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Youth Work and Social Education (BA)

Apply VIA UCAS - Full Time

Youth Work and Social Education (BA) (ETS Endorsed) offers a professional qualification for students, and through a social science lens it explores current and contemporary challenges that are faced by young people, including:

  • Trauma
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences
  • Substance misuse
  • County Lines
  • Children’s Rights
  • Health and Well-being
  • The impact of relationships

The degree triangulates theory, policy and practice in an applied manner to enable graduates to be both excellent academics and excellent practitioners.

Known often as the ‘best kept secret’, youth work is a powerful approach to supporting young people to build resilience and resourcefulness, and to achieve their full potential.  Youth work is based on developing good, positive relationships with young people, and acts as the foundation for supporting young people through a range of issues.  This is why the youth work degree is often viewed by other professions as a highly desirable qualification.


Pathway Options

Youth Work and Social Education (BA)
Apply via UCAS 

Youth Work and Social Education (BA) with Foundation Year
Apply via UCAS

Youth Work and Social Education (BA) (ETS Endorsed) is also available as a 4 year programme which incorporates a Foundation Year.  The Foundation Year will provide students with the opportunity to engage in the Level 3 Award in Youth Work Practice, and will also equip the students with the confidence, knowledge, passion and skills required to progress to the BA Youth Work and Social Education (ETS Endorsed).

Applicants to full-time courses can apply through UCAS. Applicants to part-time courses can apply through the University.

Book an Open Day Request Information
Contact Name: Angharad Lewis

Tuition Fees 2023/24:
Home (Full-time): £9,000 per year
Overseas (Full-time): £13,500 per year

Why choose this course?

  • Gain a professionally endorsed qualification and an academic degree
  • Explore practice with young people and their communities through engaging in youth work placement opportunities each year in wide-ranging young people and community settings
  • Preparation for employment opportunities such as youth justice, health and well-being, community development, social enterprise and the police
  • UWTSD is the only place where you can study this degree through the medium of Welsh
  • Youth Work and Social Education (BA) (ETS Endorsed) is also considered an excellent first degree for entry to postgraduate study in a range of wider associated fields including children and young people’s health and well-being, children’s rights, social work, social enterprise, criminology and youth justice, and child and women abuse.

What you will learn

Course Overview

Youth Work and Social Education (BA) (ETS Endorsed) degree will equip students to be able to work with young people, communities and families, and to be practitioners who are fit for purpose in the 21st century.  Through a social science lens, the programme will explore practice with young people and their communities in an applied manner, with a clear commitment to social justice, anti-oppressive practice, and underpinned by the core values and principles of youth work. 

The course prepares students to become professionals to work with young people around a variety of issues – issues which are very current in today’s society, such as Child Sexual Exploitation, Adverse Childhood Experiences, Homelessness, Substance Misuse, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Poverty and Obesity among young people – and exploring these in an applied manner, drawing on current research and best practice to equip graduates to be highly effective and reflective in their chosen fields.  The programme aligns fully with Welsh Government’s commitment to “develop and strengthen specific provision aimed at supporting and improving outcomes for more vulnerable or marginalised young people’’ (WG, 2019, p.13).

Module Topics

Foundation Year – Level 3

  • Academic Survival Skills (30 credits; compulsory)
  • An Introduction to University Life: Flourishing as a Student (30 credits; compulsory)
  • An Introduction to Youth Work Practice (60 credits; compulsory).

Year One - Level 4 (Cert HE, Dip HE & BA)

  • Academic Study Skills for Students (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Counselling Skills, Mindfulness and Therapeutic Practice (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Professional Practice: Principles and Contexts of Work with Young People (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Understanding Adolescence (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Young People and Society 1: Advocacy, Empowerment, Participation and Rights (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Youth Work Practice 1: Preparing the Workforce (20 credits; core).

Year Two - Level 5 (Dip HE & BA)

  • No One is Too Small to Make a Difference: Working with Young People to Create a Climate of Change (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Social Research for Professional Practice (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Supervision, Leadership and Management for Professionals (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Young People and Society 2: Mental Health, Well-being and Adverse Childhood Experiences (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Youth Work Practice 2: Developing Practice (40 credits; core)

Year Three - Level 6 (BA)

  • Dissertation (40 credits; compulsory)
  • Young People and Society 3: Trauma, Exploitation and Toxic Childhood (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Young People in Focus (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Young People’s Well-being and Resilience (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Youth Work Practice 3: Leading and Managing (20 credits; core).

