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Youth Studies - BSc (Hons)

Why study this course?

Focusing on young people, this course takes an in-depth look at evolving identities, media representations, social policy, community development and the history of government approach to youth policy. This course encompasses cultural studies, criminology, sociology and psychology to provide insights into everything from youth work to urban gang life and young people’s social welfare. London Met is the 2017 "preferred provider" of the The North East London (NEL) commissioning panel, representing the Social Work Development Partnership of five local authorities. The partnership has commissioned us to train existing social workers who can supervise graduates starting out in social work, meaning you'll receive a continuity of support by London Met from your education through to your career. In the most recent (2015-16) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

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The transition into adulthood is often viewed as challenging and complex, but it’s also a time of fresh opportunities and new discoveries. Young people are represented in association with contemporary social concerns, ranging from unemployment to social relationships and youth protests, yet at the same time, they’ve become a pulsating presence in the media and in creative arts.

This interdisciplinary degree will develop your skills to work with young people and practice youth work. You’ll explore the phenomenon of youth culture, providing an understanding of youth in a social, cultural and political context. You’ll examine local, national and global issues, and developments that shape young people’s lives and life experiences. Practical and transferable skills essential to employment, further education and research you'll gain through this degree include computing, video production and multimedia creativity, as well as quantitative and qualitative analysis.

You’ll be taught by qualified and experienced practitioners in youth-centred research, and you’ll also be able to take part in debates with expert external speakers. 

In your second and third year, there are a range of modules designed to represent aspects of youth culture and current social issues impacting on young people. These include subjects relating and prompting analysis of youth, resistance and social control, and exploring and critiquing the notion of self, identity and gender. You’ll be able choose modules that focus on areas which interest you. You’ll be able to examine topics including the relationship between the media and young people’s cultural experiences and expressions, anti-social behaviour and criminal activity, mental health in young people.

"Society throws many obstacles and challenges at our young people, many of these you may already have experienced or observed. You may also have read about the 'challenges' and recognised how some of the narrative about young people are incorrect. This is your opportunity to delve deeper into the frameworks, theories and methods of working with young people. Everyone has something worthwhile to contribute, to share your ideas and opinions, and to challenge and critically discuss the impact on young people." Aine Woods, course leader for Youth Studies, BSc (Hons)

Assessment

You’ll be assessed through coursework, class test, exam, individual and group presentation, work placement portfolios and an explorative project.

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you must have at least:

  • three A-levels with minimum grades BBC, or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • English Language and Mathematics GCSEs at grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above (or equivalent, eg Key Skills Level 2 in Communications or Functional Skills Level 2)

We welcome applications from mature candidates without formal qualifications who have relevant experience and can show an ability to study at this level.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2017/18 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday afternoon
    • all year (January start) - Friday morning

    The module provides a study of crime and its control through considering the history of criminological thought from the Enlightenment to the present day. The module begins by exploring classicism and traces the shift towards positivistic theories and later critical forms of criminological theory. Students are introduced to these theories through relating them to the social context in which issues to do with crime and deviance now occur.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    This module develops students’ understanding of the nature and practice of youth work and the position of young people in society. It examines key concepts, policies, theories and practices in relation to professional occupational standards, ethics and equality and diversity perspectives.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    The Principles of Community Work and Regeneration course introduces students to the environment within which community work takes place, and to the policy context, particularly in relation to regeneration. This module is a building block for community work skills and knowledge. It introduces students to definitions of community work, its origins and development. The module explores the principles of community development work, drawing on the National Occupational Standards for Community Development. It aims to explore the concepts of Social Justice, Self Determination, Working and Learning together, Sustainable Communities, Participation and Reflective Practice. It is taught over 30 weeks and is assessed through an essay, reflective writing piece and an evaluative report.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning
    • all year (January start) - Monday afternoon

    To examine how social problems become conceived as such by the media, government and civil society and to analyse the impact of particular social problems on society. We shall also reflect on the location of particular social problems in different spaces: global, regional, national, local and examine policy responses to particular social problems

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Year 2 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning

