Deutsche Version |
Social Work and Health

MA Social Work

Programme Social Work for incoming students in English autumn (winter) semester 2014/15 (30 ECTS)

As an incoming student you have to take 5 courses in social work in the international context and international law (21 ECTS) and 2 or 3 international seminars (6-9 ECTS) and max. 1 German language course (max. 3 ECTS).

Social work in the international context and international law (21 ECTS):

a) Social work in the international context

The international developments in politics, the economy, law and society are becoming increasingly important for national contexts and the methodological basis of social work. This module provides more advanced knowledge in these areas, whereby an understanding of the interdependencies of global, national and local influences is central for understanding the causes and treatment of social and economic problems in different welfare and service cultures. The students learn to understand that an analysis of social, political, legal and economic areas and problems limited to specific national borders cannot necessarily reflect the international context.

With the successful completion of the module, students should:

If required, the graduates can also acquire competences and skills that qualify them for jobs in international or internationally active organisations.

b) International law
Focus on the legal conditions regarding social work on the levels of national and international law along with current legal reformations and discussions affecting the future of the contents of social work in general. The module enables students to relate political developments on national and international levels with basic legal rights. In the sense of comparative law, there is also a special focus on the different legal cultures with their own understanding of (social) law.

The goal is to develop professional strategies to deal with concrete problems on the basis of the abstract legal analyses. In addition, the developments on the European level and in EU law are analysed with respect to their effects on social work and compared to individual living situations.

With the successful completion of the module, students should be able to:

The 5 courses in the regular master-program (21 ECTS) are:

Course 1: International developments in the profession/discipline, Prof. Dr. Paulini
This seminar takes a more in-depth, analytical approach to dealing with theoretical and work-experience concepts in social work in the context of international, national and local developments. The goal is a critical appraisal and further discourse of the most current theoretical, action-oriented approaches, taking into account social developments and professional experience.

Course 2: International conditions of social development, Prof. Dr. Ehrenfeld
Economic globalization is changing the world to an ever-increasing extent. Students acquire the competences and skills to analyse the effects of the processes and consequences of globalization on the working world and social policy from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Human rights, poverty, child labour, international trade, migration, etc., are main topics in this seminar. A closer look is also taken at the trade between selected multi-national companies and international organizations and developmental policy.

Course 3: Country-specific conditions of social work, Prof. Dr. Schwarze
Seen historically, social work has evolved very differently in welfare states and different countries and is often organised and structured in very different ways. This course provides students with the basic theoretical knowledge they require to compare socio-political research in different countries and country-specific welfare cultures. They acquire competences to analyse and understand the current national and international developments and the respective structural elements of the welfare-state arrangements and social policy using examples from selected countries. In a synthesis and critical reflection of theory and empirical findings on welfare-state arrangements, social intervention and service cultures, students can also evaluate best practices locally and processes of policy learning. In this way, they acquire competences to analyse selected projects and interventions, also in other countries and welfare regimes on the basis of examples and can independently develop conclusions for social work in Germany. Dealing with theoretical texts or the evaluation of international empirical studies requires students to analyse documents and studies in English. In addition, basic information on upcoming changes in social policy and international social work is also provided.

Course 4: Legal and political developments in Europe, Prof. Dr. Kestel
The subject of the module is firstly, the legal framework of social work at the levels of national and European law. In the center of this are, above all, current reform projects and discussions that will affect the future of social work. The module will enable the students to bring in cover policy developments at national and international level. Important so far is the legal settlement of the different legal cultures with their own particular understanding of (social) rights. The aim is, develop subject-specific strategies to address specific problems in connection to the abstract legal analysis. Second, developments will be analysed at a European level with regard to their impact on social work and related to individual life situations.

Course 5: Human rights, social rights and social work, Prof. Dr. Kestel
For social work as a human rights profession it is necessary to clarify the different sources of human rights on the UN- and European level. In a second step it has to be analysed how human rights affect the national law, so that clients can benefit from human rights. Therefor some decisions of the European Court of Human Rights will be analysed in different ways, particularly how these decisions affect social work.

