youth justice

Youth Justice BA/BA (Hons)

  • Want to gain a vocationally relevant degree but don’t have the time and money required to attend a traditional university campus?
  • Already completed the Foundation Degree in Youth Justice and want to top it up to a Bachelor (Ordinary) Degree or a full BA (Hons)?

Accredited by the University of Suffolk, the BA (Ordinary) and BA (Hons) Youth Justice provide an opportunity for you to develop strong analytical, reasoning and reflective skills applied in the context of youth justice practice.  You will explore key areas, such as assessment and planning, relationship-based practice and child and adolescent development, and gain a greater insight into why children become involved in offending and the ways that society responds.  There are also options to develop your management skills or to engage critically with national and international dimensions of youth justice policy.

What level is the course?

  • FHEQ L4, 5 & 6
    (equivalent to study in the first, second & third years of an undergraduate degree)

How will you be assessed?

Computer Marked Assignments (CMAs)
A range of Tutor Marked Assignments (TMAs), including:

  •  Essays
  •  Case studies
  • Reflective accounts
  • Briefing papers

An Independent Research Project report

Who accredits the course?

  • University of Suffolk

How long will it take to complete?

  • 168 weeks (just over three years part-time)

What are the entry requirements?

No specific academic requirements but you must be employed/ volunteering within the Youth Custody Service, youth justice system or allied area for at least one day a week

See Student Support for how we can help you during your course to realise your full potential.

What does it cost?

The total cost of the full BA (Hons) for 2024 is £7200.

The total cost of the BA (Ordinary) degree is £6000

This is made up of:

  • Foundation Degree in Youth Justice: £4800
  • + Level 6 Social Policy module: £1200
    OR Level 6 Managing and Coaching module: £1200
  • + Level 6 Independent Research Module: £1200 (BA (Hons) only)


Payment plans are available to help you spread out the cost – please see Fees and Funding for more information. If you are being sponsored on this course, please have your sponsor details ready when you register.

When can you start?

  • October 2024 REGISTER NOW

You will study up to six modules, two of which last 24 weeks and four of which last 30 weeks each. The first four modules make up the Foundation Degree in Youth Justice (FDYJ) and you will then choose between Managing and Coaching in Youth Justice or Social Policy and Youth Justice. The first option is suitable if you are interested in moving into a managerial role or want to develop your existing management skills, the second option if you are interested in critically exploring how decisions are made about youth justice policy and the consequences of those decisions for children and their families. Completing either of these modules will automatically mean that you have a BA (Ordinary) in Youth Justice; to get the full BA (Hons) you will then need to undertake an Independent Research Module over a 30-week period.

Using our unique digital platform, you will learn through video case studies, extracts, reflective activities and interactive quizzes.

You will be able to study anywhere and at any time; either online or on the app.  You will also have a dedicated Learning Coach who will support you on your learning journey and assess your work.

Click on the modules below to see more.

Explore the underlying principles that support and inform Youth Justice, focusing on the children who come into contact with the system – their development from childhood, their experiences of the world and how these might relate to their offending behaviour.  There are six blocks of learning:

  • Introduction to the youth justice system
  • Child and adolescent development
  • Relationship-based practice
  • Rights and responsibilities
  • Educational engagement
  • Reflective practice

Investigate four of the eight areas of the Youth Justice Skills Matrix and the implications for your practice:

  • Child and young person development
  • Assessment
  • Safety and wellbeing
  • Risk of offending and risk of harm

Investigate the current state of theory, practice and evidence relating to working effectively with children in the youth justice system across several important domains:

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

Explore the other four areas of the Youth Justice Skills Matrix in more depth, developing your skills of practice reflection and evaluation in relation to:

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

Develop your skills as a manager and a coach in the youth justice workplace by studying blocks on:

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

Explore the policy context for youth justice – what the drivers are and what impacts different approaches have on children and their families.  You will study:

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

With the support of a learning coach, conduct your own mini research project in an area of youth justice that interests you.  You will produce a report of 9000 words (75%) and an artefact to present your research (25%) – to share with colleagues and other interested audiences.

Your Career

A degree is a requirement for many jobs that you might aspire to in youth justice (or elsewhere), in particular senior practitioner and operational management roles.  You could also consider roles with a social research focus and more broadly in children’s social care.

Further Study

Why not consider progressing to the Masters in Youth Justice?  You could also develop your research skills further by undertaking a PhD.

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

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