Course information

Entry requirements

UCAS code


Entry requirements

A-level: CC
IB: Successful completion


3 years full-time

Course overview

This programme is ideal if you have some experience of community and youth work. Challenging, dynamic and interactive, it presents opportunities for critical reflection and exploration of recent developments in the field.

The degree is professionally recognised by the National Youth Agency (NYA) and endorsed by the Endorsement and Quality Standards Board for Community Development Learning.

The BA Applied Social Science, Community Development and Youth Work enables students to examine practice with young people and communities through the lens of the main social science perspectives.

Combining academic study in the social sciences with fieldwork placements in community development and youth work, the programme will enable you to develop as a youth and community development worker equipped for the particular contexts and challenges of the twenty-first century.

The programme is underpinned by a commitment to social justice and equalities and provides opportunities to specialise in areas such as youth offending, community arts, faith-based practice, conflict transformation, international development and community enterprise.

Why study BA Applied Social Science, Community Development & Youth Work at Goldsmiths?

  • You'll undertake placements in several community and youth work settings, and will gain invaluable experience that will enhance your employability
  • The degree can lead to careers in the broad community development, community and youth work field in statutory, voluntary and independent sectors
  • Our lecturers have extensive experience in the community and youth work sector, and work closely with you to maximise your potential
  • You'll learn how to analyse relevant theoretical concepts and social policies, and how to link them to practical situations and your personal practice
  • You'll attend a three-day residential module in the January of the first year, where you'll get to know other students and staff, while participating in programmed activities
  • Teaching methods encourage student participation and include lectures, seminars, group and individual tutorials, group work training meetings, workshops and practical exercises

Our graduates

Former students have gone on to work as community development workers, substance misuse workers, and youth workers in a range of settings, including schools and youth offending teams.

Read about one of our graduates, Nequela Whittaker, who talked to Woman's Hour about how her experiences led her to become a youth worker.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact David Woodger

What you'll study


The residential at the beginning of the second term in the first year provides the opportunity for you get to know other students and staff, while participating in student-programmed activities. The module takes place at a residential centre and there is no extra cost.

Year 1 (credit level 4)

In your first year you will study the following compulsory modules:

Year 1 compulsory modules Module title Credits
  Introduction to Community Development & Youth Work I 15 credits
  Introduction to Applied Research Methods I 15 credits
  Fieldwork Practice I 30 credits
  Race, Racism and Professional Practice. 15 credits
  Introduction to Applied Social Science 30 credits

and Introduction to Group Work (15 credits)

This module will provide an introduction to the value of group work in effecting change in attitudes, beliefs and practice. It will enable students to articulate social and political understandings of the impact of group work. It will introduce experiential group work alongside other significant models and theories. Students will be encouraged to develop their ability to synthesise theoretical understandings, enhance their group work skills and abilities, and assess how these might be applied within the participant group and in wider professional and social contexts. This is a highly interactive module in which participants will be expected to develop personal and professional insight through engagement in group work practice and group work facilitation.

Year 2 (credit level 5)

In the second year, you take either:

Year 2 modules Module title Credits
  Community Development in Context 15 credits
  Youth Work in Context 15 credits

In addition to the following compulsory modules:

Module title Credits
  Group Work in Theory 15 credits
  Group Work in Practice 15 credits
  Fieldwork Practice 2 30 credits
  Theory, Policy and Politics 15 credits
  Applied Research Methods 2 15 credits

You then choose one module from the following list of options:

Year 2 module options Module title Credits
  Arts in the Community 15 credits
  Global Youth Work and International Development 15 credits
  Youth Justice 15 credits
  Religion, Belief and Spirituality in Professional Practice 15 credits

Year 3 (credit level 6)

In the third year you take the following compulsory modules:

Year 3 compulsory modules Module title Credits
  Fieldwork Practice 3 30 credits
  Social Justice in Community Development and Youth Work 15 credits
  Management and Leadership 15 credits
  Critical Engagement with Social Policy 15 credits
  BA (Hons) Applied Social Science, Community Development & Youth Work - Dissertation 30 credits

You then choose one option from the following list:

Year 3 module options Module title Credits
  Faith-based youth work 15 credits
  Conflict Transformation 15 credits
  Enterprise in Communities 15 credits

Teaching style

This programme is taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops. You’ll also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. This includes carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, and producing essays or project work.

How you’ll be assessed

You’ll be assessed through a combination of coursework, assignment, presentation, dissertation, self-reflection reports and portfolio.

The following information gives an indication of how you can typically expect to be assessed on each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 81% coursework, 19% practical
  • Year 2 - 100% coursework
  • Year 3 - 94% coursework, 6% practical

*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2016/17. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices.

Credits and levels of learning

An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.

