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Perspectives on social work and social policy in the Swedish welfare state

The course gives an overview of the Swedish welfare state and the role and the organization of social work in Sweden.

The course is divided into three parts: Part 1 introduces the Swedish welfare state and its historical development, as well as the structure, the organization and current challenges of the Swedish welfare state. Part 2 focus on the organization and practice of social work within a selection of central welfare state areas. This part also presents a number of theoretical perspectives on social work practice and research within the Swedish welfare state context. Part 3 offers students the opportunity to develop their knowledge in an individually selected Swedish welfare state area or a social problem relevant for Swedish social work.

  • Course structure

    Course language: English.


    Module 1: The Swedish Model, 17.5 hp

    Module 2: Social work in the Swedish welfare state, 12 hp

    Module 3: An in-depth literature study course (reading course), 3 hp

    Teaching format

    Instruction is given through lectures, seminars and study visits. Participation in, and presentations of, study visits, as well as completion of seminar assignments are mandatory elements in the course. A missed seminar or study visit can be compensated through written assignments.

    Instruction is given in English.

    More detailed information can be found in the course description.


    Please see course syllabus for more detailed information about the examination for the different modules. 


    Katarina Thorén

  • Contact

    Katarina Thorén (

    Torbjörn Bildtgård (