Social Work: Social Policies and Welfare Studies


The course aims to develop the students knowledge and understanding in relation to social policies within a European context, with a particular focus on the relevance for social work and social work practice.
The social work practice is examined in different national and organisational contexts.
The course consists of two sub courses: Social Policies and welfare systems and Thesis within Social work and policy.

Admission requirements

Basic eligibility, special permission equivalent of English B in Swedish secondary school, 30 credits in Social Sciences.


credits 100%


Syllabus for students spring 2021, spring 2020, spring 2019

Course Code:
HS180E revision 2
Swedish name:
Socialt arbete: Socialpolitik och välfärdsstudier
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
Social Work
Date of ratification:
30 January 2018
Decision-making body:
Enforcement date:
21 January 2019
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
18 April 2017

Entry requirements

Basic eligibility, special permission equivalent of English B in Swedish secondary school, 30 credits in Social Sciences.

Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations

Level: 31-60 credits. Independent course in the main field of social work, can be included in the degree requirements for a Bachelor's degree in social work.


The course aims to develop the students´ knowledge and understanding in relation to social policy, welfare systems and social problems and living conditions from a multicultural perspective.


The course deals with social policy and social work organization in different situations on the basis of a comparative perspective. The practice of social work in an international environment is discussed. Moreover, it focuses knowledge of various welfare systems in terms of social policy and social work. The course is discussed through different themes; children and family, ageing, migration and drug addiction, profession and education. Furthermore, the course helps to develop the student reflections based on their professional identity. Students are expected to reflect critically, analyze and discuss different aspects of the welfare system, such as social policy, organization, challenges and social work in a Swedish and/or other welfare context.

Learning outcomes

After completion of the course students should be able to:
1. describe and analyze social policies in local and global context,
2. analyze social problems and identify vulnerable groups and environments, and reflect on the meaning of welfare system for people,
3. describe and problematize the social systems in which social work operates, and
4. critically reflect on and analyze the different models of welfare and its importance for practical social work.

Learning activities

The knowledge is developed individually, mainly by lectures, reading lists, discussion of cases, as well as by individual and group writing assignments. The student shall individually and in groups plan and carry out their studies. The student is supervised through practical method exercises and the writing process. Learning outcomes 1 and 2 are trained by students individually and in groups working on issues raised in the lectures related to literature, laws, regulations and conventions. Course participants will also discuss issues that they themselves set and train to critically examine these. Learning outcome 3 is supported by mandatory group discussions, linked to the case where the student must demonstrate how their own standpoint and values influence social work. Learning outcome 1 and 4 is supported by a chosen theme implemented as a individual written in-depth work, which the student reflect on and analyze out of different models of welfare and its importance for practical social work.


The learning outcome 1 and 4 is assessed through an individual written in-depth assignment. Learning outcomes 2 and 3 is assessed individually through active participation in the oral presentation of the group work. The focus of the written assessment is based on comparative social policy. The focus in the oral assessment is based on the ability to argue and justify choices made and to reflect on these choices and the social policy implementation and its consequences in social work. Specific evaluation criteria are presented in the study guide. Any absence in compulsory parts can, at the discretion of the examiner, be compensated by an individual written assignment. In order to achieve a passing grade on the course in its entirety, the grade of Pass is required for each examination. For the award of the Pass with Distinction grade for the course in its entirety, the grade of Pass with Distinction is required for all examinations.

Right to resit
Student who fail the exam, are given the opportunity for two retakes with the same course content and with the same requirements. The student also has the right to take the exam on the same course in the subsequent courses under the same rule. Examination and re-examination carried out at the times is specified in the schedule.

Grading system

Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).

Course literature and other teaching materials

Alcock P, Craig G, (2009) International Social Policy: Welfare Regimes in the Developing World. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 320 p.
Bettmann J, Jacques G, Frost C, (2012) International Social Work Practice: Case Studies from a Global Context Paperback. Oxford: Routledge. 288 p.

Scientific papers, case studies and input to be added est. around 300 p.

Course evaluation

The teacher/examiner is responsible for a formative and a summative evaluation, conducted after the course completion, and that the results of the course evaluation transfer feedback to students. Notes from the feedback of amendments is drawn up and made available in a specified place, as well as feedback to students commencing a module in the next course.

Interim rules

If a course has ceased to be or has undergone major changes, the students in a year after the change has occurred, is offered two opportunities for retesting based on the syllabus in force at registration.

Course reports


The education is provided .

Further information

Jonas Christensen, Course Coordinator PhD, Associate Professor
Phone: 040-6657406
Ewa Sortberg Bassmann, Student Administrator
Phone: 040-6657721


20 January 2020 - 27 March 2020 50% Distance (Malmö) Compulsory Meetings: 1Voluntary Meetings: 1 Application period for this offer starts 16 September 2019.

18 January 2021 - 26 March 2021 50% Distance (Malmö) Compulsory Meetings: 1Voluntary Meetings: 1