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Swedish Social Welfare in Comparative Perspective, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Swedish Social Welfare in Comparative Perspective

This syllabus is valid: 2021-05-10 and until further notice

Course code: 2SA003

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: First cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Social Work: First cycle, has only upper-secondary level entry requirements

Grading scale: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Responsible department: Department of Social Work

Revised by: Head of Department of Social Work, 2021-05-11


In the course the "Swedish welfare state",its role in the development and carrying-out of social programs, and the role of social workers in the Swedish welfare state context is introduced. During the course key factors that have shaped and influenced social policy in Sweden compared to other welfare models are discussed. Emphasis will be placed on exploring social welfare policies in comparative perspective.
Concepts and principles regarding social welfare and the formulation of analyses of social welfare policies are introduced. In the course connections between social policies and social work practice is focused. Towards that background intended and unintended effects of policies on both majority and minority or marginalized groups are discussed.

Expected learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students are expected to be able to demonstrate the following (through course activities, assignments, and/or exams):

Knowledge and understanding:
* knowledge of the socio-political context of the Swedish welfare state, its history and development
* an understanding of the key factors that have shaped and influenced social policy in Sweden compared to other welfare models;
* knowledge of current institutional and organizational structures of social welfare programs developed to deliver 'cradle to grave' services
* knowledge of the connections between social policies and social work practice.

Skill and ability:
* basic skill in conducting comparative analysis of social welfare models
* basic ability to identify a particular social problem addressed by social welfare policies; and describe relevant social welfare policy response

Assessment skills and approaches:
* Basic skills in assessing intended and unintended effects of welfare policies on both majority and minority groups or marginalised  groups such as; people of color, women, lgbtq people the poor, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable populations.

Required Knowledge

General entry requirements

Form of instruction

The course is taught through lectures, seminars, group- and individual work. Students are expected to prepare lectures and seminars and group work through reading literature, group discussions and specific group and individual assignments

Examination modes

The examination will be conducted through:

* Active Participation in Seminars and Seminar Presentation
Students are expected to present and discuss written individual papers. A description of the requirements of the seminars will be provided during the course.

* Papers
Students are expected to individually write papers covering and compering welfare systems and comparison of a social problem/issue how it is conceptualized at a policy level and if/how social work involved in providing solutions
A description of the requirements of the papers will be provided early in the course.

The grades for the Active Participation in Seminars will be either Fail or Pass. The grades for the first Paper will be either Fail or Pass. The grade for the second paper will be either Fail, Pass or Pass with Distinction. Completing grade for the course is based on the result of the individual written final paper and awarded after the completion of all compulsory course elements.
The appointed examiner may decide to use other forms of examination if required by particular circumstances.

A student who has not received a passing grade on a test will be afforded an opportunity for re-examination.

A student who has passed examination may not be re-examined. A student who has taken two tests for a course or segment of a course, without passing, has the right to have another examiner appointed, unless special reasons exist. A written request for change of examiner is submitted to the Director of Undergraduate Education.

If the student has a certificate of special pedagogical support, the examiner has the right to decide on an adjusted form of examination.

Written assignments should be in accordance with academically accepted forms and must be of a good linguistic standard.

Other regulations

This is an introductory course. The admission prerequisite is a general qualification for university studies. Students taking these courses will be exempt from the requirement of proficiency in the Swedish language. All lectures and seminars will be in English. Therefore, students must be proficient in spoken and written English.

Transfer of Credits
For information of regulation regarding transfer of credits:


Valid from: 2021 week 19

Esping-Andersen Gösta
The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism
Cambridge: Polity : 1990 :

Lister Ruth
Gendering citizenship in Western Europe : new challenges for citizenship research in a cross-national context
Bristol : Policy : 2007 : 210 s. :
ISBN: 1-86134-693-X (pbk.)
Search Album, the University Library catalogue

Social rights and social security : the Swedish welfare state, 1900-2000
Lundberg Urban, Åmark Klas
Included in:
Scandinavian journal of history
Stockholm : Almqvist & Wiksell : 1976- :

Social insurance in Sweden
Government Offices of Sweden : 2016 :

Social trust and radical individualism. The paradox at heart at the Nordic capitalism, In Equality, individuality and social trust.
The Nordic way : 2012 :

The welfare state reader
Pierson Christopher, Castles Francis Geoffrey
2. ed. : Cambridge : Polity : 2006 : xi, 492 s. :
ISBN: 0-7456-3555-5 (inb.)
Search Album, the University Library catalogue