Clinical Social Work
In A Nutshell
The program is implemented in cooperation with the Alice-Salomon University Berlin. Based on many years of experience and internationally recognized teachers, the cooperation results in joint expertise that is expressed in a qualified Master's program. Students have access to comprehensive knowledge resources and scientifically founded qualifications.
Since the program takes place half in Coburg and half in Berlin, it expands the perspectives and the flexibility of the students. The group size of approx. 25 students allows for an ideal transfer of knowledge. The international recognition of the Master of Arts (MA) degree allows for numerous cooperations with foreign universities.
Students learn professional counseling and action skills. They acquire a theoretical foundation and practical qualifications for counseling, psychosocial intervention, and sociotherapy. And during their studies, they already apply the knowledge they acquire in the theoretical program at both universities both to the analysis and solutions and the work on clinical problems. This in turn flows into the practice control and supervision that is integrated into the curriculum.
The academic program is based on the needs of professionals. Here you can find an Overview of the in-class periods at the Coburg University and the Alice-Salomon University Berlin.
The part-time professional Master's program in clinical social work is especially well-suited for specialists who want to work in psychosocial counseling, care, and treatment and for those who specialize in people who are difficult to reach in view of ever increasing isolation and marginalization.
With their knowledge and skills, clinical social workers need to know not only methodology but also how to apply their knowledge creatively in complex and changing practical conditions; they also need to have the skills to create new knowledge through research, to reflect on it, and to translate it into practical actions. Clinical social work sees itself as a service for people who are struggling to have a dignified life and often fail due to social and institutional barriers.
Structure of the Program
The academic program includes a five-semester in-class program and one semester to write a Master’s thesis under technical supervision. In the modular program, "credits" describe the time investment, i.e. in-class at lectures including preparation and follow-up, self-study, and examinations. One "credit" corresponds to 30 hours. This means that the students need to invest about 2700 hours into the entire Master’s program. Spread over the three-year program, this comes to approx. 15 hours per week. Overall, there are five block seminars per semester, four of which are 3-day workshops and one is a 6-day workshop. E-learning and blended learning support and supplement the in-class courses at both universities.
The part-time professional Master's program is split into five program areas:
- The subject of Program Area 1 is the theoretical foundation. Split into two modules, the curriculum in this program area covers scientific concepts and fundamental principles of clinical social work (KlinSa), as well as law and ethics.
- Program Area 2, consisting of three modules, enables the students to perform well-founded scientific work with clinical research methods and evaluation. Based on the wide spectrum of quantitative and qualitative research methods, they acquire the qualification to conduct evaluation, quality assurance, and research independently.
- Program Area 3, which is based on theoretical and methodological knowledge, leads to deeper and expanded intervention and planning skills. In four modules, the students acquire knowledge and skills to act independently in counseling, crisis intervention, social therapy, and psychosocial diagnostics, as well as organizational and system-oriented clinical social work.
- In Program Area 4, students working towards their Master’s degree deepen their professional practice and self-reflection in theory, complete practical exercises, and have the task of applying the theory to counseling and therapeutic sessions. In two modules, the students intensively study the connections of theory and their own practice in terms of target group, work and activity areas, as well as institutions, settings, and work forms with children who are difficult to reach.
- In Program Area 5, the final area, students conclude the curriculum with their Master’s thesis. Students independently acquire the skills of scientific research and how to find topics as well as planning and implementing empirical studies on a problem / issue from the area of clinical social work, while taking into account the continual development of scientific insights.
Teaching and learning methods: Self-directed and accompanied studies
The seminars provide experience- and practice-related content. Students are provided with theoretical input and apply the learned methods to seminar work. In addition, work in small groups, role-playing games, and practical simulations play an important role in the learning process. Work-related experience and multi-perspective access to the individual contents enhance the learning effect and the ability to transfer learned material into practical work. Self-study during the Master's program is supported by continuous peer group work and supervision. The focus lies on designing the self-study process, time management, the development of individual study goals, the connection of theory and experience in professional practice, and reflection on one’s own actions.
Curriculum and Examination Regulations
The [module manual]* provides information about the content of the individual modules. The [study and examination regulations of the Alice-Salomon-Hochschule]* form the legal basis for the study program. Contact your academic advisor Prof. Dr. Christine Kröger concerning the content of the program.
*only available in german at the moment
The Master's program enables students to integrate their specialized clinical knowledge and social work treatment skills into health and social work. Students are enabled to perform self-directed and responsible psycho-social counseling and treatment. The goal is to be able to handle psycho-social stresses, crises, and illnesses through social integration.
