Youth Justice – Unitas

Youth Justice

At Unitas, we are passionately committed to improving outcomes for children involved in the criminal justice system, by helping improve the knowledge and skills of practitioners who work with them. We are the largest provider of youth justice courses and degrees in England and Wales, having taught over 3000 students since 2012. In 2019 we established the new Youth Justice Institute, which aims to help close the gap between research and the day-to-day practice challenges faced by staff working in both the community and custody.

Written and developed by leading academics, managers and practitioners working in a wide range of youth justice organisations, our courses offer unparalleled breadth and depth of practice-based learning at half the cost of equivalent distance learning courses offered elsewhere, and up to a third of the cost of traditional campus-based programmes.

All our courses fully integrate the knowledge, behaviours and skills outlined in the Youth Justice Skills Matrix – you can see how by using the Youth Justice Skills Audit tool on the Youth Justice Institute website.

FREE Taster Course

If you’re interested in finding out more about Youth Justice, why not register for our free Exploring Youth Justice short course

Register now

Youth Justice Courses

Youth Justice Effective Practice Certificate (YJEPC)

  • Explore the theory, practice and evidence of working effectively with children in the youth justice system.
  • Accredited by Skills for Justice Awards
  • Endorsed by the Youth Justice Board and recognised by the University of Suffolk

Certificate of Higher Education in Youth Justice

  • Explore the underlying principles that support and inform Youth Justice
  • This practice-based course will help you to develop as an informed and reflective youth justice professional
  • Accredited by the University of Suffolk

Foundation Degree In Youth Justice

  • Covers all the important areas of youth justice practice as identified in the Youth Justice Skills Matrix
  • Widely recognised by employers across the youth justice sector
  • Accredited by the University of Suffolk

BA/BA (Hons) Youth Justice

  • An affordable and flexible Bachelor degree programme that will help you move in to senior practitioner and management roles
  • Made up of the Foundation Degree in Youth Justice plus two additional modules
  • Accredited by the University of Suffolk

Managing & Coaching in Youth Justice

  • Aimed at those working or hoping to work in a management or supervisory role within the Youth Justice sector
  • Gain a critical overview of public sector management and develop the skills to become a ‘work-based coach’
  • Accredited by the University of Suffolk

MA in Youth Justice

  • Aimed at those looking to move into senior management roles within the Youth Justice sector or allied area
  • An excellent platform for those wanting to developing their research skills and progress onto doctoral study
  • Evaluate research and evidence and develop analytical, reasoning and reflective skills you can apply to your own professional practice

Build Your Course

Our flexible progression route means that you can build up to a full BA (Hons) in Youth Justice, gaining standalone, recognised qualifications along the way. If you are not ready to commit to a degree, you can start with the Certificate of Higher Education in Youth Justice and then either choose to leave with an accredited qualification or keep adding modules to progress step-by-step to the Foundation Degree, BA and BA (Hons).

The Youth Justice Effective Practice Certificate (YJEPC) is a stand-alone qualification, accredited by Skills for Justice Awards and widely recognised by employers across the youth justice sector. It also gives recognition of prior learning (RPL) for Module 3 (Effective Practice in Youth Justice) of the Foundation Degree; this means that if and when you decide to continue studying you will already have completed 60 credits of the Foundation Degree, saving you both time and money.

You can see how the individual building blocks combine together here. Hover over the title for highlights of each qualification and click on the module names for what you’ll study.

Certificate of Higher Education in Youth Justice

Level 4 120 credits
Duration 54 weeks

Certificate of Higher Education in Youth Justice

  • Gain an overview of youth justice
  • Shows that you can study at university level
  • Equivalent to successfully completing the first year of a degree
  • Credits count towards other qualifications – Foundation Degree or BA/BA (Hons)

  • Introduction to youth justice – aims, principles and operation
  • Adolescent development
  • Relationship-based practice
  • Rights and responsibilities
  • Educational engagement
  • Reflective practice

  • Young people’s development
  • Assessment in youth justice
  • Safety and wellbeing
  • Risk of offending and risk of harm

Foundation Degree in Youth Justice

Level 4 120 credits
Level 5 120 credits
Duration 108 weeks

Foundation Degree in Youth Justice

  • Combine academic and workplace skills
  • Equivalent to successfully completing the second year of a degree
  • Top up to a BA in just 30 weeks
  • Top up to a full BA (Hons) in 60 weeks

