Course Title: What is Youth Work?

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: What is Youth Work?

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018

Course Coordinator: Kerry Montero

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 8269

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 37.2.28

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course will explore the identity and role of contemporary youth work, and what makes youth work practice distinct. You will consider whether there is one essential or objective definition of youth work and how youth work is described, experienced and contested in Australia and internationally. In considering the function of youth work you will explore the different perspectives and experiences of those involved – not only the youth workers and the young people, but also others who have particular understandings and viewpoints, such as parents, teachers and other professionals, police, government, media. Questions you will consider in the course include:

  • Is youth work simply defined by the age-specific character of ‘clients’ and how does this shape other aspects of practice said to be unique to youth work?
  • What are some of the ideas and traditions that have helped define contemporary youth work?
  • Does youth work have a distinctive character and a discrete set of practice skills?

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:’

  • explain and apply different perspectives to youth work practice and identity including your perspectives and values
  • explain some of the key forms which contemporary youth work practice takes in Australia and internationally
  • identify some of the key social, cultural, political and economic influences on contemporary youth work practice
  • analyse the ways key intellectual ideas have informed youth work identity and practice
  • critically reflect on some of the practices of contemporary youth work in Australia and internationally

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

  • Apply a body of theoretical and practical knowledge, particularly concerning the broad social, cultural, political and economic influences on the lives of young people, to Youth Work practice or future study.
  • Critically analyse, synthesise and reflect on the ways in which the experience of young people, in both local and international contexts, is shaped by institutional and government policies and discourses.
  • Work with others professionally and responsibly and attend to the wide range of ethical issues regarding young people locally and globally while demonstrating critical insight into cultural, environmental and social issues.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be engaged in learning that involves a range of activities both face to face and online such as formal lectures, workshops/tutorials incorporating active problem based learning and structured activities and a visit to a youth work agency.


Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You may need to purchase a course reading pack. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Assessment may include reflective journals, reports, case study analysis, and essays. Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

  • If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.
  • A student charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.
  • Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: