The Master in Social Work, MSW, offered by the Department of Social Sciences at Bethlehem University, is a rigorous two-year community based program that is designed specifically to meet the needs of the Palestinian society. The program has three components: core curriculum, advanced practice, and research.
The first is a core curriculum provides the students with a foundation in and understanding of the Palestinian society and its main concerns from a macro and mezzo perspectives. This component focuses on mezzo and macro levels of community social work. The set of theory courses provides the students with basic knowledge regarding community organizing, participatory approaches, and organizational leadership.
The second component is composed of 8 credit hours of research. In this component, the student learns the skills and methods necessary for academic field research. The focus is on quantitative and qualitative research methods.
The third component is the practice. It is composed of four two-credit courses that allow the student to practice the knowledge and skills s/he has acquired throughout the program. In addition the students are enrolled in courses that focus on specific sectors and interventions such as youth empowerment, and trauma and community healing. These courses provide the students with advance knowledge about the practice and the theory in the field.
The program is crowned with six credit hours of research to produce a master’s thesis, in which the student demonstrates knowledge of the subject and practical field research results. Once the program is completed, the student is expected to have the competence to contribute and advance the field of community social work in Palestine.
Students Who do not meet the university requirements with regards to English language will be expected to take a remedial course in English Language prior to their enrollment in the program.
Program Learning Outcomes
The graduates of the MSW program also demonstrate the following abilities to meet the program’s objectives
- Graduates are able to apply the knowledge, skills, and values of advanced social work practice with groups, organizational and community contexts of their practice settings.
- Graduates are able to critically select, appraise, and apply appropriate evidence based and practice derived knowledge to their advanced social work practice with groups, organizations, and communities.
- Graduates are able to enhance their practice effectiveness through systematic evaluation of their interventions and application of evidence-based and practice-derived knowledge.
- Graduates are able to initiate, design and implement advanced practice interventions with groups, organizations, and communities.
- Graduates are able to bring organizational efforts directed at helping poor and other powerless groups remove the sources of their oppression, such as people directly or indirectly affected by the occupations and war in Palestine.
- Graduates are able to initiate and promote new social institutions such as, self-help groups, mutual aid societies, community welfare centers, and seed banks.
- Graduates are able to initiate reform of existing institutions to make them more responsive to the needs of those whom the institutions were designed for.
- Graduates are able to generate efforts that seek to accelerate the pace of development in local communities, villages, cities, that ultimately enhance and empower the entire Palestinian society.
- Graduates are able to identify needs and interventions suitable for transitional communities, marginalized/ disadvantaged communities and groups, and communities in disasters.
- Graduates are capable to promote practices that advances social justice, through their own work and that of the larger social work profession.
- Graduates are capable to analyze sociopolitical factors that shape policy and services formation in their area of practice and influence existing policies and services.
Graduates are able to utilize their acquired knowledge and skills to organize and empower communities to improve their situation.