Download the programme specification, for the 2018-19 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

We accept the following qualifications:

A-level: CC
International Baccalaureate: Successful completion
Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including a number of distinctions/merits in subject specific modules
Scottish qualifications: CCCCC (Higher) or CC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 60%

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score of 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Additional Requirements

You'll also need

  • one year's full-time (or two years' part-time) work experience (paid or voluntary) in a related field
  • evidence of academic achievement at Level 3 (A-level) standard; preferably two A-level passes or equivalent and three GCSE passes or equivalent.

In some cases it may be possible to admit applicants on the basis of practical experience alone, provided that evidence of this experience is presented at interview.

Fees & funding



The programme will give you practical experience in several community and youth work settings – having this real-world experience will set you apart in the job market. In addition you will develop the following transferable skills:

  • Critical analysis of theoretical concepts
  • critical reflection
  • teamwork
  • organisational skills
  • motivation
  • research methods


On successful completion of the programme you will be awarded a BA (Hons) degree in Applied Social Science, Community Development and Youth Work; a professional qualification recognised by the National Youth Agency (NYA) and the Joint Negotiating Committee for Youth and Community Workers (JNC).

The programme can lead to careers in the broad community development, community and youth work field in statutory, voluntary and independent sectors. Former students have gone on to work as:

  • managers and staff in community projects
  • youth officers
  • community development workers
  • substance misuse workers
  • youth workers in a range of settings, including schools and youth offending teams
  • learning mentors

They have also worked in the following areas:

  • international development projects
  • setting up their own projects and organisations
  • community cohesion projects
  • multi faith work
  • community work
  • innovative projects within schools
  • community arts projects
  • youth offending teams
  • field of conflict transformation

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths. You can also find out more about specific career paths open to you after you graduate in our Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies careers page.

What our students say


Goldsmiths is notorious for nurturing creative thinkers who aspire to learn through pioneering and artistically applied approaches; transforming students into well practiced professionals.

Goldsmiths is notorious for nurturing creative thinkers who aspire to learn through pioneering and artistically applied approaches; transforming students into well practiced professionals. I chose Goldsmiths because I wanted to be a part of that. I sought after the best Youth Work programme in London to develop my skills as well as to receive a positive, fun, inclusive and diverse experience. The campus is a friendly and vibrant environment with year-round activities, exciting events and special occasions both within and outside of our faculty. I know I made the right decision studying at Goldsmiths because now I am a graduate – I miss being a part of it so much.

Every academic year out of the three is different. It’s not like school or college, this course retrains you to be an independent thinker, to challenge, question and test everything you knew before… you are not simply on an educational journey… but more essentially you are on a journey to discover, undo and re-build oneself; to be your best self when supporting vulnerable members of the wider community. You consciously reflect about making judgements and assumptions of others: gender, race, culture and societal background, so to aid others in reaching self-actualisation and ultimately make positive contributions to society. Overall my experience studying at Goldsmiths was emotionally and mentally challenging yet a milestone in creating a comprehensive, professional and balanced youth work practitioner.

Having the opportunity to complete fieldwork practice each year on the programme propels Goldsmiths BA (Hons) Community Development Youth Work students into the industry with a wealth of applied practical experience.

The skills I have acquired are countless… the personal and professional relationships I have gained are immeasurable. I now practice youth work with an empathetic, specialised assertiveness thanks to my studies at Goldsmiths.


"This degree is especially tailored for critical thinking and reflection."

"It challenges my perception, ways of thinking, way of life, choices and behaviour in relation to the social issues within our community and society. Through participation and interaction, it challenges me to develop self awareness and critical consciousness and bring out the best of my intellect and skills.

The department is very supportive and always willing to help me achieve my goals. I chose to come here to because of its reputation for being one of the best universities for youth and community development."


"Goldsmiths cares and believes in their students, the community is fantastic."

"I believe young people can do great things because for me, failure is not an option. My main aim is to encourage young people, to take up leadership roles, and not get dragged in to the stereotypical view, by doing something constructive that will allow a bright future, with nothing but success.

Before coming to Goldsmiths, I have been peer youth leader for Ubuntu Social Living Networks, which encourages positive thinking in young people. The project is inspired by the challenges facing young people of African/African-Caribbean heritage. I want to see the youth in my community doing well in all aspects of their day to day lives, whether it be at school, at home, or in their social lives.

Lewisham Borough, my hometown... What can I say? Having grown up around Grime Music & Lewisham Peoples Day, my passion for the community has grown ever since. Being accepted at Goldsmiths and blessed to have received a Lewisham Fee Waiver will enable me to build on the skills I've gained through the projects I have been part of, to gain a better knowledge of my chosen study. Goldsmiths cares and believes in their students, the community is fantastic. Anybody looking to study here, don't think twice, this is the right place for you. Believe in your SELF and put your thoughts into action."