Course Overview

2019-2020 1BCYF Timetable

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

Online Applications open on March 1st, 2021.

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.

Notice: with the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 coronavirus, we have decided to move classroom-based courses and blended learning seminars to a fully online teaching mode for the academic year 2020/21. The teaching schedule for the 2021/22 academic year will be reviewed over the coming months in line with government restrictions and social distancing guidelines. This decision has been made to ensure the safety of students & staff and our desire to continue to provide upskilling and professional development opportunities for all. If you have any queries regarding the format of online delivery mode, please contact your course administrator for further details.


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


A Level Grades ()

Average intake

30 per venue

Closing Date


NFQ level


Mode of study

Blended learning

ECTS weighting




Course code

Course Outline

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.   


  • 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'.

Further Education

Graduates of this degree will be eligible to apply for a range of postgraduate courses on offer at NUI Galway. These include, for example, the MA in Social Work, MA in Family Support Studies and MA in Gender, Globalisation and Rights. There is also a new MA course being launched in 2021, the MA in Child, Youth and Community. This innovative one year full-time/two-year part-time blended learning MA is directly relevant to BA graduates and will enable students to be proficient in programme planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation methodologies in the context of child, youth and community services.

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 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

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€2,990 p.a.

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU

€3,490 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 2020_21 Fees Scholarship Form for more information.

Find out More

Course Administrator
Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development
NUI Galway, Nuns' Island, Galway
Tel: 091 495241
For any academic (course content) queries, please contact:
Dr. Helen Casey
Tel: 091 493110
Dr. Deirdre Hardiman
Tel: 091 495203

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.


  • Adult Learning Prospectus

    Adult Learning Prospectus PDF (3.4 MB)

  • Postgraduate Prospectus 2021

    Postgraduate Prospectus 2021 PDF (11.3MB)

  • Short Courses Series 2021

    Short Courses Series 2021 PDF (4.5 MB)