Youth Studies - BSc (Hons)

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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.

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 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.

Fees and key information

Course type Undergraduate
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 do not have traditional qualifications or cannot meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the Community Development and Youth Extended degree.

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.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2018/19 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
    • all year (January start) - Friday 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.

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

    Read full details.
  • 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

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

    Read full details.

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

    Read full details.
  • 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.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - 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 explore the social origins of youth gangs and street violence;
    A3. To consider the key developments in political mobilisation of young people;
    A4. To investigate the concepts and nature of social control in relation to youth;
    A5. To develop confidence in use of appropriate learning, analytical and discursive skills when dealing with current youth issues.

    Read full details.
  • 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.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday afternoon

    The module aims to focus on the competing nature of the concept of “disability” and the implications it has on community development, social policies and practice. It examines disability as a new social movement that informs much of the social policy and welfare 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 reflection that are critical required for effective community work.

    Module aims
    The module aims to:
    (i) Provide students with a foundation for understanding and analysing disability in the context of current welfare policies and practices.
    (ii) Enable students to grasp the principles of the social model of disability and its implications for social inclusion and community development.
    (iii) Provide students with an understanding of how the experience of disability is shaped by its interaction with gender, ethnicity and social class.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon

    The overall aims of the module are to:

    1. Develop employability skills in interview skills, writing and completing job applications;
    2. Encourage students to reflect critically on their own performance in management and employability tasks, and identify gaps in their employability skills; and
    3. Develop research skills in employability

    Read full details.
  • 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.
    Module Aims:
    1. Provide an opportunity for social work and students from other courses to explore key theory, policy and practice elements of partnership working within a user-centred approach. This will involve a range of disciplines including social work, social care, health and housing
    2. Enable students to experience, in a highly interactive way and within a safe environment, partnership working and organisational management relevant to partnership working, to inform present and future practice.
    3. Develop student’s capability to reflect upon their own experiences of partnership working and explore factors that influence this, including finance and resource constraints, the ethical bases across the different professional groups and to examine how common values may underpin effective partnership working.
    4. Locate the changing nature of organisations and evaluate the implications for effective inter-professional working within a theoretical and practice-based framework.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday morning
    • spring 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.

    Read full details.
  • 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.

    Read full details.

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).

    Read full details.
  • 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

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

    Read full details.
  • 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, social policies and practice. 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.

    Module aims
    The module aims to:
    1. Provide students with a foundation for understanding and analysing disability related issues in the context of current welfare policies and practices.
    2. Enable students to grasp the principles of the social model of disability and its implications for social policy and community development.
    3. Provide students with an understanding of the dynamics of the experiences of having a disability and its interaction with other aspects of identity particularly gender and ethnicity.

    Read full details.
  • 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

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday afternoon
    • autumn semester - Tuesday 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.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday afternoon

    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.

    Read full details.
  • 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.

    Read full details.

Modules for this course are to be confirmed. Please check back at a later date or call our course enquiries team on +44 (0)20 7133 4200 for details.

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

After the course

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.

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.

Unistats - key information set

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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.

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