    This module introduces students to the both ethics and research through an exploration of principles, theories and practices that inform decision making in professional contexts. They are taught in two distinct parts. In the first part students will study ethics using sector specific professional codes of ethical conduct and will examine underlying normative ethical theories as they are represented within such codes. Current debates in ethical thinking for professional practice will be considered, providing opportunities for the critical application of different ethical perspectives to a wide range of contemporary moral issues and situations within professional contexts. In the second part, students will be introduced to the research process and research knowledge and skills relevant to professional and academic development. These research principles will provide a foundation for understanding approaches to social research and evidence based practice and research design.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon

    This module provides an opportunity for students to gain an understanding of social theory around gender and ethnicity and the impact on contemporary youth identities. This will include looking at the complicated and often contradictory ways youth identities are influenced by dominant social structures and cultures and numerous outside environmental factors, such as the family, the media and education.
    Thus, such factors will be analysed in order to gain an understanding of young people’s lived experiences in regards to gender, ethnicity, stereotypes and connotations of the term “youth”. However, one of the overriding themes that will also be addressed throughout the module is how such complexities around identity may impact on young people’s sense of positive self-identity in regards to issues of self-worth, self-esteem and their overall life journey into adulthood. Thus, there will be a particular focus on how professional youth work skills and practice can support and aid the development of positive self-identities.

    Therefore, this module aims to be very insightful to students who may wish to work with young people in future employment (Youth & Community Work and Youth Justice Work) or have an interest in issues addressed within in this module (Sociology and Education Disciplines).

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    This module looks at young people as social and political actors, and uses applied sociological theory to analyse current issues relating to youth in consumer society, the strategies of adaptation and resistance, violence and gangs, subcultures and political movements, and social control. The focus will be on the UK as well as European and global issues.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Friday afternoon

    This module examines the relationship between the media, crime and criminal justice. It examines the way crime and the law – and our understandings of them – are produced, reproduced and challenged in and through the contemporary media. The module considers how crime and criminals have been portrayed by the media over time, and assesses the different theoretical perspectives applied to media representations of crime and criminality. It examines the various ways the media actively work to construct crime as a news story, analysing the way the media sift and select crime stories, prioritizing some and excluding others, editing words and pictures and selecting particular tones and styles in their reports to create particular interpretations and viewpoints. The module also considers media portrayals of crime, criminals, victims and criminal justice agencies in a range of fictional and factual representations across TV, film and popular fiction. The social and cultural impact of these media representations is also discussed, with attention is given to the ways they may contribute to escalating fears of crime and how far they may contribute, themselves, to violence and criminal behaviour. Focusing on cultural, critical, and qualitative understandings of the relationships between crime and the media, the module draws on ideas and theories developed not only in the field of Criminology, but also the disciplines of in Sociology, Media, Communications and Cultural Studies.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Monday afternoon

    This module is designed to develop a critical awareness of policy changes, professional approaches and contexts, professionalism, organisational functioning to promote effective partnership working. Students will be introduced to and explore key organisational theories and practices and develop a critical understanding of the impact of organisational culture and change and policies upon professional practice. The module also develops student skills in effective teamwork, collaborative decision-making and negotiation through a series of participative learning experiences.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    The module explores theories and conceptions of racism and ethnicity, and the practices of racism in contemporary societies. The historical roots of racism will be examined and its contemporary forms studied comparatively. Racism is specifically explored within the context of social and political conflicts.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Monday afternoon

    This module explores the important relationships between the media and young people’s cultural experiences and expressions. The media are a ubiquitous presence in the lives of contemporary youth - the television shows they watch, the music they listen to, the video games they play, and the websites they visit all play a major part in young people’s lives, offering them a stream of different experiences, ideas and knowledge. This module considers the broad body of interdisciplinary scholarship that analyses youth’s relationship with media, and the nature of media texts aimed at young people. Attention is given to the way the media represent youth and target young people as a specific market for goods and entertainment, and also to the development of particular media forms aimed at young audiences – for example, specific kinds of advertising, distinctive film genres and TV formats,and particular kinds of social networking website. Consideration is also given to the possible influence of the media on youth’s behaviour, and to the ways young people actively engage with the media and make it meaningful in their lives. Here, particular attention is given to issues of gender, ethnicity, sexuality and social class, and the role they play in patterns of young people’s media usage and their practices of cultural expression.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon

    Academic authors have shown that for centuries adults have expressed concerns about the anti-social and criminal behaviour of young people. In recent times, this concern has centred on rising levels of violent crime by young people and the burgeoning ‘gang, gun and knife crime culture’ in the UK. In response to public concerns policy makers and practitioners have designed numerous community and criminal justice initiatives to tackle the anti-social behaviour of young people, reduce their offending rates and encourage desistence from criminal activity.

