University of Canterbury Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership

The Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership (BYCL) meets a growing need for innovative leaders who can make an impact on national and global challenges that are being encountered by youth and other communities.

This degree develops professional leadership and entrepreneurial skills for those passionate about issues such as sustainability, human rights, equality, and humanitarian efforts. The 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.

Youth and Community Leadership prepares students with the knowledge and skills to identify and apply leadership to action change, making this an ideal degree for those wanting to create a better world for the future.

Why study a Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership at UC?

  • The Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership is the only degree of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • UC has a worldwide reputation for its student activism and engagement in youth-led movements. Our students have founded efforts in natural disaster relief, anti-terrorism, sustainability, and cultural diversity, and our campus has hosted visitors such as Prince Harry Duke of Sussex, and Dr Jane Goodall.
  • UC hosts a number of research and specialist centres focused around leadership, volunteerism, and innovative teaching, such as the UC Community Engagement Hub | Te Pokapū Pāhekoheko Hapori, the e-Learning Lab | Te Puna i-Ako, the Professional and Community Engagement programme, UC Centre for Entrepreneurship | Te Pokapū Rakahinonga, and the UCSA’s Student Volunteer Army | Te Hunga Tūao.
  • UC graduates have become social entrepreneurs, political activists, and industry innovators, and have been recognised with awards for their contribution to local and global issues.
  • The degree programme has been welcomed by industry bodies UNESCO, UN Youth NZ, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, and UCSA Student Volunteer Army | Te Hunga Tūao.

Entry requirements

Admission to UC with University Entrance (or equivalent) is required to enrol.

Students with English as an additional language are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.

For information on the enrolment process, please see how to apply for undergraduate qualifications.

Recommended preparation

The programme is open to students from a range of interests or experience in leadership roles. No particular background study is required. A passion for social change, community work, and volunteering is the best preparation.

Strong written and verbal communication skills will be especially useful.

How do I plan my degree?

Typical degree structure for Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership

Each small block represents a 15-point course. However, some courses may be 30 points (or more).

For full course requirements, see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership.

The BYCL is a 360-point degree, with at least 225 points at 200-level or above:

  • 150 points of compulsory courses in leadership development
  • 105 points of optional courses in a range of Arts and Commerce subjects
  • up to 105 points of courses from any bachelor’s degree at UC.

You may also choose to do a minor within the degree, from subject options in the Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of CommerceBachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Sport Coaching. A minor requires 75 points of courses, with 45 points above 100-level. See the degree webpages for the list of available minor subjects.

Community engagement is central to the degree, and there are multiple opportunities to create group projects and connect with UC’s community in Ōtautahi Christchurch, including noho marae (or alternative), volunteer efforts with the Student Volunteer Army | Te Hunga Tūao, and work with the Children’s University | Te Mātāpuna Mātātahi.

The degree takes 3 years of full-time study, or can be studied part-time for up to 6 years.

For study planning help, contact the UC Liaison Office | Te Rōpū Takawaenga o UC (new students) or a College of Education, Health and Human Development | Te Rāngai Ako me te Hauora Student Advisor (advancing students).

Double degrees

It is possible to combine the Youth and Community Leadership degree with other degrees, such as the Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of CommunicationBachelor of Commerce, and Bachelor of Criminal Justice.