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SABV230 Social Work from an international perspective

Course description for academic year 2022/2023

Contents and structure

Social Work from an international perspective is an online course that allows social work students in various countries to learn from each other and to share information and knowledge about social work. Rapid changes in contemporary societies, increasing mobility and local differences in social and economic factors influence the living conditions and thereby the social problems in various parts of the world. This has serious implications for the field of social work and for the framework and the role of social workers, which emphasises the importance for intercultural exchange. An international perspective on Social Work is significant for social workers directly involved with clients from different countries and for bachelor and postgraduate students who are considering an international perspective in their future career. In this course, the students will learn about commonalities and differences between countries in the field of social work and how these contextualise and influence living conditions. The students will explore social organisations, welfare systems and methods within social work.

Throughout the course, students will cooperate on cases that illustrate the phenomenon of poverty in a broad perspective. Students are assigned to work with challenges related to social work with elderly people, adults or children and to compare the living conditions with two other countries than their own.

Learning Outcome

A student who has completed the course should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:

Knowledge:The student...

  • has knowledge about comparative methods.
  • is familiar with the function, methods, laws and services within the field of social work in their own and other countries..
  • can describe social welfare models in different countries.
  • has knowledge about different methods within social work and how they are applied in different fields of social work.
  • knows about sources where to find information on poverty in an international context.
  • has knowledge about the relation between the social welfare models and the daily work of the social worker.
  • knows how to reflect upon commonalities and differences of social work, social policy and welfare systems..

Skills:The student...

  • can identify challenges connected to social work.
  • can search for and find data about commonalities and differences related to social work issues in an international context.
  • can use comparative methods to analyse data of commonalities and differences related to the legal and social policy frameworks for social work.
  • can present the analysis according to academic criteria.
  • can reflect upon his/her own learning process during the course.

General Competences:The student...

  • can cooperate respectfully with fellow students.
  • can consider the intercultural differences that may influence the group processes during the course.
  • can relate his/her reflection on learning to his/her professional development.

Entry requirements

  • All subjects from the 1. year of study must be passed.

Recommended previous knowledge

  • All subjects from the 1. year of study must be passed.

Teaching methods

Throughout the course, students work online with a task-oriented focus. By solving assignments and working with challenges they will learn and reflect on situations concerning social work and being a social worker in their own country and compare them with the conditions in other countries.

During the course, the students take part in various activities in a virtual classroom together with students from different countries. These activities aim to enhance the students’ communication skills and give a unique experience of working with students from different countries.

The course will start by getting to know the virtual classroom and by getting acquainted with the international group of students and teachers. The weekly programme consists of learning material and both individual and group assignments that are related to the course objectives. Students receive feedback and supervision from the teacher when the assignments are submitted within the deadline. Students are expected to enter the classroom at least three times a week and participate actively online. Online conferences among students and teachers are arranged regularly during the study period.

All elements in the course will be organised and administrated through the Canvas learning management system.

Compulsory learning activities

The following compulsory work requirements must be approved for students to take the exam:

  •  Portfolio assignments

The student will deliver written assignments throughout the course. When assignments are delivered in time, the students will receive feedback and have an opportunity to improve their initial work.

All assignments must be completed and submitted to the online e-portfolio before the deadline.

Approved work requirements are valid for 4 semesters.


  • Portfolio assessment 2500 words +/- 10%

A number of written assignments will be part of the final exam.  Information about which tasks students are required to deliver for the final exam will be given to students approximately two weeks before the final exam period starts.

  • Reflection paper on the learningprocess, 1000 words +/- 10%

Grading Scale  The final marks are given from A-F (F is not approved).

The assessment of task 5, the reflection on learning, can regulate the final total score one mark up or down.

New exam  If the student fail the exam, the student can  rewrite the paper for re-exam

Examination support material


More about examination support material

Course reductions

  • BSO214A - Modul 1 - Social Work from an International Perspective - Reduction: 5 studypoints