BA (Hons)

Youth Justice

Young people with headphones
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  • UCAS code(s): L611
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2019
  • Course duration: 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

You’ll be joining a course with great student satisfaction and employability! 100% of our BA (Hons) Youth Studies and BA (Hons) Youth Justice students are satisfied with the course overall and 100% of graduates on both of these courses are in employment or further study within six months of finishing their degree (National Student Survey 2017 and DLHE 2016/17)

Youth Justice is all about working with young people who offend or are at risk of offending. This course links academic theory to contemporary practice through placements, visits and guest speakers.

Our Youth Justice degree is multidisciplinary, involving the study of social policy, sociological, psychological and criminological perspectives. You'll explore why young people offend, and the impact their families and communities have upon their personal development and criminal behaviour. Throughout the course you'll consider comparative international practices of managing offending behaviours, and initiatives for reducing offending.

Why choose this course?

  • While this course does explore a number of criminological perspectives, it is mapped against the Skills for Justice National Occupational Standards for Youth Justice. This makes the course ideal for those interested in the study of Criminology but who are keen to work within the Youth Justice sector.
  • You'll be taught by a teaching team who are highly accomplished and experienced in the Youth Justice sector. Their expertise in the subject informs the course and ensures you have an up-to-date and relevant learning experience.
  • 100% of BA (Hons) Youth Justice students agree that staff have made the subject interesting (National Student Survey 2017).
  • Experienced Youth Justice Practitioners are involved in various teaching sessions to share their specialist knowledge and experiences of working with young people.
  • This course could open up a range of rewarding careers in secure estates, prisons, youth offending teams and the probation service.
  • 100% of our recent BA (Hons) Youth Justice students would recommend studying at NTU (National Student Survey 2017).

*

100% of our undergraduate students are satisfied with the quality of this course (National Student Survey 2017).

What you'll study

*We are currently reviewing the content of our courses to ensure that they remain relevant and current to our students’ future ambitions and society. Please continue to check this course webpage for the latest developments.

The aim of the course is to focus on the core skills that practitioners working within youth justice need so they can work effectively with young people, their families, and other professionals. We aim to equip you with knowledge and understanding of how to communicate effectively with others; how to accurately assess the needs and risks of young people; and how to use reflection and the skills of critical analysis to develop an understanding of the legislation, policies and frameworks within which youth justice practitioners operate.

In addition, you'll explore the history of youth justice and the relationship of offending to child and adolescent development. There is also a clear practical focus upon contemporary issues facing future practitioners. For example:

  • young people and gangs
  • substance misuse and offending
  • victims
  • restorative justice and effective practice.

Each of these topics are examined critically and debated.

  • Year One

    Core modules

    Research and Study Skills for Youth Justice

    Develop sound understandings in the study of youth justice, along with the necessary skills to meet the academic challenges of studying as an undergraduate.

    Youth Crime and Social Inclusion

    You will be introduced to some of the wider societal issues that can impact upon the life journeys of young people. Young offenders in particular often experience multiple inequalities, and this module explores what these are, the theories behind them, and solutions to overcome these issues.

    Child and Adolescent Development

    Examine the crucial theoretical underpinning as to what it is in a young person’s upbringing and background that may contribute to their offending behaviour, equipping you with vital knowledge and understanding for future youth justice practice.

    Values, Ethics and Children's Rights in a Youth Justice Context

    Gain an understanding of the rights, responsibilities and the legal framework of the youth justice system, as well as the values and ethics that inform youth justice practice.

    Evolution of the Youth Justice System

    Gain an understanding of the rights, responsibilities and legal framework of the youth justice system, as well as the values and ethics that inform youth justice practice.

    Managing Transitions

    Study the theoretical approaches to the concept of managing transitions (movements, passages or changes) that children and young people may experience and / or are affected by.

  • Year Two

    Core modules

    Assessment and Report Writing in Youth Justice Practice

    You will explore in detail the range of reports and assessments a youth practitioner would need to complete, and how these link to the National Occupational Standards for the youth justice system.

    The Secure Estate and Resettlement

    As well as examining the experience of custody, related transitions, and resettlement for young people, this module considers the history of custody for young people and the lessons to be learnt from that history.

    Research Methods in Youth Justice

    Study the main approaches in qualitative and quantitative social research, and explore the relative strengths and weaknesses of particular research methods.

    Effective Practice in Youth Justice

    Utilising your learning from Year One, you will develop your learning in relation to the overarching subject of effective practice in youth justice. Focusing on the relationship between young people and youth justice practitioners, this module explores the link between evidence-based and effective practice, the principles of effective youth justice practice, and the importance of reflection for effective practitioners.

    Important information

    The Secure Estate and Resettlement module, the Research Methods in Youth Justice module and the Effective Practice in Youth Justice module are the Youth Justice Board's entry-level qualification for working in the youth justice sector.

    A crucial component of the work of a youth justice practitioner is carrying out assessments, writing reports for various professional bodies, and making recommendations to courts. These skills are addressed in the Assessment and Report Writing in Youth Justice Practice module, which covers in detail the range of reports and assessments a youth practitioner would need to complete, as well as the National Occupational Standards for the youth justice system.

    Developing effective communication and relationship-building skills are fundamental when working with young people. The Effective Practice in Youth Justice module will explore the importance of effective communication, networking, advocacy and conflict resolution.

  • Final year

    Core modules

    Dissertation

    Building upon a number of developing concepts gained in Year One and Two, you will apply them to a sustained piece of self-directed study on a specific area of interest in youth justice. You will work with your individual supervisor to formulate a research question and produce a critical commentary around your subject choice.

