Course Overview

2017-2018 1BCYF Timetable

This distance learning programme is a four-year, part-time programme in Community, Youth and Family Studies. Students are awarded an NUI Diploma in Arts (Community, Youth and Family Studies) upon successful completion of the first two years of the programme and a Bachelor of Arts in Community, Youth and Family Studies on completion of the four-year cycle. This programme is designed to enable participants to further develop and enhance their understanding, knowledge and skills relevant to Family, Youth and Community work practice and policy in Ireland or abroad. The main focus of the Degree programme will be on Community, Youth and Family studies, but will broadly incorporate community development, family support, adolescence, childcare, health, political and general socio-economic studies.


Applications and Selections

This course will run again in September 2019.





Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

The modular structure of the programme allows students to proceed at their own pace. A series of one- to two-day workshops are scheduled throughout the academic year (September to May) which students must attend – this equates to approximately one workshop per month.

Students must attend workshops and submit an assignment for each module. Students must also submit a project at the end of each year of study. A proportion of marks are also allocated to written examinations.

Formal academic qualifications are not required to commence the BA in Community, Youth and Family Studies. Students should have appropriate experience in Youth, Family, or Community work and must be in a position to undertake course assignments and projects relating to practical aspects of Community, Youth, and Family Studies.


Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Formal academic qualifications are not required for entry to the BA in Community, Youth and Family Studies. Participants should have good reading and writing skills, as well as basic IT skills, as independent home study is required.

Students should have appropriate experience in Youth, Family, or Community work and must be in a position to undertake course assignments and projects relating to practical aspects of Community, Youth, and Family Studies.

Entry requirements for part-time students can be found in our FAQs section (i.e. age, english language requirements etc.). 

Additional Requirements


4 years, part-time

Next start date

September 2018

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

30 per venue

Closing Date

NFQ level


Mode of study

Blended learning

ECTS weighting




Course code

Course Outline

This programme was developed in response to the continuing education needs of personnel working in community/voluntary and state sectors actively supporting Community, Youth and Family life in a rapidly changing society. It is an interdisciplinary programme drawing upon selected components of Sociology, Politics, Community Development, Family Studies and Law. It is a broad educational programme which places specific emphasis on knowledge and skills for personnel working within a broad range of sectors which seek to support and enable families and communities to function effectively within society.

This NUI Diploma/ BA programme is designed specifically to create accessible, student centred learning opportunities within the Social Sciences. Core open learning materials, developed by NUI Galway practitioners and experts in the field of Community, Youth and Family support, will be provided to students at the start of the programme. The cost of learning materials and the tuition is included in the programme fee. Each programme consists of a combination of learning materials, workshops and assignments.  

An NUI Diploma in Arts (Community, Youth and Family Studies) is awarded on attaining 90 credits and a Bachelor of Arts in Community, Youth and Family Studies degree on attaining 180 credits. 

The BA programme is devised on a modular, credit basis. Each module carries a specific number of credits. The maximum number of credits that a student can attain each year is 45 credits.   


  • Introduction to Learning
  • Introduction to Politics and Sociology 
  • Social Research Skills
  • An Introduction to Family and Society
  • Exploring ‘Community’ and Community Development
  • Youth and Society
  • Promoting Positive Mental Health & Well-being
  • Research Project: Literature Review
  • Elective Module (see listing)


  • Group work Theory and Practice
  • Writing a Research Proposal
  • Issues in Contemporary Families
  • Understanding Conflict 
  • Safeguarding Children, Young People, and Vulnerable Persons
  • Practicing Sociology and Politics 
  • Youth Work Principles and Practice 
  • Elective Module (see listing)


  • Research Methodology in the Social Sciences 
  • Research Project – Secondary Research
  • An Introduction to Childhood and Adolescence
  • Family Relationships and Social Interaction
  • Understanding Youth
  • Families and the Law
  • Understanding Public and Social Policy
  • Elective Module (see listing)


  • Planning, Developing and Evaluating Projects
  • Research Project
  • Understanding Equality and Diversity
  • Exploring Lifelong Learning
  • Personal and Professional Development        
  • Elective Modules (see listing)


  • Community Health
  • Development and Change
  • Promoting Positive Mental Health & Well-being
  • Volunteering: Theory, Policy, & Practice
  • Therapeutic Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Social Exclusion, Citizenship and the Modern State
  • Social & Political Context of Activism & Advocacy
  • Adulthood and Ageing

