Study contents and study structure

The Master's degree in Social Work is a cooperation between the three Swiss universities of applied sciences in Bern, Lucerne and St.Gallen. The study programme, which is unique for Switzerland, promotes the exchange between three university sites in German-speaking Switzerland. When registering at one site, you have access to all three universities of applied sciences and can meet faculty members at each site. Whether you actually travel to all three cities depends on you. Each partner university brings its strengths to the cooperation. In particular, in the second part of the study programme, each site offers its own thematic priorities.

Further information on the cooperation can be found on the joint website of the three universities (in German).

Forms of study

Full-time study

  • Duration: min. three semesters (5 modules per semester)
  • Contact course: 30%
  • Self study: 70%

Part-time study

  • Duration: dependent on number of documented modules per semester (between 1 and 5 modules possible)

Start of the semester

  • Spring semester: calendar week 8
  • Autumn semester: calendar week 38

As a graduate of the Master's in Social Work, you will bear the internationally recognised title of «Master of Science FHO in Social Work». The Master's degree in Social Work develops self, social, specialist and method competencies that are needed in practice. It also qualifies you to do a doctorate.


The Master's degree in Social Work teaches core competencies in the following six fields:

  • Self-competence: presenting, communicating and convincing
  • Social competence: Interdisciplinary cooperation
  • Professional and methodological competence: Further developing profession and discipline, analysing and evaluating, developing and problem solving, researching

The demand for specialists in social work is increasing. More and more dedicated professionals undertake further development of social work in addition to client-centred work. There are now new opportunities in positions which have previously been occupied by specialists from related social work disciplines (psychology, law, sociology, etc.). With a Master's degree in social work, you position yourself optimally for demanding tasks in practice, research and teaching. 

Areas of activity

  • Social and health departments
  • Public social services
  • Foundations
  • Non-profit organisations
  • Companies with a focus on Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Education institutions

Further information on the career perspectives can be found on the joint website of the three universities (in German).