Assessments are designed to reflect the requirements of the field and develop wide-ranging employability skills in students.  There are no exams.

Related Links

Key Information

Entry Criteria
  • All applicants will be required to provide a satisfactory enhanced disclosure Child and Adult Workforce document from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
  • The programme requirements are between 80 and 96 points and above, however entry to the programme is based on individual merit.
  • Due to the professional endorsement of the degree programme, all applicants need to have at least 100 hours of recent and relevant Youth Work experience.
Career Opportunities

Due to their aspirations when applying for a place on the degree programme, many of our graduates find employment directly in the youth work field, in both the voluntary and maintained sectors.  However, the youth work qualification is known for its transferability to wider associated fields, thus demonstrating how the skills that the graduates have developed while studying on the degree programme can be transferred into many settings, and skills that are welcomed within multidisciplinary teams.

Here are some specific examples of graduate destinations:

  • Face to face youth work in a range of contexts including in schools, corporate parenting teams, post-16 work, Local Authority youth homeless projects
  • Education Welfare Officer
  • Work with organisations focussing on issues including substance misuse, projects which support homeless young people and others that focus on adoption, looked after young people, and young adult carers
  • Community education
  • Youth justice
  • Local Health Board
  • Students Union President
  • PGL Activity Instructor and Group Leader
  • Young People’s Peer Mentor for a national mental health charity
  • Emotional Health Worker for a Local Authority Youth Service
  • CAMHS Support Worker
  • Family Support for young people with disabilities
  • Post-16 Youth Worker for a Local Authority Youth Service
  • Youth Worker with the Corporate Parenting Team at Local Authority Youth Service
  • Unit Co-ordinator with a Childcare Team at a Local Authority
  • Corporate Manager at a Local Authority Youth Service
  • Senior Youth Officers at a Local Authority Youth Service

Many graduates decide to engage in further study. Recent graduates’ MA programmes include:

  • Children and Young People: Health and Wellbeing (MA), UWTSD
  • Children and Young People: Children’s Rights (MA), UWTSD
  • Women and Child Abuse (MA), London Metropolitan University
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice (MA), Swansea University
  • Social Enterprise (MSc), Stirling University
Additional Costs

Associated Costs of Study


Necessarily incurred: 
Travel costs to and from placements (one placement at each level of study).

Students who decide to take the opportunity to study abroad for one semester at Level 5 will incur additional costs associated with this;
Potential residential activity at Level 6 may incur additional costs.

Student Quotes

“Youth and community showed me how to work with young people and how I can help make a difference.  I found not only an education but I also found myself”

Julie Simpson

“The course enabled me to develop my confidence and believe that I can achieve.  The fieldwork module was my favourite. It allowed me to see what the work is like in the real world using hands on experiences”

Cari Matthews

“This course has been refreshing and rekindled my passion for ‘my calling’, that is to work with young people, to have a greater impact than ever before”

Corné Storm.

"I have had to overcome many barriers to get to where I am now, which has been made possible by engaging on the course, through the encouragement of course peers, through the staff and support personnel at UWTSD Carmarthen, as well as the overall experiences I have been able to participate in.

Engaging in the BA Hons Youth and Community Work course was hard work, yet invaluable and taught me to better understand myself, and ignited a spark for further professional development. Without it, I would not be able to work in the field nor have the career that I now have within a Local Authority Youth Service.

I now have an opportunity to give back to the community and to make a difference for the young people in Wales. I feel that’s the best contribution one can make, to better the life chances of the next generation and to provide them with the opportunities they never thought possible”

Chris Barrie.

Read a Press Release from last academic year's graduation ceremony

Bursary / Scholarship Information

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit our Scholarships and Bursaries section.

Study Abroad Opportunities

There is also an opportunity for students to study abroad as part of their studies in the second year, in Finland or British Columbia.


Please visit our Accommodation pages for more information

Further Information

If you would like to find out more about studying in Carmarthen, you can visit us on an Open Day