Community Development BA

People walking with signs and banners

You will develop both the practical and analytical skills to work effectively with a range of communities to bring about social change.

You’ll have the opportunity to gain invaluable practice experiences both locally and internationally.

  • September start
  • Session dates
  • Community Development BA (Hons): XL35 4 year degree

What our students say

Community Development student

“The level of support from all staff is exceptional and students are actively encouraged to discuss, question and challenge the concepts presented.

I entered University as a mature student, which I felt would be an intimidating experience for me. However, that intimidation was quickly put on ease as the BA Community Development course is led and delivered by an incredible team of lecturers who support and encourage your entire process of University learning. From the beginning, the program team and administrative staff were exceptionally responsive, informative, and friendly.

I would strongly recommend this program to anyone considering a professional career in Community learning and development (CLD).”

James, Community Development student

“Everybody should do Community Development. I am much more confident and determined to create positive social change and ready to face the world. I met friends for life, who can also be useful partners to network with. Thank you for giving me this opportunity and it will always stay with me as I continue to learn and grow as a Community Development practitioner and as a person.”

Courtney, Community Development student

Programme structure

This programme is specifically designed for people who are working within the field either in paid employment or in a voluntary capacity. You will normally attend classes approximately a day and a half per week from September to May. Work-based learning, reflective enquiry, and subject area studies are interwoven throughout the programme.

Year 1

You will study:

  • Introduction to academic study
  • Introduction to community development
  • Engagement strategies for community development
  • Introduction to social theories
  • Community development practice 1. 

Year 2

You will study:

  • Power and empowerment
  • Challenge, change and action
  • Study trip: local and global contexts
  • Popular education
  • Community development practice 2.

Year 3

You will study:

  • Social justice and contemporary issues
  • Introduction to research
  • Space, place and community
  • Community development placement.

Year 4

You will study elective options spanning a range of areas such as Community arts, Urban studies and Business, and complete an applied research practices course to support a research-based project in the field.

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Special Glasgow feature

The third-year placement provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate your competence as a worker in a different setting, thereby demonstrating the transferability of your skills. A range of placement opportunities will be available both locally and globally, established with the support of the programme team.

Our international links

In the second year of study every student will have the opportunity to take part in an international, national or local study trip. This provides students the opportunity to see community development practice in different sites around the world. There is the possibility of carrying out an overseas placement in the third year of the programme.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2021

Summary of entry requirements for Community Development

Applications are welcomed from those without formal qualifications, who can be considered on the basis of relevant experience in the field of community development.

SQA Higher Entry Requirements (by end of S6) 

  • Additional requirements: Work-based learning requires a minimum of two days’ work in the field of community development.

SQA Higher Adjusted Entry Requirements

  • No Adjusted Higher Requirements 

A-level Standard Entry Requirements

  • BBB – CCC
  • Additional requirements: Work-based learning requires a minimum of two days’ work in the field of community development.

IB Standard Entry Requirements

  • 30 (6,5,5 HL) – 28 (5,5,5 HL)
  • Additional requirements: Students must be involved in work-based practice (paid or voluntary) for two days per week in the field of community development.

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

English language requirements

Important information for entry in Autumn 2020 and January 2021

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications:

  • ibTOEFL*: 90; no sub-test less than: Reading: 20; Listening: 19; Speaking: 19; Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • IGCSE: English as a First Language (0500/0522): C in Reading and Writing, plus 1 in Listening, 2 in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
  • IGCSE: English as a Second Language (0510/0511): A in Reading and Writing, plus A in Listening, 2/B in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's School of Modern Languages and Cultures offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact External Relations

If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:

Visa requirements and proof of English language level

It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.

For further information about English language, please see School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study.

Career prospects

Students who complete this degree go on to work in many aspects of community development. These include:

  • youth work
  • community arts
  • housing, addictions
  • economic development
  • adult education
  • community regeneration work.


This degree programme is a professional qualification to work in Community Development, Youth Work, Community Work and related fields, endorsed by the Standards Council for CLD in Scotland.

Degrees and UCAS codes

When applying you will need to know the UCAS code for the subject or subject-combination that you wish to apply to:

BA (Hons)

Community Development: XL35 (4 years)

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see Tuition fees for details.


The University is committed to supporting students and rewarding academic excellence. That's why we've invested more than £1m in additional scholarship funding in recent years.

RUK Access Bursary 2020 Entry

The bursary supports talented students who might not be able to take a place at University for reasons of financial hardship. It is available to new entrant full-time, undergraduate students of the University of Glasgow who are fully registered for Session 2020/21, as being domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and paying annual tuition fees of £9,250 per annum.

RUK Excellence Scholarship 2020

The RUK Excellence Scholarship of £1,000 for each year of study will be awarded to first degree entrants who have attained AAA or better in one sitting at A Level (or equivalent). 

Beaconhouse Schools

The University of Glasgow offer a 15% discount on the first year of tuition fee to students from Beaconhouse Schools and who enrol on an undergraduate programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount does not apply to Veterinary Medicine, Medicine and Dentistry programmes.

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

How to apply


Full-time students must apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). 

International students can also apply using The Common Application: however, if applying to more than one UK university, we recommend using UCAS.

Application deadlines

  • 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or also applying to Oxford or Cambridge
  • 15 January: all other UK/EU applicants (unless otherwise stated on the UCAS website)
  • 30 June: international (non-EU) students

We do not usually accept any applications after these deadlines.

It's your responsibility to ensure the accuracy of your application before submission. Requests to correct application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.

Apply via UCAS


Students satisfied

Discover Uni, January 2020
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