ADVANCES Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree - Advanced Development in Social Work

January 15, 2022

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Location (s):

  • Denmark
  • France
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • United Kingdom
Aalborg, Paris, Warsaw, Lisbon, Lincoln


The MA in Advanced Development in Social Work (ADVANCES) is designed to give social workers outstanding levels of practice skills so that they can confidently respond to the vulnerabilities and uncertainties facing societies across the world.


This is an international MA in Social Work programme and students will rotate between university departments in five European countries: Denmark, France, Poland, Portugal and the United Kingdom. The 22-month course is explicitly targeted at qualified, experienced social workers from around the world who wish to upgrade their practice skills, especially with a transnational focus. 


The ADVANCES programme is a 120-ECTS course that runs for 22 months. Students will study in a different EU country each semester. Importantly, the entire cohort of ADVANCES students will rotate together for the first three semesters to ensure course and group integration. Although students will spend Semester 4 in different locations, they will celebrate the end of their studies as an entire group at a final Student Research Conference and goodbye event.

You can find out more about the modules taught in each semester, including teaching methods and assessments, by clicking on the following links:

  • Semester 1: University of Lincoln, United Kingdom
  • Semester 2: Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Summer School: Alternating between Warsaw University, Poland and Universite Paris Ouest La Defense Nanterre, France
  • Semester 3: Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal
  • Semester 4: Research projects in Aalborg, Lincoln, Lisbon, Paris and Warsaw
  • Student Research Conference and goodbye event: Alternating between Warsaw University, Poland and Universite Paris Ouest La Defense Nanterre, France


The consortium consists of the following five universities: 

  • The University of Lincoln is located in central England.  It is a top performer in national student satisfaction surveys and enjoys a Top 50 position in UK university league tables. The University has invested more than £140 million in its campus, providing award-winning facilities and modern student-centred spaces located in the heart of a historic student-friendly city.  Lincoln leads the nationwide educational project Student as Producer which engages students through practical learning and experimentation in collaboration with colleagues and academics.
  • Aalborg University is located in northern Denmark and is a leading force in problem-based learning, one of the main teaching philosophies underpinning the ADVANCES course.  The Department of Sociology and Social Work has offered a specific specialism in social work for the past 35 years. 
  • The University of Lisbon is one of the largest public universities in Portugal.  Its social work courses are offered by the Institute of Social and Political Sciences (ISCSP) and have been rated the best in Portugal in terms of student achievement and satisfaction.  ISCSP is based on a beautiful hilltop campus just a few minutes’ ride from the historical city centre.
  • The University of Paris Ouest Nanterre La Defense (formerly Paris X) is one of France’s largest universities and specialises in humanities and social sciences. The University’s contribution to ADVANCES will be made by the academic team “Family Upbringing and Social Work with Families” based at the Department of Educational Sciences.  This team has a strong international profile, having developed the journal Revue Internationale de l’Education Familiale (RIEF) since 1997 and participated in the EUSARF and AIFREF international networks on residential/foster care and family education respectively.
  • Warsaw University (founded in 1816) is the top  university and a leading research centre in Poland. It is listed among top 4% of the World-Class Universities and recognized by prestigious international rankings such as the Academic Ranking of World Universities (AKA Shanghai Ranking), the QS Top Universities and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.  In line with the strong links between social work and social pedagogy in Poland, staff involved in ADVANCES are based at the Department of Cultural Animation and Socio-Educational Work (formerly Department of Social Pedagogy).

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

  • The ADVANCES programme is open to students who meet the following minimum conditions
  • Bachelor degree in social work (or closely related subject – especially if social work does not exist as a university subject in your country)
  • Professional license as social worker (if required by law in your country)
  • One year of full-time work or two years of part time/voluntary work experience in the social sector
  • English competence equivalent to 6.5 Academic IELTS (including a minimum of 5.5 in Speaking and Writing and minimum of 5.5 in Listening and Reading

All transcripts or academic records must be official documents provided in the original language. If these documents are not in English, they must be accompanied by translations into English. Diplomas/certificates and transcripts must always be translated into English and certified by either your home institution or a certified translator.


If social work is not offered in your country as a university degree programme, then a related subject can be considered, including:

Social pedagogy, sociology, social administration, social policy, community development, humanitarian aid, children’s studies, special education, development studies, human rights

The following subjects are not eligible because they do not focus on knowledge and skills for tackling the social causes of marginalisation and direct work with vulnerable people:

Medicine, health, psychology, nursing, sports, law, science, geography, teaching, economics, humanities, arts, politics, business administration, human resources


Your professional full time/part time/voluntary experience must have included direct work with clients and users of social services.  This is because the course focuses on applied practice skills and contains a high element of reflection on past experience.  Applicants who have worked in other areas (e.g. project management, policy) will not be considered eligible.


All students who enroll on ADVANCES must hold an IELTS (Academic) qualification that is valid until at least October. You can apply to ADVANCES without proof of your English proficiency, but obtaining the required certificate will be a condition of any offer and would need to be completed by May. 

You can prove your language proficiency by uploading the test result in the application portal, please note we don’t accept tests delivered by post.


Deadline: January 15, 2022

Cost/funding for participants:

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