Study plan

Bachelor of Social Work

Choose study year

Programme description

The bachelor's programme in social work educates qualified professionals who can assist individuals, families or groups in preventing, reducing and coping with social and health problems. The education emphasises an understanding of the connection between individual problems and the societal context in which such problems arise, and will work to highlight and counter activist structures in society that create social inequality and impair people's living conditions and participation. Social work springs from an understanding that people can actively and relationally relate to their fellow human beings and the structures under which they live, and is aimed at working with people of all ages.


Social work is both an academic and practice-oriented education. Knowledge, skills and general competence are derived from theory and practice, and from profession-specific ways of working and related disciplines. Emphasis is placed on students integrating theoretical knowledge, experience and user knowledge, and training in critical reflection in respect of their own profession and exercise of their profession in interaction with others. The education is thus intended to ensure competence and attitudes that form the basis for equal services for all groups in society, including the status of Sami as an indigenous population and their rights to linguistic and culturally adapted services. Through the programme, students gain competence in being able to work on social and interpersonal problems at the individual, family, group and community level and create a basis for dialogue, participation and cooperation. Completed education gives the professional title social worker.


The mainlanguage in the programme is in norwegian.

Study model

You have chosen:
Expand all

Course id Course name ECTS Credits
(click to choose)
(click to choose)

Choose specialisation

Choose course

Learning outcomes

On achievement of a bachelor's degree, students shall have achieved final competence as described in the Regulations for national guidelines for social worker education:

Area of competence 1 - Framework for and perspectives on social work



a) have broad knowledge of social work theory and methods aimed at individuals, families, groups and communities

b) have broad knowledge of welfare policy objectives and instruments, different welfare models and the importance of welfare policy for social work practice

c) have broad knowledge of the importance of living conditions, health, education, work and social inclusion and active participation in different life phases for individuals, family and society

d) have knowledge of how social class, social exclusion, marginalisation and discrimination affect public health and living conditions

e) have knowledge of the distribution of responsibilities and work in welfare administration, inter-professional cooperation and the interaction between the public, private and voluntary sectors

f) have knowledge of relevant legal methodology and central legislation in welfare administration, including administrative law and legislation in child and family law, health, care, welfare and social services

g) have knowledge of the profession’s history, traditions, distinctive character and position in society

h) have knowledge of human rights and central conventions, minority groups and knowledge of the rights and special status of Sami as indigenous peoples

i) have knowledge of the subject's positions in the philosophy of science, knowledge development and the social responsibility of the profession

b) have knowledge of social science methodology and its possibilities and limitations

k) have knowledge of research and development work relevant for social work, nationally and internationally.


Frameworks for and perspectives on social work - Competencies


a) can apply research-based, experience-based and user-based knowledge in the practice of the profession

b) can find, assess and refer to information and academic material and present this both orally and in writing

c) can assess scientific knowledge and political framework conditions in a practical context

d) can reflect on and apply knowledge that contributes to an equal service offering

e) can reflect on how knowledge can be applied in new areas and contribute to original thinking and innovation in the services

f) can acquire new knowledge and carry out professional assessments, take decisions and actions in accordance with knowledge-based practice. Furthermore, candidates must also be able to document and disseminate their professional knowledge.


Section 6. Frameworks for and perspectives on social work - General competence


a) have insight into views of human life and values in social work, professional ethics and relevant ethical theories

b) have insight into power structures and the exercise of power in society

c) have insight into political and administrative decision-making processes and how social workers can contribute to public enlightenment and political counselling

d) have insight into factors that contribute to inequality, and can promote social justice together with people in vulnerable positions

e) be familiar with original thinking and innovation processes in social work be able to contribute to service innovation and systematic and quality-enhancing work processes

f) can plan and carry out responsibilities in complex and conflict-filled situations.


