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SABV270 Community Work from an International Perspective

Course description for academic year 2024/2025

Contents and structure

Community work from an international perspective is an online course, that offer social work students, living and working in very different situations the opportunity to learn from each other and to share information and knowledge important for their work. Community work is a planned process to mobilize communities to use their own social structures and resources to address their own problems and achieve their own objectives. Community work focuses on participation and fosters empowerment, emancipation and change through collective action. Community work is closely related to work for human rights. The community work process is about people in communities creating opportunities for growth and change. Community can be understood in different ways, as geographical areas, interest groups, organizations or institutions. Community work rests on a basic democratic ideal, anti-oppressive practice, equality and solidarity with the affected individuals. It aims to generate and communicate new insights with a view to effecting change. As community work is an ideological, theoretical and practical approach to social life and the risk of social exclusion, it is ideologically sustained by a basic trust in people’s ability to improve their life chances. Society is the outcome of collective action and is perpetuated and/or changed by action.

This course focuses on theories, methods and approaches in community work from an international perspective. The course consists of several parts. One part focuses on concepts, community work theories. In the next part students are introduced to a virtual community work case and learn methods of mapping, different approaches, mobilization and participation. In the last part, students collaborate and develop a project plan based on their virtual research. The students will learn about community work and its historic background and come to understand the risk of manipulation when community work is worked out from a top-down level. Students will learn about the advantages and power in approaches carried out from a bottom-up perspective.

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...

  • is able to describe, analyze and compare community work theories and methods.
  • is able to develop a project plan for a community work project.

Skills: The student...

  • is able to collect and analyze relevant information about communities and is able to report the findings.
  • is able to see opportunities on macro-, meso- and micro- levels in communities and is able to create a plan for a community work project, including aims, participants, approaches, cost, and evaluation.
  • is able to reflect on the understanding of a specific situation and is able to justify the chosen methods for community work.
  • is able to work together with students and teachers from other countries in the virtual campus and take an active part in developing and evaluating their learning process.
  • is able to give and share information about their own community and compare commonalities and differences with those of others.
  • is able to reflect critically on the relevance of community work in society.

General Competences: The student...

  • is able to cooperate in changing interdisciplinary national and international networks to achieve expected learning outcomes.
  • is able to manage, justify and control his/her own educational development.

Entry requirements

  • Subjects from the 1. year of study must be passed.

Teaching methods

Throughout the study program students will work with a solution oriented focus, and by solving tasks they will reflect on situations concerning community work from a social work perspective and compare with the situation in other countries. Students will work both individually and in groups.

The course will start with an introduction to the e-learning platform and the virtual classroom, and the students will be acquainted with the international group of students and teachers they will be working with. Every week students will receive new learning material and new tasks to work on, both individually and in the group. The tasks are related to the objectives of the course. Students who deliver their tasks on time during the program receive feedback and guidance from the teacher. Students have to enter the classroom at least three times a week. Online conferences among students and teachers are arranged during the study period.

All elements in the course will be organized and administrated through a common learning management system.

Compulsory learning activities

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

  • Portfolio assignments (e-portfolio)

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 final assessment.

Approved work requirements are valid for 4 semesters.


  • Portfolio assessment of 4 written papers, 8400 words (+/- 10%)
  • Reflection paper on the learning process, 1000 words (+/- 10%)

The maximum number of words in the presentation portfolio is 9400 (+/- 10 percent), including a reflection on the student’s learning experience. The assessment of task 5, the reflection on learning, can regulate the final total score one mark up or down

Information about which tasks student are required to deliver for the final assessment/presentation portfolio will be given to students approximately two weeks before the final exam.

Some of the presented tasks are delivered as group tasks. The group mark counts 40 percent of the total mark.

Grading scale Final marks from A-F (F means not approved)

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

  • BSO215 - Community Work from an International Perspective - Reduction: 15 studypoints