates are in employment or further study within six months of finishing their degree (DLHE 2016/17)

This distinctive Youth Studies degree provides an in-depth understanding of the nature of youth and the complex relationship between young people and society. You'll explore the services that support young people's learning, personal and social development and career progression, and also gain the knowledge and skills expected of those who work with young people.

This degree arises from contemporary debates about social inclusion and from recent and proposed changes in the way that services to young people are organised. The course is focused on key themes including youth culture, youth justice, transition, careers, social policy, and social inclusion. Throughout the course you'll be encouraged to look at the wider cultural context of youth and to explore international comparative studies.

Why choose this course?

  • As part of this course you may do valuable work experience which allows you to put theory into practice, enhance your understanding of relevant organisations and develop networks.
  • The degree has also been designed to address some of the National Occupational Standards of Learning Development and Support Services to children and young people. On graduation, you'll have developed a portfolio which reflects your knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to a range of National Occupational standards.
  • You'll be taught by a teaching team who are highly accomplished and experienced in the Youth sector. Their expertise in the subject inform the course and ensure you have an up-to-date and relevant learning experience.
  • 100% of BA (Hons) Youth Studies full-time students agree that staff are good at explaining things (National Student Survey 2018).
  • 100% of our recent BA (Hons) Youth Studies students would recommend studying at NTU (National Student Survey 2018)

What you'll study

The course will offer you an engaging and varied programme of study that seeks to explore the concept of youth from several vantage points. It takes themes of education, justice, social welfare and culture and asks a range of challenging questions – not least, "why does society intervene in the lives of young people?"

This degree places a high value on developing both academic and vocational skills. As part of this course you'll undertake work experience in Year Two, which allows you to put theory into practice, enhance your understanding of relevant organisations and develop networks.

We'll also actively encourage you to gain experience relevant to working with young people. You can achieve this either by participating in the University's programme of volunteering opportunities, or by seeking voluntary or paid part-time work with young people.

  • Year One

    Core modules

    Youth Rights, Responsibilities and Safeguarding

    Gain insight into the rights and responsibilities of young people and their carers. You will develop a clear knowledge and understanding of the legislative framework underpinning work with young people, and you'll consider policy and practice relating specifically to child protection. You have the opportunity to apply the concepts of law to the welfare of young people. You will be introduced to key concepts relevant to work with young people, including empowerment, rehabilitation, repression, consultation, and participation in decision-making.

    Concepts of Youth

    This module seeks to establish a foundation understanding of a range of theoretical and ethical perspectives in relation to youth. You will explore the history of youth, adolescence and childhood, and seek to consider what the term "youth" connotes in contemporary societies. You will consider comparative, biographical, cultural and psychological ideas of youth alongside an evaluation of how youth is presented in the media, literature, music, film and art. The module will utilise research from a range of different theoretical perspectives to encourage a consideration of how methods, motivations, and context impact on how society perceives, portrays and ultimately treats youth.

    Youth and Social Policy

    You will reflect on how the lives of young people are affected by social policy. You will follow a policy cycle, beginning with understanding a particular social problem, through to applying social values, operating political processes, appraising institutional outputs, and concluding with evaluating the social outcomes. As an introductory module, you will concentrate on some stages of the policy cycle more than others (which will be explored in more detail in Years Two and Three). The main aim of the module will be to try to understand how the way we respond to youth issues is shaped by our understanding of young people’s problems, the values we believe in, the processes by which decisions are made and implemented, the interests of key stakeholders in the decision-making process, and the body of past responses that constrain our choices.

    Social Psychological Perspectives on Youth

    This module aims to introduce you to a range of social psychological perspectives relating to individual young people, and to young people in groups and in society. You will explore concepts of the self and social identity, and you will be able to relate theoretical approaches to the study of youth and to the processes that influence individuals, communities and groups, including intra-group and inter-group dynamics.

