Youth Studies - BSc (Hons)

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Why study this course?

This degree will develop your skills to work with young people and practise youth work. You'll take an in-depth look at evolving identities, media representations, social policy, community development and the history of government approach to youth policy.

This degree 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. 

90% of our childhood and youth studies students were satisfied with the learning opportunities at London Met, according to the National Student Survey 2021.

More about this course

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 a number of social concerns, ranging from unemployment to social relationships and youth protests. At the same time, young people have a pulsating presence in the media and in creative arts.

You’ll explore the phenomenon of youth culture, gaining an understanding of youth in a social, cultural and political context. On top of this, you’ll examine local, national and global issues, plus developments that shape young people’s lives and life experiences.

This Youth Studies BSc will help you develop practical and transferable skills such as computing, video production, plus quantitative and qualitative analysis. These skills will be beneficial to your employment, further education or research.

Our lecturers are qualified and experienced practitioners in youth-centred research. On this course, you’ll also be able to take part in debates with expert external speakers. 

The modules are designed to represent different aspects of youth culture and current social issues impacting young people. These include subjects relating and prompting analysis of youth, resistance and social control, as well as exploring and critiquing the notion of self, identity and gender. You can choose to study modules that focus on areas of interest to you.

You’ll be able to examine trending social topics, including the relationship between the media and young people’s cultural experiences and expressions, anti-social behaviour and criminal activity, plus mental health in young people.

In your second year, you'll also have the opportunity to choose our Principles and Practice of Youth Work module, which is co-created by our own Youth Studies students. This module encourages you to think critically about issues affecting young people in contemporary contexts, and introduces applied principles and practice of youth work, as well as theoretical tools for understanding 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, Senior Lecturer in Youth Studies


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

Fees and key information

Course type
UCAS code L531
Entry requirements View
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Entry requirements

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 GCSE at grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent, eg Key Skills Level 2 in Communications or Functional Skills Level 2)

If you don't have traditional qualifications or can't meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing our Youth Studies (including foundation year) BSc.

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

Accreditation of Prior Learning

Any university-level qualifications or relevant experience you gain prior to starting university could count towards your course at London Met. Find out more about applying for Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL).

English language requirements

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2021/22 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) - Thursday morning

    The module aims to:

    1. Examine the emergence and development of criminological theory
    2. Examine the different ways in which different criminological traditions theorise crime and its social control
    3. Examine how the assumptions which underpin different traditions provide for different strategies of intervention and control
    4. Develop students’ learning and transferable skills in preparation for modules at levels 5 and 6.

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

    This module aims to:

    • explore key concepts of values, ethics , theory, policy , principles and practice in relation to youth work
    • introduce students to the sector professional occupational standards and the notion of an informed reflective practitioner
    • to explore and critically examine the role of the manager and effective supervisor
    • examine issues of identity, discrimination and oppression and the effect on young people’s lives
    • develop students’ skills in self-management, group work, oral presentation and academic writing

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

    - Analyse the social construction of a social problem
    - Collate information on the location and scale of a social problem
    - Reflect upon sociological interpretations of a particular social problem
    - Outline policy responses to a particular social problem

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

    This module aims to:
    1. Introduce students to the principles of community work, drawing on national occupational standards;
    2. Explain the history of community work and the current policy context;
    3. Outline the opportunities and challenges of regenerating communities and areas;
    4. Explain key concepts such as empowerment, participation, social justice and sustainability; and
    5. Enable students to critically reflect on their own work practice

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Year 2 modules include:

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

    The module aims to:
    1. Introduce students to the key processes for the management of community and youth organisations.
    2. Provide opportunity for students to recognise professional, cultural and ethical aspects of leadership and management.
    3. Develop students understanding and awareness of the issues of managing in community organisations by means of case-study analysis.
    4. Encourage students to reflect on their capabilities as a manager and leader.
    5. Provide analytical skills in the context of a structured engagement with work environment

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

    This module will introduce research and specially applied research to students from Community Development and Leadership and Youth Studies areas. 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, community profiling and evidence based practice and research design. It will introduce research methods and the basics of preparing a research proposal on themes related directly to community and youth work. It will further focus on how to decide the appropriateness of different research approaches in a variety of environments.

    Aims of the module
    The aims of the module are to:
    1. provide a foundation for understanding approaches to social and community research and evidence based practice;
    2. facilitate the development of research skills and knowledge for professional and academic development with a focus on community and youth work;
    3. provide students with a practical understanding of doing primary social research and understanding their underlying philosophies;
    4. explore the design and organisation of research approaches;
    5. examine a range of participatory, ethnographic and other methods of data collection and analysis;
    6. reflect on ethical and cultural issues inherent in doing social research;
    7. contextualise research within Community Development National Occupational Standards (CD NOS) and National Occupational Standards for Youth Work.

