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MARV531 Cultural competences in relational work

Course description for academic year 2023/2024

Contents and structure

The purpose of the course is to offer specialization in the topic of cultural competence in working with couples, families, networks and organizations. The course will contribute to increased competence in relational and therapeutic work towards people from different cultures, minorities and people in migration processes. After completing the course, the student will have more knowledge, skills and general competence to meet people in different cultural contexts and with different parenting patterns. It is a goal to integrate the systemic perspective and relevant theory to strengthen the cultural competence of students to meet families/individuals in different work contexts. Upon completion of the course, the student will be more able to develop concrete measures in their own workplace and to facilitate increased participation for individuals and families from different cultures in public and private contexts.

The course develops expertise for professional work with individuals, couples, families and networks that represent a different cultural and religious practice than one's own. The course contributes to the development of therapeutic and relational competence in their own professional role/practice. Exercises in skills and feedback on their own work are central. The topics are linked to the students' own professional practice, supervision and personal and professional development.

Learning Outcome

The student...

  • has knowledge-based understanding on diversity of family patterns and parenting patterns
  • have knowledge of migration and how migration can lead to changes in family life
  • has solid knowledge about how to prevent and combat challenges related to representing minority
  • have in-depth knowledge of minority families in relation to living conditions, marginalisation, racism and discrimination

The student...

  • have skills to meet individuals and families with minority or migration experiences
  • have skills to meet individuals and families with different parenting patterns
  • can reflect on opportunities to link relational understanding and skills to intercultural communication and understanding
  • can use systemic and family therapeutic knowledge of cultural and social diversity in relational work with couples, families and networks
  • have skills in intercultural communication
  • can use interpreter in therapy or in relational work

General competence:
The student...

  • can analyse and critically discuss how different family patterns reflect cultural and religious norms and traditions
  • have respect and tolerance for individuals, families and groups that represent a different cultural and religious practice than one's own
  • can show the ability to self-reflexivity and critically reflect on ethical aspects in relational work with people with a different viewpoint on life
  • have increased understanding of relationships between people, culture and society from an intercultural perspective
  • can understand the complexity of minority families' meeting with majority communities
  • can apply systemic knowledge and skills in intercultural encounters with people

Entry requirements

The course is open for international exchange. The applicants must meet the requirements for admission to the master's degree in Family therapy and relational work

Recommended previous knowledge


Teaching methods

Emphasis is placed and facilitated for student-active forms of learning where students will be engaged in various forms of structured activities in groups. Lectures, demonstrations, clinical supervision and video are also used.

Compulsory learning activities

The following obligatory learning activities must be approved in order for the student to present himself for the exam:

  1. 80% attendance on obligatory student active and experience-based teaching

Approved learning activities are valid in three semesters.


Oral examination, scope 30 minutes

The time and place for the exam will be published in Studentweb

Assessment terms
Passed/ not passed

New exam
If a student fails the exam, the student may sit for a new examination

Examination support material


More about examination support material