Community Learning and Development BA

  • For Entry: September 2014
  • UCAS Code: X390
  • Duration: 4 years
  • College: Arts & Social Sciences
  • School: Education, Social Work and Community Education

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

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.

Why study Community Learning and Development at Dundee?

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.

Related Courses

This degree course is based in the School of Education, Social Work and Community Education.

It is also possible to study for this degree on a work-based mode.

Students studying on the work based mode are subject to a programme fee which can either be met by the student, the employer or other source, as identified by the student.

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 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 to Achieve Social Justice’ 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.

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

Students on the work based mode are required to be employed for a minimum of sixteen hours per week in a community learning and development workplace setting. This setting must allow the student to undertake practice learning and demonstrate professional competence as required by the community learning and development professional body.

Teaching and learning on this mode of the programme is delivered via student attendance on campus at four study blocks per year (five days per study block) and also practice learning in the workplace, which is supported by a workplace Practice Learning Tutor. Additionally, the university provides a range of support, such as work based visits and ongoing tutor support via telephone, e-learning and email. Students will also be encouraged to support one another by engaging in peer learning communities.

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.

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

Level 1

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.

  • Self as an Emerging Community Learning & Development Professional
  • Working Together to Achieve Social Justice
  • Making Sense of Community Learning and Development
  • Developing Communication Skills and Inclusive Safe Practices (includes Practice Inquiry)
Level 2

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.

  • Developing Conceptual Frameworks
  • An Introduction to Social Research
  • Developing Sustainable Organisations
  • Working Together to Achieve Social Justice
  • Practice Learning (70 days)
Level 3
  • Reading and Understanding Research
  • Negotiated Independent Study
  • Working Together to Achieve Social Justice
  • Practice Learning (70 days)
Level 4

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

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.

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 following are the minimum requirements, please note qualifications have to be obtained at the first sitting of examinations.

Please note that the entry requirements in our printed prospectus may be subject to change. The entry requirements listed below are up to date and should be referred to in case of any discrepancy.

Level 1 entry

Qualification Grade
SQA Higher ABB/BBBC
GCE A-Level AB/CCC
ILC Higher ABB/BBBC
IB Diploma 29 points (including 5, 5, 4 at Higher Level)
Essential Subjects English or a literate subject at C (SQA Higher or GCE AS, ILC Higher).
EU & International Visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country
Other Qualifications
SQA A relevant HNC (Level 1 entry)
Scottish Baccalaureate

Pass with CC at Advanced Higher including a literate subject (Level 1 entry)

SWAP Access Programmes

Successful completion with ABB grading profile to include English Literature/Language or a literate subject at SCQF Level 6

EDEXCEL A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with MMM (Level 1 entry)
Advanced Diploma Grade C with an A-Level in a literate subject at B (Level 1 entry)
Welsh Baccalaureate

Pass with BC at A-Level (Level 1 entry)

OU A relevant Open University course
Candidates can be considered for Level 3 entry with a relevant HND with Graded Unit BB and significant evidence of competence in Community Learning and Development.
Applicants with alternative overseas qualifications should visit the relevant country page on our International website.

Level 2 entry

Qualification Grade
Prior learning and experience will be accredited and those who possess relevant entry qualifications are encouraged to apply for advanced entry including:
Level 2 Entry A relevant HNC with Graded Unit A or above, or a relevant HND, along with evidence of competence in key areas of Community Learning and Development.
Other Qualifications
SQA A relevant HNC with B or above in the Graded Unit, or a relevant HND, along with evidence of competence in key areas of Community Learning and Development (Level 2 entry)
Scottish Baccalaureate

Level 2 entry considered individually

EDEXCEL A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DMM (Level 2 entry)
Advanced Diploma Level 2 entry considered individually
Welsh Baccalaureate

Level 2 entry considered individually

OU A relevant Open University course
Candidates can be considered for Level 3 entry with a relevant HND with Graded Unit BB and significant evidence of competence in Community Learning and Development.
Applicants with alternative overseas qualifications should visit the relevant country page on our International website.

Level 3 entry

Qualification Grade
Prior learning and experience will be accredited and those who possess relevant entry qualifications are encouraged to apply for advanced entry including:
Level 3 Entry A relevant HND with BB in the Graded Unit, along with significant evidence of competence in Community Learning and Development.

There have been many changes to the arrangements for funding students entering higher education in recent years, yet a degree from the University of Dundee, with its high rate of employment success, remains a cost-effective option.

The fees you pay will, in most cases, depend on your current country of residence.

The fee shown is annual, and may be subject to an increase each year.

Fee categoryFees for students starting September 2015
Scottish students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2014 entry). Fees for September 2015 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2015.
Rest of UK students £9,000 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.
EU students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2014 entry). Fees for September 2015 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2015.
Overseas students (non-EU) £12,950 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 Loan Company.

  • 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 prior to the interview.
  • Come to the interview prepared to demonstrate your prior investigation of Community Learning and Development.
  • 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' 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.

Please apply via UCAS

Community Learning and Development (workplace-based) BA (Z009)