Field Study and Problem Based Approaches in Social Work


Content, progress and pedagogy of the module

During the module students will gain knowledge about the theories, methods and practices of Problem and Project Based Learning, skills to define, study, analyze and critically reflect on problems related to power relations and actor perspectives in a problem based way, and competences to do research/study in complex contexts in an independent, reflective and knowledge based way. This involves the student’s capability to use theories and research methods for doing field study in a problem based way. It also involves the student’s capability to creatively analyze and take responsibility for their own learning processes and academic advancement individually and in cooperation with other actors. During the Field Study, students will collect different sources of data that help them to discuss and apply different theoretical approaches in identifying and analyzing which actor perspectives and power relations are involved in the practical production of welfare within the specific setting. In particular, students are expected to identify consequences of conflicting interests and different actors pursuing different perspectives. After having collected their data, the students will present their fieldwork reflections (initial analysis) and the key ‘problematic’ characterizing the institutional setting in a seminar. Since problem and project based learning always relates to a specific issue or topic in focus, the teaching and learning activities of this module will be closely related to the other modules in semester 2. For example, when learning about the theories and methods of PBL, students will be encouraged to study, analyze and critically integrate reflections on power relations and actor perspectives within social work and welfare systems that they have learnt in Module 5 (Power relations and actor perspectives). Additionally, the Field Study will be an integrated part of the PBL approach. These links between PBL and Field Study are will enable students to conduct a problem based project integrating knowledge, skills, experience and competences from different modules.

Type of instruction

Core lectures, group work, structured debate and Field study. Core lectures contains a lecture, group work and joint discussions. The three modules in the second semester, although divided, are closely connected. Students are supposed to connect the three modules in Semester 2 by switching between them all the way through the semester. The aim is to make students understand that problem based learning, field studies, research methodology and ethics, theories, analyses and discussions of power and different perspectives are closely connected. This will imply that the module will contain discussions of field experiences and problem based learning. In this way, core lectures will involve both common debates and group work from all three modules. Besides the subjects taught and discussed in this module constitutes a general and basic knowledge supposed to be used throughout the program and as central skills graduates are able to utilize after finishing the program.



Name of examField Study and Problem Based Approaches in Social Work
Type of exam
Oral exam based on a project
The assessment of the module is based on a written report in combination with an oral examination. The assessment values the student’s knowledge, skills and competences to do problem based research in complex contexts in an independent, reflective and knowledge based way. This involves knowledge about the power relations and actor perspectives at play in the particular field of study including the Field Study. It also involves a clear reference to the theoretical, methodological, empirical and practical problems of knowledge within the field of study. Finally it involves looking at the student’s capability to reflect on their own processes of learning, their academic advancement individually and in cooperation with others with a reference to theories and methods of PBL. The final grade is based on how the students meet this in the written report as well as in the oral examination. All though the assessment of this module integrates knowledge from module 'Research Methodology and Ethics' and 'Power Realtions and Actor Perspectives' it represents an independent assessment
Assessment7-point grading scale
Type of gradingInternal examination
Criteria of assessmentThe criteria of assessment are stated in the Examination Policies and Procedures

Facts about the module

Danish titleFeltstudier og PBL-baseret tilgang til socialt arbejde
Module codeASA20196
Module typeCourse
Duration1 semester
Language of instructionEnglish
Location of the lectureCampus Aalborg
Responsible for the module


Study BoardStudy Board of MSc in Social Work
DepartmentDepartment of Sociology and Social Work
FacultyThe Faculty of Social Sciences