Program content and structure

The Master's degree program in Social Work is the product of cooperation between three universities of applied sciences based in Bern, Lucerne, and St. Gallen. This degree program is unique in Switzerland and fosters exchange between three university locations in German-speaking Switzerland. By enrolling at one location, you have access to three universities of applied sciences and can get to know their lecturers. Whether you actually travel to all three cities is up to you. Each partner university brings their own strengths to the Master's degree program. In particular, each location offers its own topical focus in the second part of the course.

More information on the Master's degree program in Social Work can be found on the joint website f the three universities (in German).

Study options

Full-time study

  • Duration: min. 3 semesters (5 courses per semester)
  • Classroom lectures: 30%
  • self-study: 70%

Part-time study

  • Duration: dependent on the number of courses completed each semester (between 1 and 5 courses possible)

Semester start

  • Spring semester: week 8
  • Fall semester: week 38

As a graduate of the Master's degree program in Social Work at OST, you will be awarded the internationally recognized title «Master of Science in Social Work». The Master's degree program in Social Work provides you with self-competence, social skills, and specialist and methodological expertise, which are needed in practice, research, and teaching. In addition, you have the opportunity to pursue a doctorate.

The Master's degree program in Social Work imparts core competencies in the following six areas:

  • Self-competence: presentation, communication, persuasive argumentation
  • Social skills: interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Specialist and methodological expertise: further development of profession and discipline, analyzing and evaluating, problem-solving, researching

The demands on social work professionals are increasing. Committed professionals who, in addition to client-focused work, can help shape developments in the field of social work are increasingly sought after. This degree program opens you up to new perspectives and positions that were previously often filled by specialists from adjacent disciplines such as psychology, law, or sociology.

With a Master's degree in Social Work from OST, you are ideally equipped to address challenging tasks and responsibilities within practice, research, and teaching. The degree qualifies you for line and staff functions in the social and health departments of local, regional and national government, public social services, foundations, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, or commercial enterprises with a focus on corporate social responsibility.