Social work

  • Department/School
  • Department of Business Economics, Health and Social Care
  • Head of course
  • Paola Solcà
  • Qualification awarded
  • SUPSI Bachelor of Science in Social work
    - Social education option
    - Social service option
  • Course type
  • Full-time course (180 ECTS over three years) Course running in parallel with professional working activity (180 ECTS over four years) Part-time course (180 ECTS over four-five years)
  • Language
  • Italian
  • Application fee
  • A CHF 200 fee must be paid when the application is made. This fee is not reimbursable, and cannot be deducted from the semester fee.
  • Course fee
  • The semester fee amounts to CHF 1,600. This sum is reduced to CHF 800 for students who benefit from the application of the ASUP Intercantonal Agreement for Vocational Universities (Swiss nationality or civil and fiscal domicile in Switzerland or in Liechtenstein). Specific agreements apply for students residing in Campione d’Italia. Contribution to didactic costs: CHF 200 per semester, not reimbursable.
  • Centre
  • Manno
  • Start date
  • 18 September 2023
  • Application deadline
  • 15 April 2023
  • Description
  • The programme is structured in inter-disciplinary modules, combing basic scientific and cultural training with the acquisition of specific professional skills, which are also developed during work experience assignments.


The programme is structured in inter-disciplinary modules, combining basic scientific and cultural training with the acquisition of specific professional skills, which are also developed during work experience assignments. The objective is to construct a diverse and flexible profile which will allow social workers to contend with rapid socio-economic changes and new forms of social unease.


Students acquire the appropriate knowledge and skills for recognising and analysing complex social situations. The course aims to develop the methodological, analytical, planning and design skills required in order to execute apposite interventions in specific situations. Course objectives also include the acquisition of the personal, social and linguistic skills essential for establishing the interpersonal and institutional relations pertinent to the professional role. In conclusion, social workers must know how to address social problems and the consequences of these problems, in terms of both prevention and intervention, adopting a critical and reflective approach regarding their personal and professional actions.

Admission requirements

The ranking examination is open to applicants holding one of the following qualifications, or who will obtain one of these qualifications in the academic year in which the ranking examination will be conducted:

  • federal vocational social-healthcare school leaving examination
  • specialist social or healthcare school leaving examination
  • vocational technical, commercial or artistic school leaving examination
  • high school leaving examination, or equivalent qualification

Social work degree programmes may also grant admission to applicants who are aged more than 25 and who lack the required qualifications, but who, in the opinion of the Departmental Directors, have significant education and work experience (applications on the basis of prior learning). Applicants belonging to this category must sit a preliminary examination on general culture. Successful completion of this test will qualify them to take the ranking examination.
The following regulations apply to applicants to PAP and PT programmes:

  • Parallel to professional working activity (PAP):
    - minimum age of 25, reached during the calendar year of the application
    - employment at a level of at least 50% as educator, animator, social assistant in training, for the entire duration of the programme
  • Part-time (PT):
    - minimum age of 25, reached during the calendar year of the application
    - family, sporting, artistic or military commitments equivalent to an employment level of at least 50%.

Career prospects

Social workers can promote wellbeing and health, fostering the cohabitation and integration of various members of society. They practice a profession where the field of action is expanding, in line with the complexity of modern day society.
In addition, the role consists of supporting and promoting cohabitation and self-determination by developing individual and collective resources and opportunities, and also involves helping individuals or the community to express their needs and to identify strategies and means by which to address these needs.
Together with other professional operators, social workers participate in constructing and implementing intervention projects for individuals, groups and communities, operating at various levels of social intervention - ethical, political, economic - in social services and in public and private socio-educational organisations.