Faculty of Arts/ Department of Social Sciences

Master in Social Work


Course Description

I- Core and advance practice

 MSWK 513  Introduction to Community Practice: Social change, community organization and empowerment , and social movements.

 This course examines theory and skills necessary to support social change through the practices of community organizing and social movements. This course builds on the community practice domain of social work. Examined are strategies that social workers use in communities to affect change. Community organizing frameworks explored in the class include social action, locality development, and social planning. Skills associated with community organizing such as recruiting participants, developing and implementing activities for social change, and evaluation--will be taught. Social movement frameworks explored in the class will include theories related to their development, framing an issue, and the lifespan of social movements. This course will cover issues in regard to understanding the sociopolitical structures in Palestine, the assets in the community (culture, history) that community mobilization can be built upon. It will take into consideration various population groups status and approaches for working with them such as women, youth and refugees. Civic and political engagements as ways of community empowerment and participation will be taken into consideration.

 MSWK 523 Leadership and Organizational Behavior

Focuses on leadership and managing organizations. Uses cases on a variety of organizations to expose students to problems and to improve their effectiveness in analyzing, diagnosing, and leading people in organizations. Students learn organizational concepts, analytic frameworks, and models, and practice their leadership skills in class. Uses case discussions, simulations, role-playing, mini-lecturing, and experimental exercises. Provides an opportunity to develop leadership skills through group work and reflection.

 MSWK 531 Perspectives and Possibilities of Community Work in Palestine: integrated Mezzo & macro level practices

 The purpose of this course is to enrich the knowledge base of social sciences students in general and the social work students in particularly and orient them about the reality of social work profession in Palestine in order to enhance a smooth integration with the labor market after graduation.

 The intention is to help the students in getting to the field practice with the knowledge base about the professional status within the Palestinian realities and context. Also, it will sensitize their perceptions and inputs from other courses with the ability to create linkages between what they learn from other courses with the Palestinian realities. It will enrich and enhance the interactive learning process throughout the study plan.

 The focus of this course will be on the following topics:

  • The history of social work profession in Palestine; The socioeconomic cultural and political context within which the social work profession evolved and the current status of the profession; The current and future challenges before the profession given the contextual analysis at mezzo and macro levels; The social work intervention modalities adopted, adapted and applied within the Palestinian context at mezzo and macro levels;

  • The social work realities and social work oriented research in Palestine

  • The institutionalization of social work as a profession in Palestine: legal recognition, professional identity and the recognition of significance

  • Social Work profession in Palestine and other professions: Interdisciplinary perspective

  • The role of social work in the social change process in Palestine: Professionalism, activism and social transformation at mezzo and macro levels.

 MSWK 533  Participatory approaches to SW practice: Group work, dialogue and PAR

 This course will lay the foundation for examining participatory and collaborative approaches to social work practice with a focus on intergroup dialogue (IGD) and group work as a nexus for learning and practice. IGD is an emerging social work practice method that focuses on dialogic engagement with client systems at multiple levels. IGD involves fostering egalitarian communication processes to build alliances for engendering and promoting greater social justice. IGD draws from principles in emancipatory education and empowerment practice, dialogic communication, intergroup relations and small group work. We envision such practice as fundamental to advancing the principles of community leadership, empowerment and leadership. The course will emphasize knowledge and skills development by involving all course members in participating and facilitating small and large groups. The course will also look at the interface of IGD with other participatory methods, such as self-help groups, organizational development and leadership, and participatory action research.

 MSWK 535 Supervision

 This course Focuses on the role and function of the social work supervisor in human service agencies and Provides knowledge and skills involved in the role of social worker as supervisor and team leader; supervision as a leadership function, power and authority,

professional boundaries, staff recruitment, selection, performance evaluation, and addressing staff-related performance problems. Students will develop values, knowledge and skills in balancing the complexities of supervisory roles, relationship and process. Topics include the supervisory relationship and learning styles in the Leadership for Community and Organizational Practice Tracks.

