Universität Fribourg Université de Fribourg Suisse | Universität Freiburg Schweiz Course offerings


Social Work and Social Policy

Fribourg profile

The Department of Social Work, Social Policy and Global Development supervises doctoral theses in Social Work and Social Policy on various topics and various methods. Doctoral theses at the Department of Social Work, Social Policy and Global Development encompass both basic research and applied research. Supervision takes place individually and/or within a doctoral programme.

Individual supervision includes regular colloquia where doctoral students present their work and receive feedback from their supervisors.

The doctoral programme PROWEL (Social Problems and Social Welfare; see link below) is offered in English in the field of Social Work and Social Policy. Doctoral students present their work at regular intervals throughout the doctoral programme. They receive comments and feedback on their work from colleagues, professors and international experts. Doctoral students are motivated to and supported when presenting their results at national and international conferences. They are also given national and international networking opportunities. PROWEL does not dispose of grants for doctoral students.

Content, methods and language of the thesis work are agreed with the supervising professor, supervising assistant professor.

Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

  • Prof. Andreas Hadjar

Areas of specialisation:
– Inequalities along the axes of social origin, gender, migration
– Social structures in comparison: educational systems, welfare state regimes
– Education and status acquisition, life chances
– Subjective well-being
– Values, attitudes, political participation
– Youth: socialisation, violence, delinquency
– Quantitative methods, mixed-method designs, qualitative methods, longitudinal analyses, comparative methods/multilevel analyses

Theses can be supervised in German and English.

Prof. Ingela Naumann

Areas of specialisation:
– International and comparative social policy
– Early childhood education and care, work/life balance and family policy
– Gender and social policy
– Childhood and social policy
– Religion and social policy
– Social services and social work
– Historical sociology
– Comparative and qualitative methods; discourse analysis
– Applied social policy, public engagement and knowledge exchange

Theses can be supervised in German and English.

  • Prof. Géraldine Bugnon

Areas of specialisation:
– Juvenile justice and child protection systems
– Social work and criminal justice
– Judicialisation of social problems
– Alternative dispute resolution processes
– Sociology of law and justice
– Sociology of deviance and regulation
– Ethnography of the State

Theses can be supervised in French.

Studies organisation

Structure of studies

No ECTS credits can be earned.

Doctoral school



In order to be admitted to a doctorate the candidate must have been awarded an academic bachelor's and master's degree or an equivalent qualification from a university recognised by the University of Fribourg.

Before applying for a doctorate the candidate must contact a professor who would be willing to supervise the thesis work.

There is no general right to be admitted to a doctorate.

The respective conditions of admission for each doctoral study programme are reserved.