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Social Work in Sweden, an introduction

7.5 credits
The main aim of this introductory course is to provide basic knowledge of social work in Sweden. The goal is to enhance theoretical and practical knowledge of social work in Sweden, and highlight different types of actors and contexts where social work operates (public, private and/or voluntary sector). The course focuses on Swedish social work, but also embraces the students' prior knowledge and experiences of social work in different environments.

The course is offered as a single subject course at the first cycle level. The language of instruction is English.

This course consists of two major parts: one theoretical and one oriented at practical social work in the current Swedish welfare state.

In the first part of the course the students map their conception of social work in Sweden. This is followed by a theoretical introduction to welfare and social work in Swedish society, from a historical perspective to the present situation including current changes. Legal aspects of the society in general and social work in particular are then highlighted.

In the second part of the course, the focus turns to practical social work. By inviting the students to field studies and discussions with professional social workers and service users who represent different organizations and authorities, the students are introduced to different perspectives of social work.

The course concludes with an individual written paper aiming at analysing social work in Sweden from different perspectives, interweaving the theoretical and practical knowledge achieved during the course.

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Course documents


Tabitha Wright Nielsen
Course director
Telephone: +46 46 222 38 77
Email: tabitha [dot] wright_nielsen [at] soch [dot] lu [dot] se

School of Social Work
Lund University
Visiting address: Allhelgona kyrkogata 8, Lund
Postal address: Box 23,  22100 Lund, Sweden
Phone : +46 (0)46-222 00 00 (switchboard) 
Telefax: +46 (0)46-222 94 12

The Faculty of Social Sciences | Campus Helsingborg