University of West London

Course Introduction

This course will provide you with the skills and abilities to engage meaningfully with the community to achieve social change, reduce inequalities, to address discrimination and injustice, and to facilitate empowerment. You will spend a minimum of 25% of the course on placement supported by an experienced community development practitioner and your personal tutor from the University.

The philosophy of the course is grounded in the real life experiences and learning of community development workers.

Key topics include:

- the role of the community development worker

- legal and ethical considerations faced by community development workers

- facilitating wants and aspirations of communities

- skills to support community empowerment

- application of knowledge of community development taking into account conflicts/differences

- recognition of wider social, structural and political aspects of communities.

The course is balanced by theoretical, research and evidence based teaching and learning and focuses on a “bottom up” approach to change. Students will have a minimum of 25% of the course in community settings engaging with members of communities to ascertain their wants and aspirations, with a focus to facilitate the desired change.

The methods of teaching and learning will vary to meet the different learning styles of our students. The module study guides identify the expected learning outcomes for each session and the format of Lectures and seminars will be tailored to consolidate learning so as to help students identify any gaps in their understanding. You will be actively encouraged to learn from each other through group activities and the presentation and comparison of answers.

Simulation and role play workshops will be used in the teaching in order to help students to understand theories through practices and ensure students are able to apply theories in practice.

Experiential learning such as role play, field trips, guest speakers sessions, will also be an integral part of the course. In other words, the focus will be on ‘doing’ rather than just on ‘knowing’ and all the teaching and learning, and assessment strategies will fully reflect this.

Case study is a powerful method for exploring real world issues. The case study method also develops group decision making skills and can demonstrate the range of environments in community development. The teaching and learning methods on the programme encourage students to continuously reflect on their performance thereby identifying areas of improvement in the development of the key skills they will require when they enter the workplace. Feedback is continually given to students about their performance in a variety of forms ranging from generic, specific and on a one-to-one basis.

The work experience placements will engender key reporting and reflective skills.

In addition to the universal UWL provided support services, students on this programme will be expected to engage in range of group work activities, including a residential trip to Kent. Students will also develop Action Learning Sets to support their learning and will undertake a number of community studies and activities. Whilst on work placements students will receive individual mentorship to ensure the requirements of the Endorsement and Standard Board for Community Development Learning England are met.

Whilst students will not be employed in the workplace of placement providers, they will have the opportunity to engage in relevant skills and learning opportunities to equip them with a range of competences.The workplace experience will be overseen by qualified and or, experienced community development workers. The variety of placements will include a range of different opportunities for example housing, older people, mental health projects, faith groups, advocacy projects and community land share initiatives. Students will be supported to identify their own placements.

Start Date:


Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees Fee type
3 years
Full Time
Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) - BA (Hons) £9,250 Home Fees
3 years
Full Time
Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) - BA (Hons) £9,250 European Fees
3 years
Full Time
Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) - BA (Hons) £12,500 Overseas Fees