The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Civil Society and Social Work

Course · 15 credits


What motivates people to volunteer in social work? How is voluntary social work organised, and where should the lines be drawn between the public sector, the market and civil society? This course highlights civil society’s roles and functions in contemporary social work.

This course focuses on the roles and functions idea-driven and non-profit organisations have in society. Today various welfare services and several communities are being organised and developed by civil society. They often have a socially critical voice that strives for change and innovation in our societies.


The aim of the course is to provide you with social science theories, scientific data, concepts and analytical tools that can enhance your ability to explore and problematise civil society’s role in contemporary voluntary social work.


Furthermore, the course also gives you an opportunity to discuss the motives of volunteering and boundaries between public actors, market participants and civil society organisations.


During the course you will deal with themes such as:


•       Socio-political discourses – on a local and international level

•       Teories and key concepts – civil society on a micro, meso and macro level

•       Forms and expressions of social work in civil society

•       Opinion and advocacy work, service and communities based on identity and social movements

•       Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs), which today are large and hydra-headed actors, not least in aid, development and environmental work

•       Marketisation and professionalisation in civil society


Teaching methods include lectures and seminars, with civil society actors, as well as study visits to local idea-driven and non-profit actors.


This course is offered as a single subject course in social work at the second-cycle level. It can also be chosen as an optional course in the Master’s programme in social work as well as in other social science master’s programmes.


After the course

The main purpose of this course is to improve your knowledge about social work and civil society. With the knowledge you will better understand what roles and functions organisations and actors have in civil society at a local, national and global level. You will also have an ability to reflect, relate and evaluate different types of social measures that civil society does for vulnerable groups.

Closed for applications

Application opportunities


Director of second cycle studies

Gabriella Scaramuzzino

Phone: +46 733 69 75 50

Email: gabriella [dot] scaramuzzino [at] soch [dot] lu [dot] se

Course Coordinator

Roberto Scaramuzzino

Phone: +46 46 222 99 16

Email: roberto [dot] scaramuzzino [at] soch [dot] lu [dot] se

Programme Coordinator

Helena Gyllensvärd

Phone: +46 46 222 93 14

Email: info [at] soch [dot] lu [dot] se

Requirements and selection

Entry requirements

Entry to the course requires a Degree of Bachelor in Social Work or equivalent.

Selection criteria

Seats are allocated according to: ECTS (HPAV): 100 %.

English language requirements

Most of Lund University’s programmes require English Level 6 (unless otherwise stated under 'Entry requirements'). This is the equivalent of an overall IELTS score of 6.5 or a TOEFL score of 90. There are several ways to prove your English language proficiency – check which proof is accepted at the University Admissions in Sweden website. All students must prove they meet English language requirements by the deadline, in order to be considered for admission.

How to prove your English proficiency –

Country-specific requirements

Check if there are any country-specific eligibility rules for you to study Bachelor's or Master's studies in Sweden:

Country-specific requirements for Bachelor's studies –

Country-specific requirements for Master's studies –


Start Spring Semester 2024

Day-time Lund, full time 100%

In English

Study period

15 January 2024 - 19 March 2024


You can only apply for this course in the 'Swedish student' application round. Find out more: Applying for studies – when to apply

Day-time Lund, full time 100%

In English

Study period

15 January 2024 - 19 March 2024



How to apply

Lund University uses a national application system run by University Admissions in Sweden. It is only possible to apply during the application periods.

When to apply for studies

Step 1: Apply online

  • Check that you meet the entry requirements of the programme or course you are interested in (refer to the section above on this webpage).
  • Start your application – go to the University Admissions in Sweden website where you create an account and select programmes/courses during the application period.
    Visit the University Admissions in Sweden website
  • Rank your programme/course choices in order of preference and submit them before the application deadline.

Step 2: Submit documents

  • Read about how to document your eligibility and how to submit your documents at the University Admissions in Sweden website. Follow any country-specific document rules for Master's studies or Bachelor's studies
    Country-specific requirements for Bachelor's studies –
    Country-specific requirements for Master's studies –
  • Get all your documents ready:
    - official transcripts and high school diploma (Bachelor's applicants)
    - official transcripts and degree certificate or proof that you are in the final year of your Bachelor's (Master's applicants)
    - passport/ID (all applicants) and
    - proof of English proficiency (all applicants).
  • Prepare programme-specific documents if stated in the next paragraph on this webpage.
  • Upload or send all required documents to University Admissions before the document deadline.
  • Pay the application fee (if applicable – refer to the section below on this webpage) before the document deadline.

* Note that the process is different if you are applying as an exchange student or as a part of a cooperation programme (such as Erasmus+).
* If you have studied your entire Bachelor's programme in Sweden and all of your academic credits are in Ladok, you do not have to submit transcripts or your diploma when applying for a Master's programme. However, there may still be other documents you need to submit! See the link below. 

Svensk student? 
Läs instruktionerna om att söka till ett internationellt masterprogram på

Tuition fees

Non-EU/EEA citizens

Full programme/course tuition fee: SEK 27 500

First payment: SEK 27 500

Convert currency –

Citizens of a country outside of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland are required to pay tuition fees. You pay one instalment of the tuition fee in advance of each semester.

Tuition fees, payments and exemptions

EU/EEA citizens and Switzerland

There are no tuition fees for citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

Application fee

If you are required to pay tuition fees, you are generally also required to pay an application fee of SEK 900 when you apply at the University Admissions in Sweden website. You pay one application fee regardless of how many programmes or courses you apply to.

*Note that there are no tuition or application fees for exchange students or doctoral/PhD students, regardless of their nationality.

Scholarships & funding

Lund University Global Scholarship programme

The Lund University Global Scholarship programme is a merit-based and selective scholarship targeted at top academic students from countries outside the EU/EEA.

Lund University Global Scholarship

Swedish Institute Scholarships

The Swedish Institute offers scholarships to international students applying for studies in Sweden at Master's level.

Scholarship information on the Swedish Institute website

Country-specific scholarships and funding options

Lund University has agreements with scholarship organisations and funding bodies in different countries, which may allow applicants to apply for funding or scholarships in their home countries for their studies at Lund University.

External scholarships

Information about scholarships from external organisations