  • Introduction to youth justice – aims, principles and operation
  • Adolescent development
  • Relationship-based practice
  • Rights and responsibilities
  • Educational engagement
  • Reflective practice

  • Young people’s development
  • Assessment in youth justice
  • Safety and wellbeing
  • Risk of offending and risk of harm

(Can be taken as the standalone, accredited Youth Justice Effective Practice Certificate, worth 60 credits)

  • Why young people offend
  • Working effectively
  • Assessment and planning
  • Engagement and participation
  • Custody and resettlement
  • Desistance

  • Engagement and communication
  • Effective practice
  • Multi-agency working
  • Transitions

BA Youth Justice

Level 4 120 credits
Level 5 120 credits
Level 5 60 credits
Duration 138 weeks

BA Youth Justice

  • A requirement for many jobs
  • Extend your understanding of youth justice
  • Develop the ability to think critically, form arguments and solve problems
  • Top up to a full BA (Hons) in just 30 weeks

  • Introduction to youth justice – aims, principles and operation
  • Adolescent development
  • Relationship-based practice
  • Rights and responsibilities
  • Educational engagement
  • Reflective practice

  • Young people’s development
  • Assessment in youth justice
  • Safety and wellbeing
  • Risk of offending and risk of harm

(Can be taken as the standalone, accredited Youth Justice Effective Practice Certificate, worth 60 credits)

  • Why young people offend
  • Working effectively
  • Assessment and planning
  • Engagement and participation
  • Custody and resettlement
  • Desistance

  • Engagement and communication
  • Effective practice
  • Multi-agency working
  • Transitions

(Can be taken as the standalone, accredited Managing and Coaching in Youth Justice course, worth 60 credits)

  • Public sector management
  • Reforming the workplace
  • Implementation
  • Learners and learning
  • Coaching for managers

  • Political ideology
  • Children in the care of the state
  • Childhood and social policy
  • Diverse groups and specific needs
  • Children and young people’s rights
  • International youth justice systems

BA (Hons) Youth Justice

Level 4 120 credits
Level 5 120 credits
Level 5 120 credits
Duration 168 weeks

BA (Hons) Youth Justice

  • A requirement for many jobs
  • Extend your understanding of youth justice even further
  • Develop the ability to think critically, form arguments and solve problems
  • Conduct your own research project with support from a Learning Coach.

  • Introduction to youth justice – aims, principles and operation
  • Adolescent development
  • Relationship-based practice
  • Rights and responsibilities
  • Educational engagement
  • Reflective practice

  • Young people’s development
  • Assessment in youth justice
  • Safety and wellbeing
  • Risk of offending and risk of harm

(Can be taken as the standalone, accredited Youth Justice Effective Practice Certificate, worth 60 credits)

  • Why young people offend
  • Working effectively
  • Assessment and planning
  • Engagement and participation
  • Custody and resettlement
  • Desistance

  • Engagement and communication
  • Effective practice
  • Multi-agency working
  • Transitions

(Can be taken as the standalone, accredited Managing and Coaching in Youth Justice course, worth 60 credits)

  • Public sector management
  • Reforming the workplace
  • Implementation
  • Learners and learning
  • Coaching for managers

  • Political ideology
  • Children in the care of the state
  • Childhood and social policy
  • Diverse groups and specific needs
  • Children and young people’s rights
  • International youth justice systems

  • Choose an area of interest to you and conduct your own research project
  • Investigate the theory and academic debate around it
  • Develop a research question, strategy and methodology
  • Report your findings and make recommendations

Academic pathway

The pathway above is intended for students who are already employed or volunteering in youth justice or allied disciplines. From 2022 we will also be offering an academic route for other students, where you study for a Diploma of Higher Education rather than the Foundation Degree as you progress towards a BA or BA (Hons) degree. Please contact us for more information.

Careers

If you are interested in working in youth justice, taking one of our accredited courses will give you a qualification that is widely recognised across the youth justice sector.

If you already work in either a paid or voluntary capacity in the youth justice system or allied services such as youth work, then our courses will enable you to improve your knowledge and skills and to progress your career. For example, all prison officers in England and Wales who work with children now need to take the Foundation Degree in Youth Justice with Unitas, bringing them increased pay and recognition as youth justice specialist workers.

Whatever your situation, taking one of our rewarding courses will equip you with transferable skills and increase your employability, without having to commit the time and money usually needed to attend a traditional university campus.