869 Childhood and Adolescence in a Multicultural and International Perspective

Target Group and Admission Requirements

This course addresses people with the will and the abilities to develop their knowledge, attitudes and skills towards taking care of other people’s dignity, needs, resources and opportunities. The admission requirements for this course is a university admission certification. Applicants who do not have a university admission certification, and turn 25 during the year of admission, can apply for a special assessment, based on the candidate’s real life competence.

Some students may need special provisions at the beginning of the programme, throughout the course or in connection with the exams. The Telemark University College disability statement contains information about the College’s provision for disabled students. The College is committed to providing access to all students and promotes an equal opportunities statement that includes equal treatment for all applicants and students. The College will see to that all students with special needs are provided for as good as possible. Provisions do not result in a reduction of the academic standards of the course.

Cooperation, democracy, student participation and student welfare are important matters to Telemark University College.

Students with an ethnic minority background are especially encouraged to apply to the childhood and adolescence in a multicultural perspective programme.

Telemark University College Equal Opportunities Statement, laid down by the board, October 2000,

Act No 7 of 12 May 1995 No 22 (About Universities and University Colleges), last amended 28 June 2002, No 62

Aim of the Programme

The programme seeks to ensure that the students are qualified for employment within the health and social services on a joint platform with the health and social worker training, and child welfare work on an international level.

Throughout the course, students should develop a reflected view on human beings, respect human integrity and human rights, and look after the autonomy and co-determination of the users of social services. When the course is completed, the student should, as a health and social worker:

  • Be able to justify their actions towards users of social services, other professional workers from a science theoretical and research methodical point of view
  • Be able to document their own work and carry out project work
  • Have a reflected view on human beings and have respect for human integrity and human rights
  • Be able to identify ethical dilemmas in real life situations, as well as in practical health and social work
  • Consider ethical problems, use an ethical plan of action and identify conflicts of value
  • Be able to read research reports and utilize research results in their own profession
  • Have knowledge about health and social problems, the welfare state and the professions working within the welfare state
  • Know the framework of their own profession and the task distribution between health and social services
  • Know the decision making process and the administrational structure in the health and social sector, and relevant laws, regulations and treaties
  • Know the background for health and social policy priorities and be aware of the consequences of such priorities on a global level
  • Have knowledge about how to affect health and social policymaking
  • Have knowledge about health and social politics in a national and international perspective
  • Be able to communicate with people with different ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds
  • Be a team player and be able to cooperate with users of social services as well as other professional groups
  • Display knowledge about conflicts and conflict management

When receiving their degree, the child welfare workers should have the knowledge, attitudes and skills that provide a basis to extend services to vulnerable children, adolescents and their networks. The student’s professional life should be based on equality, respect for individual integrity and it should focus on user participation and the user’s perspective. The child welfare officer should have competence based on the connection between theoretical and practical studies, and should have developed the ability to use his/her knowledge in a real life working situation.

Once the student has completed the programme the student, as a child welfare officer should:

  • Face users with empathy and respect, based on a view of equality regardless of age, sex, culture, faith, and perception of reality
  • Display knowledge about children and adolescents’ development and learning, and knowledge about what promotes and restrains good growing-up conditions
  • Display knowledge about general administrational principles, be familiar with laws that deal with children and young persons and be able to perform casework that secures the rights of children and adolescents
  • Display knowledge about the main goals of children and young person policies, and what means these policies allow for, be able to assess them critically and to function as a supplier of terms for decision making in the social services and towards political authorities
  • Have an overview of available means of support and be able to use it to reduce the social problems of children and adolescents in cooperation with other professional groups and clients
  • Be able to plan, implement and evaluate measures to secure the living standards of children and adolescents in cooperation with the people affected
  • Be able to work professionally in the environment where children and adolescents live, this includes institutions
  • Be able to work cases dominated by compound pressure and conflicts of interest and to manage conflicts that focus on the interests of children and adolescents
  • Be able to face children and adolescents and their next of kin with empathy and respect and view respect and equality as basic conditions of their profession
  • Be able to work with people with different perceptions of reality and be able to work professionally in international and multicultural contexts
  • Have knowledge and understanding about the connection between social structures and processes, and social and psychosocial problems for children, adolescents and their next of kin
  • Be able to document, evaluate and assure the quality of their own work

