SOSV3220 Social Work in a Global Context Emneplan

Engelsk emnenavn
Social Work in a Global Context
Bachelorstudium i barnevern / Bachelorstudium i sosialt arbeid
10 stp.


The aim of the course is to provide an understanding of the historical and contemporary context in which social work has been developed and is practiced. The course will critically consider the western, power-based knowledge and theoretical perspectives that inform and are reinforced in social work, and the influence this has, globally. This will be considered through focus on decolonial history, intersectional perspectives and globalisation processes.

The course will also focus on how social work has been developed within specific contexts of practice. We will show how theory is connected to practice within social work. We use a case-based approach in which we explore social work, as practiced in Norway and other countries, to demonstrate the importance of contextualisation as a framework for understanding social work theories and practice. Through an investigation of cases, we will also explore the ways in which practice reaffirms certain theories as "normal" and "natural".


All exams in the first and second year of study must be passed.



The student has knowledge about

  • The ways in which perspectives in social work are shaped within specific social and normative contexts and how the field of social work also shapes our understandings of the contexts within which we practice
  • The history and development of social work and its influence on contemporary understandings of social work globally
  • Hegemonic knowledge production in social work Contemporary social problems, social inequalities and systems of oppressions for social work in an international context.


The student can

  • identify different perspectives and apply knowledge about how these perspectives are shaped within specific contexts
  • critically reflect on how specific conceptualizations shape social work understandings The student can critically reflect on how context- and power-based perspectives shape social work practice and how social work practices reinforce these perspectives
  • understand how context is key to understand how social work practice and services are developed and delivered, with reference to values, ethics and anti-oppressive practice


General Competence

The student can

  • identify and communicate knowledge concerning different, global perspectives on key issues taken up within social work.
  • exchange knowledge about how dominant norms within social work’s function to set the premises for models applied and for the meaning this has at the social and individual levels

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

The course is based on lectures, class exercises, homework assignments and assigned literature. Students are expected to read the course literature and to actively participate in the course meetings, with an emphasis on dialogue.

Arbeidskrav og obligatoriske aktiviteter

The following coursework requirement must have been approved in order for the student to take the exam:

1. A 30 minute group presentation and group peer-review of another group’s presentation. 

The work requirement(s) must be delivered and approved within the deadline in order for the student to sit for the exam. If one or more of the work requirements are not approved, the student has one chance to deliver an individual written assignment of maximum 3 pages, within a specified deadline. 

All required coursework must be completed and approved by the given deadline in order for the student to take the exam. 

Vurdering og eksamen

Individual home exam over a period of 48 hours. 

The exam paper must have a scope of 9-11 pages. Font and font size: Calibri 12 points. Line spacing: 1.5.

The exam paper can be written in either English or Norwegian.

Students with an approved absence or those who do not take the exam have the right to a new/delayed exam, that is similar to the regular exam. Should the student fail the exam, they have one opportunity to deliver a re-worked version of the exam for re-grading. 

Hjelpemidler ved eksamen

All aids are permitted, as long as the rules for source referencing are complied with.


Grade scale A-F.


All exam papers are assessed by one internal and one external examiner.


Erika Gubrium and Ariana Guilherme Fernandes