    This module critically examines young people’s involvement in crime and violence. It examines key theories for understanding violence by the young and explores the connection between violent behaviour and a variety of social issues such as peer pressure, gender, ‘race’ and ethnicity, and alcohol and substance misuse. This highlights the impact of changing economic, political and cultural contexts from the global to local. The module also explores, and critically examines, media and criminal justice responses to youth crime.

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Year 3 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon

    The module is designed to aid the students’ professional development with a particular emphasis on Youth/community work Industry. Students will explore identified key skills underpinned by key theories concepts and ideas, in order to be an effective practitioner thus increasing their employability in the sector. There will be opportunities for students to enhance their current skill set and critically reflect in order to enhance their development.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon

    This module re-visits research and evaluation methods and their relevance to social work practice contexts, culminating in the completion of a substantive student led project. This is a core module for Social Work students. It builds on earlier core modules that address research and ethical issues at levels 4 and 5. Students will have scope to develop further their critical analytical skills, engage with the research process and undertake a substantive exploration of a relevant subject and with a view to consolidating transferable skills for future employment.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon

    This module addresses the role of mediated representation and communication in the development and reproduction of cultural and social identities. Drawing on a range of recent critical theories, it considers a broad spectrum of symbolic forms from the fields of film, TV, magazines, popular literature and advertising, and relates them to the social construction of social identities including ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality. The module has a particular emphasis on anti-essentialist notions of identity, and on the influence of post-structuralism on identity and subjectivity.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    This module examines constructions of childhood that shape children’s experience of education and schooling. It proceeds from a commitment to social constructionism as an approach to understanding children’s lives in an increasingly diverse society and globalising world. This also facilitates a critical appraisal of the historical provenance of dominant discourses of childhood and ‘the child’ as an ideal type that commonly shape, direct and justify the normal practices of schooling, education, care and other institutions of childhood. The module complements historical and social examination of children’s lives with an explicit emphasis on the role played by space and place in the construction of childhood institutions. Cross-cultural and anthropological accounts of childhood and children’s lives are explored as part of the module’s intention to expand the imagination beyond dominant minority-world accounts and begin a process of rethinking predicated on difference, emergent globalisation and the agency of children.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

    This module will cover modern theoretical models of social control. It then goes on to interrogate the changing nature of social control in contemporary society, looking both at continuities with and disjunctions from the past It will use drugs and organised crime as examples to support and critique the theories. As this module is to be taught at level 6 it will also include some complex social and criminological theory.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday morning

    This module examines key theoretical approaches in the analysis of the production, distribution, consumption and meaning of popular music. It locates popular music as both a cultural form and a commercial enterprise. Examining the history and contemporary organisation of the music industry, the module considers the social production of popular music, and the impact of technological change on its creation and circulation. The module also considers key critical analyses of the nature and development of popular music as a cultural form. It explores the key social and cultural factors that shape our experience of music and the way we give it meaning within our lives, giving particular attention to issues such as gender, ethnicity, sexuality and social class. Drawing on studies produced within a range of theoretical fields, the module includes discussion of the impact of digital technologies on the music industry, the relationship between popular music and processes of globalisation, the construction of star personas and celebrity culture, and the nature of audiences, fans and subcultures.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday afternoon

    The module aims to focus on the competing and contested nature of the concept of “disability” and the implications it has on community development. It examines disability as a new social movement together with the ‘modernist’ and post-modern discourses around disability that informs much of the social policy provisions and community practice today. The module considers the radical transformation of the ways in which disability is understood - informed by the Disability Rights Movements of the 70s and 80s in the UK, and enables students to engage in a culture of debates and reflective practice that are critical and therefore increasingly required for effective community work.

