Community Work

Master Autumn 2020

Community work is a subject that emphasizes collective action, coproduction, social innovation, self-development and dialogue. The master study is based on an understanding that people in communities can create and change social structures and contribute to good living conditions for themselves and others through participation.

Conscious actors can through joint efforts develop their community; in employment, education, leisure, family, friendship, and organization and in neighbourhoods.

The master program in community work is an interdisciplinary educational offer. The MA program combines compulsory subjects and self-selected topics (60 credits) and a Masters thesis (60 credits).

The program runs for two years over four semesters. First year of study contains basic principles, philosophy of science, and theoretical and practical tools for community work and social science research methods. Second year of the program contains subject specialization and work on the master thesis.

Students can be linked to ongoing research in the research group "Community Work" or "Law, democracy and welfare services". 

 

Community work is based on a view of people as creative, competent and engaged actors who themselves can improve their opportunities through social participation. We also acknowledge that the social space for manoeuvres can be perceived as limited and that the conditions for democratic participation can be blocked. Community work is in such situations a contribution to analyze challenges and barriers, and for initiating change processes together with those concerned. Processes of change can be anything from grassroots mobilization of communities to influencing the specific work environment.

Community work is a planned process in which one or more professionals assist a community of interest or a local community who wants to use their own resources to resolve the problems they are experiencing, and to reach goals they have set themselves.

Study methods

This master program in community work is unique. Teaching and learning methods build on dialogue-based interaction, seminars, process writing, and group and individual activities. It is necessary to attend lessons for fulfilling work requirements. The coursework includes group-based and individual study, submission of assignments and supervision.

 

We emphasize a high degree of student participation and teaching is mainly dialogue-based seminars and with strong emphasis on practice reflection. Field and practice visits and the use of film, theatre and other artistic expressions are integrated into the program. Students will also experience futures workshop, social laboratories and other action learning models. Students at this MA have always emphasized that the learning environment is excellent, and in 2016 they nominated the master in community work for the prize for best learning environment. They highlight that they are taken seriously and that the seminar model is challenging but also very stimulating.

Placement

The master in community work is closely related to various fields of practice and potential employers. In the second semester we focus on local communities through practical community work projects related to borough lift and residential development (in Bergen). In the third semester you will also have the opportunity to participate in an action-learning program where the use of arts (theatre, music, photography/film and creative writing) is central.

 

In the work on your own thesis, we assist you in finding the location(s) for fieldwork, interviews and other forms of data collection. This may for example be within public health, social housing, NGOs, social movements or initiatives - locally, nationally or internationally.

Further studies

The master in community work is an interdisciplinary educational offer. The study builds on 3-years graduate educations in health, social, educational courses or other professional educations (equivalent to a bachelor´s degree). Applicants without such educations must have abachelor's degree or equivalent and a minimum of 80 credits in social sciences topics.

 

The program runs over four semesters. First year of study contains basic principles, philosophy of science, and theoretical and practical tools for community work and social science research methods. Second year of the program contains subject specialization and work on the master thesis.

 

Students can be linked to ongoing research in the research group "Community Work" or "Law, democracy and welfare services".

Student exchange

This master in community work is part of a network of similar or complementary educations abroad. For students who want it, we will assist in facilitating student exchange abroad.

 

At the moment we have Erasmus agreements with Madrid, Glasgow and Berlin. We do also cooperate with Universities and University Colleges in a number of other countries and we can help you facilitate fieldwork in for instance Tanzania, South Africa, USA, Netherlands and Cuba.

Where can I travel?