Professional Practice provides the authentic context for a collaboration of student youth and community work practitioners, their community sector mentors and the university, to understand and enhance youth or community work professional practice. The practical experiences of student youth or community workers in partnerships are also the basis of their critical reflection and theorising on practice, which leads to sustainable improvement and change. Professional Practice is an opportunity for students to participate in a range of specific program or projects that youth or community services offer such as Youth and Community events, sports programs, sports programs and community recreation programs, Community Advocacy networks, Community Centres, National Youth Week, School Holiday Programs, Camps, Youth and Community Conferences or summits and much more. Each student has the opportunity to do one of their placements overseas whilst the other must be in a domestic setting. Undertaking a variety of experiences in line with emerging interests allows a student to reflect on the breadth of the industry and the diverse opportunities available to them as a Youth or Community Worker. Students will need to document their experiences by creating a reflective journal. As each placement is unique, students are required to negotiate their tasks, responsibilities and timelines with their agency supervisor and undertake regular supervision to reflect on their practice.

Unit details

Online Real Time
Online Self Paced
Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a range of engagement skills for working with and supporting vulnerable young people and other vulnerable cohorts in the community;  
  2. Contextualise and apply the theoretical knowledge and skills of youth work and community work in a practical setting to an industry standard;  
  3. Articulate the present and emerging issues of the youth or community work sectors and their impact on supporting young people and other vulnerable cohorts in a community; and  
  4. Develop and expand awareness of programs and services delivered to young people and other vulnerable cohorts in a community.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Journal Reflective practice report 1 (700 words) 25%
Report Youth or Community Work Sector Report (1500 words) 50%
Journal Reflective practice report 2 (700 words) 25%
The hurdle task that must be completed in this unit: 1. Work Integrated Learning Agreement signed by Host Organisation. 2. Placement supervisor Report.

Required reading

Essential Skills for Youth Work Practice 2nd
Sapin, K (2013),
London: Sage Publications

Readings will be made available via VU Collaborate.

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.