Focus areasSet your own priorities

With two focus areas, students can determine an area of specialisation within the framework of their studies and establish a certain level of focus in terms of topics and content. Each focus area comprises three sequential modules (a to c).

Social Work as a discipline and profession (Focus area 1)

This study area opens up access to the fundamentals of professional practice by looking at the history and theories of Social Work, addressing the field of Social Work as a discipline and profession. Based on milestones from its history as an occupation, we demonstrate how Social Work has developed from the provision of help by laypersons to a professional discipline, and reflect critically on the various rationale for offering assistance.

Professional challenges in the shaping of social organisations, spaces, networks and groups (Focus area 2)

In this focus area, we focus on the shaping of social spaces, networks and organisations. The objective is to facilitate, utilise and promote potential for support and to shape the worlds in which different social groups live in line with their requirements. Focus is placed on social groups, collectives and bodies which take on an intermediary position between the specific individual and society as a whole in its different forms (e.g. families, associations, communities in town districts).

Professional challenges in connection with global, local and social transformations (Focus area 3)

As part of this focus area, emphasis is placed on the political and economic framework conditions in which Social Work is performed. We highlight the possibilities to influence interventions in these areas while taking account of social aspects. By considering social developments on a global scale, we also expand the spatial context in which they are viewed. We focus on events that bring about the need for Social Work arising from the dynamics of change in society. In looking at national and international change tendencies, we ask whether, and to what extent, there is a reciprocal relationship between these developments, and what consequences for Social Work in professional terms arise as a result.

«The semester abroad at the FHS St.Gallen was a rewarding experience for me. I got to know new theoretical approaches and gained an interesting insight into the Swiss social system.»

Matthias Schluchter, Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences