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University of Silesia in Katowice

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Faculty of Social Sciences
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Social work, 1st cycle studies and 2nd cycle studies

Education as part of the Social work programme combines interdisciplinary theoretical knowledge with practical activities providing graduates with the ability to utilise theoretical knowledge in work with individuals, groups, and local communities. The programme draws from sociology, psychology, pedagogy, and also from some areas of law, whose issues are the basis of knowledge and skills of an effective professional. Social work focuses on the process of understanding, helping and supporting people who found themselves in difficult circumstances for them to become self-reliant. Social Work graduates are entitled to exercise the profession of a social worker regulated by law (Social Assistance Act of 12 March 2004 as amended).

The educational goal of the programme is to train specialists who are able to effectively diagnose, forecast, plan support, and provide help in problematic situations, which is facilitated by conducting classes in the form of workshops, projects, and internships, as well as delivering the diploma thesis in the form of a social project. The multi-faceted process of cooperation with social policy institutions seeks to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to analyse and shape the social reality. The degree programme offers broad knowledge and skills in contemporary methods of social work, organisation, design, and in evaluation of assistance activities. The acquired knowledge and skills facilitate understanding and explanation of social phenomena, and conducting research and activities in accordance with professional and ethical standards. The curriculum fosters the development of a genuine interest in social affairs and active participation in the life of a local community. Developing a proper and responsible attitude focused on the ideas of cooperation and partnership is a crucial part of the education process.

The education is provided within the framework of four majors:

Mediations and Negotiations – a major focused on developing competencies in the field of mediation and negotiation processes in crisis situations as part of social worker’s activities. It prepares graduates to exercise the profession of a social worker in social assistance and social integration institutions and organisations, including non-governmental organisations. The education process is oriented towards a professional approach to conflicts in the area of social work, starting with an understanding of the nature of conflict and ending with negotiation and mediation skills, whilst maintaining ethical principles.

Revitalization and Community Social Work – a major with the prospect of a professional career in the field of social revitalisation, and a response to the growing need for local development. It prepares graduates to exercise the profession of a social worker in social assistance and social integration institutions and organisations, including non-governmental organisations. The education under the Revitalization and Community Social Work major provides integrated knowledge (regarding theoretical and practical aspects), skills, and competencies, which prove useful in planning, initiating, and implementing activation and local development processes, as well as in operating as a leader and animator of a local community.

Gerontological Social Work – a major created in response to the need for specialised social service workers for the constantly ageing society. The programme offers knowledge, skills and competencies in social sciences as well as humanities and biomedical sciences that are necessary to provide care and animation activities for older people.

Management in Social Work and Social Economy – a major oriented towards development of knowledge and skills in social economy. The graduates of the programme are prepared to work in social entrepreneurship institutions and organisations. The Management in Social Work and Social Economy major is a result of several years of international cooperation to create a common curriculum under the Social Work Social Economy (SOWOSEC) European 2nd Cycle Studies programme. The project involves practical exchange of experiences of students from various European countries and allows students to learn about the nature of social problems and ways of solving them in different socio-political systems. Completing the major entitles graduates to obtain an international diploma (once the requirements have been met).

Employment prospects:

Graduates of the Social Work programme are characterised by an awareness of social risk, and ability to discover, develop, and use the full potential of the environment. They are aware of their capabilities and limitations, and set their individual paths of self-improvement. They communicate effectively and are eager to cooperate with other specialists in the field. Graduates are knowledgeable about social work, and are prepared to independently design and implement social research for the purposes of social diagnosis. They possess an extensive, interdisciplinary knowledge that makes them well prepared for employment in all types of public and private institutions and non-governmental organisations. The education under the programme consists of building and strengthening pro-social attitudes, readiness to participate in local, regional, and supraregional levels.

Graduates of the programme are prepared for employment in: regional social policy centres, district family support centres and social welfare centres, and also to work: with foster families, in educational care centres, crisis intervention centres, residential homes, organisational units for employment and prevention of unemployment, support centres, institutions for homeless people, addiction treatment centres, penal institutions, refugee centres, and in non-governmental organisations involved in diagnosing situations, providing solutions, and counteracting problems (associations and foundations).

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