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At NUI Galway, we believe that the best learning takes place when you apply what you learn in a real world context. That's why many of our courses include work placements or community projects.
Community, Youth & Family Studies (Degree)
This distance learning course is a four-year, part-time course 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 course and a Bachelor of Arts in Community, Youth and Family Studies on completion of the four-year cycle. This course 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 course 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
Please visit our How to Apply page for Application tips and Supporting Documents information.
Who Teaches this Course
Requirements and Assessment
The modular structure of the course 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.
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.).
4 years, part-time
Next start date
A Level Grades ()
30 per venue
Mode of study
This course 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 course 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 course 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 course fee. Each course 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 course 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.
YEAR ONE *
- 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)
YEAR TWO *
- 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)
YEAR THREE *
- 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)
YEAR FOUR *
- Planning, Developing and Evaluating Projects
- Research Project
- Understanding Equality and Diversity
- Exploring Lifelong Learning
- Personal and Professional Development
- Elective Modules (see listing)
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 InformationCurriculum 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'.
Year 1 (45 Credits)Optional SP1107: Volunteering: Theory, Policy and Practice - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional SP1108: Therapeutic Communication - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Required SP1105: Introduction to Learning - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Required SP1112: Introduction to Politics & Sociology - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Required SP1106: Promoting Mental Health & Well-Being - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Required SP1104: Exploring 'Community' and Community Development - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Required SP1110: An Introduction to Family and Society - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Required SP1109: Research Project - Literature Review - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional SP139: Community Health - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Required SP147: Youth & Society - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Required SP1113: Social Research Skills - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Year 2 (45 Credits)Optional SP2106: Volunteering: Theory, Policy and Practice - 5 Credits - Semester 3
Optional SP2107: Therapeutic Communication - 5 Credits - Semester 3
Optional SP2110: Issues in Contemporary Families (Approved) - 5 Credits - Semester 3
Required SP2112: Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults (Approved) - 5 Credits - Semester 3
Required SP2111: Developmental Psychology (Approved) - 5 Credits - Semester 3
Required SP2105: Youth Work Principles & Practice - 5 Credits - Semester 3
Required SP2104: Practising Sociology and Politics - 5 Credits - Semester 3
Required SP2102: Writing a Research Proposal - 5 Credits - Semester 3
Required SP2101: Group Work Theory and Practice - 5 Credits - Semester 3
Optional SP187: Community Health - 5 Credits - Semester 4
Optional SP135: Issues in Contemporary Family Life - 10 Credits - Semester 4
Required SP184: Understanding Conflict - 5 Credits - Semester 4
Year 3 (45 Credits)Optional SP194: Community and the Environment - 5 Credits - Semester 5
Optional SP195: Adulthood & Ageing - 5 Credits - Semester 5
Optional SP198: Critical Thinking - 5 Credits - Semester 5
Optional SP3114: Social Inclusion, Civic Engagement and the Modern State - 5 Credits - Semester 5
Optional SP3125: Social and Political Context of Activism and Advocacy - 5 Credits - Semester 5
Optional SP3131: Youth Work Principles & Practice (Approved) - 5 Credits - Semester 5
Optional SP3132: Safeguarding Children, Young People, and Vulnerable Adults (Approved) - 5 Credits - Semester 5
Required SP3130: Understanding Public and Social Policy (Approved) - 5 Credits - Semester 5
Required SP191: Research Methodology in the Social Sciences - 10 Credits - Semester 5
Required SP3124: Understanding Youth - 5 Credits - Semester 5
Required SP3122: Family Relationships and Social Interactions - 5 Credits - Semester 5
Required SP3121: An Introduction to Childhood & Adolescence - 5 Credits - Semester 5
Required SP3126: Research Project - Secondary Research - 5 Credits - Semester 5
Required SP197: Families and the Law - 5 Credits - Semester 5
Optional SP188: Development and Change - 5 Credits - Semester 6
Year 4 (45 Credits)Optional SP4105: Women, Men & the Economy: Critical Explorations of Theory & Policy - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional SP4106: Understanding Youth - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional SP4107: Social and Political Context of Activism and Advocacy - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional SP4104: Personal and Professional Development (Approved) - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional SP4111: Youth Work Principles & Practice (Approved) - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional SP4112: Safeguarding Children, Young People, and Vulnerable Adults (Approved) - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional SP4110: Understanding Youth (Approved) - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional SP4115: Adulthood & Ageing (Approved) - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional SP4114: Social Inclusion, Civic Engagement and the Modern State (Approved) - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional SP4116: Critical Thinking - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Required SP4103: Exploring Lifelong Learning - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Required SP4102: Understanding Equality and Diversity - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Required SP4101: Planning, Developing and Evaluating Projects. - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Required SP162: Research Project - 15 Credits - Semester 7
Optional SP4117: Development and Change (Approved) - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Why Choose This Course?
There are many career opportunities open to graduates of the B.A. in Community, Youth and Family Studies degree 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. course have gained employment as community development and family support workers.
Who’s Suited to This Course
Related Student Organisations
Fees: Student levy
Fees: Non EU
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 2020_21 Fees Scholarship Form for more information.
Find out More
Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development
NUI Galway, Nuns' Island, Galway
Tel: 091 495241
What Our Students Say
Dave Browne | Graduate
I am a Community Resource Worker at Chime, supporting people who are deaf and hard of hearing. I finished my secondary level education with a very modest Leaving Certificate and this left me feeling that third level education was not for me, it would be better if I joined the workforce in any capacity. However 27 years later I have now completed the 4th year BA course in Community, Youth and Family studies. The tutors over the past few years quenched any of my worries and doubts about re-entering education. The support and encouragement I received from the Adult Education team never wavered throughout the BA course. Being able to reflect and share on my personal and work experiences throughout each module was encouraged which aided my understanding of each module and in completing each assignment. I’m sure I’ve made lifelong friends in my classmates and my confidence, both personally and professionally has grown. My return to education has been so worthwhile and the feeling of achievement outweighs the fears and doubts I had four years ago. I would encourage anyone thinking of undertaking this course to go for it, you will not regret a single moment of it, I haven’t.
Maggie Crowley | Graduate
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 | Graduate
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.