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Humanities and Social Sciences

Study Social Work, Curative Pedagogy in Germany

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Poverty, migration, refugee movements, and many other social phenomena require action from social workers. This action aims to support at-risk persons in independently shaping their lives and (re)integrating them into society. At the same time, social work takes a preventive approach by aiming to prevent people from getting into economically, socially, and psychologically difficult situations in the first place.


133 Higher Education Institutions

Bachelor, Master, Final Examination

German, English

1-14 Semesters

What content can I expect?

This field of study belongs to the applied sciences. The theories and methods that are taught serve as your basis for counselling people in difficult situations.

A degree programme in social work is generalist in nature. Graduates of social work programmes work in a wide range of areas, from family counselling to refugee assistance to street work.

Social pedagogy, on the other hand, focuses on education and schooling, both during studies and in later areas of application.

Curative pedagogy focuses on aspects of educational science. Its main goal is to integrate disadvantaged people into society.

The programmes all impart knowledge from disciplines such as psychology or pedagogy as well as fundamental knowledge from the legal sciences. Integrated internships make the programmes very practice oriented. Depending on the study content and the duration of the practical units, the respective degree programmes have quite different standard lengths of study. But in most cases, you can expect six to eight semesters for a Bachelor’s degree and three to five for a Master’s degree.

For work in this field, you need excellent social skills, such as empathy or conflict management skills, and mental resilience.

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Are you interested in an in Humanities and Social Sciences? Run a non-binding eligibility check now.

What are the requirements to study social work, curative pedagogy?

For studies in the field of social work/curative pedagogy, you usually need a general or subject-specific higher education entrance qualification, a university of applied sciences entrance qualification or an equivalent. If you cannot provide proof of one of these qualifications, be sure to enquire at the higher education institution of your choice: sometimes, technical college qualifications, advanced training qualifications or vocational training including work experience in areas relevant to your studies are also accepted. Of course, these certificates must be state-recognised.

Further admission restrictions can exist, e.g. in the form of admission procedures specific to the higher education institution (including selection procedures or aptitude tests). In addition, some degree programmes have a numerus clausus (NC), i.e. a minimum grade average, especially for admission to Master’s programmes. The NC is usually in the range of two. In addition, you sometimes have to show that you have completed an internship that is relevant to your studies.

By the way, some Master’s degree programmes require proof of certain modules in the Bachelor’s programme. In addition, knowledge of one or more foreign languages may be expected; however, this is comparatively rare.

Please note: The type of admission procedure can be very different. For example, there may also be video applications that you have to upload. Therefore, enquire at your chosen higher education institution in good time about the admission requirements, the application procedure and the expectations during your studies.

One piece of good news at the end: There are also degree programmes without any admission restrictions!

How much does it cost to study social work, curative pedagogy?

Public higher education institutions: In most cases, you will not have to pay tuition fees at public higher education institutions. Instead, there are usually so-called semester contributions. You can expect to pay between 100 and 400 euros per semester. The institutions use this money to pay for the student services and often also for your ticket for local public transport. Depending on where you study, this may be valid for the city, the region or even for all of Germany. Ask your higher education institution whether such an offer is currently available. Please note that there are exceptions with regard to tuition fees, even at public higher education institutions!

Private/ecclesiastical higher education institutions and distance learning courses of study: Due to the tuition fees of usually several hundred euros per month, you should expect significant additional costs for these forms of study. However, many ecclesiastical (private) higher education institutions do not charge tuition fees.

Dual studies: Here, the tuition fees are often paid by the companies, so that there are no extra costs for you. Note, however, that a part-time degree programme, for example, is not a dual study programme. Part-time degree programmes can sometimes cost money, but they don’t have to.

In addition to the costs of the higher education institutions, you should also consider your likely expenses for rent and living expenses. How much money you should budget for this depends, among other things, on the city in which you want to study, as well as on your lifestyle and your possibilities. But wherever you end up, student halls of residence and shared flats are good options for saving money! As soon as you have decided on where you want to study, you should start looking, as halls of residence can fill up quickly. Here, you can find information on local halls of residence and the respective application process for most cities.

To finance your studies in Germany, you should also find out about scholarships. There are many different scholarship programmes and excellent grades are not the only deciding factor. You can learn more about scholarships here and find suitable programmes directly on My GUIDE.

What are my career options with a degree in social work, curative pedagogy?

With a degree in the fields of social work and curative pedagogy, you have a variety of job opportunities to choose from. For example, you can find employment in the public sector, in social and ecclesiastical or religious institutions, in non-profit associations and foundations, in day-care centres, and special schools, but also, for example, in rehabilitation centres or research institutions. Self-employment is also an option.

In the field of education, you can also work in political and cultural education, in child, family and adult education, and health education.

You can also work as a counsellor in educational, social and migration fields as well as in addiction treatment. Social welfare and care for the elderly are also potential fields of work.

If you want to become a state-recognised social worker, it is often necessary (depending on the degree programme, higher education institution and federal state) to complete a certificate year after graduation. It is best to enquire about this at the higher education institution of your choice.

Depending on the field you want to work in after graduation, your salary may vary. In the public sector, salaries are tied to public pay scales and are therefore very transparent. In the private sector, on the other hand, you often have a somewhat lower salary as a social worker or curative pedagogue. With a Master’s degree, however, your salary prospects increase here as well.

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Check your eligibility to study at German higher education institutions (non-binding)

Run a quick and non-binding check to determine whether your certificates make you eligible to study at German higher education institutions. Depending on which educational certificates you provide, you may qualify for all degree programmes or only for certain subjects or types of higher education institutions. It is possible that you do not currently meet the requirements to be eligible to apply to a German higher education institution. In such a case, you may be able to attend a Studienkolleg. Please note that the eligibility check results apply exclusively to undergraduate programmes and are not legally binding.

Once you have completed the non-binding check, degree programmes that match your eligibility will be marked with a corresponding icon.