Christian Youth Work Training

Additional Notes Higher Education courses in Christian youth work and/or ministry

Academic levels

For Higher Education courses delivered by UK Universities and their partner organisations, the new academic levels and their usual titles are as follows (Scottish qualification levels in brackets):

Level 4 (Scotland Level 7)Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE)
Level 5 (Scotland Level 8)Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)
Foundation Degree (FdA)
Level 6 (Scotland Level 10)Honours Degree (BA Honours or BSc Honours)
Level 7 (Scotland Level 11)Masters degree (MA or MSc)

The normal expectation is that to achieve a qualification at one of the levels, you will need one year of full-time academic work.  Hence a full-time undergraduate degree which would lead to a BA Honours will require three years full-time or six years part-time study

Professional qualification

Courses which lead to a BA Honours degree as a minimum will qualify for professional validation.  If you want to get the JNC Professional Grade – the recognised standard for Youth & Community Work – you will have to take either a three year full-time undergraduate course (or equivalent part-time) or take one of the postgraduate courses (Graduate Diploma, Postgraduate Diploma or Masters)


The main professional qualification in youth work is the JNC Professional Grade.  JNC stands for the “Joint Negotiating Committee for Youth and Community Workers” and there are JNC or equivalent committees in each of the four nations of the UK which both set terms and conditions for youth work, and approve training courses.  The terms and conditions are not mandatory for employers in the voluntary sector, but many choose to use them as they represent good practice.  More details can be found on the National Youth Agency’s website.


Many of the programmes refer to placements or placement-based students.  This normally means that a student will live at or near a youth work placement (church, group of churches, Christian agency etc.) and will undertake youth work there and travel in to the college for lectures etc.  Placement learning is a key element of all youth work courses, enabling key competencies to be developed through working with young people.

Cost per year

This is the cost, normally for a full-time course, for the year commencing September 2015.  Prices change each year and you would need to contact the organisation concerned for details of the September 2016 prices