On the profession
What career opportunities does the holder of a degree in Social Work have?
Social work graduates are sought-after on the labour market; for instance, the unemployment rate five years after graduation is very low, at 0.9 % (source: FSO, last updated in 2018). The career centres at the individual UASs are responsible for providing more information and consultation.
On the degree courses
Do the UAS Faculties of Social Work offer events that provide information on degree courses?
Some UAS Faculties of Social Work regularly organise events, at which information on the terms of admission, on the structure and content of the degree courses, and on professional fields is provided. The dates can be found on the websites of the respective UASs. At some UASs, attending such an information event is a prerequisite for enrolment in the degree course.
I have a health impairment and wish to study. Where can I find help?
The individual UASs offer support and advice, so that people with a disability or chronic illness have equal access to the degree courses and the best possible access to all associated infrastructures. This offer includes, for example, disadvantage compensations for academic performance and for proof of academic performance, as well as barrier-free access to buildings, rooms, information and media.
How much of the Bachelor’s degree course does the practical training account for?
The practical training generally comprises two practical modules and occurs in a variety of different ways. The modules encompass at least 1500 learning hours, which mainly consist of practical activity and reflection in the context of the modules at the UAS.
During practical training, the students are supported by the UASs and the respective organisation. The individual UASs help students to look for work placement and training positions.
If a UAS definitively excludes me from the degree course, can I continue the degree course at another UAS Faculty of Social Work?
That depends on the respective university’s academic and examination regulations. At the following universities, re-enrolment in the Social Work degree course is not possible after definitive exclusion from another UAS (last updated in August 2018):
•Fachhochschule St. Gallen (FHSG)
•Fachhochschule Luzern (HSLU)
•Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften (ZHAW)
At the other UASs, it is generally possible to re-enrol after a certain suspension period. This period differs at the various universities. However, these UASs also reserve the right to test applicants’ aptitude.
What is the difference between a consecutive Master’s degree (MSc/MA) and a Master’s qualification obtained through continuing education (MAS)?
A consecutive Master’s degree (MSc/MA) follows the Bachelor’s degree and is a continuation of the basic study programme. The formal terms of admission are to be found under “Master’s degree in Social Work”. Such a degree course normally has a broad-based general orientation and aims to enable graduates to work in the profession.
On the other hand, the Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) is a continuing education course and requires previous professional experience. It specialises in a certain topic and aims to enable participants to develop further as professionals.
On the terms of admission
Do I have to complete a work placement before I start the degree course?
In order to be able to enrol in a Social Work degree course, a certain amount of experience in the working world must be demonstrated. The individual UASs’ admissions offices are responsible for recognition of this experience from the working world.
I am interested in a Social Work degree course, but have no (vocational) baccalaureate. Can I study at a UAS Faculty of Social Work anyway?
Under certain conditions, interested parties can go through a dossier-based admission procedure and apply for admission to a Bachelor’s degree course that way. Details can be requested directly from the individual UASs.
I have a qualification from a college of higher education. Does this enable me to study at a UAS Faculty of Social Work?
A diploma from a college of higher education formally qualifies the holder to study at a UAS. Some UAS Faculties of Social Work allocate up to 60 ECTS credits to graduates from the PET Social Pedagogy course. However, this allocation is just a recommendation and not legally binding. Details can be requested directly from the individual UASs.
To whom must I turn if I wish to get my foreign qualification recognised in Switzerland?
SERI (the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation) is responsible for the recognition of foreign qualifications. More information can be found on the SERI website: https://www.sbfi.admin.ch/sbfi/en/home/education/recognition-of-foreign-qualifications.html
Where can I obtain basic knowledge of the Swiss welfare system?
Various UASs offer an introduction to the Swiss welfare system in continuing education courses (for example: Introduction to Social Welfare, Introduction to Social Security Law, CAS in Social Welfare Law, etc.). The courses offered are described on the UASs’ continuing education websites. Other organisations, such as SKOS, also offer suitable introductions (www.skos.ch).