• For Entry: September
  • Duration: 4 years
  • School: Education & Social Work
  • Study Abroad: Yes
  • Study Mode: Full Time

You will have a key responsibility in shaping community learning and development activities, and an opportunity to make a difference to the society in which you live.

Community learning and development is designed to enrich the lives of individuals and groups.

This is an exciting, new and vibrant programme which reflects the current field of community learning and development practice in Scotland and the UK. Community learning professionals engage with people living within a geographical area or sharing a common interest to develop a range of learning, action and reflection opportunities determined by their personal, social, economic and political needs.

Our programme has been designed around the concept of the self-monitoring critically reflective professional, in other words the willingness and ability of professionals to question, analyse, and evaluate their values, practices and experiences.

Who should study Community Learning and Development?

If you:

  • enjoy working with people
  • enjoy engaging in lively discussions about the issues in society today
  • are someone who is willing to share ideas and be open to the ideas of others

then you are likely to do well on this programme.

Community learning and development workers need to demonstrate competence in their ability to:

  • engage with the community
  • develop relevant learning opportunities
  • empower participants
  • organise and manage resources
  • use evaluative data to assess and implement appropriate changes.

The following are the minimum, up-to-date entry requirements.

Courses starting 2017
Qualification Level 1 Entry Advanced Entry to Level 2
SQA Higher/Advanced Higher ABB or BBBC at Higher including English or a literate subject at C Level 2 entry is not possible with this qualification
GCE A-Level AB or CCC at A-Level, plus AS Level English or a literate subject at grade C Level 2 entry is not possible with this qualification
Irish Leaving Certificate (ILC) ABB or BBBC at Higher Level including English or a literate subject at grade C Level 2 entry is not possible with this qualification
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma 29 points at Higher Level grades 5, 5, 4 to include English or a literate subject.
A combination of IB Certificate plus other qualifications, such as A-Levels, Advanced Placement Tests or the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP), will also be considered.
Level 2 entry is not possible with this qualification
Graduate Entry
BTEC A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with MMM A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DMM
SQA Higher National (HNC/HND) HNC Working with Communities with a B Graded Unit HNC Working with Communities with a A Graded Unit
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with CC at Advanced Higher including a literate subject Level 2 entry considered individually with this qualification
SWAP Access Relevant subjects with ABB grades to include English Literature/Language at SCQF Level 6. Level 2 entry is not possible with this qualification
Advanced Diploma Grade C with an A-Level in a literate subject at B Level 2 entry considered individually with this qualification
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with BC at A-Level Level 2 entry considered individually with this qualification
European Baccalaureate
Other Qualifications A relevant Open University course A relevant Open University course

 EU and International qualifications

English Language Requirement

For non EU students

IELTS Overall 6.0
Listening 5.5
Reading 5.5
Writing 6.0
Speaking 5.5

 Equivalent grades from other test providers


English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.

 Discover our English Language Programmes

How you will be taught 

Full Time Mode of Study

During your time on the programme you will experience a range of teaching methods, such as lectures, seminars, practice based learning, projects and e-learning.

With the support of tutors you will be encouraged to become an independent learner and to participate in a range of peer learning communities.

Experienced practitioners also contribute to the delivery of the programme and this supports your engagement with the ongoing changes in the professional field of practice.

Where you will learn

At Level 1 of the programme, students study on campus between September and the end of May and alongside these studies they undertake practice inquiry between November and March.

While there is not a practice performance period at Level 1, students will undertake practice inquiry in order to begin to explore the variety of contexts and settings associated with community learning and development.

At Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4, students study on campus for part of the year and for the remainder they participate in practice learning (the number of days in practice learning are detailed below). The practice period, at level 4, culminates in a two day symposium, where students share their practice learning experiences and research findings with their peers (student to student), university tutors and fieldwork practitioners.

Inter-professional teaching

Inter-professional modules, such as ‘Working Together’ are an integral feature of the programme and you will study modules with primary education and social work students.

Tutorial support

In order to maximise opportunities for personal, professional and academic growth, a system of professional development tutorial support is provided to all students both within the University and the practice learning setting.

How you will be assessed

Assessment is continuous and the methods of assessment include professional development learning plans, professional development reviews, essays, reports, practice e-portfolios and practice assessment reports.

What you will study

Honours Degree

An honours degree normally takes four years, full time, you study levels 1-4, as described below.

Advanced Entry Honours Degree

Prior learning and experience will be accredited and those who possess relevant entry qualifications are encouraged to apply for advanced entry.

Typical Degree Programme with Professional Endorsement

Year 1 (SQCF Level 7)

In the first year (Level 1) we lay the foundation of knowledge and build on your own experiences and values about social science and education concepts and methods and about working in the community. You will spend time with other students within the School of Education, Social Work and Community Education studying common programme modules.