Area of competence 2 - Knowledge of and work on social problems –




a) have broad knowledge of theoretical perspectives, experience and user knowledge in social work and other relevant disciplines

b) have broad knowledge of how social problems arise and develop in a societal context

c) Have broad knowledge of communications, interaction and guidance

d) have broad knowledge of conditions for coping and development in children, adolescents, adults and the elderly

e) have knowledge of the right of Sami children as indigenous people to grow up with the Sami language and culture

f) have broad knowledge of care competence and different forms of neglect

g) have knowledge of and be able to recognise symptoms of violence, physical, psychological and sexual abuse

h) have knowledge of the importance of work for health and welfare, work inclusion and conditions that regulate Norwegian working life

i) have knowledge of how health, social and socioeconomic challenges have consequences for the individual and next of kin, and in particular for children as next of kin

e) have knowledge of inclusion, gender equality and non-discrimination, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion and beliefs, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and age, so as to contribute to ensuring equal services for all groups in society

k) have knowledge of prevention and public health, and understand the interaction between health challenges and social problems at the individual, family and community level

l) have knowledge of key problem areas such as unemployment, poverty, substance abuse and addiction, mental health problems, disabilities and other factors that can contribute to marginalisation and social exclusion

m) have knowledge of financial counselling to prevent and remedy debt and private financial problems.




a) can apply professional knowledge of social problems, transitions and life crises to promote coping and change in cooperation with individuals, families, groups and partners

b) can apply different methodological approaches at an individual, group and community level in different service areas

c) can apply legal rules, inform about rights and obligations, and exercise legal and social professional discretion in meetings with individuals, families and groups, including Sami users

d) can apply professional knowledge of relationships and communications in counselling, motivation and systematic change work and can advise users, patients and next of kin and relevant personnel who are in learning, coping and change processes

e) can apply professional knowledge of work-oriented inclusion in meetings with job seekers, employers and partners

f) can apply professional knowledge to identify resources and provide hope in cooperation with people in vulnerable life situations

g) can apply professional knowledge and methods for interaction and cooperation with children and young people on everyday life and on difficult topics in a way that secures their interests, participation and rights

h) can apply professional knowledge to assess and clarify reports and examine the care situation of children and young people and implement, follow up and evaluate measures when necessary for the child's health, living conditions and social development

i) can apply professional knowledge and work interdisciplinary in respect of people who exercise and are subjected to violence and abuse. Furthermore, candidates are able to talk with children about topics such as neglect, violence and abuse

j) can reflect on risks and how to deal with conflicts and reduce the risk of undesirable incidents and have knowledge of methods for following up this systematically

k) can find, assess and implement measures that alleviate and reduce the consequences of violence, abuse and neglect, for children and adults of all ages

l) can master relevant methods for identification, documentation, analysis and decision-making

m) can master methods in social work that promote power, influence, participation and representation

n) can master digital tools, including have knowledge of digital security, and can assist in the development of and use appropriate technology, and have knowledge of their opportunities and limitations in social work

d) can reflect on and apply knowledge that contributes to an equal service offering for Sami users.


General competence


a) have insight into ethical issues and can address ethical dilemmas in their professional role and in their relationship with people

b) have insight into and can reflect critically on their professional role in connection with institutional and political requirements in the exercise of service

c) have insight into issues that contribute to discrimination, and how to promote non-discriminatory practices and an inclusive society

d) have insight into how to exercise judgment in situations with inadequate and/or conflicting information and identify the scope of opportunity within different professional and institutional contexts

e) have insight into the importance of digital communication in professional practice and interaction

f) can plan, implement and lead coordinated and inter-professional cooperation between different services and service levels

g) can communicate the subject and exchange views and experiences with partners and thereby contribute to the development of good practices

h) can disseminate professional knowledge that promotes equality and diversity and contributes to equality, inclusion, coping and participation in everyday life, school and working life

i) be aware of people's different starting points and vulnerabilities, values and way of life.

Admission requirements

Admission to the programme requires Higher Education Entrance Qualifications.

Applicants who do not have Higher Education Entrance Qualifications and are 25 years of age or older may apply for admission on the basis of prior learning and work experience.