Students with a Bachelor's degree in childhood and adolescence in a multicultural perspective should also:

  • Have a survey of global and multicultural child welfare challenges and practical work with vulnerable children and adolescents and their families, in a national and international context
  • Have basic knowledge about vulnerable families with an ethnic minority background nationally, and vulnerable children and adolescents internationally
  • Have particular knowledge about the preconditions for the socialisation of children and adolescents in a multicultural and international perspective
  • Have knowledge about important preconditions, real life work and opportunities in preventative, client based work
  • Have particular knowledge about child welfare and social counselling work with families from an ethnic minority background and single, under-aged refugees and asylum seekers
  • Have established knowledge and understanding about North/South relations, developing problems and cultural understanding like framework conditions laid down by society, relating to child welfare work nationally and internationally
  • Display knowledge about the welfare political consequences of globalisation
  • Be able to consider global and social framework conditions in connection with current welfare political issues, international conventions and laws applicable to Norwegian immigration, refugee and asylum policies
  • Be aware of different dilemmas that arise in a multicultural society, related to identity policies and social integration
  • Display competence in communication, interaction and conflict management in multicultural and international contexts
  • Be aware of local community work, aswell as public and voluntary organisations’ commitment to care for vulnerable children, adolescents and their families, both in Norway and abroad

Curriculum and structure

The curriculum for the childhood and adolescence in a multicultural perspective degree programme is based on the general plan and regulations for the child welfare officer training, issued by the Ministry of Education, Research and Church Affairs, January 28 1999, in accordance with §46 No 2 in the Act of 12 May 1995 No 22 (About Universities and University Colleges). The general plan has a joint general section for Health and Social sciences, approved respectively on 8 December 1994 and 7 August 1995. The curriculum is based on the following documents:

Report No 27 to the Storting (2000-2001) “Do your duty, Demand your rights” – Reform of the quality of higher education

The general plan and regulations for the child welfare officer training, issued by the Ministry of Education, Research and Church Affairs, January 28 1999, in accordance with §46 No 2 in the Act of 12 May 1995 No 22 (About Universities and University Colleges)

Act No 7 of 12 May 1995 No 22 (About Universities and University Colleges), last amended 28 June 2002 No 62

Telemark University College Exam Regulations, laid down by the board on 2 October 2000

Curriculum for the child welfare worker training at Telemark University College on 22 March 2000

The student handbook is the student’s contract with the institution and contains important descriptions on how this contract should be fulfilled. This student handbook is also an informative description of the institute’s educational activities.

External candidates are not admitted to the programme, or parts of it.

The student handbook for the childhood and adolescence in a multicultural perspective Bachelor degree programme at Telemark University College is approved by the head of the department for health and social sciences.


The child welfare worker programme in Telemark was established in 1993, as a separate study at Telemark School of Nursing. When the university and university college reform was implemented in 1994 and a department for health social studies was established, with two institutes; institute for health studies and institute for social studies. The institute for health studies was responsible for nursing studies and the related postgraduate programmes, and the institute for social studies was responsible for the child welfare worker programme. In 1998, the social educator programme was also made a part of the institute for social studies.

From the very beginning, the child welfare officer training has had focus on culture and activities.In the spring of 2002 the institute for social studies started to work on a social studies programme that had a clear international profile. This lead to the establishment of the childhood and adolescence in a multicultural perspective programme. The background for this initiative was the realization that there is increasing need for multi cultural competence when facing international, global and multicultural challenges within the welfare state, and particularly within the health, social and educational sectors in Norway.

Furthermore, the intention was to gain knowledge about international and global framework conditions and cultural understanding as the basis for the child welfare profession in multicultural environments nationally and humanitarian and supportive work with vulnerable children, adolescents and their families internationally. The programme is based on the national general plan and regulations for the child welfare officer training. At the same time, the programme provides special competence in international and multicultural work with children and adolescents.

