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Youth and Community Development


Student City

Leeds Beckett University has provided education and training for youth and community workers for more than 20 years. During this time, the provision has grown significantly and now includes both undergraduate and postgraduate courses leading to professional qualifications recognised by the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) and validated by the National Youth Agency, as well as non-professional courses for those who want to work with young people, families and communities, or further their studies and gain a masters in Community & Youth Studies.

All the courses are shaped by the latest practices and teaching responds quickly to new policy developments in the sector. This approach ensures students graduate with up-to-date expertise which will increase their employability and managerial prospects. They will have the opportunity to gain practical experience working or volunteering in local, national or international projects, and they will be able to further refine their knowledge by undertaking a broad range of social science modules. Undergraduate students can also select from a number of option modules which might involve drama and the creative arts, health and well-being or outdoor and adventurous activities.

Staff are actively involved in youth or community-based practice or research, which helps them to contextualise their teaching to ensure students get the very best learning experience. Recent projects have included providing support for refugees and asylum seekers in the Leeds region, work to prevent young people from accessing pornography, support for peer educators, and work with young care leavers.

The Youth & Community Work team were crowned Course Team of the Year in the University’s 2014 Golden Robe Awards in recognition of its commitment to support student learning, and it was shortlisted for the same accolade in 2015. Alan Smith, Head of Youth & Community Work, was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2015 by the Higher Education Academy (HEA), and all staff hold Fellowships or Senior Fellowships of the HEA.