- Competence of 'scientist practitioner'
By forming your clinical skills, you receive the opportunity to react to complex bio-psycho-social health problems and issues in a suitable and professional manner based on scientific theories and know-how. This also includes recognizing new developments and challenges in terms of specialized and interdisciplinary discourse and reacting to them in an innovative manner. Our graduates receive a wide spectrum of quantitative and qualitative clinical research methods for the evaluation and quality assurance of clinical social work and the application in scientific research.
- Inter-professional communication competence
You can communicate complex health-related bio-psycho-social, multi-sectoral questions in the context of multidisciplinary cooperation. This includes the systematic reflection of one’s own professional actions in the context of complex practical conditions while taking into account personal resources, abilities, and limitations. You therefore participate in intra- and inter-disciplinary discourses while at the same time strengthening your own professional identity as clinical social worker.
- Ethical competence and management skills
As clinical social worker, you are familiar with different value-related ethical issues and reflect on them in the critical context of social work action and in consideration of the self-determination of the patient. You are able to adapt ethical concepts professionally and responsibly and thus help resolve ethical dilemmas.
Graduates of the Master's programs in clinical social work can work in various fields. They include
- Stationary, semi-stationary, and ambulant institutions for children’s, youth, and adult psychiatry,
- (Day) clinics and practices
- Socio-psychiatric services
- Therapeutic living communities and assisted living
- Family, children’s, and youth organizations
- Work with traumatized children and adults
- Work with victims and perpetrators of physical, psychological, and sexual violence
- Specialized, acute, and rehabilitation hospitals
- Ambulant and stationary addiction counseling, addiction therapy
- Re-socialization and aid for vulnerable groups
- Work with senior citizens and geriatric psychiatry as well as self-help projects.
According to the projections of associations and organizations, the professional field of health care will grow rapidly in the coming years and will differentiate at the same time. Demographic changes and medical-technical developments indicate that people's life span will get longer. However, this gain in life span is often accompanied by physical and psychosocial limitations or disabilities. This will likely lead to an increasing demand for social care. Clinical social work is one answer to meet the need for intersectoral cooperation as defined by the WHO. Health is not only produced by the health care system, just as it is not the only place that treats disorders. The industry expects that the health situation of socially disadvantaged population segments will get worse in the coming years. For social work, this could mean that services in the area of ambulant, semi-stationary, and stationary health services will become more important. Special qualifications and professional standards - such as those taught in the Master's program - are necessary due to increasing demands and requirements. For this reason, the social system will need health-related expertise as much as the health care system will need social and socio-therapeutic skills.
Graduates with a good Master's degree can continue to work in academia and research after completing the Master’s program. They also have the possibility of writing their doctoral paper at Coburg University and getting their Ph.D. in cooperation with a university.
The part-time professional Master's program "clinical social work" charges a fee. Semesters 1 to 5 cost 1,400 Euros per semester (plus the current semester fees). Due to the intensive support and guidance required during the Master’s thesis, semester 6 costs 750 Euros (plus the current semester fees). Every semester taken off from the program and every semester after the sixth semester requires a fee for administration and support expenses in the amount of 300 Euros (plus the current semester fees).
Application and Admission Requirements
The Master’s program in clinical social work is limited to 25 participants. The admission conditions include:
- Successful completion of a first professional qualifying university degree at aA German university or similar degree at a foreign university
- At least one year of full-time, applicable professional experience (in particular psychosocial, pedagogical, medical fields with counseling, treating, and therapeutic responsibilities) or corresponding longer practical experience in a part-time profession. This professional experience must have been gained after completing the first university degree.
- A contract for a job meeting the requirements of the program's curriculum of at least 15 hours/week or at least the promise of such a contract by an employer (the type of work must be described credibly)
- Your motivation for the application should be described in a motivation letter, covering your personal goals for studying
Furthermore, you need basic English skills for the analysis of technical literature and good skills in standard word processing programs.
Applicants who have a Bachelor’s degree with 180 ECTS need to complete an additional 30 ECTS to be able to complete the Master’s in clinical social work. They may make up these credits over the course of the program, but must have done so by the time they register their Master's thesis.
If applicable, already completed work (e.g. continuing education, professional practice) may be counted towards the program (up to 15 ECTS). The university will make a decision about this potential credit after individual consultation. Another 15 credits have to be taken at a university. Students can take additional modules for the Master’s in clinical social work for a fee.
More important informations
Here you can find all the important information about evaluating your school-leaving certificates and learning German in order to start a master program at the University of Coburg.
Since the program is taught in German, you also have to prove your knowledge in German before the start of studies (level C1/C2).
Status: December 2019.
Further and current informations can also be found on the German website of this course.
T. +49 (0)9561 317-259