Katholische Hochschule Nordrhein-Westfalen Catholic University of Applied Sciences

    Social Work, M.A.

    Social Work, M.A.

    Information about the Master’s degree course in Social Work (M.A.)

    Next start: winter semester 2017/178 at the KatHO NRW, Cologne department

    Applications are possible from 1st of March to 15th of May.


    Master's degree course in Social Work

    In Cologne, the Catholic University of Applied Sciences of North Rhine Westphalia (KatHO NRW) offers a consecutive master’s degree course  extending over a period of 4 semesters from the winter semester onwards. The course offers a wide ranging qualification and prepares students for planning, coordinating and evaluation work or management tasks in the civil services and the fields of Social Work and Social Education. Students acquire the skills of being able to research complex issues of social practice whilst comparing them with practices in other european countries and to solve these issues. For the students it is available to choose between three different spheres of activity:

    1.      Social Work with people of different culture and religion

    2.      Clinical Social Work and health promotion

    3.      Families and childhood



    The master’s degree course is research-oriented and its emphasis is upon applied research, which should identify, analyse and evaluate complex social circumstances and processes. The students research the theories, concepts and methods of Social Work and Social Education and are thus able to develop and apply projects for selected working fields.


    Contents of the course

    The degree course consists of eight modules in total:

    1.      Discipline of Social Work/Social Education

    2.      Social Work profession

    3.      Scientific theory and research methods

    4.      The European dimension of Social Work/Social Education

    5.      Available spheres of activity:

    5.1.   Social work with people of different culture and religion

    5.2.   Clinical social work and health promotion

    5.3    Families and childhood 

    6.      Elective module (possibly also at a partner university in Germany or  


    7.      Research project

    8.      Master-Thesis


    Modules 1, 3, 4 and 5 are taught in the first and second semester. In the third and fourth semester the students reframe their knowledge in the context of social work profession in module 2, while focussing on the research project that is completed in the fourth semester. The subsequent master’s thesis may, but does not have to be based on this.


    International co-operation

    The KatHO NRW maintains academic partnerships with a number of European and non-European universities within the framework of the Erasmus programmes and the European Research Institute for Social Work (ERIS), like for example the University of Hertfordshire in the UK, the University of Bethlehem in Palestine, the Catholic University of Lille in France and the University of Kuopio in Finland.


     Forms of teaching and learning

    • Lectures
    • Seminars
    • Team-based forms of learning
    • Individual learning and literature study
    • Project work and research visits in research groups
    • E-learning
    • Spring Academies and Summer Schools at home and abroad
    • research workshops



    Examinations are carried out throughout the degree courses in form of written examinations, term papers, presentations, and learning portfolios, which are then followed by the master’s thesis.



    Students who successfully complete the degree course are awarded the academic title of “Master of Arts in Social Work (M.A.)”. The graduates thus fulfil the entrance requirements for PhD programmes and attain the academic requirements to embark on a doctorate.


    Target group

    The consecutive degree course is aimed at Bachelor graduates and graduates with the German ‚Diplom‘ degree qualification in the fields of Social Work and comparable subjects. The degree course is particularly aimed at students who are interested in completing a doctorate.


    Entrance requirements

    A bachelor or Diplom qualification with good marks, good German language skills and a high level of personal motivation.

    The degree course is taught in German.


    Organisation of the degree course

    The degree course amounts to a four semester full time course.


    Deadlines and application

    About 36 students are accepted in each academic year. The degree courses start each year in the winter semester in September at the Cologne department of the KatHO NRW.

    The application deadline concerning the degree course is the 15th of May. For the application procedure and further information, please contact:

    Course director

    Prof. Dr. Katharina Motzke


    Katrin Lake, Coordination of the master's degree course “Social Work”   

    Catholic University of Applied Sciences of North Rhine Westphalia
    - Cologne Department - Faculty of Social Work
    Wörthstraße 10, D-50668 Köln

    Telefon: +49 221 7757 434
    E-Mail: k.lake(at) 


    Katholische Hochschule Nordrhein-Westfalen 2018