Multicultural Preventative Care of Children and Adolescents, master


Children and young people grow and develop in social environments such as the family, the kindergarten, the school, and leisure contexts; environments that offer protection, but which can also contribute to risk factors. Material and social conditions, gender, ethnicity and cultural backgrounds are examples of variables that may contribute to children and young people experiencing difficulties in coping with the challenges they face. They orientate themselves in a society which is built on ambiguous and to some extent conflicting values that affect the development of social roles and identity. Socialization conditions have changed significantly in relation to cultural diversity, increasing globalization, new family patterns, and the influence of the media. In working with children and young people, it is necessary to have knowledge of these changes and the various risk and protective factors in children’s social environments that characterize today’s multicultural society; this field of study will be central to this study programme.

The study programme covers both social and health-related issues and focuses on knowledge from different fields and disciplines, which forms the basis for developing an interdisciplinary understanding of the complexity of today’s growing-up conditions for children and young people.

In recent years, the World Health Organisation and the national authorities in Norway and other countries have focused on vulnerable groups, and indicated the need to work to prevent health and social problems of children and young people and their families. An essential reason for this is that measures which are implemented during early life-phases may possibly have long-term effects and increase long-term quality of life for the individuals concerned. In a society with changing formative conditions for children and youth, prevention in various sectors is considered a priority; which is reflected in this study programme.

Multiculturalism and cultural diversity are central concepts in this study programme, and topics that concern everybody today. However, these concepts are often mistakenly used to refer to “the other”, understood as concerning people who belong to minority ethnic groups, and are rarely used when speaking of the “majority” population. How society is characterized today by increased cultural diversity is included as a key topic in the study programme, especially concerning the importance of a multicultural society in relation to the growing-up conditions for children and young people. The study programme will attempt to elaborate and refine the concept of multiculturalism.

The curriculum for Telemark University College’s Bachelor’s degree in Multicultural Preventative Care of Children and Adolescents was developed on the basis of the following documents:

  • The Norwegian Universities Act no. 15, 1st April 2005, including regulations.
  • Regulations for admission and ranking for postgraduate and higher degree studies at Telemark University College (15 December 2005 no.1650).
  • Regulations for Examinations and Admission at Telemark University College approved 15 December 2005, amended 16 June 2009.
  • Telemark University College’s Strategic Plan (2010-2014) set by the board 25 November 2010.
  • Quality Handbook for Educational Activities at Telemark University College set by the board on 28 June 2006.
  • The Master’s degree study programme in Multicultural Preventative Care of Children and Adolescents approved by NOKUT, September, 2006.
  • National qualifications framework for higher education 20 March 2009.
  • NOU 2009:8: Competence in Child Welfare (Befring Committee).

The study programme is to be understood as the student’s contract with the teaching faculty. It includes information concerning the programme’s target group, admission requirements, aims, content and organisation. The study programme also includes a description of the programme’s teaching, learning and assessment methods. The various course descriptions of the Master’s programme are a realisation of the study programme.

Target Group and Admission Requirements

Target group

The main target group for the Master’s degree programme are graduates with a minimum of a three-year Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent qualifications in the field of health and social care. Persons with other relevant backgrounds, for instance, teachers and pre-school teachers, may also apply.

Admission requirements

The admission requirement for the study programme is a Bachelor’s degree in the field of health and social care, or other relevant fields (cf. target group). In special cases, the college may authorize admission based on other documented qualifications, which whole or in part are considered equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree.

Students must have achieved an average grade of C or better (or better than 2.8) in order to be considered for admission. Good knowledge of Norwegian is necessary.

Applicants who have completed one or more courses that are included in other Master’s degrees or specialization study programmes within the same area of study, may apply and obtain equivalency for the courses as part of their Master’s degree; the courses will be assessed in terms of their relevance to the study programme and the level.

Aim of the Programme

The study programme aims to ensure that students gain the following competences:

  • Advanced theoretical and empirical knowledge about children and young people’s formative conditions and the ability to discuss multicultural upbringing in the light of this knowledge
  • The ability to analyze various risk and protective factors and view them in the context of health promotion and prevention
  • Advanced theoretical and empirical knowledge in the areas of mental health / migration and cultural analysis / child care, and the ability to discuss key issues in these areas in light of this knowledge
  • Proficiency in written and oral communication, and the capacity to participate in critical debates related to the study programme’s key subject areas
  • Knowledge of scientific theory, relevant research methods and research ethics and the skills necessary to plan and complete a Master’s degree thesis

Successful completion of the study programme will provide candidates with the qualifications that will allow them to seek employment in public, private and voluntary sectors; it will also provide the relevant knowledge foundation for areas such as teaching, planning and reporting, and research and development work nationally and internationally.

Description of degree

Students who successfully complete the study programme will receive a Master’s degree in Multicultural Preventative Care of Children and Adolescents.

Learning outcome

Please refer to the aim of the study programme.