    Restorative Justice, Victims and Victimology

    You will consider competing perspectives on victimology, victims’ rights and restorative justice, and examine the implications of involving victims in the criminal justice process, particularly with regard to restorative justice approaches.

    Delivering Interventions in Youth Justice Practice

    Critically appraise and reflect upon the core competencies and skills required to be a youth justice practitioner and deliver effective practice. You'll develop a personal development plan, utilising reflection and your understanding of effective practice principles in youth justice.

    Law, Sentencing and the Role of the Courts

    Building upon your current knowledge of the legal system in relation to youth justice, this module will look at other areas of the law, including mental health legislation, housing law, the law relating to education, and welfare benefit legislation.

    Safeguarding in Youth Justice Practice

    Pulling together key themes and ideas that have been developed during Year One and Year Two, including children’s needs and rights; the exclusions young people face and how they develop; and how to assess young people’s vulnerability, how to protect them, and how to promote their wellbeing.

Course specification

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

100% of BA (Hons) Youth Justice students agree that the course has challenged them to achieve their best work (National Student Survey 2017)

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.

You'll also learn from audiovisual presentations, information technology-based exercises, and practical experience.

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

This 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 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.

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 enthusiastic, engaged and expert staff who are highly accomplished and experienced in the youth justice sector. They ensure our courses will train you to the requirements that are necessary to work within the youth justice system. Current staff have developed an Acquisitive Crime Project that aims to reduce the number of young people offending in Derby. Additionally, your lecturers will be engaged in current research into areas of youth justice practice and will share emerging findings in their teaching.

In addition to the traditional lectures, tutorials, and independent study, you'll also hear and learn from experienced youth justice practitioners. They are invited to come and share their specialised knowledge and make you aware of the realities of their work with young people. In the past these have included representatives visiting from the secure estate, talking about the experience of young people in prison, and charities such as the YMCA.

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 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 the work environment as far as possible, and you'll therefore be required to carry out your own investigation case study work, analysis and appraisal.

The majority of your work will be assessed through coursework-based essays, reflective journals, worksheets, critical reviews, case studies, and a final year research-based independent study.

The practical focus in the second year will be reflected in the assessment methods used for the modules. Practical assessment methods include task-orientated group work, presentations, interviews, participant observations, role play exercises, and IT tasks.

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

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

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

98% of BA (Hons) Youth Justice full-time students are satisfied with the teaching on their course (National Student Survey 2017)

Careers and employability

100% of our BA (Hons) Youth Justice 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 Justice graduates are following:*

  • Youth Justice Service Officer
  • Residential Social Worker in a Children's Home
  • Child Sexual Exploitation Support Worker
  • Custody Officer
  • Youth Worker
  • Fraud Investigation and Prevention Officer
  • Mental Health Worker
  • Youth Support Worker
  • Residential Support Worker
  • Behavioural Mentor
  • Case Worker
  • Support Living Coordinator
  • Children and Young Persons Designated Key Worker
  • Housing and Welfare Officer
  • Housing Support Coordinator

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

You may also consider studying a postgraduate course in areas such as social work or criminological justice.

Excellent work experience opportunities

Work-based learning is a valued feature of this degree and there are four unique components.

  • You may have the opportunity to do an observational experience with a youth justice agency in Year Two. This is part of the Effective Practice in Youth Justice module, which is focused on the skills required to develop effective relationships with young people. The Effective Practice in Youth Justice module is closely aligned to the Youth Justice Effective Practice Certificate (formerly Professional Certificate in Effective Practice), the Youth Justice Board's entry-level qualification for working in the youth justice sector.
  • Teaching sessions delivered by youth offending team practitioners and other youth justice personnel on their specific roles and agencies.
  • Course visits to various institutions within the justice system, following an arrest-to-sentence process (incorporating police, courts and young offenders' institutes).
  • Mock cases and simulated case files will be used to give you valuable experience in a safe environment.

You'll benefit from the well-established relationships the course team have developed with youth justice agencies in our region, and other bodies such as:

  • the secure estate
  • Skills for Justice
  • Nottingham Council for Voluntary Service
  • the YMCA.

The course team work closely with the NTU Volunteers Service and Employability team to make you aware of the significant number of voluntary and sessional paid opportunities that are available.

Throughout the course there will be opportunities for you to understand the work of practitioners in a number of different specialist areas, such as Youth Offending Team Case Managers and secure children's homes.

Your career development

Local youth offending team employers have been involved with the design of the course and will be regularly consulted throughout. This will clearly enhance your employability within the youth justice sector, which includes youth offending teams, children’s services, and the secure estate.

Upon completion, you'll have gained the confidence, experience and specialised knowledge and skills to embark on a career in the growing youth justice sector and its associated support services. These areas are always developing innovative ways to engage young people and prevent criminal behaviour and re-offending.

Your ability to carry out independent research, evaluate interventions, reflect on practice and work in multi-agency settings will also be greatly valued by future employers.

Career opportunities that interest you may include:

  • youth offending teams
  • preventions projects
  • mentoring services for young people
  • restorative justice services
  • the secure estate
  • prisons and the probation service.

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.

You'll benefit from the well-established relationships the course team have developed with Youth Justice Agencies in our region.

100% of BA (Hons) Youth Justice full-time students agree that they have been able to contact staff when they needed to (National Student Survey 2017)

Entry requirements

For September 2019 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
  • to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check (formerly known as a Criminal Records Bureau disclosure).

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

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.

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 2019 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
  • to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check (formerly known as a Criminal Records Bureau disclosure).

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

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.

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 course at Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), which leads 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.

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