As an applicant for the program you should hold an undergraduate degree in a relevant field (e.g. Social Sciences, Humanities, Cultural Sciences, Law etc.). Your undergraduate degree has to be equal to a Bachelor's degree with at least 180 ECTS ( European Credit Transfer System) points .

Great interest and a commitment to the field of social work and to human rights issues are fundamental and should be visible in the application. 

Furthermore applicants should:

  • have at least one year of practical experience in a relevant field (Social development and human rights practice etc.)
  • present two recommendation letters from past/current employers and/or academic references
  • show proficiency in English and computer competence

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We are pleased about your interest in the Master of Arts in Social Work as a Human Rights Profession (MA-SWHR). The program lasts four semesters, starting in September 2019 and ending in September 2021.

For the academic year 2019/2020 the application period starts October 15, 2018 and will end on March 1, 2019.

Visa appliccants should note that processing a student visa application at the German authorities usually takes three months or longer.

The application consists of 2 steps:

First step:

Please fill out the online application form which will be available starting October 15, 2018.

Second step:

Please submit the following documents via e-mail to

  • Letter of Motivation (two pages, 1.5 spacing)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Certificates and Academic Records (to be validated upon arrival! Do NOT include high school or secondary school certificates)
  • Two Letters of Evaluation/Recommendation from past or current employers and/or academic references (not older than one year at day of application). Please be aware that the letters need to be signed and stamped
  • Certificate (s) that attest at least one year of practical experience in a field related to social work or human rights
  • English Language Certificate 
  • Proof of financial ability

Please send digital copies only, as we do not accept any hard copies!
Please send your documents as one single PDF file!

If applicable, please submit your certificates in their original language, accompanied by a translation in German or English. This also applies to the overview of subjects and grades.

We urge you to read the details carefully. However, do not hesitate to contact us for any further questions via following E-mail: swhr@ avoid-unrequested-mailsash-berlin.euor via telephone at 0049 (30) 992 45 286.

Kindly note : The Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences welcomes students from all countries. Students are selected without regard to sex, ethnicity, religion or national origin. All applications for admission to the M.A. program are evaluated by the Admission Committee. The application will only be considered, if the completed application has been submitted before the respective deadlines.

We are looking forward to hearing from you!

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Proof of Financial Ability

To prove financial ability, please send

  • a statement of financial support and a confidential bank statement from yourself, a relative or personal sponsor (voucher guarantee) showing that sufficient funds are available to support your studies at the Alice Salomon University and life in Berlin OR
  • a sponsorship letter from a government agency, organization, institution or school etc.

Formal guidelines:

  • If your country neither uses EURO nor US Dollar, please ensure that you also submit the value of your funds in either currency or the rate of exchange at the time of submitting the form.
  • In case of sending a voucher guarantee, please make sure that both, the letter of guarantee and the bank statements are verified by respective legal authorities, i.e. signed by the respective account owner.
  • Please be aware that bank statements should be from the last 6 months.

How much money do I need? 

University fees:

  • € 300 administration fee
  • € 8,420 tuition fee
  • € 194 per semester public transport ticket to be acquired through the university (optional)

Living costs/month (aprox.)

  • € 720 on average for accommodation, food, health insurance, telephone etc.

Germany's Foreigner’s Registration Authorities expect visiting students to have around € 720 per month (€ 8,640 a year) to cover the cost of living. Depending on your nationality, the full amount for the duration of your stay in Germany must be deposited in a separate blocked bank account BEFORE a visa can be issued! You need further general information about proving your financial funds?

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English Language Proficiency

The language of instruction is English. All applicants must demonstrate a sufficient level of proficiency in English language before being admitted to the Master program; unless one is a native or holds an undergraduate degree in English. The English language certificates should not be older than two years and shall indicate a high score. ONE of the following tests is considered to be sufficient proof:

  • Cambridge Advanced Certificate (CAE):
    Test result should be 'GRADE B' or better.

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL):
    Test result (from the internet-based test, iBT) should be 90 points or better.

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
    Test result should be 6.5 or better.

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In recognition of the importance of the global and transnational dimension of social work increasingly discussed with normative references to human rights, the MA-SWHR offers the qualification to cope with the issues and problems linked to the triple mandate of social work – on the local, national and international level.

Graduates will gain a solid understanding of how to implement the idea of human rights into the theory and practice of social work – which includes a research perspective as well as the development and realization of practice projects.

It is a four semester Masters of Arts (MA) with  a total of 120 credits which are assigned according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). The ASH is a state-recognized University of Applied Sciences. In the summer of 2016, the MA-SWHR was successfully accredited by the Agency AQAS. Due to the international perspective of the program it is realized in cooperation with other European universities.

