Social Work (M.A.)

Social work - a research-oriented Master’s degree

Professional, knowledge-based action, proof of effectiveness, empirical foundations – these keywords point to the increasing importance of research in social work – to justify action taken in this field, to provide a basis for the knowledge about changed life and problem situations of the people for whom the work is undertaken, and about institutional support processes and changed organisational framework conditions.
And no less important, there must be critical analysis of the effects of social changes on the field of social work.

Programme objectives

You will obtain the tools needed to assess and influence developments in social work on an empirical basis. The research-oriented Master does not relate to specific fields of activity, but gives you the skills you need to reflect on all areas of social work.

This full-time programme awards 90 Credits (workload 750 hrs per semester).

Please send any questions you may have about the programme to:

Degree programme leaflet

Social Work (M.A.)

Facts and Figures - at a glance

Degree awardedMaster of Arts (M.A.)
FacultySocial Work, Education and Nursing Sciences
CampusEsslingen Hilltop Campus
Number of semesters3
Language of instructionGerman/English

For the summer semester: Direct enrolment from 15 October until 6 March

Information on admission requirements
  • Degree in social work (Bachelor, Diplom)
  • Programme places: 30
  • Innovative Social Work: Practice-oriented research, social planning and quality development
  • International Social Work

Application and Admission

This degree programme is free of admission (without NC) and you can enrol directly. Sign up now!

Information on the accompanying documents which must be submitted can be found in the
Checklist for Master programmes.

Students may commence this degree programme in the summer semester only.

Additional documents which must be submitted with your application:

Applicants with a degree from a foreign university

Esslingen University of Applied Sciences requires a university degree gained at a foreign university to be recognised by the Center for International Students at Constance University of Applied Sciences (Studienkolleg Konstanz).

The curriculum for the degree programme and detailed descriptions of the programme modules are contained in the Module Catalogue.

Module Catalogue Social Work (M.A.) (German Version)

Career Prospects

Graduates with a Master of Social Work can work in:

  • planning
  • evaluation/quality assurance
  • further education and training
  • vocational training/university teaching
  • research
  • management/leadership positions
  • go on to undertake doctoral studies.

At the time you submit your application, you select one of two specialisations in which to enhance your knowledge as you study.

  • Innovative Social Work: Practice-Oriented
  • Research, Social Planning and Quality Development

Whether it be youth work, advisory services, help for the homeless, eldercare – social work has changed fundamentally during the past 100 years. In addition to political changes and social movements, the processes which shape social work also play an important role here.
In this specialisation, students examine questions such as: How will social work develop in the future? How are innovations in social work created in practice? Who develops new, needs-based concepts at the local level and how? How can the quality of social work be improved further on the municipal level and which tools are available to do this? Where do visions for social work originate?

This specialisation teaches students the essential fundamentals needed to critically assess the developments and tools used in planning and quality development.


In Germany, it is very important for the development of the theoretical and practical aspects of social work that the theories, concepts and approaches used in social work, which often have a domestic focus, are put into an international, comparative, trans-cultural context and that they are systematically developed further against the background of the demands which exist.
In this specialisation, you will be prepared at the levels of analysis, conceptual development, leadership and research to take on roles in the following fields:

  • social work in Germany with intercultural/international aspects
  • international professional collaborations and exchanges
  • social work in international organisations and in international contexts.

Some of the coursework in this specialisation is taught in English.


Interested? Apply! for the Wintersemester 2023/24