A certificate of good conduct is required for municipal health and care services

Career possibilities

As a social worker, you will be able to work to promote social inclusion and worthy life and growing up conditions in cooperation with individuals, groups and by highlighting and influencing framework conditions. This includes follow-up work, management, administration, planning, dissemination, teaching and inter-professional cooperation where the social worker often has a coordinating role. Social workers work in the public, private and voluntary sectors and the education qualifies for work in welfare services such as the Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV), child welfare, specialist health services, municipal health, substance abuse and care services, and in fields such as migration, correctional services, school, leisure and non-profit organisations.

Further education

The programme provides a basis for applying for a master's degree in social work and other master's programmes in social sciences. A number of universities and university colleges also offer relevant further education.

Study abroad

The fifth semester of the programme is defined as an opportunity for student mobility. Students can exchange to universities abroad, and replace courses for the whole semester.

Students can apply to complete the period of practical training abroad. Students who want to take their practical training abroad in one of the institutions the university has an agreement with can apply for this by 20 June. Applicants must submit a personal application, letter of recommendation and complete a personal interview. Applicants are ranked according to a total assessment of grade results from the first academic year, application, letter of recommendation and interview.


No specific costs other than semester registration fee and course literature.

Specific arrangements for recognition of prior learning

Applicants who do not have Higher Education Entrance Qualifications and are 25 years of age or older may apply for admission on the basis of prior learning and work experience.

In addition, for the bachelor's degree in child welfare, it is a requirement that a minimum of 2 years of prior learning and work experience must be relevant for the programme.

For this programme of study, we have assessed relevant experience as follows:

  • Experience from the health care profession or other profession that involves responsibilities related to providing care, such as working with children or following up people in challenging situations.
  • Care for your own child with special challenges that involves additional follow-up from parents.
  • Care for foster children.
  • Other special experience related to care and adaptation.

Care for own children without special challenges, or duties and tasks related to school and leisure activities are not included in the assessment.

Examination regulations, assessment and grading

Assessment and grading are based on alphabetical grades A-F, where A is the highest grade and F is fail. Work may also be assessed as pass/fail or approved/not approved.

Please see the applicable laws, regulations and guidelines.

Assessment methods

The programme requires compulsory attendance and participation in activities related to skills training and supervised professional training. This includes oral presentations, reflection work, communication training and supervised professional training. A separate regulation has been drawn up for compulsory teaching.

Supervised professional training runs during the 1st, 2nd and 4th semesters of the programme. Supervised professional training must be approved in accordance with the relevant approval regulations.

Graduation requirements

The programme of study’s final examination is a Bachelor's thesis.

Programme evaluation

The programme is evaluated via student questionnaire, as well as by the programme director. The evaluations form a part of the University's quality assurance system.

Qualifications requirements and regulations

Please see the applicable regulations and their accompanying guidelines.

Regulations that students are handed out before the start of the period of practical training.

Progression requirements

EX150S Study foundation semester, SOA1001 Introduction to Social Work, RE120S Introduction to Law, and PRA1024 Practice in Social Relations or PRA1025 Mentorship in multicultural context, must be passed before starting the subject PRA2050 Placement in the field of social work. Before starting the subject SOA2007 Social work in the field of social word, all courses from the first and second academic year must be passed.


Students for the bachelor's degree in social work are subject to a continuous suitability assessment cf.


The programme's supervised professional training is twofold. The first part, which is calculated to have a total duration of four weeks, is carried out continuously during the first and second semesters of the programme. The second part, which has a duration of twenty weeks, is carried out in the fourth semester of the programme. This part of supervised professional training is on a full-time basis. The student receives academic supervision during both periods of supervised professional training. Each part of the supervised professional training is assessed as pass/fail according to criteria set out in a separate regulation. There are written works related to both periods of supervised professional training that are assessed as approved/not approved. In order for supervised professional training to be assessed as passed, learning outcomes must be achieved, requirements for presence in supervised professional training met and written works approved.
ECTS Credits 180 Study level Bachelor's degree programme Teaching language
Faculty of Social Sciences
Course location Bodø eller Levanger