Course Overview

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.

Mode of Study: Blended Learning

The classes will be delivered via blended learning including a series of monthly workshops on Saturdays throughout the academic year September to May. The specific timetable for the academic year 2021-22 will be issued to all applicants in due course.


Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Applications System. This course is listed under Adult Learning & CPD Courses Application.

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.


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

QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

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 2021_22 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


Marie Simpson |   Graduate

I enrolled on this course after a career break to look after my family. Although I had never studied at third level before, I looked forward to where my academic journey would take me with an open and inquisitive mind. From the start, the Course Directors understood adult learners' needs and commitments and were very supportive. My peers, of varying age, were from diverse backgrounds. We had all experienced very different life experiences which made for lively and informative classroom debate. Although I enjoyed all aspects of the course, I found the youth and family modules most interesting. In the second year of the course, I started work in a family support role where I was able to transfer my theoretical knowledge into workplace skills grounded in best practice. The degree also taught me how to analyse information and put forward a robust academic argument. So for me, the course’s real highlight was the opportunity to learn research skills, taught in gradual steps over the four years. As students, we were encouraged to research our own choice of subjects in keeping with community, youth and family studies which culminated in a final year thesis.

Orla Campion |   Graduate

When I started this course I was volunteering in a youth club in Dublin and working in a corporate environment. My youth club experience was fun and rewarding and it made me rethink my attitudes and beliefs. This was a time in my life where I wanted to motivate myself and learn. I was attracted by NUI Galway's adult learning courses for my personal development. With this course I was able to separate the four years into attaining a diploma and a degree which made the whole course less overwhelming. Each of the modules reflect the areas of community, youth and family. My goal was to learn about youth and youth work; however, the modules complement each other and guide you through different issues. Each year the modules build on the previous year's knowledge and each step of the process is well thought-out and managed. I found that I enjoyed the challenge of the academic writing process and I gained research skills and the confidence to explore a topic academically and to use these skills to speak out. This has proven invaluable and I use my newfound understanding of best practice principles and practical skills learned in my volunteering and professional environment.

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.


  • 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)