The MA-SWHR is an inter-disciplinary, research based study program, combining international human rights instruments and standards with selected social sciences and the transfer of conceptual knowledge to professional practice. The program’s principal focus is the study of theories and empirical knowledge fundamental for a professional self-conception based on the triple mandate of social work:

  • world society and social development,
  • social problems and human rights violation,
  • international law in a social work perspective,
  • critical social science research.

A secondary focus is on the development of human rights based methods of intervention for different fields of social work. Particular elements of the curriculum will comprise units on:

  • health and human rights,
  • migration and racism,
  • poverty and social exclusion,
  • gender, diversity, and human rights,
  • children’s rights,
  • human rights education,
  • management of change.

This international program is taught in English. It brings students together from various backgrounds and cultures to facilitate a cross-cultural learning experience. It is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to recognize issues relevant to human rights in social policies, theory, problem areas and spheres of activity of social work and promote a professional practice based on human rights. 

The MA-SWHR is offered once a year, starting each winter semester. It is a study program based on classroom teaching and seminars which also include periods of self-depended learning and e-facilitated study time as well as written assignments. It requires a full-time commitment from students. The standard period of study is 24 months to be completed over four semesters.

The modules are organized in blocks as the teaching staff is only partly based in Berlin and Germany. It consists of two weeks in-class teaching and two weeks e-learning for the A modules, for the B and C modules one week in class-teaching & one week e-learning. Almost all other professors are permanent staff members at our partner universities in Sweden, Scotland and Slovenija.

In the first semester, students attend eight weeks of classes and seminars (off-line study period). This is followed by an e-learning period in the second semester in which the study contents of the first semester are enforced and further elaborated on. Currently, the schedule is being re-structured for the group starting in September 2018 (alternating between in-class teaching and e-learning periods for modules A).

In the third semester, students attend minimum four weeks of classes and seminars at ASH which, again, are completed by an online learning period.

The fourth semester is dedicated to the realization of a practical project linked to the issue of social work and human rights as well as to the elaboration of the master Thesis.

The orientation of the MA-SWHR is suited to the requirements of the job market. Graduates work in social services, free-lance, in international governmental, non-governmental and private sector organizations, particularly in key roles to achieve social change.

For applicants attempting to work as a social worker in Germany, one must consider the requirements for the State Recognition by the Senate of Berlin (Berliner Senat). Additionally, you shall take into consideration informing yourself about the state regulation of a licensed social worker of your home country, in order to practice as a social worker. German M.A. programs in the field of Social Work usually do not qualify to get the state recognition as social worker in Germany, as it does not replace a B.A. in the field.

The Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences (ASH) is Germany's oldest and largest academic training institution in social work. It is recognized as one of Germany's most research-intensive universities of applied sciences in the social field and is committed to international cooperation. The Alice Salomon University is located in Berlin - a culturally vibrant, cosmopolitan city.

The Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences has a commitment to offer its students high quality courses at a fair price. As a non-consecutive Master's program students are currently required to pay tuition and registration fees. These non-profitmaking fees are charged to cover both classroom teaching as well as self-paced and online studies.

The tuition fee for full-time degree students is 2640€ for each of the first three semesters, the fourth and last semester is dedicated to the master thesis and costs 500€.

There is an administrative fee of 300€ which covers admission and registration.

Further, fees depend on the services you wish. For instance, the student's ticket of the Berlin public transport system (valid for 6 months) currently costs about 195€ for MA-SWHR students. The costs of living – including rent, food, clothing, laundry, personal hygiene, travel, obligatory health insurance, telephone, leisure activities and other expenses – generally average between 600€ and 800€ per month.

The current fees for the full program are defined of the following:
1st semester, administration fee 300,00 EUR
1st semester, tuition fee 2640,00 EUR
2nd semester, tuition fee 2640,00 EUR
3rd semester, tuition fee 2640,00 EUR
4th semester, tuition fee 500,00 EUR
Total 8720,00 EUR
Repayment for full payment at the beginning of the program - 300,00 EUR
Total 8420,00 EUR

Unfortunately, our university is not able to grant scholarships. However, there are many organizations where you can apply for funding. You can find an extensive list of institutions with which you can apply for a scholarship here. Keep in mind their application deadlines! 

You must have an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline, e.g., social work, social sciences, law, humanities or cultural sciences, and a minimum of one year of professional or voluntary work experience in a related field. Furthermore, you are expected to demonstrate adequate training in research skills as well as proficiency in English.

You will find our new online application form as well as the application deadlines for applying for the academic year 2019/2020 on our website starting October 15, 2018.

If you have any further questions do not hesitate to contact us via:

You are also warmly welcome to visit us during our Office Hours (Monday and Wednesday 13:00 - 16:00) - just call for an appointment!

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