Certificate of Higher Education in Working with Young People

The Open University

Program Description

Certificate of Higher Education in Working with Young People

The Open University

Certificate of Higher Education in Working with Young People

Do you work with young people (aged 13 to 19) in informal settings such as youth clubs, youth organisations like the Guides or Scouts, schools or faith-based organisations? Are you thinking about volunteering for such a role, or considering a career in youth work? This certificate is an excellent place to start. It develops the essential skills expected of professional workers in this field; explores issues like the purposes, ethics and values of youth work; and prepares you for further study.

Key features of the course

  • Develops the understanding and skills needed to work effectively with young people
  • Includes work-based learning so you can apply your learning to practice
  • Enhances your employability
  • Builds a solid foundation for further study.

Educational aims

This certificate aims to provide you with the knowledge and skills required to work face to face with young people in a range of informal education settings, including voluntary and community based organisations. It introduces a range of theory related to practice with young people, and includes work-based learning where you will develop small scale projects with young people that demonstrate their ability to form relationships with young people, work with young people in groups, and work with young people and communities.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

The teaching material is offered through distance learning modules and includes module texts, audiovisual material and directed reading. Knowledge and understanding are principally developed through these teaching materials and in-text questions, tasks and activities. Summative assessment, which contributes to your overall result, is by written tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) and by end-of-module assessments (EMAs). Tutors support development through online and telephone support, letters, tutorials and written feedback on assignments.

Cognitive skills are assessed by module assignments. These will allow you to demonstrate your ability to structure a clear and reasoned argument and critically analyse module issues. The Personal Development Plan in the work-based module will allow you to demonstrate independent thinking skills, your understanding of theoretical concepts and the underpinning principles for practice as they apply to young people in a work-based context. They will also give you an opportunity to show evidence of reflective practice.

Key skills are promoted within learning materials and as part of continuous assessment. Assessment criteria of assignments require you to demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively and appropriately in a variety of formats. Learning skills focusing on information literacy, setting priorities and targets, and self-assessment are a feature of the Personal Development Plan, the general approach to key skills and the work-based learning components.

Professional skills are developed as part of an increased awareness and understanding of good practice and through understanding and undertaking a reflective practice approach. The assessment of practice skills is via module work, participation in the day school (or equivalent) and assessed observed practice. This includes developing an appropriate approach to recording development in relation to work-based practice. You will also develop a Personal Development Plan throughout the qualification.


We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost. Fees for study commencing in academic year 2014/2015 are:

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification upfront.
  • If like most OU students studying part time, you study an average of 60 credits a year – you’ll study for six years to complete a degree. Our typical fee for 60 credits is £2,632.
  • Our current fee is £5,264 – based on 120 credits of study – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study.
  • The total cost of your chosen qualification currently starts from £5,264 based on our current fees.

NB: Prices are subject to change.

How long does it take?

  • Part time – 2 years
  • Full time – 1 year
  • Time limit – 4 years

Career relevance

This certificate of higher education is recognised on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) at Level 4. It is also recognised as a Youth Support Worker qualification by the National Youth Agency (NYA) and as a pre-professional qualification in Scotland by the Standards Council for Community Learning and Development (CLD).

Youth workers engage with young people in a wide range of roles and settings, including in youth services, in voluntary and community organisations, in schools and colleges, and in youth participation projects. Although completion of this certificate will not give you access to graduate level jobs, it may help you decide whether you like this particular area of work and study. It may also help you to gain a job below graduate level and acquire the necessary experience to progress to further professional training.

Entry requirements

To study this qualification you will need to be working with young people when you begin the second module as it involves work-based learning.

You will need to:

  • be working with young people in an informal education setting such as a youth club, scout group, or voluntary organisation, or working in a school or college in an informal education role for a minimum of five hours a week (135 practice hours in total). You may be in paid employment or working as a volunteer
  • have the permission of your employer to study, and identify work-based learning support from appropriately qualified individuals in your organisation
  • confirm that you have recent experience of working in an informal education setting or role. A suitable level of prior experience might be six months of one session (two/three hours) per week during the last three years
  • obtain the necessary clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (England and Wales), or have passed a Disclosure Scotland, Access NI or Garda (ROI) check.
  • You will also need to be proficient in English, to an IELTS standard of 6.0. If you are unsure you will be able to take a free English test as part of the registration process.

It is your responsibility, and that of your employer, to ensure you meet these requirements at the point of entry to the qualification. You and your employer will be asked to confirm these requirements when you register for the work-based learning module. If your circumstances change at any point during study of this qualification, you will need to keep us updated.

To study this certificate you must also be living in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, the Republic of Ireland or have a British Forces Post Office (BFPO) address outside the UK.

Read more about this programme on the Open University website here

This school offers programs in:
  • English
The Open University
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2018
1 - 4 years
Part time
Full time
Contact school
Contact school
United Kingdom - Milton Keynes, England
Start date: Aug. 2018
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school
Aug. 2018
United Kingdom - Milton Keynes, England
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school