Examination: Courses 1,2,3,4,5
One graded exam is to be completed each in “social work in the international context” and “international law”. In terms of topic and content or the question addressed, these two graded exams must cover at least 2 courses. All types of examinations allowed by the Study and Examination Regulations are permitted. An oral exam is also possible. However, at least one of the graded exams must be a written term paper. The module is completed with the graded exams that receive a “pass”. These exams can be done in either German or English. (21 ECTS)

The other courses (6-9 ECTS) from “HAWK plus” can be  2or 3 of the following courses:

German Society and National Identity: Exploring Contemporary Issues from a Historical Perspective (in English /3 ECTS), Sandra Schiller

Using the German example, the seminar provides an overview on how national identity is constituted and how historical memory may influence our understanding of contemporary events and developments. An excursion to Bergen-Belsen memorial will provide an opportunity to explore memorial culture in practice. Students are encouraged to link seminar contents to questions from their own field of study (e.g. political education in social work, dealing with collective identity in graphic media and the arts, national monuments and cultural memory in architecture).
For more detailed information please see the document "Course Information" under "Allgemeiner Dateiordner."

Intercultural Training in Hildesheim (in English/ 3 ECTS), Nicole Späth
This seminar is especially for exchange students who get together and interact with students from other countries and want to train intercultural communication: In the training you shall improve your self-perception, expand your perception of foreign cultural standards, and acquire the ability to solve intercultural misunderstandings or conflicts. Furthermore you learn something about the 'typical' German cultural standards and its historical background.

Academic Writing in English (3 ECTS), Dr. Roger Skarsten
Designed for students who are non-native speakers of English, this course focuses on foundational writing skills and emphasizes the writing process (developing ideas, drafting, revising, editing). Guided textual analyses of readings help to develop writing skills through close examination of strategies used by experienced writers. Students learn to produce different genres of academic writing (comparison and contrast, example, classification, process analysis, cause and effect, argument), as well as to critique their own writing and that of others. Problems with sentence structure and vocabulary are addressed individually.

Courses in “German Language” from HAWK plus (Language Centre). Only 1 of the 3 following courses (3 ECTS) can be accepted:

German as a Foreign Language 1 – Accompanying Course, A1-Level, max. 4 ECTS, during the semester: (HAWK plus – language centre)
Building on a previous basic knowledge of German, this course will focus on listening skills, oral communication, reading strategies, and the composition of basic oral and written contributions in German. Topics are centered around the university environment as well as intercultural subjects, for instance, discussions about accommodation, habits, concerns, wishes, directions, and suggestions. You will further learn to give your opinion and ask for likes or dislikes as well as to form simple sentences in the past tense.

German as a Foreign Language 2 – Accompanying Course, A2-Level, max. 4 ECTS, during the semester: (HAWK plus – language centre)
Building on a previous basic knowledge of German, this course will improve your skills in listening, speaking, reading, and written compositions. Course topics revolve around the intercultural university environment as well as the study of German culture. They include giving detailed speeches about past events, creating hypotheses and reporting back on habits and situations from the past. In addition, this course will enable you to ask politely, interview others, interrupt and seize the conversation as well as give reasons for your decisions. It will teach you to speak about the future as well as ask for and give advice to others.

German as a Foreign Language 3 – Accompanying Course, B1-Level, 4 ECTS during the semester, (HAWK plus – language centre)
The aim of this course is the improvement of your language skills in the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing in an academic and social context. It amends a previous elementary knowledge of German in teaching you how to speak about feelings and emotions, compare opinions and data, and describe both previous conversations and places in great detail. At the end of this course, you should be able to create advanced hypothetical statements, recall the main features of a story, and, finally, understand the main content of audio files and written texts regarding your work, study or leisure time.

Contact Person:

Director of International Programme:

Dr. Hannah von Grönheim
Send email Send email

Coordinator of the Master Programme:

Prof.Dr. Corinna Ehlers
Send email Send email