Syllabus - Master's Programme in Social Work within Health and Social Welfare

Programme code


Valid from

Autumn semester 2019

Decision instance

The Faculty Board



Registration number






Specific requirements

A completed bachelor's degree from an institution of higher education of three years or more, equivalent to 180 credits within the fields of social work or equivalent. International students are required to submit a TOEFL test result, with a minimum score of 575 with a TWE score of at least 4.5 (PBT) or 90 with a TWE score of at least 20 (iBT) or an IELTS test result with an overall band score of at least 6.5 and no band score below 5.5 or equivalent.

About programme syllabus

The programme syllabus applies to the entire education period, starting with the academic year and the semester you started your education. The programme syllabus contains goals for the programme, contents and arrangement, but also requirements for special qualifications, etc.


The Higher Education Act states the following:

Second-cycle studies shall essentially build on knowledge acquired by the students in first-cycle studies, or equivalent knowledge. Second-cycle courses and study programmes shall involve the acquisition of specialist knowledge, competence and skills in relation to first-cycle courses and study programmes, and in addition to the requirements for first-cycle courses and study programmes shall:

  • further develop the ability of students to integrate and make autonomous use of their knowledge,
  • develop the students' ability to deal with complex phenomena, issues and situations, and
  • develop the students' potential for professional activities that demand considerable autonomy, or for research and development work. Act (2006:173).
Below are stated the objectives described in the Higher Education Ordinance's qualification descriptors for a Master's degree (SFS 1993:100 with amendments in accordance with SFS 2006:1053 Annex), in addition to local objectives.

Knowledge and Understanding

On completion of the degree programme the student shall:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the main field of study, including both broad knowledge of the field and a considerable degree of specialised knowledge in certain areas of the field as well as insight into current research and development work, and
  • demonstrate specialised methodological knowledge in the main field of study.

Local outcomes:
  • develop in-depth knowledge, with a focus on professional development, within the area where health research and social welfare research converge,
  • critically review and argue the case for how the health and social welfare of individuals and groups can be promoted by multidisciplinary cooperation and the development of interdisciplinary knowledge, and
  • develop in-depth knowledge of people in vulnerable situations.

Aptitudes and Accomplishments

On completion of the degree programme the student shall:

  • demonstrate the ability to critically and systematically integrate knowledge and analyse, assess and deal with complex phenomena, issues and situations even with limited information
  • demonstrate the ability to identify and formulate issues critically, autonomously and creatively as well as to plan and, using appropriate methods, undertake advanced tasks within predetermined time frames and so contribute to the formation of knowledge as well as the ability to evaluate this work
  • demonstrate the ability in speech and writing both nationally and internationally to clearly report and discuss his or her conclusions and the knowledge and arguments on which they are based in dialogue with different audiences, and
  • demonstrate the skills required for participation in research and development work or autonomous employment in some other qualified capacity.
Local outcomes:
  • be able to plan, carry out and evaluate evidence-based practice in health and social welfare, 
  • demonstrate the capacity for an innovative approach in health and social welfare
  • be able to plan and carry out scientific studies within the area of health and social welfare with particular relevance to social work.

Ability to Evaluate and Assess

On completion of the degree programme the student shall:

  • demonstrate the ability to make assessments in the main field of study informed by relevant disciplinary, social and ethical issues and also to demonstrate awareness of ethical aspects of research and development work
  • demonstrate insight into the possibilities and limitations of research, its role in society and the responsibility of the individual for how it is used, and
  • demonstrate the ability to identify the personal need for further knowledge and take responsibility for his or her ongoing learning.

Local outcomes:
  • be able to evaluate equity, access and participation in health and social welfare.

Language of instruction



One half of the programme consists of courses within the main field of study of Social Work, and the other half of courses within the general area of Health and Welfare.

Social Work 
The first year's courses in Social Work are focused on children's rights and on how children's participation, protection and resources can be promoted and secured in social work. The first year also gives knowledge of the multicultural society, intercultural meetings and the integration process. A degree project is also included here.

During the second year the students will acquire in-depth knowledge, partly of theories and models in social and psychosocial change work, and partly of social care as an integrated part of social work. During this year a further degree project is included, which can consist of a continuation of the first year's degree project or be a separate one (see Choices within the programme).

Health and Social Welfare
The first year's courses focus on management, teams and organisation as well as evidence-based practice and evaluation in Health and Social Welfare. In addition to this, scientific methodology as well as qualitative and quantitative research methods of relevance to health and social welfare are studied.

The second year's courses broaden and deepen understanding of the area of health and social welfare. Here the focus is on equity, access and participation, professional knowledge and development as well as creativity and innovation. In addition to this, a deeper knowledge of scientific theory, qualitative and quantitative research methods are given.

Year 1

Social Work:
Social Work with Children, 7.5 credits
Multicultural Social Work, 7.5 credits 
Thesis in Social Work, 15 credits 
Thesis in Social Work, Master, 30 credits 
(The student may choose to complete the degree project during year 1 or to continue the degree project during year 2.)

Health and Social Welfare:
Management, Teams and Organisations in Health and Social Welfare, 7.5 credits 
Evidence-based Practice and Evaluation, 7.5 credits 
Qualitative Research Methods I, 7.5 credits
Quantitative Research Methods I, 7.5 credits

Year 2

Social Work:
Social Work and Social Change, 7.5 credits 
Social Support and Care in Daily Life, 7.5 credits
Thesis in Social Work, 15 credits or alternatively 30 credits

Health and Social Welfare:
Qualitative Research Methods II, 7.5 credits
Quantitative Research Methods II, 7.5 credits
Health and Welfare - Perspectives on Equity, Access and Participation, 7.5 credits 
Health and Welfare - Perspectives on Profession, Organisation and Innovation, 7.5 credits 

The above courses may be read jointly with third-cycle studies in Health and Welfare.

Minor changes in the range of courses may be made during the programme as a result of continual quality work.

For students who already have a 60-credit Master's degree in the main field of study and who fulfil the specific entry requirements regarding knowledge of methodology, an opportunity is available to commence the second year of the two-year programme directly.

Choices within the program

The student may choose to write two degree projects of 15 credits or one degree project of 30 credits.

On completion of year 1 the student has the opportunity of applying for a 60-credit Master's degree.

University degree

The degree programme is so designed that the studies will lead towards fulfilment of the requirements for the following degree:

  • Degree of Master of Science (60 credits) in Social Work
  • Degree of Master of Science (120 credits) in Social Work
If the programme contains elective or optional courses, or if a student chooses not to complete a certain course, the choices made may affect the opportunities of fulfilling the degree requirements. For more information about degrees and degree requirements, please refer to the local System of Qualifications on the University website.


The consequences of joint studies with opportunities of credit transfer are determined and assessed by the subject representatives at each programme level. Individual courses from year two may, after assessment, be credit transferred in the third-cycle programme. Courses within the Social Worker programme, semester 7, may possibly, after assessment, be credit transferred.

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