Courses in

Nursing Health Sciences and Social Care

GMIT Mayo Campus

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Community Development and Youth Work

Four year honours degree in Community Development and Youth Work, which includes two separate Professional Practice Placements, the initial placement in second year and the final placement in third year.

Discipline: Nursing Health Sciences and Social Care

Programme Code: 


Location: Mayo

NFQ Level: 8

Programme Duration: Four years

Mode of Study: Full time

Application Route: Apply through the CAO

Places: 30

CAO Round 1 Points: NA - New Course

Why Study?

The meaning of community development and youth work can be interpreted and understood in a variety of ways.  It is apparent in today’s contemporary societies that inequalities exist, environments are under increasing pressure and human rights for some people remain unfulfilled.

The Community Development and Youth Work degree is designed to enable graduates to become critical thinkers and to work with diverse groups of people across the lifespan.

Through participatory processes learners will be guided to consider the multiple factors that impact upon people’s daily lives. Through dialogue, lectures, case studies, on-line learning, experiential activities, individual and group projects, creative inputs, research and Professional Practice Placement learners acquire knowledge, develop skills and competencies to work effectively in diverse community and youth work settings.  

The graduate by choosing to promote collective decision-making, identifying needs and considering ways of taking action to promote social justice, equality and human rights contributes to the process of social transformation and creating better outcomes for all.

Programme Modules

Stage/Year 1


  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Information Technology for Digital Media and Society
  • Introduction to Community Development (with professional practice)
  • Invitation to Psychology
  • Introduction to Law
  • Introduction to Youth Work (with professional practice)
  • Group dynamics and development
  • Introduction to Social policy
  • Creativity with communities and young people
  • Learning and Innovation
  • Preparation for Placement in Community and Youth Work

In the second semester of Stage/Year 1 students will meet with the Placement Co-ordinator to consider placement options for second year.

Stage/Year 2

  • Youth Work theory, principles and practice
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Civic engagement and Leadership
  • Reflective Personal Development
  • Community Work: Theory, principles and process
  • Legal Framework for Community Development and Youth Work
  • Entrepreneurship,Community Development and Youth Work
  • Community Development Professional Practice Semester 1: 16 hours per week x 13 weeks
  • Youth Work Professional Practice Semester 2: 16 hours per week x 13 weeks

In Stage/Year 2 learners are required to choose one of two of the possible following electives

  • Entrepreneurship in Community and Youth Work
  • Community and Place

Stage/Year 3

  • Social research
  • Diversity, Anti-racism and Social inclusion
  • Youth cultures
  • Promoting Health and Well-being
  • Human Rights and Equality
  • Rural Geography
  • Organisational behaviour
  • Community Development Professional Practice Semester 1: 8 hours per week x 13 weeks
  • Youth Work Professional Practice Semester 2: 35 hours per week x 13 weeks

In Stage/Year 3 learners are required to choose one of two of the possible following electives

  • Rural geography
  • Organisational behaviour

Stage/Year 4

  • Politics in Youth Work and Community Development
  • Supervision and Continuous Professional Development
  • Management, strategic planning and evaluation
  • Youth geography and migration
  • Sustainability and development goals
  • Advocacy and collaborative approaches
  • Advanced group work, conflict resolution and mediation
  • Governance and voluntary organisations
  • Community work approach to supporting families
  • Online community engagement
  • Workplace Dissertation

In Stage/Year 4 learners are required to choose one elective per semester from the possible following electives:

Semester one

  • Youth geography and migrations
  • Sustainability and development goals

Semester two

  • Online community engagement
  • Community work approach to supporting families

Career Opportunities

The potential career paths for successful graduates of the programme are varied.  These may include:

  • National and International Youth Organisations and services. 
  • Barnados
  • School Completion Programmes
  • Partnership Companies
  • Child and Young People’s Service Committees
  • Family Resource Centres
  • Education and Training Boards
  • Various Government Departments, e.g Child and Youth Affairs or Rural and Community Development among others
  • Various research roles

Follow-on Studies: 

Graduates may wish to study Level 9 and Level 10 programmes. These may include:

  • Family Support Studies
  • International Development Studies
  • Adult and Community Education
  • Leadership and Management in the Community and Voluntary sector
  • Other various research programmes

Essential Information: 

Garda Vetting

All learners are required to obtain Garda Vetting by GMIT on commencement of their studies.

Joint module delivery

Throughout the programme some modules are jointly delivered across different disciplines.  Learners will be facilitated in interacting with and getting to know others learners beyond their own programme.  This will expose learners to different perspectives and encourage engagement with diversity and difference.  Joint modules also create spaces to develop friendships and form working relationships and collaborations.

Online delivery

Learners are supported throughout the programme to develop IT literacy skills. This includes the delivery and completion of on-line elements within some modules. Computer access is available with the college to all students.  Learners have the option to access and complete online elements off-campus.

Professional Practice Placement

Professional Practice Placement is central to enable learners direct experience of community and youth work settings.  Learners are encouraged to integrate theory and practice; develop skills required for building relationships and trust; to become a reflective and reflexive practitioner to enhance personal awareness and develop inclusive and empowering practice. 

The Professional Practice Co-ordinator will liaise with learners to secure appropriate placements throughout the programme.


Exit Award

We are aware that personal circumstances can change for learners and for whatever reason some individuals are unable to complete four years of study.  The option exists for those who have successfully completed stage/year one, two and three can exit with a Level 7 award in Community Development and Youth Work.

Contact Us

Sheila McArdle
Telephone: +353 (0)94 904 3118