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SABV260 Socio-cultural diversity and inequalities in social work

Course description for academic year 2023/2024

Contents and structure

The aim of this course is to give students knowledge and competence in the topic of social and cultural diversity and inequalities, in a comparative perspective and historical context. Students will learn about how social work knowledge and practice can be applied to work with populations characterised by diversity and social inequalities and how best to take forward the advancement of human rights and socio-economic justice for these populations.

The focus will be to introduce students to key concepts within the field of social and cultural diversity and inequalities, with a particular focus on the North-South divide. Emphasis will be on deepening understanding of how questions of inequality and diversity intersect to shape the living conditions of people and communities, within the context of an increasingly globalized world where new forms of equality and exclusion have emerged.

Learning Outcome

After completing this course, the students will have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence.

Knowledge: The student...

  • has broad knowledge of theoretical perspectives relating to the field of social and cultural diversity and inequalities.
  • has broad knowledge of how socio-economic problems and inequalities arise and develop in societal and national contexts.
  • has knowledge of how social categories which shape identity based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity/expression, migration/citizenship status and disability intersect and shape access to resources, power and privilege and result in the marginalization and discrimination of certain populations.
  • has knowledge of how inclusion, equality and non-discrimination can be promoted for all groups in society.
  • has knowledge of factors such as unemployment, poverty, disability, and other factors that can contribute to exclusion and marginalisation.
  • has knowledge of human rights conventions and international policies/instruments related to securing the rights of socially and culturally diverse populations and those facing social and environmental inequalities.
  • is aware of research and development work connected to the field of social and cultural diversity and inequalities

Skills: The student...

  • can apply professional knowledge base on an understanding of key concepts related to socio-cultural diversity, inequalities and power, in the promotion and development of areas of social work practice and activities based on equal opportunity, equality and social justice.
  • can apply professional knowledge to identify resources and provide hope in collaboration with people in vulnerable life situations.
  • can reflect on and apply knowledge that contributes to an equal service provision to socially and culturally diverse populations, particularly those characterized by socio-economic inequality.

General Competence: The student...

  • has insight into the structures of power within which populations characterized by socio-cultural diversity and inequalities are embedded.
  • has insight into and can critically reflect on their professional role.
  • has insight into the conditions that contribute to socio-economic inequalities and discrimination and how social justice for marginalized populations may be promoted.
  • has insight into how to think critically and analytically about the issues of socio-cultural diversity and inequalities.
  • can convey professional knowledge in the design and implementation of social work practice that promotes equality, rights and diversity and contributes to inclusion, mastery and participation of marginalised populations.
  • can communicate, in oral, written and other relevant forms, the key premises and substance of different concepts, theories and perspectives related to this thematic field.

Entry requirements

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

Teaching methods

This course emphasizes student-active forms of learning and interdisciplinary approaches in teaching. It will combine different forms of teaching and educational tools including lectures, seminars and other student active methods. Teaching and learning will take place through group work, supervision, lectures and an group oral presentation. Lectures will be given related to central themes. Independent learning through self-study will be emphasized.

Compulsory learning activities

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

  1. Compulsory attendance in seminars (minimum 80 % attendance).
  2. Compulsory attendance in supervision (100 % attendance).
  3. Minimum of one individual presentation in the overall group presentations during the seminars.

Approved work requirements are valid for 4 semesters.


Home exam

The exam questions will be provided at the beginning of the course.

Individual written home exam (in English) related to the main thematic foci of the course. The number of days allocated to this home exam is seven. The scope of the exam is 3500 words (+ /- 10%).

Grading system:

A-E is pass. F is not pass.

If the student fail the exam, the new home exam will be conducted in the same way as the regular exam.

Examination support material


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