Bachelor of Science in Social Work - Specialization International Social Work 180 cr

International social work as an academic discipline and professional field of practice has been developing rapidly in recent years. Increasingly social workers have become engaged in international activities related to developing social policy, and the provision of social care and social protection for vulnerable groups on a global scale. In addition, more and more social workers are also being recruited by international organizations.

About the studies

The BSc programme in social work with specialisation international social work consists of fulltime studies delivered over six semesters for a total of 180 higher education credits, (HECs). All courses in the program will be held on the campus of the University of Gävle and will be given in English.
Through out the programme, methodological and theoretical aspects of social work practice are discussed from an international perspective with examples from different countries. The first and second semesters offer insight into the profession and the practice of social work at individual, group and societal level. The third semester begins with field studies that relate the ethical aspects of research, as well as, observation and reporting of the practice of social work in various contexts. This semester is also focused on methods and skills of social work for intervention with specific groups such as children, families and victims of crime. The forth semester is centrally focused on the combination of theoretical and practical learning. The final part of this particular semester consists of social work practice placement, where the theoretical knowledge previously gained during the programme is expected to be observed in application on the field of practice. The fifth semester provides students with opportunities for acquiring and sharing social work knowledge and skills related to social work administration and management, as well as certain specialized fields of practice, such as global policy making and eco-social work. The sixth and final semester covers further studies in theory of science and epistemology along with research methods. Methodological proficiency, critical thinking and the compilation of scientific knowledge are put into practice through the production of a bachelor thesis by the student based on research within a central area of social work.
The BSc programme in social work with specialisation international social work builds on the idea of learning as a process taking place in the interaction between educators and the learners. All instruction builds on the premise that the learners take personal responsibility for their own studies and for the active pursuit of knowledge. Learning means that the theoretical and practical sub-sections of the course become in each individual integrated into applicable knowledge and functional skills, and that the learner achieves the personal development that is necessary in her/his future professional role.

After the studies

With the BSc programme in social work with specialisation international social work you can work to help people in vulnerable situations on individual-, group- or community level. The programme gives access to advanced studies.

The programme prepares students for further studies and practice in many different settings across the world and provides an understanding of international aspects in social work. However, students that particularly wish to obtain a Swedish “Socionom” qualification should instead apply for the “Socionom” programme.


  • Degree of Bachelor of Arts/Science/ Social Science

More information

Education plan

Application information


General entry requirements for higher education in Sweden and courses corresponding to the following Swedish Upper Secondary School courses: - Mathematics 2a / 2b / 2c (Ma B) - Social studies 1 b / 1a1+1a2 (Sh A) - English 6 (En B)




Application *
Autumn 2021
Normal teaching
2021 - 2024
Number of participants: 30
Location: Gävle
Application code: HIG-19901
Language: English
Pace: Full-time

*) The online application at opens approximately one month before application deadline.

Published by: Zara Lindahl Page responsible: Veronica Liljeroth Updated: 2016-11-01
Högskolan i Gävle
Box 801 76 GÄVLE
026-64 85 00 (växel)