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Diploma in Youth Development Work

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The Diploma in Youth Development Work (Dip YDW) is an online programme that integrates theoretical perspectives with the practice of youth development work. This programme uses a sub-set of courses from the BSc in Youth Development Work. On completion of the Diploma, successful students may choose to use the Diploma as a terminal award or to transition to the degree programme.

Graduates of the Dip YDW programme will be equipped to perform technical, administrative and leadership functions in support of activities undertaken to promote youth development work in the public and private sectors; apply theoretical perspectives to the practice of youth work in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating youth development projects; mobilize stakeholders to identify, support and address the interests of the youth as articulated by them; and promote  networking and partnerships among youth-related agencies.

The Dip YDW is delivered online. Students must have access to a computer and internet service. Online orientation is conducted before the start of the programme.

The programme is offered in sixteen (16) countries across the Commonwealth Caribbean. Using a mix of guided online/web-based instruction, tutorials, seminars and face-to-face fieldwork exercises, it allows participants to interact with youth through professional placement with youth- or youth-serving organisations or via other specially arranged sessions. From the start of the programme, students are exposed to an integrated framework of traditional academic educational tools and professional training tools. The online offering will be designed to be accessible to students from home, office or at UWI centres/sites in each country.

Students will participate in a compulsory orientation to online learning that  covers the use of information technology and study techniques (see section on Academic Preparation below). In addition, students will receive face-to-face support from UWI centres/sites, particularly in the first year of study, to ensure a smooth transition for those new to online learning. A virtual academic orientation will be provided for students. Students will be able to meet with other students at UWI centres/sites and/or online for support and to participate in group exercises.


Who is this programme for?

The Dip YDW specifically targets:

  • Youth workers and volunteers who do not have formal qualification in youth development work but desire to pursue youth development work as a profession
  • Persons who are interested in enhancing and strengthening their competencies in order to design, develop and implement youth development programmes in their places of employment, or as volunteers in social and civic organisations and institutions e.g. schools, churches, places of safety, children homes, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations (CBOs), first line supervisors and trainers in government ministries/agencies, and private sector entities
  • Career changers who wish to specialize in youth development work (persons who already have a first degree and would prefer to take a short programme with specialized courses to develop the requisite competencies for their job position)
  • Specially Admitted Students, that is, persons who choose to take a single course to enhance their knowledge base and skills in the course chosen

Which careers do graduates pursue?                                                                                                    

Graduates are likely to pursue careers in:

  • Government service
  • Civil service, including policing and teaching
  • Community development
  • Youth camp coordination and management
  • Youth organisation coordination and management
  • Youth policy development and implementation
  • Project and programme development and planning
  • Project and programme management and evaluation
  • Research in youth development


Programme Structure

The programme consists of 11 Core courses and 3 or more Electives. The Core courses yield 37 credits and the Elective(s) 8 - 23 credits. Students can take a minimum of 45 credits or a maximum of 60 credits. All courses are taken from the BSc YDW programme.  

How are course materials accessed?                                                                                                     

Course materials will be available to students online for download. Students may, however, be required to obtain reference texts from reserved copies available in the UWI Library and/or University Sites/Centres or by personal purchase. Some courses may require students to purchase essential texts/resources. However, emphasis will be placed on readings from key journals (access provided online via the University or via open source websites) in order to help students keep up to date with research in youth development.

How are students assessed?                                                                                                                   

Students’ progress towards achievement of competence will be assessed continuously throughout the programme of study. In-course assessment will be the preferred mode of assessment for courses in years two and three rather than traditional final examinations. Individual written and oral assignments as well as performance in group exercises, practical tasks and field placements will be assessed. Students will submit assignments electronically or in oral presentations. The focus on building competence in effective and reflective practice requires that students prepare reflective journals, case studies and research projects which will enable them to critically assess their experiences of learning about and working with youth, youth organisations and other professionals in teams.

Completion Time                                                                                                    

To complete the programme of study in the minimum of 4 semesters, students may take a minimum of 3 courses in the first and second semesters and 2 in the summer during the first year; and 3 courses in the first and second semesters of the second year. Another option is to take a maximum of 4 courses in any one semester. This is subject to the Programme Advising schedule provided for each academic year.


When will the programme start?

The programme starts in August of the academic year.


Entry Requirements

Applicants must meet the University’s normal matriculation requirements in order to be accepted in the programme. They must satisfy the requirements in either (a) or (b) below:

(a)    Holders of five (5) CXC-CSEC or GCE O’ Level passes or equivalent, not necessarily obtained at the same sitting as follows:

(i)      An acceptable pass in CXC-CSEC English (A), and

(ii)      An acceptable pass in CXC-CSEC Mathematics or its equivalent, and

(iii)     Three (3) other

(b)   Persons over the age of 21, who have been out of school for at least five years, on the basis of their overall academic and professional attainments.


How to apply                                                                                                                                               

The Open Campus accepts online applications. Applicants must have an email account to begin the process. Log on to our website at and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the application form.


Academic Preparation

Prior to the start of the programme all new participants must take part in an orientation programme held in August of an academic year. This orientation introduces learners to online study and prepares them for the demands of a UWI Open Campus professional diploma programme.

Course of Study
Level 1 
Applied Social Research: Youth Research Project (Part 2)
Applied Social Research: Youth Research Project (Part 1)
Introduction to Social Research
Contemporary Issues in Youth Development Work
Youth Development Work: Personal and Professional Development
Introduction to Political Institutions and Analysis
Sociology of Youth
Youth Development Work: Introduction to Theory and Practice
Introduction to Psychology: Social, Developmental and Abnormal
Principles of Economics
Introduction to Sociology
Foundations for Learning Success
Level 1 Electives 
Working with Youth in Community and Organisational Settings (Part 2)
Working with Youth in Community and Organisational Settings (Part 1)
Youth Development Work: Networks, Partnerships and Resourses
Strategic Planning and Programme Management for Youth Development Work
Peace, Conflict Resolution and Mediation
Supporting Youth in Grief and Trauma
Youth Advocacy: ICTs in Youth Development Work
Youth Advocacy: Principles and Tools
Developmental Psychology
Youth and Sustainable Development
Youth Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Livelihoods
Health, Safety and Well-Being in Youth Development Work
Management and Leadership Skills for Youth Development Work
Youth Governance and Participation