Master of Arts "Social Work as a Human Rights Profession" (MA-SWHR)
International Master Program
In the course of the transnationalization of social problems in the globalized world, the importance of human rights as a strong instrument in the field of social work becomes more significant. Through the MA-SWHR program you will gain, develop and improve a general professional self-conception and receive a science-based theory of action, intervention as well as a solid inside of principle of profession’s code of ethic: all in relation to social work as a discipline and profession.
The course of study will be of most interest to individuals who are professionally active or have an academic interest in social work or in an area related to human rights. Social work and human rights are frequently encountered when working with vulnerable groups such as children or migrants respectively when working on issues related to the right to health or to social problems like poverty, social exclusion or discrimination with regard to a person's gender and/or race.
The program shall give you feasible tools through a hybrid learning program combining classroom teaching (in blocks) and modules with internet-based blended learning and a profound focus on research. The M.A. program requires a full-time commitment from students. 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 virtual blended learning for the A modules, for the B and C modules one week in class-teaching & one week blended learning. Almost all other professors are permanent staff members at our partner universities in Sweden, Scotland and Slovenija. The average of student effort required includes the time spent attending lectures and seminars as well as the time dedicated to independent study and preparation of oral and written assignments. Please check the current schedule for further details.
Feel free contact us in case of further questions and we will gladly provide for more information.
This website provides information on the MA-SWHR in ENGLISH language. There is a program with the same name offered in GERMAN language. The two programs do have some overlapping content. However, the structure is quite different. Please find further information on the program in GERMAN-
Overview of the Program
The need for an international Master program on Social Work as a Human Rights Profession has often been articulated in meetings of the International Association of School of Social Workers (IASSW) and the conference of the European Network on Social Action (ENSACT). This idea became more concrete during a pre-conference to the ENSACT conference in Brussels in April 2011 organized by Prof. Dr. Staub-Bernasconi and others on the issue of human rights and social work.
The participants were very much interested in developing an international program on the issue of social work and human rights. During a meeting held at the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences and four more meetings in Berlin between 2011 and 2012, the final group of cooperating universities now consists of:
- Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences, Berlin
- Coburg University of Applied Sciences and Arts
- Malmö University, Department of Health and Welfare
- University of Gothenburg, Department of Social Work
- University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Work
- University of Strathclyde, School of Applied Social Sciences
Thanks to the cooperation with other universities, the lecturers of the MA-SWHR hail from a great range of nationalities and cultural backgrounds bringing a variety of professional fields and traditions of expertise. Together with an average of 25 international students, the MA-SWHR creates a multicultural setting of learning, where students are directly confronted with the experience of diversity. This creates a space to discuss social- and human rights issues in an international setting.
The MA-SWHR is a research-oriented, partially internet-based program, combining the field of social work with human rights issues.
Social work and human rights are frequently encountered when working with vulnerable groups such as children or migrants respectively when working on issues related to the right to health, to the social challenge of poverty, to social exclusion, to discrimination with regard to a person’s gender or to the cpmplexity of racism.
The main aim of the MA-SWHR is the translation of the often very abstract and appellative human rights discourse into the theory and practice of social work.
This objective is strongly linked to the development of a general professional self-conception based on the “triple mandate of social work”, meaning that the universally known “double mandate of social work” on behalf of the addressees and the society/providers is complemented by a third mandate on behalf of the profession.
This consists of science-based theories of action, intervention as well as the principles of the profession’s code of ethics.
- 1st and 2nd Semester
A Modules: Basic knowledge about the discipline and profession of social work and human right
- 3rd Semester
B Modules: Social Problems/ Vulnerable Groups
C Modules: Social Action Fields/Social Movements
- 4th Semester
D Module: Human Rights Project
E Module: Master's 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, respectively, in order to practice as a social worker.
Upon registration a fee of € 300 is due. The tuition fee for the first to third semester is € 2640 each. Costs for the fourth semester (human rights project and Master’s thesis) amount to € 500. Should, however, the Master’s thesis be postponed to the fifth semester an extra € 300 will be charged for this final semester.
Please note that additional options like purchasing a public transport tickets for students may lead to extra costs of currently € 190 per semester.
Our university of applied sciences is, unfortunately, not able to grant scholarships. However, we have compiled an extensive list of institutions where you can apply for a scholarship: List of Scholarships
Please note that the information on the different scholarship options was taken from the respective institutional websites. Since the latter are subject to constant changes, we are unable to guarantee that all information is still up to date. In order to verify, it is recommended to visit the organizations’ websites directly.
Furthermore, we would like to draw your attention to the fact that some scholarships request that you hold a specific nationality. Should you have questions about the exact requirements please get in contact with the respective organization.
Finally, we ask you to take into consideration that in some cases the application process may take a very long time, in fact up to one year. Thus we encourage you to inform yourself about suitable scholarships and apply to the institution(s) in question as early as possible.
In the first four student groups, we have all together 75 students from
Africa: Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Namibia, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda, Zimbabwe,
America: Canada, Ecuador, Honduras, USA, Venezuela
Asia: Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea,
Europe: Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey
Middle East: Israel, Jordan, Palestinian Territories, Syria