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

    A1. To provide students with a historical, theoretical and comparative understanding of the diverse forms of youth culture and youth social organisation;

    A2. To consider the key developments in political mobilisation of young people;

    A3. To investigate the concepts and nature of social control in relation to youth;

    A4. To develop confidence in use of appropriate learning, analytical and discursive skills when dealing with current youth issues.

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

    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.

    This module aims to:

    1. Examine the relation between media portrayals of crime and their broader social, economic and political context.
    2. Examine historical shifts in the way the media represent crime and criminal behaviour.
    3. Familiarise students with theoretical debates about the media’s effects on crime and criminal behaviour.
    4. Examine the connections between media portrayals of crime and criminal justice policy.

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

    This module examines the core concerns of recent social policy initiatives. Over recent decades, persistent inequalities in British society led to a focus on ‘joined-up’ thinking and the re-conceptualisation of these inequalities as ‘social exclusion’. A range of community-based projects lay at the heart of promoting ‘social inclusion’ and social cohesion. The core values of this approach are embodied in the National Occupational Standards for Community Development Work, promotion of community empowerment through a concern for people’s rights as citizens, the need for social justice and an understanding of our rich and diverse society. In the context of Brexit, recent government rhetoric extols the virtue of voluntarism and “shared society” that respects the “bonds of family, community, citizenship and strong institutions” in their policies and practices. This module will offer the opportunity to evaluate emerging policy developments in this area.

    This module sets the present concerns and processes in an historical and academic context. We look back to the struggles of the Civil Rights movement during the 1950s and 1960s and the impact this made worldwide. We consider some of the political debates which underpin discussions of rights, social justice and equality. More recent debates concerning the processes of globalisation and its relationship with citizenship will be considered before moving locally to the UK to consider changes in our approaches to inequalities.

    Aims of the module. This module aims to:
    1. introduce students to competing ideas of social justice
    2. locate current debates about human rights and citizenship in their historical context
    3. examine inequality and diversity in the context of recent legislation and
    4. look at current approaches to social justice using the examples of the work place and community development work and
    5. link philosophical approaches with current policy and practice

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

    This module will embrace the notion of social justice, compassion, and inclusion. This is key to our Education for Social Justice Framework at London Met.
    It aims to:
    1. introduce students to the professional principles and practice of youth work. There is a strong emphasis on the National Occupational Standards for Youth (NOS);
    2. develop skills in establishing relationships with young people in a variety of settings in order that they can make sense of their situation, express their aspirations and plan to meet their needs realistically;
    3. enable students to consider the work with young people in ways that promote equality of opportunity, participation, and anti-discriminatory behaviour;
    4. encourage the students to take a firm stand against discrimination, prejudice, and oppressive behaviour through their practice. Institutional discrimination and organisational policies and procedures relating to discrimination and oppression will be discussed;
    5. critically examine their own values belief systems and attitudes and how these impact on their work;
    6. explore factors that exclude young people and barriers to participation;
    7. identify opportunities for students to engage with critical enquiry into and active learning of the experiences of disadvantaged and marginalised groups will make a major contribution to student learning;
    8. facilitate and support the student’s growth by encouraging their educational development in informal and planned situations and interventions with young people.

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

    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.

    This module aims to:

    1. Examine the historical development of media forms geared to the youth market.
    2. Critically consider key theoretical perspectives developed in relation to the analysis of young people’s engagement with the media.
    3. Examine the nature, significance and impact of media representations of young people.
    4. Familiarise students with theoretical debates about the media’s effects on young people’s behaviour.

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

    The module aims to:
    1. Familiarise students with the theoretical perspectives that have shaped criminological thought on violence by young people
    2. Encourage students to develop a critical overview of young people’s engagement in violent crime
    3. Develop students’ ability to research, analyse and communicate critical and informed arguments relating to the theory, policy and practice underpinning youth involvement in violent crime.

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Year 3 modules include:

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

    This module develops students’ research skills further and involves the design, completion and write-up of a supervised, independent research project. This module expects students to carry out a small scale primary research as well as secondary research. It incorporates an on-going self -evaluation written up as a reflective research log and demands considerable time management abilities as well as the deployment of academic skills. On Leadership and Community Development course, the research can be carried out at the same organisation where the Work Placement is carried out. Students also have the choice of a completely different topic. Youth Studies students will develop an idea relevant to their practice and placement (if they choose placement module).

    Aims of the module: this module aims to:
    1. develop, refine and apply research skills and critical capacities, building on the core research skills developed through the Intermediate level module Researching Community and Youth Issues.
    2. undertake a manageable independent research in an area of their choice.
    3. focus on an issue affecting community or youth organisations or communities and carry out a small-scale project using primarily primary research as well as secondary research.
    4. explore complex issues which are of importance to communities and /or community organisations;
    5. link their topic of research to Community Development or Youth Work and relevant National Occupational Standards (CD NOS or YW NOS).

