UCC Undergraduate courses

Youth & Community Work

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Youth & Community Work

  • Code


  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    3 Years

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications

    BSocSc (Hons)

  • Fees

    Student Contribution + Capitation: €3,138 See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    This programme is open to mature and QQI/FET applicants. See Requirements for full details.

Course Outline

Are you interested in working with communities? Would you like to work with young people? Do you have a commitment to equality and social justice? Are you interested in getting involved in movements for social and environmental change?

The BSocSc (Youth and Community Work) degree programme should interest you if you are keen to work with people and communities, including those experiencing inequality, marginalisation and social exclusion.

This unique degree combines an academic social science programme with a professionally accredited qualification in youth work. This professional qualification is recognised by employers in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and throughout the UK.

The BSocSc (Youth and Community Work) programme offers a range of foundational subjects including Sociology, Social Policy, and Research Methods. Exciting contemporary subjects also offered include the sociology of youth, principles, and practice of youth and community work, citizen engagement and social movements, children and young people’s rights, working with groups and communities, global education, young people’s mental health, the use of social media in youth and community work, sustainability and the environment, and project planning and management.

The course is designed on the understanding that this is the first time that many students are encountering the social sciences. As such, students are not expected to have prior knowledge of the various subjects, and the first year is focused on introducing you to key concepts and theories.

An integral element of the degree is the opportunity to engage in research about a social issue of special interest to you. Final year students undertake a social research project (dissertation) that they design and carry out with the guidance of an academic supervisor and with opportunities to collaborate with local youth or community organisations. Students therefore produce ‘real world’ research that responds to key social issues in the 21st century.

Growing inequalities, destabilisation of democracy, and the existential problem of climate change pose considerable threats to our already complex and changing society. In this context, skilled and knowledgeable community and youth workers have a key role to play as facilitators, leaders, and participants in movements for social, environmental, and economic change and justice.

Upon completion of this course, you will have access to a range of stimulating and varied employment opportunities across the youth work, community, and voluntary sector, giving you the chance to continue to offer your critical skills and knowledge to young people, communities and social movements.


Year 1

  • SS1101 Introduction to Youth & Community Work (10 credits)
  • SS1102 Social Analysis (10 credits)
  • SS1104 Principles and Practice of Youth and Community Work (10 credits)
  • SS1105 Social Policy 1 (10 credits)
  • SS1107 Level 1 Professional Placement (10 credits)
  • SS1130 Contemporary Issues in Youth and Community Work (5 credits)
  • SS1154 Informal and Global Education in a Youth and Community Work Setting (5 credits)

Years 2 and 3

See the Academic Programme Catalogue for the current core and elective modules for all years.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue (BSocSc Youth and Community Work) for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year-to-year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

Expected lecture hours: This course integrates an academic social science course with a professional practice training course in youth and community work. You will generally be required to attend lectures, tutorials and supervisions two to three days per week.

Placements: In first and second year you will be required to complete two days/16 hours of supervised practice placement weekly in a recognised agency, over the course of the academic year. In third year you will undertake a 10-week full-time block placement in the second semester.

Other practicalities

This programme will be subject to UCC's Fitness to Practise Policy.

Garda vetting is carried out by the Admissions Office in UCC once a student has accepted their place on this progamme. 


You will be assessed by examination (25%) and continuous assessment (75%). Continuous assessment is made on the basis of the written assignments which are part of the course. These consist of projects, case studies and essays. In all cases, these are marked by the course lecturers involved in the teaching of that particular component.

Written assignments will be assessed within the context of established criteria and you will have to submit them by the deadlines established at the beginning of the academic year by the course director. Submission dates will be staggered to ensure that excessive demands are not made on students at particular times of the year. Submission of written assignments is split between the two semesters

The Practice Placement module is assessed on a pass/fail basis.

Marks are awarded out of 100 per 5-credit module and 200 per 10-credit module (out of a total possible mark of 1,000).

Why Choose This Course

This job works for me, my family, and my life, it took me a while to find the balance, but it was important for me to keep trying and now I found a job that I wouldn’t change for the world...

Ger Rice, Kinsale Youth Support Services

Youth and Community Work

Find Out More
Going into university for the first time as a mature student was challenging but the support I got, particularly from my tutors, was unbelievable.

Noelle Ngenwie

Youth and Community Work

Find Out More

Upon successful completion of the course you will be awarded a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science (Youth and Community Work) validated by the North-South Education in Training Standards in Youth Work Agency and recognised by JNC conditions for professional qualification.

The course is designed exclusively for mature students and accordingly offers supports and appropriate pedagogical structure.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

In each year of the programme you will have the opportunity to undertake a practice placement in an agency in the youth, community, or voluntary sector. Practice placements provide exciting opportunities to develop your knowledge, experience, and a wide range of skills, and help to build your reputation as a practitioner while studying on the programme. The first and second year of the programme consists of two days of on-campus days of lectures each week alongside 16 hours of supervised practice placement.