Curriculum and structure

Overview of courses
Code Course title Credits O/V *) Credits pr. semester
  S1(A) S2(V) S3(A) S4(V)
981-E1 Family, Childhood and Socialisation 20.00 O 20      
981-E2A Nutrition, Health and Lifestyle 10.00 V 10      
981-E2B Society and Mental Health 10.00 V 10      
981-E3B Cultural Analysis and Identity 20.00 V   20    
981-E4 Scientific Theory, Research Methodology
and Ethics
25.00 O   10 15  
981-E5 Master’s Thesis Project 45.00 O     15 30
Total: 30 30 30 30
*) O - Mandatory course, V - Optional course

The full-time study programme comprises 120 ECTS, consisting of five courses. Students may apply to take the fifth course, the Master’s thesis, on a part-time basis over two years.

Courses 1 and 4 are obligatory for all students. For courses 2 and 3, students will select an optional specialization course (2A or 2B and 3A or 3B). If few students apply to take one of the specialisation courses, only one of the alternatives may be offered.

Figure 1. Multicultural Preventative Care of Children and Adolescents: Overview of the courses:



ECTS credits

1. Family, Childhood and Socialisation



2A. Child Welfare from a Minority Perspective


2B. Children’s and Adolescents’ Mental Health



3A. Child Welfare and Society


3B. Cultural Analysis and Identity



4. Scientific Theory, Research Methodology and Ethics

2 and 3


5. Master’s Thesis Project

3 and 4 (poss. 3-6 part-time)



Each course includes a mandatory reading list. The tasks and assessment assignments for each course will mainly focus on the syllabus reading material. The reading list consists of national and international subject literature and research material. Students can expect roughly 100 pages of reading for each ECTS credit.


Students are given the opportunity to study abroad for one semester at institutions with which the college has bilateral agreements, provided that the courses and modules are relevant and pre-approved by the study programme coordinator. Students may also carry out field work abroad in connection with data collection for their Master’s thesis.

Teaching and Learning Methods

The Master’s degree programme emphasises student involvement and the student’s ability to work independently. The following teaching and learning methods will be used: lectures, seminars, student-led group work, and individual and group process-oriented work. Teaching and learning methods based on dialogue and discussions will also be emphasised. Such an approach is a key element in research-based teaching and will contribute to the development of knowledge, reflection and analytical skills. Students will also be given feedback on their assignments in the various courses, as well as guidance in groups and individually in their work on developing a Master’s thesis plan. Students will be allocated supervisors for the writing of their Master’s theses.

Student groups will be established, which will function as academic fora for cooperation throughout the programme. On the basis of these groups, various assignments will be completed, such as oral presentations with responses, discussions and written group work. This will ensure subject specialisation and reflection across disciplines and professions, processing and integration of different types of knowledge and professional and personal growth. Emphasis will also be given to writing practice and response to written work throughout the programme. Such a process-oriented approach is also important in preparation for writing a thesis.

Students will be actively involved in the assessment of the study programme; all the individual courses will be assessed. The purpose of regular assessment is to develop the quality of the study programme. Such methods make demands on both the students and the college with regard to follow-up and involvement. Attendance during the first week of the first year is mandatory, as well as all the seminars for courses 1-4. The study programme includes various written and oral assignments; the majority of these are obligatory. The course descriptions provide information concerning which assignments are obligatory. Students must have all their course assignments approved, and fulfill the 75% attendance requirement at all the seminars, before they will be allowed to take the individual course examinations.

Attending lectures is not mandatory, but it is strongly recommended.

Assessment Methods

Figure 2: Overview of the assessment methods of the programme’s courses




1. Family, Childhood and Socialisation

Individual assignment -

1 week. 4000-4500 words *

Graded mark A-F

2A. Migration, Health and Society


2B. Children’s and Adolescents’ Mental Health

5-hour individual examination under invigilation, without examination aids

Graded mark A-F

3A. Child Welfare and Society


3B. Cultural Analysis and Identity

Individual assignment -

1 week. 4000-4500 words *

Graded mark A-F

4. Scientific Theory, Research Methodology and Ethics

Individual project on statistics.

Outline of Master’s thesis

Individual assignment -

1 week. 4000-4500 words *

Pass / fail

Pass / fail

Graded mark A-F

5. Master’s Thesis Project

Master Thesis and oral examination.

80-100 pages **

(130-150 pages if the thesis is written by two students) **

Combined grade A-F for the thesis and oral examination

* (Exclusive of cover page, table of contents and bibliography)

** (Excluding abstract, cover page, table of contents, bibliography and appendices)

Each course will be independently assessed (grades A-F).

Four separate course grades, and a single grade for the Master’s thesis will be entered on the Master’s degree diploma.

Requirements that must be fulfilled before the student can continue on the study programme:

A prerequisite for starting work on the Master's thesis is that all the obligatory course assignments have received passing marks.

Telemark University College Examination Regulations specify that students may be allowed 3 attempts at passing each course during the course of the programme. Normally, it is possible to retake a failed examination/assignment within the course of the academic year. A third attempt may be taken in the following year. Assessment methods for new attempts are specified in the examination plan.

Figure 3: The grading system:



General, qualitative description of assessment criteria



An excellent performance, clearly outstanding. The candidate demonstrates excellent judgement and a high degree of independent thinking.


Very good

A very good performance, which is above average. Shows independent thinking.



An average performance, which is satisfactory in the most important areas.



Below-average performance, with significant shortcomings.



A performance that meets the minimum criteria, but no more.



A performance that does not meet the minimum academic criteria.

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

Publisert av / forfatter Frode Evenstad <>, last modified Ian Hector Harkness - 02/07/2012