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Relevance to practice and research

In the social work degree programme, adequate relevance to practice, knowledge transfer, and relevance to application-oriented research are all promoted in various different ways.

Relevance to practice

The Centre for Education, Development and Services places considerable emphasis on practice-oriented education – in both the bachelor’s and master’s degree courses. Regional and national anchoring within professional practice, international networking, and the incorporation of addressees are also seen as beneficial for the development of social work as a profession and discipline.

In order for representatives from the university and from professional practice to maintain an exchange with each other regarding current developments and innovations in the three practical fields of social work, social pedagogy and socio-cultural animation, and to drive these forwards collectively, the Centre for Education, Development and Services cultivates regional and national practice-based partnerships.

Practice-based elements in the degree programme

Relevance to practice within the course is guaranteed by various practice-based elements. In the bachelor’s degree course, practical training (in the form of work placements, or as staff trainees) and practice-based projects are key components.
In the master’s degree course, the second module within the Zurich-based area of specialisation offers students a chance to engage with PROXI (a model for dialogic practice development and knowledge development) and thus to acquire know-how for implementation of their own practice-based projects. In the application-oriented transfer module on development and problem-solving (DPS), students are then given the opportunity to design a development project or concept for a practical context, taking their knowledge of content and methods that they have acquired during study and using it in practice. They can also work on research ideas and project ideas derived from practice, as part of their master’s thesis.
The Certificate of Advanced Studies in practical training and human resource management is offered for those who provide practical training and support of students at their training institutions.

Relevance to research

The Centre for Education, Development and Services also encourages relevance to application-oriented research. On the one hand, the conveyed learning content is based on (among other things) in-house research findings, whereby research results from the school’s four institutes are integrated into the teaching. On the other hand, knowledge about research methods and scientific theory is imparted to the students in both the bachelor’s and master’s degree courses. Ultimately, the socially relevant topical focal points of research defined at the School of Social Work aid individual profile building during the courses. For instance, these research areas are incorporated into numerous compulsory elective modules and seminars at bachelor’s level, as well as into the themed week and the area of specialisation at master’s level.