  • Working Together and Values: Self, Society and the Professions
  • Electives
  • Working with People
  • Making Sense of CLD
  • Effective Practice

Year 2 (SQCF Level 8)


In the second and third years (Levels 2 and 3) we provide opportunities for you to develop your understanding in depth and there is scope to select from a range of options.

  • Critical Practice in CLD
  • An Introduction to Social Research
  • Developing Sustainable Organisations
  • Social Justice, Policy and Practice
  • Practice Learning (70 days)

Year 3 (SQCF Level 9)

  • Reading and Understanding Research
  • Negotiated Independent Study
  • Joint Action for Social Justice
  • Practice Learning (70 days)

Year 4 (SQCF Level 10)

In the fourth year (Level 4) you undertake independent study and research which culminates in a dissertation. The programme provides substantial periods in practice settings in a variety of agencies and locations in Scotland, the UK and abroad.

  • Practice Based Dissertation/Internship (100 days)
  • Analysis and Critique in Community Learning and Development
  • Reflecting on Professional Bearing

The knowledge and skills that you acquire on this programme will prepare you for a variety of employment opportunities in working with adults, young people and communities in both the statutory and voluntary sector. This qualification is especially attractive to employers because it includes studying policy initiatives in relation to social justice and partnership working between local authority departments; further education; housing associations; health services; employment agencies; and the police services.

The majority of our graduates go directly into employment, which recently has included working in a variety of settings such as community centres and libraries; neighbourhood projects; primary and secondary schools; off site school provision; further education; housing associations and homeless units; training, employment and voluntary organisations.

Graduates can enter a wide range of roles including:

  • Youth participation and citizenship
  • Adult and youth literacies
  • Community based adult learning
  • Local authority community planning officer
  • Equalities and diversity
  • Mental health project
  • School pupil support
  • Volunteer co-ordinator
  • Employment support

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.

 Find out more about fee status

Fees for students starting 2017/18

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2017/18
Scottish and EU students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2016 entry). Fees for September 2017 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2017.
Rest of UK students £9,250 per year, for a maximum of 3 years, even if you are studying a four year degree. See our scholarships for rest of UK applicants.
Overseas students (non-EU) £14,950 per year of study. See our scholarships for international applicants.

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loans Company.

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed for the length of your course. This means that the tuition fee you pay in your first year (shown above) is the same fee you will pay for each year of your course. We guarantee that this will not increase while you are studying with us. The only exceptions to this are our MBChB Medicine, BSc Medical Sciences and BDS Dentistry degrees which charge a different tuition for the clinical years.

  • There will be a requirement to attend classes and undertake a fieldwork placement on this course. In addition you should be able to manage your own time to do the reading and activities required.
  • On this course you are reading for a degree whilst also working towards a professional qualification. You should be able to balance the demands of studying with periods of practice. You may be required to undertake periods of fieldwork practice outwith your home area.
  • You should be prepared to take part in discussing your views and opinions in groups.
  • You should be able to provide evidence of your interest in Community Learning and Development.
  • You are encouraged to make yourself aware of the appropriate attitudes and values for Community Learning and Development.
  • You are encouraged to be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses.
  • You are encouraged to make yourself aware of relevant social issues that affect society.
  • You are encouraged to think about how this course will develop you both personally and professionally
  • It is important that you understand what Community Learning and Development is before choosing this course. A period of voluntary or paid work in a relevant setting can help you to decide if this is for you. As well as this a period of experience prior to starting the course would be of great advantage to your learning.
  • Arrange a meeting with your local Community Education worker.
  • Be enthusiastic and show commitment to Community Learning and Development as your principal career interest.

Applicants who meet the entry criteria will receive a 'Community Learning and Development Applicant Response Form' (Stage 2) which requires them to submit a 1,200 word response to a series of questions.

The questions relate to a number of criteria including:

  • your understanding of community learning and development; your motivations for a career in community learning and development
  • your suitability to a career in community learning and development
  • your readiness for pursuing demanding academic and professional studies
  • your awareness of current social and political issues.

Applicants must complete and return the form within two weeks.

The response form, the UCAS application form and the work based application form are used by an admissions panel to review academic qualifications; personal statement; responses to the set questions; references, and prior relevant and current community learning and development experience. The panel assesses suitability for the programme, in line with set criteria, and those applicants who meet the criteria are sent an immediate offer of a place on the programme.

We endeavour to inform successful candidates of their offers by the end of March.

  Degree UCAS Code KIS Data
Apply NowCommunity Learning and Development BA (Hons)X390