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

    The module aims are to:
    • Analyse how key sociological/psychological concepts and theories of youth and community work interact with employment skills
    • Provide insight into theoretical learning while linking to previous or potential practical experiences.
    • Incorporate experiential learning techniques to critically examine learning theory and promoting self-reflection to aid students’ understanding of knowledge and skills needed in employability.
    • Introduce students to the sector’s professional occupational standards and theoretical frameworks for critical reflective practice
    • develop students’ self-confidence as effective practitioners through the understanding of relevant theoretical knowledge and how they relate to the development of identified key skills such as project management, communication and presentation skills and supervision

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

    This module aims to exploit specialism’s residing within the criminology team in London met so that students can apply theories to exciting and relevant areas of criminology

    The module aims to:
    1. Introduce students to theories and debates on the nature of crime control in the modern state
    2. Provide an overview of the major traditions of thinking within Criminology regarding the issue of illegal drugs their use and distribution
    3. Examine the way the attempts to control crime and deviance are examples of broader debates over social control
    4. Sensitise students to the ethical and social consequences that flow from the way in which contemporary society elects to punish offenders and prevent crime

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

    The module aims to
    1. Critically examine conflicting discourses with regard to social and community enterprises
    2. compare models of entrepreneurial activity focusing on those relevant to community development and the voluntary sector
    3. consider the ways in which community development projects can adapt to changes in the external environment, including changing funding models and increasing requirements for non-grant related independent sources of income
    4. discuss the differences / similarities between the values of CD as expressed in the UK and those by the International Association for Community Development (IACD).
    5. identify ways in which success/failure can be measured in the context of community action and ethical concerns
    6. enable students to situate themselves with the competing ideas and practices which are prevalent within community development and the voluntary sector

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday morning
    • summer studies - Monday morning

    The module examines the history of housing policy in the UK, focussing in particular on the shift to neo-liberal housing policies from the 1980s. Key contemporary housing issues and the key causes of the current ‘housing crisis’ in London and the UK are examined.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday morning
    • spring semester - Monday morning

    The module aims to:
    1. Place changes in housing management in the context of wider social, economic and organisational changes;
    2. Introduce the key practical issues facing housing professionals, and good practice in addressing these issues;
    3. Identify ways in which housing service users and community workers can challenge poor performance and get involved in service improvement;
    4. Examine the benefits and challenges of partnership working in dealing with housing issues;
    5. Explain current discussions on the balance of rights and responsibilities for social housing tenants and other local residents.

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

    This is an Honours level core module and is based on a supported and self-managed work experience which can begin at the end of the second year and continue throughout the final year of the degree programme, though ideally to end by the beginning of the final semester. This pattern allows the final semester for researching and writing up the report. The aim is to achieve a minimum of 30 days. The work placement provides an opportunity for students to gain in depth knowledge in an area of their interest.

    This module is designed to enable students to undertake a work placement in an organisational setting relevant to community development and to utilise this experience to develop and reflect on:
    • The understanding of the academic discipline of the degrees
    • The National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Community Development Work
    • The range of generic and specific skills a student will need in their future career/area of employment, and
    • Student’s own learning and performance.

    The module aims to enable students to:

    1. Extend and evaluate an understanding of community development
    2. Develop job-search skills
    3. Apply research skills by conducting a small-scale organisational study
    4. Broaden awareness of work culture, organisational processes and policies, social issues and the occupational standards for community development work.
    5. Identify generic/transferable skills for development/improvement. Extend and assess competence in these skills
    6. Reflect on how these skills are appropriate to community development work and possible future careers
    7. Review personal development/training needs
    8. Enhance analytic and presentational skills through producing an extensive report written to a specific brief.

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What our students say

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

Where this course can take you

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.

Continuing your studies with us

London Met has a wide range of exciting industry-linked postgraduate courses available on a full-time and part-time basis in youth work, diplomacy, international relations and sociology. The following courses would be ideal for progression to postgraduate study:

If you've already studied your undergraduate degree with us, as a graduate of London Met, you'll be entitled to a 20% discount on any further study with us.

Additional costs

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.

Stay up to date

You can follow Youth Studies and Youth Work at London Met on Twitter to stay up to date with everything that's happening in our community.

Discover Uni – key statistics about this course

Discover Uni is an official source of information about university and college courses across the UK. The widget below draws data from the corresponding course on the Discover Uni website, which is compiled from national surveys and data collected from universities and colleges. If a course is taught both full-time and part-time, information for each mode of study will be displayed here.

How to apply

If you're a UK applicant wanting to study full-time starting in September, you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified. If you're an international applicant wanting to study full-time, you can choose to apply via UCAS or directly to the University.

If you're applying for part-time study, you should apply directly to the University. If you require a Student visa, please be aware that you will not be able to study as a part-time student at undergraduate level.

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.

To find out when teaching for this degree will begin, as well as welcome week and any induction activities, view our academic term dates.

Meet the team


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