Social Work – Field of study catalogue MU
“We learn to help people who are in a vicious circle with the society around them.”
The mission of social work is to help people who have difficulties in their relationships with other people, or with organizations such as governmental offices or providers of social services. The first aim of the follow-up master’s degree in social work is to gain deeper knowledge and understanding of contemporary approaches through which the mission of social work can be accomplished. The second aim is to support students’ abilities to create conditions in society in which social work's mission might be fulfilled. Students may choose to deepen their knowledge and develop their abilities through study of one of the following study specializations:
1) "reflexive social work"
2) "social work micro – counseling"
3) "social work macro – services in communities"
or 4) "social work macro – innovations and development in organizations." (Detailed descriptions and information about study options can be found at http://www.katedraspsp.cz). The key topic of all study specialization is to employ theories, methods, and research in social work to solve the problems and improve the living situations of people who have various difficulties with the society around them.
After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:
- make a complex assessment of the case (living situation, assistance intervention, system of services in a particular locality, organization) corresponding to the selected study specialization;
- plan and implement A) social work intervention appropriate for the situation of the client, the community, or the organization, or B) a change in intervention practice based on evaluations, according to the selected area of specialization;
- evaluate assistance interventions or other interventions relevant to the selected study specialization;
- conduct and apply research as a tool of complex case assessment or as a tool of evaluation of assistance or another relevant type of intervention;
- provide a complex evaluation of a case, assistance intervention, or other type of intervention relevant to the chosen study specialization.
Graduates of the follow-up master’s degree in social work will be qualified to work as social worker specialists, experts in the planning and implementation of social service policy, coordinators of assistance programs or social services, or researchers in governmental, non-governmental or private sector institutions. After gaining additional experience, some of the abilities from a particular study specialization (see "Learning Outcomes") may also be transferred to other specializations in social work.
Before registering for the Final State Examination for the master's degree in social work, the student must fulfill the following conditions:
1) Earn required 120 credits (ECTS).
2) Earn 66 ECTS for required courses and 54 ECTS for elective courses.
3) Complete at least one master's-level course in the English language. (This condition is only applicable to full-time students.)
4) Demonstrate certification of minimal language competence for master’s level studies.
The goal of a supervised internship is to support the graduate's ability to consider the many facets of the job and gain new skills. The minimum length of the required internship is 80 hours +8 hours supervision, which includes writing down impressions and reflecting on personal experiences from the internship, group supervisory meetings, and possibly individual supervision. Completing a the required internship is connected with the completion of the course “Specialized Practice and Supervision for Master’s Studies”. Enrollment in this course is open in both the autumn and spring semesters, in light of the possibility of starting studies in both autumn and spring. Based on their preferences, students choose an organization which is related to their specialization. They may discuss their choice of organization with the instructor of the above-mentioned course.
The master’s level Final State Examination for the continued study of social work takes place every semester and consists of two parts:
1) a master’s thesis defense;
and 2) a written exam which tests the ability to demonstrate expertise regarding a selected social problem.
First, 1) The master’s thesis is graded based on formal, theoretical, and methodological criteria. Formal criteria are published on the website of the Department of Social Policy and Social Work and on the website of Masaryk University (http://www.is.muni.cz). Theoretical and methodological criteria include the following:
a) the thesis is focused on research regarding assistance interventions and their actors;
b) the thesis is dedicated to a research question which has not been answered yet;
c) the thesis is grounded in a broader review of theoretical approaches to the research question;
d) the author pays attention to what is not clear at first sight;
e) throughout the thesis, the author consistently follows the explicit research question, and therefore the whole thesis follows a continuous methodological process;
f) the author makes clear argumentation;
g) the knowledge gained in the thesis can be applied in practice and in the solution of practical problems;
h) the author is able to present the research process and results in an academic article.
2) During the written part of the master’s level Final State Examination, students have 6 hours to write an expert report on a topic of their choice from the options published by the Head of the Department at the beginning of the exam. The Commission grades the written exam based on the following criteria:
a) the author has completed the report;
b) the author has chosen and applied a theoretical concept which
is relevant to the selected assignment and topic;
c) the author has described an empirical case, which is based on the chosen assignment and is also relevant to the chosen theoretical concept
d) the author has justified the solutions he or she has put forth using relevant theoretical and empirical arguments.
Graduates from master’s program in social work may continue their studies in a postgraduate doctoral study program in Social Policy and Social Work at the Faculty of Social Studies, MU or in postgraduate doctoral programs of associated fields (social work, social pedagogy, public policy, etc.) at other universities.