Telemark University College has a very good point of departure to focus on the general plan’s joint part for the health and social studies, because the department for health and social studies offers bachelor’s degree programmes in nursing, social education and child welfare work. The curricula for the three mentioned programmes aim at giving all students at the department a good basis for cooperation in the health and social sector. The department puts emphasis on giving the students an overview of what can be referred to as a common ground and what special competence the different professions have. The continual restructuring in the services available to vulnerable children and adolescents as well as the general deinstitutionalisation of the public services can implicate major changes in the professional role of child welfare officers.

As a result, there are high demands for competence with regards to the education of health and social workers and their qualifications for participation in a complex society, which demands insight, interdisciplinary skills and flexibility, combined with ethical challenges when cooperating with the individual user, their families and social networks. The child welfare programme aims at educating user oriented and contemplating professionals who have the skills and qualification to perform welfare work and methodical social educational work in cooperation with people who need these services.Telemark University College has a tradition for internationalisation and as a part of the College’s efforts towards increased internationalisation the institute for social studies intends to be internationally oriented.

This manifests itself, i.e. in the efforts to develop international, global and multicultural themes and perspectives in our curricula and teaching plans, and participation in national and international education and research programmes. Arrangements have been made for international placement studies in semester five for students in all our bachelor degree programmes. At the institute for social studies, the programmes in childhood and adolescence in a multicultural perspective, child welfare work and social education have ethical globalisation as a recurrent theme. In both professions, it is implied that it is important to have a particular responsibility for vulnerable and marginalized groups, to maintain human dignity, show solidarity and affect the development of society towards a fair and including society nationally and internationally.

With this perspective, the institute wishes to contribute to make real the vision of a “fair world without poverty, in peace and ecological balance, where men are free and equal and have influence over their way of living”, and based on values of freedom, equality and solidarity.

Report No 27 to the Storting (2000-2001) “Do your duty, Demand your rights”

and Report No 19 to the Storting (2002-2003) “A world of opportunities – the age of globalisation and its challenges”

Report No 40 to the Storting (2001-2002) “On child and Youth Protection”

Report No 39 to the Storting (2001-2002) “Upbringing and living standards for children and youth in Norway”

Report No 49 to the Storting (2003-2004) “Diversity through inclusion and participation - Responsibility and freedom”

In its strategic plan, Telemark University College has put particular emphasis on two academic areas; culture and cultural understanding. This is continued by the institute of social studies, primarily in two ways:

Creative methodical work through activities and cultural initiative

  • The institute has substantial competence within the academic areas of culture, and this is expressed through our teaching methods, both in our undergraduate, and postgraduate studies.

The childhood and adolescence in a multicultural perspective programme puts particular emphasis on the student’s abilities to communicate with people from different ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds, and have the ability to work in a multicultural context.

Use of activities and cultural initiative as a part of the child welfare education has been important for Telemark University College since the beginning of the programme in 1993.

Duration, extent and level of the course

The childhood and adolescence in a multicultural perspective programme is a three year full time study, and it comprises 180 ECTS credits. The programme is a basis for postgraduate studies.

The childhood and adolescence in a multicultural perspective programme combines different academic areas and through this education the students will acquire competence based on theoretical and practical studies

The main modules in the general plan, that is legal, social, psychological, health and educational subjects, as well as work with children and adolescents is organised in different modules as shown in the plan below:

The College provides for all students to take parts of the fifth semester abroad.

Students may have to cover some expenses related to the institute’s particular focus on creative methodical work.

Programme contents and description

The programme consists of three levels with 12 modules within these levels. The intentions of the general plan are worked into the different modules on the curriculum. The students have to submit a portfolio of assignments and/ or project work for each module, and they must be submitted and passed as a part of the exam, and it makes up part of the grade for the particular module. The results from the portfolio assessments in each module make up the foundation for the grade, and these grades are a precondition to continue on the programme.

Programme contents

An outline of levels, modules and module grades at the BA in childhood and adolescence in a multicultural perspective programme.

