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Undergraduate Degree Programme.

Course Details

BA Hons Youth Work, Communities and Practical Theology

DURATION: 3 years full time or 4-6 years part-time.

The Institution for Children, Youth and Mission offers individuals the opportunity to study for an Honours Degree in Youth & Community Work and Practical Theology, rooted within a Christian framework, and with JNC recognition (professionally endorsed), University validated.

Choose a degree which combines study and practical work, explores how faith interacts and informs youth work practice, is tailored to the challenges of working in Northern Ireland, and leads to a degree as well as JNC recognition. Our mission is to stimulate and support Christians working to transform the lives of children, young people, families and communities through developing and delivering practical theological education, professional formation and action-orientated research.

The training forms part of a unique partnership between Youth Link and the Institute for Children, Youth and Mission (CYM). For over 20 years Youth Link have been at the forefront of faith based youth work training and development and for over a decade CYM has provided a leading role in the delivery of professionally endorsed training in Christian Youth Work in the UK. Today CYM remains one of the largest single providers of JNC accredited Youth & Community training in the UK – with training centres serving England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

CYM in Ireland

CYMI classes are based at the Youth Link Training and Resource centre in Belfast.  Here Students attend Lectures, Professional Formation Groups and Professional Development tutorials throughout the term. Students, however also spend a significant proportion of their week working with a designated professional practice agency developing practical skills and abilities

The degree in youth and community work combines the sociological and psychological frameworks when working with young people with practical skills and theological reflection. Successful graduates will be skilled and equipped to work in Christian youth ministry as well as a wide range of community-based youth work settings across the UK and Ireland.  They will also have gained the JNC professional qualification which will enable them to be employed in a variety of youth work settings.

Modules will cover working with individuals, working with groups, Biblical theology, human development, management, good practice, ethics and values, faith and justice, ministry leadership, and much more.  There is also an opportunity to explore a particular passion through the writing of a dissertation.

 In practical terms, students will mean:

  • Travel to Belfast for classroom based lectures 1 day per week
  • Work in a professional practice agency for 14 hours per week (see below)
  • Attend regular Professional Development days each month
  • Meet in Professional Formation Groups (PFGs) for 2.5 hours every month for group reflection and discussion
  • Meet with an independent Professional Practice Tutor (experienced JNC youth worker) 1 hour every month who offers one-to-one support in developing your youth work practice
  • Complete two non-faith/secular alternative placements in Years 2 and 3  (see below)

Professional Practice Agencies

Students are based in the same Professional Practice Agency (PPA) for the duration of the degree giving good experience and aiding employability upon graduation.  Located right across the Province, all professional practice agencies are either churches or Christian youth organisations, and the majority offer a financial bursary to the student.  Once a candidate has been successful in securing a place on the degree programme, Youth Link staff give support and direction in securing a suitable PPA.

Examples of past PPA’s include:

  • Youth Initiatives, Belfast
  • Portstewart Baptist Church
  • Christ Church, Lisburn
  • St. Louis House, Belfast
  • Waringstown Presbyterian Church
  • The Net YFC Drop in Centre, Comber
  • Newtownabbey Methodist Mission
  • YMCA, Belfast
  • The Fountain Centre & Ardess Parish Church, Kesh

Alternative Professional Practice Agencies

Smaller placements in Alternative Professional Practice Agencies (APPA) give students a contrasting experience to the PPA. Examples of past APPAs include:

  • Southern Education and Library Board
  • Simon Community
  • Chinese Welfare Association
  • Youth Action
  • Include Youth
  • WAVE Trauma Centres
  • Ulster Project

 After Graduation

BA (Hons) Youth & Community work and Practical Theology graduates are well respected in their field and are employed as youth workers or youth ministers by churches and Christian youth work organisations. Others also enter professional careers with local authorities, statutory projects or charities. The degree and JNC qualification will equip you for a wide variety of exciting and creative ministry opportunities in the future.

How much will it cost?

For the Academic Year 2017 the course fee for UK and EU students was £5,995.  Future fees will be confirmed as soon as possible.  Students are eligible to apply for loans through the Student Loans Company.  Financial Bursaries are available through Professional Practice Agencies and help to offset this cost.

Entry requirements

Applicants must:

  • have gained relevant practical experience within the last two years (this can be in a voluntary capacity)
  • provide three references
  • have a current ISA (Access NI) Registration
  • have 64 UCAS points or suitable access qualification, or equivalent. 


Making an Application

Applications can be made to CYM by completing the following 4 documents:

BA Application Form 2018
Personal Reference CYMI 2018
Educational or employment reference CYMI 2018
Youth work reference CYMI 2018

The above can be emailed to or posted to the CYM Ireland address.

Applying through UCAS

Applicants must also apply through UCAS, the course code is V692 and the institution code is S72

View the course on the UCAS web site


If you are an organisation interested in providing a Professional Practice Placement for one of our students please complete Potential PPA Form 2018 and send to  You may wish to download our Main Placement Information Pack by clicking the following link:  2017 CYMI Main Placement Info Pack.  The 2018 pack will be made available early in 2018.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have further questions. Email:

For further information please see Centre for Youth Ministry Website by clicking the following logo:


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