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Master's Programme in Welfare Studies
120 ECTS credits - 2 years - Kristiansand
The admission requirements are either
a) an integrated bachelor programme of three
years (180 ECTS) with a general introduction to the Norwegian
welfare system, for example Social Work studies or Work and
b) a specialisation of at least 80 ECTS, with at least 20 ECTS at second level, in the fields of Sociology or Political Science for example.
The students should have at least 10 ECTS of Social Science Research Methods.
For further information please consult the admission requirements of Masters Programmes at the University of Agder.
It is an advantage to have a good command of English as some of the subjects and syllabus are taught in English.
The overall aim of the programme is to educate candidates with a solid knowledge of the interaction between social change and welfare systems. It implies an understanding of large social change processes as well as a competence in research and professional work related to organisational changes in the welfare system. Many of these changes are of a global character, and a broad comparative perspective is required. Through the master programme researchers, professionals and planners of tomorrow should be prepared to make a qualified contribution within a complex and demanding social context.
The study programme is based on three sub-themes: social change, the reevaluation and reorganisation of the welfare system and the possible consequences of both of these factors to the welfare and living conditions of individuals.
Based on a cooperation between sociology and social work the study programme integrates various perspectives at different analytical levels. Sociology as a discipline and social work as a profession have traditionally had different foci. The first concentrating mainly on the macro level, structural changes and the interaction of the individual and society. Whilst social work to a larger extent focuses on individuals: on service users, professionals and the interaction between them. At the macro as well as at the micro level the welfare issues imply fundamental ethical questions. Therefore a specialisation in ethics is offered in addition to the two in sociology and social work and child welfare.
The study programme presents new and bold perspectives for students who are interested in the interaction between individuals, the society and social change.
Change is also a central topic to understanding work and the roles and organisation of working life, the welfare regimes at a national and international level, migration, demographic change and new family structures, as well as cultural patterns (for instance individualisation, gender roles). All these changes represent challenges to research, practice and professional work.
Arrangements for the recognition of prior learning are described in the information on the institution under "General arrangements for the recognition of prior learning (formal, informal and non-formal)".
For a description of the examination regulations, see the Examination Regulations of the University of Agder.
For information about the Norwegian grading system, see ECTS credits and grades. Specific information on grading for each course is found in the individual course descriptions.
The Examination Regulations of the University of Agder regulate the graduation requirements for each programme of study.
Each student chooses one of three spesialisations; Sociology, Social Work / Child Welfare or Ethics. Within each field of spesialisation there are three compulsory subjects (total of 30 ECTS). These subjects are connected to the major field of study, and represent a spesialisation within the field. The student is required to write the master thesis within the chosen field of spesialisation. The spesialisation subjects are subject to change should there be too few applicants.
On successful completion of the master studies the students should
- provide a critical evaluation of various organisations' or institutions' need for development according to societal and institutional change and development
- be able to apply a comparative perspective both historically and internationally
- be able to plan and accomplish evaluation and developmental work within a given social, organisational and institutional framework.
Teaching and working methods are based on a
combination of teamwork and self-study, some of the subjects
emphasise dialog-based teaching. There will be lectures in
three subjects each semester. The fourth semester is allocated
to working primarily with the master thesis.
The programme is organised as intensive periods of teaching with lectures, seminars, and tuition. It is expected that the students attend these intensive core periods.
The teaching methods are subject to change shouldthe number of students registerered be lower than expected, for example to tutorial or reading classes. Between meetings the students work individually or in groups, using Classfronter.
There is an exam in each compulsory subject and in three subjects within a specialisation. The types of evaluation vary between written and oral, school or at-home exam. The evaluation methods vary according to the various teaching methods used within a subject.
The students may apply to go on an exchange overseas for one semester, usually the third semester. The studies must be approved and fit into the programme description. For more information please consult the International Office at the university.
The compulsory subjects must be completed and a field of specialisation must be chosen before a supervisor for the master thesis can be allocated.
The studies qualify for
further studies at PhD level, eg Religion, Ethics and Society
at UiA or other PhD programmes in Norway or abroad.
- high level positions within the public or private sector as a professional worker or community planner for example in the social sector, voluntary organisations or other areas within the private sector.
- teaching positions within the specialisation fields.
Successful completion of the programme awards the degree of Master in Welfare Studies
For further information please contact programme coordinators Professor Anne-Marie Støkken or Associate Professor Solveig Botnen Eide.
Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences