Master of Science (MSc) in Advanced Development in Social Work, 2020

1: Preface

Pursuant to consolidation Act 778 of August 7, 2019 on Universities (the University Act), the following is established.

The programme also follows the Examination Policies and Procedures for Aalborg University.

2: Basis in Ministerial orders

The Master’s programme is organised in accordance with the Ministry of Higher Education and Science’s Order no. 20 of January 9, 2020 on Bachelor’s and Master’s Programmes at Universities (the Ministerial Order of the Study Programmes) and Ministerial Order no. 22 of January 9, 2020 on University Examinations (the Examination Order). Further reference is made to Ministerial Order no. 153 of February 26, 2020 (the Admission Order) and Ministerial Order no. 114 of February 3, 2015 (the Grading Scale Order).

3: Campus

The programme is offered in Aalborg.

4: Faculty affiliation

The Master’s programme falls under Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Aalborg University.

5: Study board affiliation

The Master’s programme falls under Study Board of MSc in Social Work.

6: Affiliation to corps of external examiners

The Master’s programme is associated with the external examiners corps on Master's degree in Social Work.

7: Admission requirements

Admission to the MA in Advanced Development in Social Work requires a bachelor degree in social work or closely related subjects.

Students with another bachelor degree can, upon application to the consortium board, obtain access on the basis of a concrete academic assessment, insofar as the applicant is deemed to have comparable academic qualifications. The consortium board may demand that applicants pass supplementary tests prior to the commencement of study.  Work experience is highly weighted

8: The programme title in Danish and English

Master's programme in Advanced Development in Social Work

The Master’s programme entitles the graduate to the English designation MA in Advanced Development in Social Work (Joint Degree)


Nordic Master in Social Work and Welfare (NOSWEL) (specialization)

The Master's programme entitles the graduate to theThe English designation is Nordic MA i Social Work and Welfare (Joint Degree).

9: Programme specifications in ECTS credits

The MA in Advanced Development in Social Work is a 2-year research-based full-time programme. The programme is set to 120 ECTS credits.

The AAU modules are set to 30 ECTS credits.

10: Rules concerning credit transfer (merit), including the possibility for choice of modules that are part of another programme at a university in Denmark or abroad

The Study Board can approve that passed programme elements from other educational programmes at the same level replaces programme elements within this programme (credit transfer).

Furthermore, the Study Board can, upon application, approve that parts of this programme is completed at another university or a further education institution in Denmark or abroad (pre-approval of credit transfer).

The Study Board’s decisions regarding credit transfer are based on an academic assessment.

11: Exemptions

The Study Board’s possibilities to grant exemption, including exemption to further examination attempts and special examination conditions, are stated in the Examination Policies and Procedures published at this website:

12: Rules for examinations

The rules for examinations are stated in the Examination Policies and Procedures published at this website:

13: Rules concerning written work, including the Master’s Thesis

In the assessment of all written work, regardless of the language it is written in, weight is also given to the student's formulation and spelling ability, in addition to the academic content. Orthographic and grammatical correctness as well as stylistic proficiency are taken as a basis for the evaluation of language performance. Language performance must always be included as an independent dimension of the total evaluation. However, no examination can be assessed as ‘Pass’ on the basis of good language performance alone; similarly, an examination normally cannot be assessed as ‘Fail’ on the basis of poor language performance alone.

The Study Board can grant exemption from this in special cases (e.g., dyslexia or a native language other than Danish).

The Master’s Thesis must include an English summary. If the project is written in English, the summary can be in Danish. The summary is included in the evaluation of the project as a whole.

14: Requirements regarding the reading of texts in a foreign language

Students are required to be able to read academic texts in English.

15: Competence profile on the diploma

The following competence profile will appear on the diploma:

A Candidatus graduate has the following competency profile:

A Candidatus graduate has competencies that have been acquired via a course of study that has taken place in a research environment.

A Candidatus graduate is qualified for employment on the labour market based on his or her academic discipline as well as for further research (PhD programmes). A Candidatus graduate has, compared to a Bachelor, developed his or her academic knowledge and independence so as to be able to apply scientific theory and method on an independent basis within both an academic and a professional context.

16: Competence profile of the programme

The aim of the programme
The Master's programme in Advanced Development in Social Work (ADVANCES) is designed to give social workers outstanding levels of practice skills so that they can confidently respond to the vulnerabilities and uncertainties facing societies across the world.

Competence profile/learning outcomes
The learning outcomes reflect the competence levels for second-cycle (Master) programmes of the Qualifications Framework of the European Higher Education Area (Dublin Descriptors. 

Knowledge and cognitive skills

  • Demonstrate comprehensive, critical and advanced knowledge of social work practice and contemporary social issues in various country contexts as well as international level
  • Sensitively apply key theoretical concepts in international social work, including indigenous social work, ecological approaches, power and intersectionality
  • Critically analyse complex social work issues and interventions, showing substantial understanding of the international, national and local contexts of social work practice as well as the key concepts, principles, skills and methods that inform social work practice
  • Design and conduct independent, original, critical and ethical research projects with clear international relevance and practice impact
  • Engage in critical reflection and reflexivity when analysing social work practice and professional processes
  • Understand the complexity of social work values and ethical principles and their relevance for promoting inclusion and confronting social, political, cultural and economic injustices, reflecting on relevant international codes of conduct for social workers

Professional and key skills

  • Demonstrate the skills, values and competences to work in diverse national and international settings
  • Sensitively transfer social work knowledge, analysis and practice recommendations across contexts, countries and regions
  • Plan and develop innovative interventions and entrepreneurial responses to build the capacity of the social work profession, challenge marginalisation, reduce risk and enhance well-being
  • Lead, supervise, mentor, plan and manage professional practice, social work projects, practice-based research and new learning processes
  • Evaluate the processes and outcomes of social work interventions, projects and services in line with professional values and concern for service user well-being
  • Facilitate participation and social development processes in social services, charities and non-governmental associations
  • Explain and justify decision-making in complex situations
  • Work autonomously and in partnership with individuals, groups, organisations  and communities to tackle social work problems and build capacity
  • Effectively communicate complex analysis and ideas to a variety of audiences, including frontline social workers, managers, policymakers, service users and general public
  • Learn independently, plan professional development and continuously develop knowledge, understanding and new skills to a high level

17: Structure and Contents of the programme


The MA is a closed programme, which extends the knowledge and insight that students have acquired in the bachelor programme.

The AAU semester consists of three modules:

Module 4: Research Methodology and Ethics (10 ECTS)
Module 5: Power relations and actor perspectives (10 ECTS)
Module 6: Field Study and  Problem Based Approaches in social work (10 ECTS)

Overall, the MA in Advanced Development in Social Work consists of 13 modules, to read more about the modules please go to

A module is a subject element or a group of subject elements designed to provide students with a totality of academic qualifications. The programme is designed in a manner that guarantees academic progression and coherence.



18: Overview of the programme

Offered as: 1-professional
Study programme: Advanced Development i Social Work
Module name Course type ECTS Applied grading scale Evaluation method Assessment method Language
1 Semester
University of Lincoln
2 Semester
Aalborg University
Research Methodology and Ethics
Course 10 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationOral exam English
Power Relations and Actor Perspectives
Course 10 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam English
Field Study and Problem Based Approaches in Social Work
Course 10 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationOral exam based on a project English
3 Semester
University of Lisbon
4 Semester
Master Thesis - choose between 5 universities

Offered as: 1-professional
Study programme: Summer School
Module name Course type ECTS Applied grading scale Evaluation method Assessment method Language
2-3 Semester
alternating between Warsaw and Paris Nanterre

Offered as: 1-professional
Study programme: Specialization - Noswel
Module name Course type ECTS Applied grading scale Evaluation method Assessment method Language
1 Semester
University of Stavanger
2 Semester
University of Stavanger
3 Semester
Students can only choose 3. semester, AAU, Noswel, if students have completed 1. and. 2. semester at Stavanger University, Norway
Practice Research and Service User Perspectives
Course 10 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam English
Problem Based Learning
Project 15 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationOral exam based on a project English
Field Study
Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationOral exam English
4 Semester
Students can only choose 4. semester, AAU, Noswel, if students have completed 1. and. 2. semester at Stavanger University, Norway
Master's Thesis
Project 30 7-point grading scaleExternal examinationMaster's thesis/final project English

19: Additional information

Rules concerning written assignments, including the master’s thesis project and its scope

  • The master’s thesis: The research project (Module 13), at approximately 25,000 words, is designed to be an in-depth evaluation of a social work intervention or service that displays critical analysis, professional reflection and practice recommendations on the basis of primary research.
  • The master’s thesis must document skills in applying academic theory and methods to a specific academic subject. The thesis completes the programme.
  • The maximum scope of an assignment or a project is defined as a number of standard pages. A standard page corresponds to 2400 characters (including letters, characters, spaces).
    Notes and lists of references are included in the word count, whereas the title page, table of contents and summary are not. Appendices can be added. Appendices are usually not produced by the examinee, but contain presentations/reproductions of source material and are not included in the word count. Appendices must, however, correspond somewhat to the scope of the project.

Rules for examinations

Additional information

20: Commencement and transitional rules

The curriculum is approved by the dean and enters into force as of September 1, 2020.

The Study Board does not offer teaching after the previous curriculum from 2013 after the summer examination 2021.

The Study Board will offer examinations after the previous curriculum, if there are students who have used examination attempts in a module without passing. The number of examination attempts follows the rules in the Examination Order.

21: Amendments to the curriculum and regulations

The Vice-dean han on December 1, 2020, approved to change the type of assessment in the module "Practice Research and Service User Perspektives” to 7-point-scale valid as of autumn 2020.