Content and learning outcomes of conflicts and social work

Students expand their repertoire and competences in identifying relevant models of conflict resolution.

People and communities served by social work are increasingly affected by conflicts caused by poverty, inequality, international crises and local disasters.

Social workers and related professionals meet conflicts when working with promoting social and economic equality, ensuring the dignity and worth of each person, and promoting wellbeing through sustainable human relationships and communities.

With a focus on conflicts in various contexts, levels and cultures, the module gives students the opportunity to expand their skills by studying conflict perspectives, theories and concepts, learning how to analyse conflict contexts and identify relevant models of conflict resolution.


The module contains the following subjects taught over 10 weeks:

  • Perspectives, theories and concepts
  • Contexts: Causes, welfare systems, cultural diversity and levels: individual, family, group, community, organisation and society or between the citizen(s) and the social worker's organisation
  • Action/intervention/resolution
  • A written assignment

Learning outcomes

During the module students achieve:

Knowledge of

  • Examples of conflicts
  • Perspectives, theories and concepts of conflict relevant to social work. (Such as conflicts affecting social work or inherent in social work)
  • Tools for assessment and analysis of conflict in various contexts and at different levels
  • Relevant perspectives on the types of actions that are or could be used in dealing with conflict situations.
  • Examples of concrete action in social work related to conflicts  (on an individual, group, and societal level)

Skills and competences in:

  • Identifying what kind of knowledge is relevant to understand and analyse conflict(s) before taking action
  • Analysing different aspects of the context of conflicts, by using comparison and/or theory-based analysis
  • Analysing conflict in terms of levels and contexts:
  1. Identify the different levels on which a given conflict enfolds (individual, group, and societal levels)
  2. Reflect upon the different levels and phases within a conflict
  3. Analyse and identify the importance of the context of any given conflict
  • Reflecting upon social workers’ options in choice of action
  • Identifying relevant tools and plans of action in conflict intervention or resolution