    Learning for Higher Education

    This module will equip you with the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding to become an effective learner in higher education. Firstly, you will have an opportunity to recognise and reflect on your own personal transition to higher education. Secondly, you will be supported to develop a range of effective learning skills for academic study. This will include developing effective approaches to your study, such as researching source materials, reading effectively, and critiquing arguments. Thirdly, you will develop the necessary skills to structure written work and select and apply evidence to support an argument. You will develop a thorough understanding of the practice of citation and referencing, and you will be able to explain the key characteristics of plagiarism and the range of strategies to avoid this. Fourthly, you will become familiar with the concept of reflective practice, and be able to identify its value personally and professionally, thus gaining an understanding of your unique learning style.

    Skills for Practice (One)

    This module will aim to develop your capabilities and confidence for careers in professional practice with young people. You will explore core principles, values and ethical positions that underpin professional practice. You will be introduced to key skills for reflective practice, including effective use of feedback as a key vehicle for development. This will complement your learning from the Learning for Higher Education module, and you will be able to apply these skills to your two reflective accounts as part of the module assessment. You will be introduced to a range of skills for professional practice, including teamwork, group work, presentation, and one-to-one working. You'll be able to practise these skills, developing confidence, knowledge and other skills that will enhance your personal and academic development.

  • Year Two

    Core modules

    Social Inclusion

    This module will build on the knowledge of legislation and policy relating to young people that you acquired in Year One during the Youth Rights, Responsibilities and Safeguarding and Youth Social Policy modules. It will develop your knowledge and understanding of social inclusion and citizenship. You will be able to explore contemporary social divisions in our society, the processes by which these develop into patterns of social exclusion, and the policies that have attempted to promote social inclusion.

    Work-Based Learning

    The aim of this module is to enable you to gain an understanding of the world of work by undertaking work experience with an organisation that provides a service to young people. Through the context of work and work-based learning, you will become familiar with key concepts associated with service delivery, explore the interrelationship between theoretical perspectives and practice, contextualise learning across a range of modules from the degree course, and engage in personal professional development planning.

    Skills for Practice (Two)

    Addressing the key course aims, this module will aim to facilitate your capabilities and confidence for careers in professional practice with young people. This module will further build upon the knowledge, skills and understanding you acquired from Skills for Practice (One).

    Researching Youth Transitions

    Explore the role of research in enhancing your understanding of youth, particularly in relation to young people’s transitions, enabling you to understand and evaluate the different theoretical, methodological and epistemological approaches.

    Optional modules

    Choose two optional modules from a selection that currently includes:

    Youth Justice

    Examine the historical background and development of the youth justice system in England and Wales. It will enable you to understand and analyse the different theoretical perspectives as to why young people offend. The module will assist you to understand the structure of the modern youth justice system in England and Wales, and how it deals with young people who offend. The module will allow you to consider the age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales, and to compare this with how other countries address offending by children and young people.

    Youth Leisure

    This module allows you to explore the concept of "leisure" from sociological and psychological perspectives. Such an exploration will provide an analysis of the societal functions of leisure, and how social structures influence leisure enactment. You will then evaluate how leisure influences "youth" development and how aspects of informal education and leisure can aid such development. An analysis of the political dimensions of youth work practice will emerge, evoking debates as to whether leisure can contribute to young people’s ability to participate within their own and wider communities, exploring the profession of youth work, its values and ethics, and the practical delivery of services.

    Youth Health and Wellbeing

    Providing you with an introduction to health and health care in Britain, increasingly a topic of significant relevance to those involved in providing services to young people, this module will equip you with the practical skills needed to run effective health promotion campaigns. In achieving this, you will explore the context and concepts related to health, thus gaining an understanding of some of the social, psychological, environmental and political influences that impact on the health of the population as a whole, as well as on the needs of young people.

  • Final year

    Core modules

    Youth Studies Dissertation

    This module provides you with the opportunity to synthesise the learning in aspects of youth, and understanding of research, that you have developed throughout your degree studies – particularly in Year Two, through the Researching Youth Transitions module. It provides you with an opportunity to undertake a substantial piece of self-directed work, with individual academic supervision, in an area of youth that particularly interests you.