 MSWK 611 Community Practice (1): Youth empowerment

This course will examine the different models and approaches for youth empowerment. The course will analyze the different models and approaches will be in relation to variety of critical concepts and theories, such as social capital, collaborative networked governance, asset-based community development. The course will explore the various policies and programs implemented in Palestine and its role in enhancing youth empowerment. The course will look into the community structures and context and how they lead to the patterning of relations and innovation of forms of engagement.

 MSWK 621 Community Practice (2): Trauma and Community Healing

This course will introduce students to issues related to trauma and its recovery both within individuals and communities. Content involving individual level trauma will explore the biology of trauma and the emotional, cognitive, and physiological effects of trauma on individual youth and adults as related to posttraumatic stress disorder intergenerational exposure to trauma, complex trauma, and secondary trauma (the trauma experienced by those in the helping profession). Content regarding community trauma will include information on trauma associated with conflict, war, refugee status, and deprivation. Students will also gain knowledge about key aspects of recovery to include meaning making, the role of religion or spirituality, community and individual empowerment. Models based on human rights frameworks that are used to address individual and community trauma in conflict and war environments will be explored. Students will be asked to apply the general knowledge that they receive about trauma and recovery to the Palestinian context.


 II- Research Courses

 MSWK 501 Fundamentals of Research Methods, Academic writing and critical reading

 The course introduces the student to range of qualitative and quantitative methods for informing evidence-based social work practice. Emphasis on critical appraisal of the literature, development of research questions, and strategies and techniques for conducting practice-relevant research. Students are expected to engage in a critical analysis of the underlying beliefs, approaches, and assumptions of various research methods, particularly as they relate to promoting social justice. Students are also expected to consider issues of social justice and diversity in the application of research methods. The course provides students with training and experience in critical reading for development purposes, and in professional writing. The course is designed to combine lectures, discussions, and classroom exercises in weekly class sessions.

 MSWK 623 Qualitative research

 Provides students with the preliminary tools to conduct and critique qualitative  research.  Begins with an examination of the appropriateness, strengths, and weaknesses of this method. Threats to internal and external validity are examined along with techniques to properly collect and document data from multiple sources. Techniques are reviewed for sample selection, data analysis, and study presentation. The final class is spent critiquing actual case studies.

 MSWK 631 Quantitative research and Statistics: Applied regression

This course is concerned with main issues and models of quantitative research and the applications of regression analysis and extensions to areas where the standard assumptions do not hold. The course introduces applications of  logit and its extensions, probit, corrections for censoring and sample selection bias, and simultaneous equations. Each student will design and carry out a research project.

** The program offer specialized courses in Participatory Action Research, and Survey Research. These courses are elective courses and not provided on regular bases.

III - Practicum Courses  (Cr. 8)

MSWK 517,527, 617, 627,  Practicum I – IV

 Incorporates content acquired in all areas of the curriculum. In a selected community agency, the student is given the opportunity to apply social work knowledge under the supervision of an experienced social worker. Emphasis on developing the perspectives and skills needed for practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. In addition, the development of culturally competent practice and planned social change skills are an integral part of this practicum and are seen as critical for the effective delivery of social services. The student's practicum placement is determined by the Practicum Coordinating Committee. A practicum coordinator interviews each student and reviews a questionnaire completed by the student, which pertains to student areas of interest as well as previous experience in social work. The committee then selects a placement for each student that meets curriculum and accreditation requirements.


IV- Thesis (Cr.6)

 MSWK 770 – 780  MSW Thesis

 After having completed the required courses and 4 practicum courses, students will be assigned to a supervisor from the School teaching staff. The supervisor will help the student develop their thesis project.  A final thesis will be a written paper focuses on community social work issues considered particularly relevant by the candidate. Students can choose the topic on the basis of their preference and the experience during the internship. They can directly refer to the work done in the internship or, alternatively, choose some interrelated issue and analyze it from a theoretical perspective. The topic, content and structure of the thesis must be discussed with the supervisor and incorporate issues examined in the coursework. The supervisor will be a representative of the School teaching staff. The supervisor follows the student's work step by step and gives him/her all needed support: references, comments, suggestions.




Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
E-mail: info@bethlehem.edu
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine

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