Note: Other elective modules may be offered in addition to, or in substitution of, the modules listed above. Not all of the elective modules may be offered every academic year

Curriculum Information

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
Some courses allow you to choose subjects, where related modules are grouped together. Subjects have their own required number of credits, so you must take all that subject's required modules and may also need to obtain the remainder of the subject's total credits by choosing from its available optional modules.
A module you may choose to study.
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Required Core Subject
A subject you must study because it's integral to that course.
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year, so a three-year course will have six semesters in total. For clarity, this page will refer to the first semester of year 2 as 'Semester 3'.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

There are many career opportunities open to graduates of the B.A. in Community, Youth and Family Studies degree programme as it offers a solid foundation and understanding of the social science discipline. Some graduates have progressed onto postgraduate study in Social Work and Life Course (Family Support) studies while other graduates of the B.A. programme have gained employment as community development and family support workers.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€2,900 p.a.

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU

€3,400 p.a.

A fees scholarship of up to 30% may be available for students who wish to upskill for the purposes of re-employment.  Students must be registered as unemployed and in receipt of one of the following: 

  • Job-seekers Benefit
  • Job-seekers Allowance
  • One-parent family allowance
  • Disability allowance
  • Community Employment Scheme
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Signing for social insurance contribution credits

Please download the 2018_19 Fees Scholarship Form for more information.

Find out More

Course Administrator, Community Education 

Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development
NUI Galway, Nuns' Island

Tel: 091 495472 

What Our Students Say


Dave Browne |   First Year Student

I am a community resource worker in, supporting people who are Deaf and hard of hearing. I left school with a mediocre Leaving Certificate and did not feel 3rd level education was for me. Twenty years since last being in formal education, I met with my NUIG course Co-ordinators and Programme Organiser. They quenched all my fears and anxieties and reassured me of my ability to succeed within this course, with their ongoing support throughout. Likewise, in the classroom, the tutors treat us as peers and ensure that an inclusive environment exists. I am encouraged to share and reflect upon my work-life experiences as aids to module understanding and assignment completion. My assignment feedback and grading have been extremely positive and encouraging. I look forward to each class and to meeting my classmates. Overall, my return to education has been overwhelmingly positive, supportive and enlightening. I’m more confident in my work practice and feel my continued learning will shape my career path for the better. I’d encourage anyone ‘hesitant’, to go for it! You’ll never look back!

Maggie Crowley |   Second Year Student

As a young parent I deferred college, aiming to one day earn a degree. After volunteering with the ISPCC I wanted to learn more about societal issues. I found the Dip. in CDP ideal to ‘dip my toe’ back into education before committing to a BA. Afterwards I was confident I could undertake further study & that support would be available to me from NUIG. The Community & Family Studies BA is exactly what I was looking for. It covers a range of topics from contemporary family life to politics & policy making, plus academic writing skills, research skills & study skills. The course coordinators & tutors are friendly, approachable & happy to address any concerns. The part-time aspect of the program was a big attraction; it has no impact on my employment as the workshops are well spaced out & the dates are given in advance to enable you to arrange any time off you may need. Though we’re not on campus together regularly, I feel quite close to my classmates & I have made some great friends. Returning to education has given me a huge sense of achievement & that I am part of a larger community. It has been a great confidence boost; I recommend a return to education to anyone considering it.

Ruth Holland |   Second Year Student

I left work after the birth of my children to spend more time with them & took up a voluntary position as a youth leader in my spare time. I enjoyed the work and as my children grew older, I decided to get a job as a youth worker. However, in order to do this I needed a college qualification. I applied for the Youth & Comm. Dev. Practice Diploma. My greatest concern was that I would not be able to keep up academically. However, I found that the course was both manageable & very enjoyable. After my first year, I gained enough confidence to continue onto the BA in Community & Family Studies. Again, I was concerned that the course might be too challenging in terms of time/academic difficulty. However, I found the content very interesting and the tutors exceptionally patient, helpful and knowledgeable. The structure and course timetable gave me the time to find a job as a youth advocate & to continue to look after my children. I never believed that I could enjoy education, but adult learning in NUIG has altered my outlook. Even though I now have the job I wanted, I still enjoy the course and continue to gain skills that I use in my work. I found the course to be enormously rewarding.