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Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

Master in

Innovation and Research for Social Work and Social Education

This master programme opens extensive development opportunities in fields of action in social work, education, culture and health care and in third sector organisations. Special emphasis is placed on the development of research competences, as well as on the acquisition of operational professional competences for the innovative leadership of organisations in the aforementioned areas.

Course description

The study programme will not be offered in the 2024/25 academic year. Another edition is planned for 2025/26.

The current state of society requires social innovation, as well as the ability to mobilise resources and use them effectively for the goals of public and private organisations and enterprises in the social, educational, cultural and health sectors, as well as in the social economy, with a view to the sustainable development of welfare systems.
This master programme qualifies professionals who can design, implement and evaluate policy developments in these areas in a participatory and innovative way using qualitative and quantitative methods related to social impact assessment and accountability, participatory approaches and stakeholder engagement.

The programme is designed to be interdisciplinary. It is aimed at graduates of relevant bachelor programmes without previous professional experience as well as professionals with professional experience and interest in pursuing further studies.

Courses will definetely be starting

At a glance

Italian degree class: LM-87
ECTS credits: 120
Duration of the course: 2 years
Courses will be taught in: Italian, German and English (trilingual)
Places available: 20 EU + 2 non-EU
Campus: Brixen-Bressanone
Tuition fees: ca. € 1350 per year

Structure of the course

The study programme is particularly suitable for people who want to further develop their own context of action through research and methods of social innovation. Interaction and exchange with experts and practitioners alternate with theoretical in-depth studies. Its favours the development of one's own research projects, which are scientifically accompanied by the lecturers.

The content includes sociological, socio-political, statistical, anthropological, legal, psychological and pedagogical basics, as well as research methods, methods of social planning and management of third sector organisations.

Innovative teaching approaches are adopted in the study programme, which are geared towards the students and their needs. The methods of blended learning enable a flexible learning environment and the optimal integration of on-site and online activities. Lectures are also recorded for a-synchronous use. Integrated digital education as a practice of social innovation offers a sustainable and participatory way of learning.


Degree Course director: Prof. Kolis Summerer
Student Representative in the Course Council: Alessia Corbo

Exchange programmes and internships

At the moment we are partnered with universities all over the world and part of a large collaboration network with employers in Italy and abroad. Professionally supervised practical experience and a research internship are provided.

Career opportunities

Our graduates work in managerial and advisory positions in public and private organisations in the social, educational, cultural and health sectors, as well as in social economy companies.  They are qualified for research-based planning, development, and evaluation.

go to the survey (in Italian)

Manuel Mattion

la strada - der weg | Coordinator of specific Projects: StreetworkBZ and Youth Lab

This master programme has enabled me to broaden my knowledge both locally and internationally. Thanks to the continuous exchange with professionals in the sector, I have had the opportunity to study in depth the fundamentals of social work.

In addition, the particular type of professional internship allowed me to contribute to the improvement of an educational service in the capital city.

Marko Menzel

Südtiroler Kinderdorf | Bereichsleiter Familienähnliche Einrichtungen

The master was an optimal opportunity for me to deepen a specific question from the immediate practice of social work in South Tyrol and to work on it scientifically within the framework of my own research project. I was able to share the resulting findings very well in the network of professionals and services and they have helped me a lot in my own professional work.

Manuela Ortler

Specialized Social Worker | Sozialdienste Bezirksgemeinschaft Vinschgau | Head of Area Children and Teenagers

This master enabled me to reflect on valuable practical experiences from a variety of perspectives and to acquire new professionally relevant skills and knowledge. This has increased my motivation and professional creativity and opened up new professional perspectives for me.

Anna Benedetti

Founding Member and Coordinator | L'Alveare

I was able to graduate in this master while already working in different areas of the third sector. The programme has allowed me to focus on those aspects that I did not know in detail and to broaden my skills. In addition, the study helped me to understand my interests and strengths.


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