Institute of Education

Research and development in social pedagogy / social work (Master of Arts)

  • How should social work involving children, adolescents and adults be structured?
  • What are the current trends in daycare centers, social services, youth work, family assistance and old-age care?
  • What research / know-how / skills are of relevance for social work?

The MA-level course "Research and development in social work" offers comprehensive and cogently argued answers to students looking for a clear competence profile in social work. Students are given ample opportunity to grow their interpersonal / organizational skills. They learn to align their personal approach to wider societal trends – some political, some educational, some indeed regional. The course is designed to furnish students with hands-on options for organizing social services. To this end, students are familiarized with scientific methods that allow them to analyze, plan, and organize relevant fields of activity and action strategies. Our goal is to train up a new generation of professional social workers, familiarizing them with the full spectrum of techniques and approaches needed to master future challenges – but also, and no less importantly, enabling them to stand back and see the big picture. By the time students graduate they will have enhanced their decision-making capabilities (and had their confidence levels boosted) as fully fledged professionals. Tapping into the latest scientific expertise, students will be able to apply the knowledge gained from their earlier studies, plus know-how and experience acquired while working in the field, and combine this with theoretical and applied research findings. Students will also learn how to build into their future action strategies the perspectives of targeted persons and/or groups, or of voluntary workers, or of cooperating professionals from adjacent disciplines.

Post-study options

Completing this MA will open many doors. Successful graduates can expect to handle demanding tasks in social work, no matter whether the challenge lies in the school environment or out-of-school – or else involves support strategies across the whole life-span. Some examples: the existential situation of groups singled out for social work is appropriately analyzed within the context of inequality; support is offered to persons caught in stressful life situations on a case-by-case basis, with the organizational stages being carefully plotted and suitably structured.
In addition, this course of MA studies will enable students to practice research-based analysis with a focus on innovation, but also on structuring professional activities inside organizations operating within the social and educational system. The highly original manner in which scientific insights and methods are taught –no rote learning - guarantees that students become fully capable of independent and critical thinking in this research field. Finally, it is possible to enter a postgraduate (PhD) program upon completion of the MA.


General background

  • Commencement of study: Winter Semester
  • Regular duration of study: 4 semesters
  • Scope: 120 ECTS performance points
  • Study abroad: optional
  • Application period: 15 April until 15 June

Course requirements

For admission to this MA course of studies, candidates must already hold a Bachelor degree in educational science (or an equivalent qualification).

Please note the following before applying

  • The course of study commences every year at the same time: the beginning of Winter Semester.
  • Only a limited number of students can be admitted each year.
  • Applications will only be accepted until 15 June.
  • Applications will be internally processed by the Department of Social Pedagogy. Selected applicants will be required to attend an interview. Interviews will be individually conducted. Interviews take place at the Institute of Education. Interviewees will be notified of the exact time and place. We will make every effort to finalize the list of interviewees as soon as possible, but by no later than mid-July.

Applications for this MA course of studies should be submitted online. Please find more information here, alternatively, click the link at the top right of this page.

Barbara Stauber will be happy to answer your questions via e-mail: eva-maria.lohnerspam

We look forward to receiving your application!