    Transition and Practice

    The focus of this module is on the application of theory to practice. This module aims to enable you to build on the principles and application of reflective practice which you were introduced to in the Skills for Practice modules in Years One and Two. Through further development of your professional development portfolio, you will be able to locate your own learning in relation to national occupational standards for working with young people, and to develop the skills required to operate within a framework of evidence-based practice.

    Youth Cultures and Lifestyles

    Explore how various youth cultures have been represented in society, and their economic, social and political implications; situate the role that culture and lifestyle plays in mediating young people’s experience of contemporary society; and understand the different theoretical traditions in the study of youth cultures and lifestyles.

    Optional modules

    Choose two optional modules from a selection that currently includes:

    Implementation of Youth Justice

    (Study of the optional Youth Justice module in Year Two is a requirement for this module)

    This module enables you to expand upon what you have learned in the Year Two Youth Justice module by assisting you to understand the context and reality of youth justice practice and its implementation. Young offenders may be subject to a range of interventions – some voluntary, some statutory – and this module will cover both aspects.

    Advice and Guidance Interventions

    Guidance, counselling and advice interactions are an important part of many of the professional activities related to roles with a range of client groups. Whether you wish to specialise in one of the guidance professions or simply broaden your knowledge of this aspect of working with people, the module aims to explore definitions of counselling, advice and guidance, and to provide you with knowledge of a range of theories relating to individual development and need, as well as models of intervention that may inform guidance practice. You should also develop an understanding of the skills, qualities and attitudes needed to be an effective guidance practitioner.

    Youth Work and Informal Education

    This module is designed to introduce the theory, policy and practice of youth work and informal education. It will help you to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding to work effectively with young people, individually or in groups, and to facilitate their informal learning and personal development. It will also focus on helping to develop community engagement with young people using group work and a range of interpersonal skills.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

100% of BA (Hons) Youth Studies full-time students agree that the course has provided them with opportunities to bring information and ideas together from different topics (National Student Survey 2018)

How you’re taught

To provide you with a first-class learning experience and to guarantee you have an opportunity to make the most of your time at university, you'll receive contact time through a diverse range of delivery methods.

Structured teaching will be 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.

Tutorials with staff

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

Independent study is an important part of this course. Throughout your three years of study, the scheduled contact hours you receive will gradually decrease as you develop the skills required to engage in independent study or produce a dissertation in your final year. You'll still have regular contact with your tutors, and if necessary ad hoc tutorials can be arranged.

Virtual learning environment

You'll also use our virtual learning environment NOW, which is a flexible web-based system that allows you to have 24-hour access to module learning materials and reading lists. It allows you to discuss work with tutors and other students, and submit coursework electronically from anywhere in the world.

Learning from experts

You'll be taught by an experienced and dedicated teaching team that includes staff who have spent several years employed as senior practitioners in a range of relevant professional areas, as well as those who are widely published in their chosen areas of expertise.

In addition to the traditional lectures, tutorials and independent study, you'll also hear and learn from guest speakers from various organisations that provide services to young people. They are invited to come and share their specialised knowledge and make you aware of the realities of their work with youth. In the past, these have included representatives from the youth justice sector and the local government.

Learn a new language


Alongside your study, you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have.

Learning a new language can:

  • enhance your communication skills
  • enrich your experience when travelling abroad
  • boost your career prospects.

Find out more about the University Language Programme.

How will I be assessed?

The course's assessment methods are as varied as possible. We use a wide range of approaches that acknowledge different students have varied learning styles, capabilities and preferences.

The majority of your work will be assessed through:

  • coursework-based essays
  • reflective reports
  • worksheets
  • critical reviews
  • a final year research-based independent study.

There are no formal examinations on this course, although you may have to undertake class tests.

Practical assessments will allow you to develop specific skills and include:

  • group work
  • presentations
  • interviews
  • case studies
  • participant observations
  • IT tasks
  • simulation exercises
  • role play exercises.

