Master Social Work - Critical Diversity and Community Studies M.A.

The action-oriented master's programme "Social Work - Critical Diversity and Community Studies" (KriDiCo) qualifies students to contribute to improving social justice together with state institutions and independent agencies, social movements and communities of interest, neighborhoods and districts through power-critical, intersectional, and community-oriented transformations.

The consecutive Master's programme will start for the first time in the summer semester of 2021 with 40 places. Study and teaching of the MA KriDiCo takes place in German.


In line with the mission statement of the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin, the programme combines perspectives within critical diversity studies and community orientation in relation to the theories, concepts, action strategies and spheres of action in social work. Intersectional analyses and perspectives take a look at differing power relations in their simultaneity, their contradictions, and their relations. Community action specifies the multifaceted concept of community, moving towards emancipatory approaches to action, including participatory and collaborative intervention strategies, empowerment and power sharing, social culture, education and memory work, policy practice and transformative justice, as well as personnel and organizational development. It focuses on professional social work options for action that are understood as socially critical and transformative and open up a design perspective for social work.

The goal of the action-oriented Master's programme is to give students a foundation in power-critical and community-oriented theories and concepts within social work to enable them to intersectionally analyse social inequality, differentiation and conflict, as well as resources, resistance, and potential for change in their overall social, historical, political, economic, social, and cultural contexts. On this basis, perspectives for action can be developed for practices that go far beyond individual cases and aim to achieve (social) change in various fields of social work. Accordingly, the students are appreciated and involved in the academic programme with respect for their circumstances, who they are and have become, their diversity, and their positioning. Their situated and reflected experiential knowledge in this regard will be activated and professionalized as a resource.

The programme is modularized and consists of the following 6 modules:

Module 1: Relations of Power and Inequality (understanding, contextualizing, and analyzing science and power from a critical perspective)
Graduates possess critical knowledge of theories, discourses and dispositives in the field and are able to analyze social power relations and dynamics of inequality.

Module 2: (recognizing, reflecting, and developing) Positionalities and Relationalities
Graduates are able to develop power-critical, intersectional, and community-oriented approaches and to reflect on and communicate their own thinking and actions in relation to personal and professional positionalities in relations of power and dominance.

Module 3: Processes of Change (power-conscious and community-oriented adoption, initiation and design)
Graduates are able to change limiting, unjust, and discriminatory situations and structures in a power-critical, intersectional, and community-oriented manner spanning across cases and/or with groups, communities, networks, and organizations and have the corresponding strategies and a range of methodological competencies to do so.

Module 4: Concept Workshop - (Developing) Own Change Project
In the Workshop: Social Change, which forms the core of the program, the students learn (alone or in small groups) how to develop action-oriented conceptions of change processes based on self-selected research questions, taking into account the needs of social and interest-based communities, social space actors, social movements.Based on the fundamentals of conceptual and research design, they acquire the ability to competently and independently develop, implement, reflect, and present a change project. Graduates are qualified for a social science-based, intersectional, power-critical, community-oriented practice and concept development within the spheres of action of social work.

Module 5: Compulsory Elective Module - Profession and Future Topics (shaping, development, expansion)
In the elective module, graduates focus on current and future socio-political challenges or on interdisciplinary competencies for professional development and further career and life planning. Optionally, first-year students can be accompanied in peer-to-peer counseling or actively participate in the further development of the study program. Graduates can make contributions to professional development under the premises of power critique, intersectionality, and community orientation and recognize and develop opportunities for new fields of activity in the areas of anti-discrimination, equality, community action / community service.

Module 6: (developing) Master thesis
Graduates acquire and deepen the ability to conduct independent scholarly work in the field of critical diversity and community studies. The topic of the thesis can be based on the work in the concept workshop or a new topic. During the accompanying colloquium, students have the possibility to present and discuss their master thesis.

The programme comprises 90 credits and concludes with the academic degree of Master of Arts (MA).

The Master's programme in Social Work - Critical Diversity and Community Studies (KriDiCo) is aimed at university graduates who hold a bachelor's or diploma degree in Social Work, Health, Education and Training or who have completed studies in social sciences, cultural studies, humanities, economics, law, spatial sciences, or comparable studies with a power-critical, intersectional, or community-oriented focus.

It addresses individuals who are already engaged in transformational processes within their organization, a community or society in the context of their academic work, activism, civil society or professional practice and who want to reflect, establish, and develop their practice in active exchange with others.

Please note: teaching in the MA KriDiCo takes place in German. Appropriate language skills are required for application (see application checklist for details). The costs for semester fees and contributions are about 310 Euro incl. the semester ticket.

The programme starts each year in the summer semester. Detailed information on application, admission requirements, and admission procedure can be found in German under "Bewerbung".