MFAMILY - European Master in Social Work with Families and Children

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  • Duration: 24 months


The European Master in Social Work with Families and Children will provide knowledge and competencies for international, comparative social work with children and families. These specialists will be updated on the latest research and interventions in social work with vulnerable children and families, based on Human Rights and the Rights of the Child. Protection and promotion of the rights of children is one of the EU Commission’s prioritized themes for 2012-2015.

In all EU countries, matters concerning families are of strategic importance (i.e. decreasing fertility rates, high rates of family ruptures, domestic violence, single parenthood, the situation of migrating families, unaccompanied children). Especially in times of economic difficulties the importance of dealing with such questions with limited resources is vital. The need to find new solutions and benchmarking best practice is urgent. The European Master with Families and Children follows Europe 2020 and the Lisbon Treaty goals of providing professionals with improved skills and competencies to match the need of vulnerable citizens as well as the labour market. The European Master in Social Work with Families and Children will be the first European programme of its kind that integrates a truly global, comparative and intercultural perspective. The programme will present innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to social work with vulnerable children and families and explore the potential benefits and challenges of adopting democratic principles and empowering methods in social work theories and practice in the areas of family welfare and child protection. Students will prepare for careers in social work and social policy with governmental and non- governmental organizations, international organizations and private practice. Graduates will have analytical expertise, skills and knowledge to work effectively with vulnerable children and families in international context, regarding the differing cultural, legal and policy contexts and social problems.

This two-year master programme of 120 ECTS is developed by ISCTE-Lisbon University Institute, University of Gothenburg, University of Stavanger, and Makarere University. The programme is further enriched by associate participation from Italy,India,Brazil,Australia,Bulgaria and New Zealand. Students will spend a semester each in Lisbon, Stavanger and Gothenburg before moving to the desired partner to work on their master’s thesis. The global partners will co-teach in the first three semesters. The language of instruction is English. Upon completion of the programme, students will be awarded a joint degree by the consortium. The consortium is composed of partners and associates with strategic and complementary expertise in the field of study. Representing different research and teaching perspectives, they are key actors in child and family studies and social work with rich experience from research, teaching and staff exchange within and outside Europe.


  • ISCTE - UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE OF LISBON, Portugal (Co-ordinating Institution)


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