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  • Education continues to be high on public policy agendas and an important field of debate and research in Social Science. This module focuses on developing critical understanding of processes and outcomes associated with educational inequality (social class, gender, ethnicity, special needs). It examines key issues in contemporary Education policymaking & practice and Sociological perspectives informing debates, with a view to exploring trajectories and constructions of Education Futures for the 21st century.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday morning
    • autumn semester - Thursday afternoon

    Homelessness and Housing Policy outlines the key issues of housing policy in the UK with a focus upon homelessness. It looks at the history of housing policy and of social housing in particular in the UK; at housing trends in the UK and the causes of the current housing crisis in London in particular and at homelessness. Combined with other modules in the faculty, such as ‘Housing Issues and Housing Solutions’, this module provides a housing pathway for students wishing to develop or further their careers in this area. The module runs for 14 weeks, and is assessed through a seminar presentation and a 2,500 word essay.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Tuesday afternoon

    This module sets out to combine an academic study of the relations between sport, education and society, with a pragmatic desire to explore sport in school, commensurate with wider educational objectives. Whilst the themes examined are general ones, they are explored with specific reference to a range of team and individual sport and physical activities, such as athletics, cricket, football, weightlifting, tennis, swimming, boxing, gymnastics and various exercise classes. At "national", world and Olympic games some of these offer valuable perspectives upon the place of sport in education and wider society. Furthermore the relation between them and their changing social construction is, in itself, a fertile area of inquiry.

    The module is divided into three blocks:

    • the first explores an historical perspective on the meaning and development of modern sport, and its place in education and society. Furthermore, it is concerned with relations to broader social and economic change and the implications of ‘race’ and social class for men and women’s, differing engagement with sports activity;
    • the second examines the role of sport in leisure and recreation;
    • the third offers an opportunity to define and deploy a critical perspective upon sport and its place in the curriculum, educational practice and the relation to national life.

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Three levels, each of 120 credits.

Year 1 topics include:

  • Principles of Community Work and Regeneration
  • Youth Work and Youth in Society
  • Social Problems and Social Issues
  • Action Learning and Professional Practice

Year 2 topics include:

  • Ethics and Research in Professional Contexts Working with Children and Young People
  • Working with Children and Young People
  • Racism and Ethnicity
  • The Developing Student: Self-Reflection and Learning
  • Partnership Working
  • Youth Culture and the Media
  • Youth, Crime and Violence
  • Self-Directed Development Project
  • Extension of Knowledge module
  • Work-based Learning Placement

Year 3 topics include:

  • Comparative and Global Social Policy
  • Research and Evaluation Skills for Professional Contexts
  • Leadership and Management in Professional Contexts
  • Childhood, Youth and Education
  • Analysing Popular Music
  • Homelessness and Housing Policy
  • Understanding Mental Health
  • Extension of Knowledge module
  • Work-based Learning Placement

Current student, Michael Ayeni, had this to say about his experience:

"This course has really helped me – it has provided me with a solid background knowledge in youth work and the skills I need. Through this course, I've been able to think in a different dimension about working with young people."

Read more on Michael's profile page.

"I feel that this course will enhance my future career prospects through my learnt skills and knowledge. The leader's passion has definitely infected me with enthusiasm to make a difference in society with youth practice."
National Student Survey (NSS) 2016

Graduates have a wide choice of careers within a rapidly expanding array of commercial, public and voluntary sector bodies; fields of particular relevance include social research, community work, counselling, teaching, youth justice, trainee probation, housing, health, education, welfare rights and drugs services. Previous graduates are now in roles as student support mentors and family case workers for schools, and as caseworkers for housing services for young people.

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2018. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

Unistats is the official site that allows you to search for and compare data and information on university and college courses from across the UK. The widget(s) below draw data from the corresponding course on the Unistats website. If a course is taught both full-time and part-time, one widget for each mode of study will be displayed here.

How to apply

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University, but please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa you are not able to study on a part-time basis.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

Fees and key information

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