869HEMN1 Level 1. Childhood and Adolescence in a Multicultural and International Perspective

Year 1


ECTS credits


Grade for level one, 60 ECTS credits

1) Introduction


2) Development, adolescence and Survival


3) Society's Structural Rules


4) Social Educational Work, and Use of Activities


5) Practical Child Protection in Local, Regional and National Child Care


869HEMN2 Level 2. Methodical Child Welfare Work in a Multicultural Context

Year 2


ECTS Credits



Grade for level two, 60 ECTS credits

6) Cultural Understanding and Ethnicity in Child Protection


7) Child Protection methodology and Internship Practical Studies


8) Child Care and Care Competence


9) Vulnerable Children and Adolescents: Perspectives on Mastering



869HEMN3 Level 3. The Global Reflectice Practitioner.

Year 3


ECTS credits


Grade for level three, 60 ECTS credits

10) Global Understanding and International Work with Children and Adolescents


11) Further Study Methods and Practical Studies International


12) Critical Perspectives on Professionalism


The credits for each module indicate the ditribution of the workload.

Placement studies make up 42 ECTS credits and 30 of them consist of client based work. The placement studies and the skill training are compulsory and the foundation of knowledge is linked directly to the modules. The students need to pass the practical placement studies in order to be able to take the exams and continue on the programme.

Teaching and Learning Methods

The content of the child welfare worker programme comprises theoretical and academic knowledge, as well as experience based knowledge and the development of relations competence. The target for high learning quality is directly linked to the students’ own ethical self-consciousness and their ability to think, understand and act systematically. Theoretical and practical studies have to be integrated and reflected when choosing teaching methods. The programme is organised around a variety of professional and educational means that focus on the students’ own activities and interaction when receiving theoretical knowledge, professional skills and in the development of a contemplating practitioner as a target for the competence that the students should acquire throughout the programme.

All educational methods are rooted in these didactic target areas, cognitive targets, attitudes and skills. This manifests itself in project organised teaching, lectures, group work, skills training, field work, placement studies and extensive use of tutoring as educational means.

As a study method, the role of placement studies can be justified from both an educational and an academic point of view. This learning method will contribute to giving the students an increased understanding of the connection between research, theory and practical work. The placement studies must be approved in order to take the exams.

In this programme, there is extensive use of portfolio assessment as a part of the exam arrangements. This is a flexible concept that leaves many options in terms of organisation and variation:

A portfolio can be desribed as a systematic gathering of assignments and other kinds of documentation that provide an overview of the students’ development and learning within a specific academic area. A portfolio may also contain form essays, to their own and fellow students’ assessments of the student’s theoretical and practical skills. Peer feedback and student cooperation is a major part of the portfolio concept [Taube, A. (2000): Mappevurdering, Undervisningsstrategier og undervisningsredskap. Oslo:Tano Aschehoug]

The students are expected to work in groups theoughout their academic career. Group tutoring can be arranged, and the students are expected to utilize group work both for doing assignments and for self-development. In the module booklet there should be descriptions regarding how the groups are to be composed for the different modules.

Theory and Practical Training

The placement studies should be completed and approved in accordance with the prevailing regulations, and passing is a precondition for receiving a module mark.

The student's learning goals should be expressed in a "contract of learning" between the student, the tutor and the placement institution. The contract of learning should also contain times for tutoring, evaluation and independent study time for the student.

The student’s tasks should be diverse and be within the academic area of child welfare work. The determination of specific tasks for the student should be planned by the tutor and the student together. These tasks should be in accordance with the learning goals which the student has determined and the goals of the placement institution.

Working hours:

The determination of the student’s schedule is based on the schedule of the institution in question. At institutions that use round-the-clock shifts, there should be a reasonable division between day and evening work. The norm is two nights per week and no more than every third weekend. Night work should not be a part of the student's working hours.

When a student's schedule departs from these regulations, an agreement should be made with the student in advance. The student should have time off equivalent to one day per week to private studies. This time off can be given at one time as an entire day. The student cannot be forced to work overtime or extra shifts without the student’s explicit consent. In such case, the student should receive compensation for his/her labour. (Night shifts are considered to be extra service)

Tutorials: Each student is given a placement tutor. The tutor should have at least a university level education and the student should have one hour of tutoring per week. An agreement with regards to tutorials should be reached as soon as possible after the student has started his/her placement studies.

