Welcome to CESAR – Centre for Social Work

CESAR – the Centre for Social Work was established on 1 January 2018 and is the home of Uppsala’s Social Work programme. The Centre is responsible for research, doctoral education and first- and second-cycle courses and study programmes in social work. CESAR is an independent unit governed by a Board. Our Director leads our operations and we are organisationally part of the Department of Sociology.  In conjunction with the establishment of CESAR, we recruited the first Professor of social work, and social work also became its own research subject at Uppsala University. A third-cycle programme in Social Work was established in the spring of 2018 and in autumn of the same year CESAR’s first two doctoral students began their studies. Additional doctoral students have been employed in subsequent years. A Master’s in social work within the Master’s programme in social sciences, was established in 2019, and the first Master’s students in social work were admitted in the autumn of 2020. This means that Uppsala University is now able to offer education in social work from first cycle level with its Degree of Bachelor of Science in Social Work through second cycle level with a Master’s degree (60 or 120 credits) and then on to third cycle and a Degree of Doctor in Social Work.

CESAR is still in an expansive phase since the Social Work programmes offered both in Uppsala and at Campus Gotland are still under development. In terms of teaching, we work in partnership with the Departments of Sociology, Psychology and Law. Practising social workers have been recruited as additional resources for teaching the more profession-specific aspects of the programme, such as Personal and Professional Development (PPU) and Supervised Field Placements (H-VFU). CESAR’s teaching staff are also active researchers, which guarantees teaching based on research while also facilitating the development of CESAR’s research profiles.

An important forum for CESAR’s third stream activities is the Network for the Social Work Programme at Uppsala (NVSU). This brings together representatives from Uppsala municipality, other municipalities from across the county, voluntary organisations and Region Uppsala. NVSU serves as the link between education and profession (the field) in matters such as Supervised Field Placements (H-VFU), field studies, degree projects, major changes of significance for these spheres of activity and major changes to the study programme.  The network meets twice per semester.

The administrative services at CESAR are shared with sociology as all administration is through the Department of Sociology.


Social work was established as a study programme in the Department of Sociology in 2007 through the creation of the Bachelor’s programme in Social Work. In 2008, Uppsala University was granted degree-awarding powers for the Social Work programme, and in the same year, the first cohort of students were admitted to the University who had the option to study the Degree of Bachelor of Science in Social Work.

A common theme of the Social Work programme over the years has been the connection between the University, the Department of Sociology and the professional field of social work at both regional and national level. Right from the planning stage for the Social Work programme, representatives from affected activities and user organisations in Uppsala County participated in the development and were represented on the Programme Board that subsequently monitored work with the programme. A network of contacts was established when the programme began, and in the early years this formed the basis for recruitment of guest lecturers in the programme. The network has also been active in the development of field trips and provisions of placements for the H-VFU course (supervised field placements, previously referred to simply as placements) in both the non-profit and public sectors. When CESAR was established, the NVSU took over the role of building bridges between the Social Work programme and social work practice (in the field).

In previous years, a series of development projects and research projects, primarily related to municipal care for individuals and families, have been carried out in partnership with researchers from the Department of Sociology, the Regional Cooperation of Uppsala County R&D unit and professionals drawn from municipal social services across the county.

Last modified: 2021-06-18