Skip to content
Main menu hidden.

Social Work in Sweden, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Social Work in Sweden

This syllabus is valid: 2020-07-20 valid to 2021-07-25 (newer version of the syllabus exists)

Course code: 2SA002

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, 2020-06-10


In the course perspectives, concepts ant theoretical foundations of social work are described and discussed. Further on the institutional structures of social work in the Swedish welfare state is described and problematized. The course also introduces the students to the "Swedish way" of understanding the context of social and personal problems, and the interventions social workers use in working with people to bring about change.

Expected learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students are expected to be able to demonstrate:

Knowledge and understanding:
*  understanding of the institutional structures of social work in the Swedish welfare state;
*  knowledge of the role social workers play in the process of social and personal change;
*  understanding of who are the main consumers of social work services are;

Skill and ability:
* ability to identify and describe various fields of practice within Swedish social work;
* skills in Identifying perspectives, concept and theoretical foundations of social work

Assessment skills and approaches:
* Basic skills in assessing strengths and weaknesses in social work and social welfare service-delivery systems in Sweden.

Required Knowledge

General entry requirements

Form of instruction

The course it taught through lectures, workshops, seminars and study visits. Students are expected to prepare lectures and seminars and group discussions and specific group and individual assignments.

Examination modes

The examination will be conducted through:
* Active Participation in Seminars
Students are expected to present and discuss short written individual papers.

* Paper
In depth study of social work in Sweden with vulnerable or marginalized groups. A description of the requirements of the paper will also be provided early in the course.

* Seminar Presentation
The presentation of the paper mentioned above. A description of the requirements of the seminar will also be provided during the course.

The grades for the Active Participation in Seminar will be either Fail or Pass. The grades for the Paper will be either Fail, Pass or Pass with Distinction.
The grades for the Seminar Presentation of the Paper will be either Fail or Pass.Completing grade for the course is based on the result of the individual written final assignment 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

Level and Prerequisites
This is an introductory course. The admission prerequisite is a general qualification for university studies. Students taking this course 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: 2020 week 37

Blom B
Specialization in social work practice – effects on interventions in the personal social services.
Journal of Social Work (vol 4:1), 25-46. : 2004 :

Bolzan N
A Definition of Social Work for Practice
Asian Social Work and Policy Review, 1(1), 52-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-1411.2007.00005.x : 2007 :

Can the corporate state parent?
Bullock R, Courtney M, Parker R, Sinclair I, Thoburn J
Children and Youth Services Review, 28(11), 1344-1358. : 2006 :

Education and Training
IASSW/IFSW: Global Standards for Social Work :

Ethics in Social Work, Statement of Principle
IASSW/IFSW: Global Standards for Social Work :

Grahn R
Treatment repeaters - Re-entry in care for clients with substance use disorder within the Swedish addiction treatment system
Institutionen för socialt arbete : 2017 :

The Quest for a Universal Social Work: Some issues and Implications. Social Work Education, 23 (5), 625-644
Gray M, Fook J


The Balancing Act: Clients with Complex Needs Describe Their Handling of Specialised Personal Social Services in Sweden
Grell P, Ahmadi N, Blom B
British Journal of Social Work, 47(3), 611-629. : 2017 :

“Sometimes it’s really complicated!” – Clients with complex needs on their encounters with specialized personal social service organizations in Sweden.
Grell P, Ahmadi N, Blom B
Nordic Journal of Social Work : 2016 :

Bringing the Family Back in: On Role Assignment and Clientification in the Swedish Social Services.
Gümüscü Ahmet, Nygren Lennart, Khoo Evelyn
Social Sciences, 4(1), 117-133. : 2015 :

The language and policy of care and parenting: Understanding the uncertainty about key players’ roles in foster care provision.
Hollin G, Larkin M
Children and Youth Services Review, 33(11), 2198-2206. : 2011 :

How Sweden is governed :

IASSW/IFSW: Global Standards for Social Work: Global Definition of Social Work:

Ineland Jens
Legitimacy and ambiguity [Elektronisk resurs] : institutional logics and their outcome for people with intellectual disabilities
Taylor & Francis : 2019 :

Johnson Louise C.
Social work practice : a generalist approach
4. ed. : Boston : Allyn and Bacon : cop. 1992 : xvii, 377 p. :
ISBN: 0-205-13140-9
Search the University Library catalogue

Pardeck, John. T., & Yves, Francis. K. O. (2006) Social work for the twenty-first century: challenges and opportunities. Westport, Conn.: Praeger.

Getting a sense of the client: Working methods in the personal social services in Sweden.
Perlinski M, Blom B, Morén S
Journal of Social Work, 13(5), 508-532 : 2013 :

Heroes, hymen and honour: A study of the character of attitude change among male youth with their roots in an honour-based context
Rexvid D, Schlytter A
Review Of European Studies, 4(2), 22-32. : 2012 :

The Dialectics Between Specialization and Integration: Politicians' and Managers' Views on Forms of Organization in the Swedish Social Services
Perlinski M, Blom B, Morén S, Lundgren M
Administration in Social Work. Vol. 35 (1), 60-87. : 2011 :

The National Board of Helath and Welfare
Socialstyrelsen :

What happens to the social in social work?
Hansen J, Hutchinson G.S, Lyngstad R, Sandvin J.T
Nordic Social Work Research, 5(sup1), 115-126 : 2015 :

Williams, C., & Soydan, Haluk. (2005). When and How Does Ethnicity Matter? A Cross-national Study of Social Work Responses to Ethnicity in Child Protection Cases. British Journal of Social Work, 35(6), 901-920.