Social Work B.A.

The study programme

The Social Work BA enables you to act independently as a professional in the various work areas in social work. The study programme provides students with practice-related insights and methods together with the necessary skills for critical-reflective thought processes and action.

A variety of theories and methods as well as a legal and ethical foundation provide a solid basis for structuring, justifying and reflecting on your professional work. The study programme qualifies you for complex challenges in the fields of social work. It is designed in a generalistic way but offers opportunities for specialisation and in-depth study through a wide range of theoretical and practical specialisations and elective seminars.

The special profile of the study programme includes a four-semester project with the topic co-designed by students and a focus on diversity (including gender and queer studies, racism and migration) and cultural education.

Furthermore, the study programme offers special opportunities for international learning. You will meet exchange students from other countries during your studies. You also have access to modules in the International Curriculum and can study abroad.  

Lectures in the Social Work BA are mainly conducted in German, individual seminars are offered in English. (Information about required language knowledge can be found under the applications section).

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Study programme at a glance

Social work is a profession and a science that contributes towards improving individual life situations and social living conditions. The topic areas of social work are very diverse and encompass social deprivation, problem situations and social challenges such as poverty, discrimination, violence, inequality of education, health/illness, disability, migration and refugees, addiction, homelessness, etc. In its approach social work always focuses on the connections between larger social and political structures and the specific problem situations that arise in people’s daily lives.

The internationale Definition Sozialer Arbeit  defines social work as follows: “Social work is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work. Underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences, humanities and indigenous knowledge, social work engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance wellbeing.”

The Social Work study programme is structured generalistically but provides scope for you to develop your individual profile. You have the opportunity to select options and can choose specialisations through project seminars, the degree thesis, advanced theoretical and practical modules and elective seminars.

The first semesters concentrate on providing basic knowledge in the various fields of social work. You will learn the legal, sociological, psychological, politological and educational foundations. Additional study areas include the history and theory of social work, preparatory modules, courses of action and research methods, diversity studies and cultural education.

In later semesters students can increasingly focus on specialisation areas. A range of seminars is offered that illuminate individual fields of work, target groups and social work organisations. A particular feature of the BA study programme is the project seminars which build on the knowledge and action strategies of the first semesters and are designed for learning through research. Students work intensively on a question or topic and are supervised by several lecturers. Specialisation seminars provide the opportunity to explore topics in detail such as “Child and youth welfare”, “Poverty, unemployment and homelessness” or “Gender and queer studies”. 

The study plan (in English) and the  module manual (only in German) provide detailed information about how the study programme is designed and structured.

The Social Work BA is a full-time attendance-based study programme and has a standard duration of seven semesters. The study programme is modular and amounts to a total of 210 credits. 

The Social Work study programme is based on a strong connection between theory and practice. Theories provide you with a source of orientation in practice, helping you to understand practice from a different perspective, to question and develop it. Two practical phases are integrated into the study programme concept: at the beginning of the study programme there is a four-week field study phase and in the fifth semester there is a supervised practical phase of several months. 

The Social Work BA opens up the door to professional practice and to further study. The state-recognised qualification as a social worker enables you to work in public service or for independent bodies, authorities, companies or even on a self-employed basis. The different areas of work each cover different topics, target groups and institutional structures, for example:

Occupational social work, education work, social work in schools, support for the disabled, leisure/experiential education, community work, health prevention and rehabilitation, child and youth welfare, public youth work, crisis intervention, material and legal aid and consulting, social management, addiction support, support for offenders, etc.

The institutions you can work for are accordingly diverse:
Advisory centres, schools, youth welfare institutions, general social services for social, health and youth welfare, clinics, addition support centres, anti-discrimination centres, social contact and meeting centres, psychiatric institutions, organisations for the disabled, facilities for senior citizens, correctional facilities, etc.

In addition to professional employment opportunities, you can also pursue numerous training and further education programmes. For example, you can take a consecutive Master’s degree and open up the path to a doctorate.

Successful graduates of the study programme are awarded the academic and professionally qualifying degree of Bachelor of Arts Bachelor of Arts (B.A.). The state-recognised qualification as a social worker/educator is granted upon application to the Senate Department for Education, Youth and Science, subject to the agreement of the relevant committees and institutions.

ASH Berlin does not charge tuition fees for the Social Work BA. Students are only required to pay semester fees and contributions. Approx. 300 euros is payable per semester, which includes the semester ticket for public transport. Further information can be found on the pages of Enrolment Office

  • International mobility:
    Many ASH students spend time studying abroad or spending their practice phase in a different country. Also many international students visit ASH to study or do an internship or practicum. The International Office supports incoming Erasmus+, exchange and free mover students as well as regular ASH Berlin students wishing to spend a study or internship semester abroad.

  • International Curriculum:
    ASH Berlin offers seminars in English, Spanish, and Turkish, and integrates international content into the course of study.

  • Language Center:
    The language centre offers a variety of language classes including Arabic, Kurdish and German Sign Language.

  • International Certificate:
    Students who have spent a semester abroad, who have been engaged in international activities and/or participated in the international curriculum are awarded a certificate.

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