The tutorials should be prepared so that the student can reflect actively about academic and ethical issues, as well as what personal competence is in practical placement studies. It is the student's responsibility to present problems at the tutorials and this should be done well in advance of each tutorial, and both the student and the tutor should prepare for the tutorial.

The university college is responsible for continuous observation of students in the field, and if necessary they visit the placement institution. The university college will arrange for tutorials in the time that the students are in the field.

The student should receive continuous feedback about how he/she is performing. The student should have a comprehensive mid-time and concluding evaluation with the tutor. If it comes natural, other employees should participate. The tutor should, in agreement with the student write a concluding evaluation report, which is to be sent to the college at the conclusion of the placement studies.

Presence: Practical placement studies are mandatory. In placement studies 80 per cent presence is required, regardless of the cause for absence. Participation in institutions that are secured in the university college’s by-laws as well as student organisations locally and nationally, are not considered to be absence. The total absence should not exceed 20 per cent of the ordinary working schedule in each placement period. When aborting placement studies due to illness or other cogent reasons, at least half of the placement periof should be completed and evaluated before the student can continue the programme. The remaining part of the placement study should be re-taken as soon as possible. In case of interruption in the placement period, the missing part should be re-taken at a later time, and preferably be completed at the initial institution.

The student should be familiar with his/her professional secrecy and make a written promise of secrecy.

Guidelines for the assessment of placement studies: Approval or disallowance of placement studies is an individual decision, according to the Public Administration Act. At the end of the established part of the placement studies, an evaluation report from the tutor must be available. The tutor should write the report in deliberation with the student. This rule also applies if the placement studies are interrupted.

On the basis of the evaluation report or other kinds of documentation, the university college, represented by the responsible teacher decides whether or not the student shall receive a passing mark. The placement report should be submitted to the university college, signed by both the tutor and the student. If the question is raised whether or not the placement studies will receive a passing mark or not, a meeting is arranged between the parties in question (student, tutor, teacher) and/or any other involved parties. Such a meeting must be held no less than three weeks before the placement studies period end.

If the basis for receiving a passing mark allows it, a written plan should be made that provides an outline of what needs to be done for the student to receive a passing mark. The plan should contain specific details regarding the responsibility for introducing the necessary measures. The plan also constitutes a formal letter of warning to the student, that he/she is in danger of failing his/her placement studies. The parties should agree on a date for an evaluation meeting to discuss the effect of any correcting measures. A summary should be made from this meeting wherein the resonsible teacher concludes whether or not the placement studies are given a passing mark or not.

If the student fails placement studies once, he/she is given the opportunity to retake them once. When retaking placement studies, the normal procedures apply. Generally, this means following the university college’s schedule for placement studies, unless anything else is agreed on.

A notion to fail a student’s placement studies cannot be challenged, unless a procedural error has occurred. This means that it is not possible to make complaints about the assessment that serves as a basis for disapproval.

Assessment Methods

Each level has several modules that elaborate on the particular focus of the level. There is a portfolio assessment for each module, and the assessment of the assignments make up the basis for the mark for each level. The level grade is an average of the grades from the modules, where the extent of each level is considered. It is the level grade that is recorded on the diploma. The exam regulations provide the following definitions:

Assessment: The term assessment is used about the determination of grades, such as pass/fail in a module or a specific test or assignment.

Exam: The whole basis for assessment that leads to a mark, counts as the exam.

Module marks are used as a name for single marks that make out the basis for the module grade, and are established on the basis of the assessment of tests or assignments that are taken in the course of, and at the end of a module. Module grades do not show on the diploma.