You'll also graduate with a portfolio of evidence demonstrating how the knowledge and understanding you have gained is related to a range of careers that involve working with young people.

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

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (100%)
  • Year 2 coursework (83%), practical exams (17%)
  • Year 3 coursework (100%)

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (26%), independent study (74%)
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (25%), independent study (72%), placement (3%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (21%), independent study (79%)

100% of BA (Hons) Youth Studies full-time students agree that staff are good at explaining things (National Student Survey 2018)

Careers and employability

Our Youth Studies graduates get jobs — 100% of our BA (Hons) Youth Studies students are in employment or further study within six months of finishing their degree (DLHE 2016/17)

The job titles below give an indication of the careers our recent Youth Studies graduates are following:*

  • Youth Support Worker
  • Young Offenders Development Programme
  • Residential Youth Worker
  • Youth Mentor
  • Learning Support Assistant
  • Early Years Foundation Teacher
  • Clinical Administrator
  • Teacher

*Latest DLHE survey undergraduate results, 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Excellent work experience opportunities

This degree places a high value on developing both academic and vocational skills. As part of this course you'll undertake work experience in Year Two, which allows you to put theory into practice, enhance your understanding of relevant organisations, and develop networks.

We will also actively encourage you to gain experience relevant to working with young people. You can achieve this either by participating in the University's programme of volunteering opportunities, or by seeking voluntary or paid part-time work with young people.

The course team works closely with the NTU Volunteers Service and Careers Service to make you aware of the significant number of voluntary and sessional paid opportunities that are available to students, and particularly those closely associated with working with young people.

Your career development

You'll graduate with the confidence, experience and ability to succeed in making a difference to the lives of young people.

Upon completion of the course, you'll be well placed to pursue a career with a wide range of organisations offering services to young people, in an advisory, educative or management role, in either a generic or specialist setting. You may decide to pursue postgraduate study in your chosen field.

Our Employability team

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

100% of BA (Hons) Youth Studies full-time students believe that, as a result of the course, they have improved thier career prospects(National Student Survey 2018)

Entry requirements

For September 2018 entry you will need:

  • A-levels – BCC; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM; or
  • 104 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths or Science grade C / 4.

We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations. Please see our website or UCAS Course Search for more details.

Applicants with equivalent life skills will be considered.

A Disclosure and Barring Service check is not a prerequisite for entry onto the course. However, you may be required to undertake this check depending on your study choices.

All applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. We are happy to accept applications from mature students, and from students with access qualifications or many other types of standard and non-standard qualifications for which we can calculate UCAS points. Non-standard applicants may be interviewed.

The UCAS Tariff

We’ve created this calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call +44 (0)115 848 4200.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our undergraduate degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

For September 2018 entry you will need:

  • A-levels – BCC; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM; or
  • 104 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths or Science grade C / 4.

Applicants with equivalent life skills will be considered.

A Disclosure and Barring Service check is not a prerequisite for entry onto the course. However, you may be required to undertake this check depending on your study choices.

Foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements, please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification, please visit our foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

For a list of our language requirements, please visit our English language page.

If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements, please visit our pre-sessional English course page.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications, or about making an application to the University, please contact our international team for advice.

University preparation courses

If you do not meet the entry requirements, you may be interested in our pre-Masters or Foundation courses at Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), which lead onto this postgraduate or undergraduate degree if successfully completed. NTIC students are based on the City Campus and have access to all the University facilities.

Find out more about university preparation courses at NTIC.

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!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

You can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year. If you are applying to more than one UK university, you must apply through UCAS.


Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here, you need to plan this into your application.

Apply now

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.

Good luck with your application.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

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.

Getting in touch

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

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

International fees and scholarships

For international and EU fees for all courses together with advice on how to pay, please visit our international fees information.

We offer prestigious scholarships to our international students holding offers to study here. For details and an application form, please visit our international scholarships information.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

School of Social Sciences Enquiries
+44 (0)115 848 4460