Youth and Community Leadership
Mātātahi tū, hapori ora
When young people are strong, the community thrives
Changing the world through social action and innovation
Youth and Community Leadership (YACL) meets a growing need for innovative leaders who can make an impact on national and global challenges that youth and other communities are encountering. Our YACL programmes are designed for the future of work. Graduates will be equipped with the transferable skills and disciplinary knowledge to thrive in rapidly changing employment contexts. Our qualifications build on UC’s international reputation in youth-led social action, and offers real-world leadership and project experience by way of theoretical study and applied learning.
The Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership (BYCL) is a degree that allows you to customise a programme of study to drive your commitment to social action. It prepares students to cultivate collective leadership to action change, making this an ideal degree for those wanting to create a better world for future generations. The Certificate in Youth and Community Leadership (CertYCL) is available on campus, or by distance study for students studying from beyond Christchurch and Aotearoa New Zealand. We offer two postgraduate pathways the Postgraduate Certificate in Youth and Community Leadership (PGCertYACL) and the Postgraduate Diploma in Youth and Community Leadership (PGDipYACL).
Our Youth and Community Leadership qualifications build professional leadership and entrepreneurial skills for anyone passionate about issues such as sustainability, human rights, social innovation, and humanitarian efforts. It will develop you as a resilient and agile leader in our changing world, qualified to lead yourself and others toward beneficial social change. You will have flexibility to build a degree that fosters your passion and combines leadership skills with content that is relevant to you. When enrolled in this degree, you can also take a minor in a discipline of your choosing.
UC is the ideal university to offer such an innovative degree. The service learning course, CHCH101: Strengthening Communities through Social Innovation, was introduced in 2011 and was inspired by the international acclaim that our UC Student Volunteer Army received for their dedicated work in the Christchurch community post-quake. The BYCL degree builds on this history. Community engagement is central to the degree with opportunities to create group projects and connect with UC’s community in Ōtautahi Christchurch, including marae visits with local iwi, volunteer efforts with the Student Volunteer Army, and work with the Children’s University. You will be learning alongside and working with leaders of social change. Alternatively, you can begin your journey as a leader for change by enrolling in our Certificate in Youth and Community Leadership that is available on campus or online through our virtual learning environment.
As a Youth and Community Leadership graduate you will be equipped for the world of the future. Some of you will create your own work through developing social enterprises; others will make an impact through working with established organisations in social policy, humanitarian work, community development, youth work, politics, advocacy and activism. Those who choose to focus on youth work can gain recognition from Korowai Tupu, the professional body for youth workers in Aotearoa. Whereas once university might have seemed to have nothing to offer those who want to make a difference in the world, this qualification will prepare you for that journey.
In the Certificate in Youth and Community Leadership students will learn about leadership of the self, and leading with others, through exploration and experience of a wide range of contemporary leadership theories, including those that emanate from the unique culture of Aotearoa New Zealand. They will also will study learning: how and why people learn and what this means for leading change. Their final course will be CHCH101, the heritage service learning course that is at the heart of community engagement.
The Certificate in Youth and Community Leadership (CertYCL) is made up of 60 points of compulsory courses. This programme is an especially good option for working professionals and those already in leadership positions, or students who do not want to commit to the full bachelor’s degree. It can be completed in 12 months part-time, or up to 3 years part-time. Studying by distance is also an available option.
The Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership develops professional leadership and entrepreneurial skills for those passionate about issues such as sustainability, human rights, equality, and humanitarian efforts. BYCL builds on UC’s international reputation in social action, and offers real-world leadership and project experience by way of theoretical study and applied learning.
Planning your BYCL Pathway
The BYCL degree includes compulsory courses in each year and allows you to customise a programme of study from range of course options from other degrees. We recommend you watch our Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership video and work with our Student Advice team to align your passions and plan your own custom pathway.
The degree doesn't have any majors, but there are four identified study pathways. The youth work and development pathway can lead to a professional youth work accreditation.
The first year of the degree offers introductory courses on developing leadership skills, understanding communities, identifying areas in need of change, and creating group projects.
- YACL 101 Introduction to Youth Leadership: Leading the Self
- CHCH 101 Strengthening Communities through Social Innovation
- three 100-level courses chosen from Schedule E: Elective courses
- another two courses at 100-level from any bachelor’s degree at UC
Plus one of:
- EDUC 101 Spark! How & What People Learn
- EDUC 102 Child and Adolescent Development
- POLS 103 Introduction to New Zealand Politics and Policy
The second year explores team leadership and training, potential boundaries for change, cultural and political influences, and further project experience.
- YACL 201 Social Leadership: Leading with Others
- EDUC 206 Education and Society: Ideals and Realities
- two 200-level courses chosen from Schedule E: Elective courses
- another three courses, with at least two at 200-level, from any bachelor’s degree at UC
Plus one of:
- CULT 202 Cultural Politics/Cultural Activism
- EDUC 204 Promoting Child and Adolescent Wellbeing and Health
- INOV 290 Enterprise in Practice (Project)
Final-year students in the BYCL will develop research and management skills, building on their experiences throughout the degree to create meaningful change in their community.
- YACL 301 Civic Leadership: Leading for Change
- YACL 302 Leadership Project: Implementing Change
- EDUC 302 Researching Development: Opportunities and Risks in Adolescence or EDUC 339 Globalisation, Social Justice and Education
- 30 points of courses from the 300-level courses from Schedule E: Elective courses
- another two courses at 200-level (or above) from any bachelor’s degree at UC
Throughout the degree, students will need to complete at least 105 points of courses from Schedule E: Elective courses. See ‘How do I plan my degree?’ for an example degree structure diagram and a full list of courses.
We offer a minor in Youth and Community Leadership within the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Sport Coaching. If you wish to do a minor, make sure you select your optional courses to meet the minor requirements. The Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership also combines well in a double degree with Arts or Commerce.
For the Youth and Community Leadership minor you will need to take the following courses throughout your chosen degree:
BYCL offers flexibility to align your passions and design your own pathway. The degree doesn't have majors, however there are four identified study pathways. You can also customise a programme of study from range of course options.