The module mark makes up the mark for a module and is recorded on the transcript/diploma. The mark is an average of all the marks that make up the module, when their importance is taken into consideration, cf. Telemark University College, exam regulations, §2.7

The results from the portfolio assessments of each module provide the basis for the level mark. The student may attempt each assessment portfolio which is a part of the basis for evaluation three times in the course of his/her studies. In certain cases the dean can, if a good reason is provided, grant the student a 4th attempt. (cf. the exam regulations § 3.4) It is a main rule that portfolios must be submitted at the conclusion of each module and as a main rule, two attempts at each assessment portfolio are provided for each academic year. If a second attempt is arranged, access is also given to students who wish to improve their mark. (Cf. exam regulations, § 6.6)

A passing module mark is a precondition for the student to continue with his/her studies. Generally, this means that students who do not receive a passing mark in their second attempt in each module, they have to leave the programme and, if desirable, continue with the next year.

General view of the assessment portfolios in the Children and adolescents in a multicultural perspective programme:








Level code: 869HEMN1 Level 1. Childhood and Adolescence in a Multicultural and International Perspective 60 ECTS credits

Module 1.


Module 2.

2-1 Oberservation report

2-2 Psychological development

2-1. pass

2-2. mark

2-2. 25 % of the module mark

Module 3.

3-1. Basis of knowledge

About administration

3-1. mark

3-1. 25 % of the module mark

Module 4.

4-1. Councelling work

4-1. mark

4-1. 25 % of the module mark

Module 5.

5-1. Practical child welfare work

5-2. Child Welfare Act

5-1. mark

5-2. pass

5-1. 25 % of the module mark

Level code: 869HEMN2 Level 2. Methodical Child Welfare Work in a Multicultural Context 60 ECTS credits


Module 6

6-1. Information booklet

6-2 Appreciation as placement in a multicultural setting

6-3 Ethical dilemma

6-1 pass

6-2 pass

6-3 pass


Module 7

Module 8

7-1. Assessment of

Care competence

8-1. Achievement as a methodical approach Oral exam

7-1. mark

8-1. mark

7-1. 50 % of the module mark

8-1. 50 % of the module mark

Level code: 869HEMN3 Level 3. The Global Reflectice Practitioner. 60 ECTS credits

Module 9

9-1. Work with children and adolescents


9-1. mark

9-1. 30 % of the module mark

Module 10/11

11-1. Essay on methodical


11-1. pass


Module 12

12-1. Dissertation and

Oral exam

12-1. mark

12-1. 70 % of the module mark

For each module there is a portfolio assessment that makes up the basis for the level mark. There are two types of portfolios; Documentation portfolios and Assessment portfolios.

Documentation portfolios contain spesific demands for documentation like presence at lectures and tutorials, the completion of skill exercises and placement studies, group work, etc. The requirement of documentation portfolios are described under each module (see point Seven in the curriculum). The documentation portfolios must be submitted for the assessment portfolio to be assessed. If the documentation portfolios have not been submitted, the student will nor receive a passing mark.

Assessment portfolios contain the assignments that provide the basis for the module marks. Several kinds of assessment may be used - c.f. §7 in the Telemark University college exam regulations. The assessment portfolio requirements are specified under each module. The extent of written work is provided in the number of words required, +/- 10% In general, the portfolios are submitted at the end of each module.

The following grade system applies:



General, qualitative description of the assessment criteria



Outstanding achievement Large degree of



Very good

Very good presentation that is above average.

Displays abilities for independence



Average presentation that is satisfying in most respects


Fairly well

Achievement that is below average, with essential flaws



Achievement that meets the minimum requirements, but nothing more.



Achievement that does not meet the minimum requirements

To pass the exam, the student needs to get no less than an E. The distinction between a pass and a fail are described to be absolute demands. The criteria for a passing grade should reflect academic competence, in correspondence with the current academic level. The requirements for a passing mark should not depend on changes in the student’s preconditions to see the module through. The boundry between pass and fail can be set at a higher level than between E and F where only the expressions pass and fail are used and not the grade system.

Established by the Telemark University College board, 2 October 2003, according to Act No 7 of 12 May 1995 No 22 (About Universities and University Colleges), No 70, last amended on 27 June 2003 70

Press release No 039-04 From the ministry of Education and Research on the usage of marks in higher education.

Minor adjustments may occur during the academic year, subject to the decision of the Dean

Publisert av / forfatter Elin Nordbø  <Elin.NordboSPAMFILTER@hit.no>, last modified Elin Nordbø - 24/04/2007