Placements can be facilitated locally, nationally and internationally, and to date, students have undertaken placements in countries including India, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Northern Ireland, and Denmark.

Skills and Careers Information

Graduates from this course usually choose to seek employment in the following areas:

  • Youth and Community Work
  • Voluntary Sector
  • Women’s groups
  • Community Development projects
  • Family Centres 
  • Travellers’ rights groups
  • Groups dealing with Disability, Homelessness, Ageing, Migrants Rights, Mental Health 

Graduates of the programme are employable in a wide range of areas as the skills developed on the course, particularly in the areas of both ‘people skills’ and reflective practice, and also the ability to provide critical analysis, readily transfer to many other areas.

Many former students of the programme play significant roles in their own communities and a number of former students are involved in politics at both local and national levels. Many of the positions on offer following graduation attract professional salaries and provide career opportunities.

A significant number of graduates also pursue postgraduate studies in areas such as:

  • Social Policy
  • Social Work
  • Counselling
  • Criminology
  • Sociology
  • Migration Studies
  • Women’s Studies
  • Voluntary and Community Sector Management
  • Law
  • Health Promotion
  • Media Studies


Mature Students 

You must be 23 on or before 1st January of the year of proposed entry. Mature applicants must apply through the CAO before 1 February of the year of proposed entry, include a statement of interest and must also apply and sit the MSAP test. Successful completion of a suitable access course (e.g. PLC College or Adult Education), while not obligatory, is desirable.  Applicants should have the equivalent of at least one year of experience, either paid or voluntary, in the youth/community/voluntary sector and be interested in working in this area and with people from disadvantaged communities and minority groups.

Selection will take into account:

  • MSAP
  • Interview
  • Statement of Interest

You must be 21 years of age on or before 1 January of the year of proposed entry.  Applicants should also have the equivalent of at least one year of experience, either paid or voluntary, in the youth/community/voluntary sector.  Interview will be used as an additional selection mechanism.

There are up to 5 places for QQI FET applicants presenting certain qualifications: See our QQI FET page for more information.

Progression Route from CACE (UCC Centre for Adult Continuing Education) Programmes

You must be 21 years of age on or before 1 January of the year of proposed entry. Applicants can apply on the basis of having successfully passed and completed one of the following Level 7 CACE programmes: 

  • Diploma in Youth and Community Work
  • Diploma in Autism Studies
  • Diploma in Disability Studies
  • Diploma in Leadership in the Community
  • Diploma in Social and Psychological Health Studies
  • Diploma in Women's Studies

Applicants who have successfully passed and completed one of the above level 7 courses will not have to sit the MSE.

Holders of a 2.1 in the Diploma in Youth and Community Work who subsequently apply for and are offered a place on the degree programme may apply for an exemption from the 10 ECTS module SS1101 ~ Introduction to Youth and Community Work.


An interview will be used as an additional selection mechanism.

Applications for the above entry routes to the CK114 Programme are made through the CAO before 1 February.

Fitness to Practise

This programme will be subject to UCC's Fitness to Practise Policy.

Student Garda Vetting

All students on this programme will come into contact with the public and assume positions of trust through educational and training opportunities. To ensure the protection of the public, and to justify public trust and confidence, UCC is committed to ensuring that only suitable candidates are allowed to undertake this programme.

Student Garda vetting is carried out by the Admissions Office in UCC once a student has accepted their place on the programme. It involves a police check to establish whether the individual being vetted has had criminal convictions in the past or whether any criminal proceedings are pending. The Garda Síochána provides this information for students who have resided in Ireland for a period of six months or more (including permanent residence).

All students who have resided outside Ireland for a period of six months or more must furnish a Police Clearance Certificate from their country or countries of residence. This certificate should state that the student has had no convictions recorded against them while residing there.

Non-EU Applicants

Non-EU applicants are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such applicants are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements visit our qualification comparison page and refer to our International Office page for more information.

Fees and Costs

  • Whether you are an EU or Non-EU student will affect the course fees applicable to you. See more information on EU Fees, Non-EU Fees, or Free Fees Status.
  • The State will pay the tuition fees for EU students who are eligible under the Free Fees Scheme. The annual student contribution and capitation fees are payable by the student.
  • See the Fee Schedule to find out the course fee.
  • Check out scholarships that may be available to you.
  • Explore our Nurturing Bright Futures free online course (Module 5) to learn about managing your money as a student and budgeting for university life.

How Do I Apply

Irish and European (EU/EFTA/UK) Applicants 

Apply via the CAO. See the CAO Handbook for useful information on applying through the CAO. 

Mature Applicants 

Apply via the CAO by 1 February. To apply for a place as a mature student, you must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the year of entry.

QQI/FET Applicants 

Apply via the CAOSee our QQI/FET Applicants page for information on the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Further Education and Training (FET) application process. 

Non-EU Applicants 

If you are from outside the EU/EFTA/UK, apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page for more information. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact