CRITERIA OF ENROLMENT AT THE STUDY PROGRAMME OF SOCIAL WORK

The candidates applying for enrolment at the Study Programme of Journalism and Communication Studies are required to have completed their respective four-year secondary education and to pass the entrance exam. Although not a mandatory requirement, an inclination towards social sciences and a certain quantum of sociological knowledge are highly welcomed. Details concerning the enrolment process are defined by the Rulebook on First and Second Cycle Academic Studies of the University of Banja Luka. In accordance with the provisions of the Rulebook, the items assessed in the process of enrolment are as follows:

- results achieved throughout previous instance of education,

- type of previous education,

- the entrance exam score,

- results of the vocational test, and

- other results of significance for enrolment.

The rankings of candidates are determined by the sum of respective scores achieved concerning the criteria listed. The current state of affairs at and the number of students enrolled on the Study Programme require amendments to the criteria of enrolment. In this respect, one should point out the fact that a number of universities in the region of former Yugoslavia (Ljubljana, Sarajevo) have abolished the entrance exam, thus leaving the results achieved throughout the respective secondary education as the key criterion of enrolment.

There are general and specific requirements for enrolling on the first cycle studies.

The general requirements are as follows:

  • A certificate on completion of a four-year secondary school (points are awarded based on the average grade throughout the entire schooling).
  • A certificate on medical condition of a candidate (issued by an accredited medical institution).
  • An application form filled in.
  • The entrance exam passed.

The specific requirements are determined at an entrance exam consisting of:

  • A Serbian language test
  • A general sociology test
  • A general knowledge test
  • A social issues awareness test

THE CURRICULUM OF FIRST-CYCLE ACADEMIC STUDIES OF SOCIAL WORK

S

 

Subject

Status  

  L

E

Other activities

ECTS

I

1.

Introduction to Social Work

M

3

1

0

6

2.

Social Policy

M

3

1

0

6

3.

Introduction to Sociology

M

3

1

0

6

4.

Development Psychology

M

2

2

0

6

5.

Foreign Language 1 (English/ German)

E

2

2

0

6

S

 

  Subject     

Status  

  L

E

Other activities

ECTS

II

1.

Social Work Theories

M

3

1

0

6

2.

Social Work with Individual

M

2

2

0

6

3.

Social Pedagogy

M

2

2

0

6

4.

Family Law

M

2

2

0

6

5.

Foreign Language 2 (English/German)

E

2

2

0

6

S

 

  Subject     

Status  

  L

E

Other activities

ECTS

III

1.

Social Work with Children and Families

M

2

2

0

6

2.

Social Psychology

M

2

2

0

6

3.

Labour and Social Law

M

2

2

0

6

4.

NGO Sector in Social Policy

Pedagogical Re-Socialisation

E

E

2

2

2

2

0

0

6

6

5.

Human Rights and Social Work

Conflict Resolution in Social Work

E

E

2

2

2

2

0

0

6

6

S

 

  Subject     

Status

  L

E

Other activities

ECTS

IV

1.

Social Work with Group

M

2

2

0

6

2.

Social Pathology

M

2

2

0

6

3.

Management in Social Sector

M

2

2

0

6

4.

Internship 1

M

0

4

0

4

5.

Public Administration

M

2

2

0

4

6.

Sociology of Family

Introduction to Counselling

E

E

2

2

2

2

0

0

4

4

S

 

  Subject     

Status

  L

E

Other activities

ECTS

V

1.

Theoretical Background of Social Work in Community

M

3

1

0

6

2.

Social Work with Disabled Persons

M

2

2

0

6

3.

Social Work with Elderly People

M

2

2

0

6

4.

Ethical Competence in Social Work

E

2

2

0

6

5.

Social Work in School

Social Work and Domestic Violence

Representing in Social Work

E

E

E

2

2

2

2

2

2

0

0

0

6

6

6

S

 

  Subject     

Status 

  L

E

Other activities

ECTS

VI

1.

Poverty and Social Inclusion

M

2

2

0

6

2.

Social Work in Community

M

2

2

0

6

3.

Administrative Law

M

2

2

0

6

4.

Methodology of Social Research

M

2

2

0

6

5.

Internship 2

M

2

4

0

6

S

 

  Subject     

Status  

  L

E

Other activities

ECTS

VII

1.

Mental Health and Social Work

M

2

2

0

6

2.

Internship 3

M

2

7

0

8

3.

Comparative Social Policy Systems

M

3

1

0

6

4.

Social Policy of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Srpska Respectively

M

2

2

0

6

5.

Social Work with Juvenile Offenders

Social Work in Health Care Sector

International Social Work

E

E

E

2

2

2

2

2

2

0

0

0

4

4

4

S

 

  Subject     

Status  

  L

E

Other activities

ECTS

VIII

1.

Supervision in Social Work

M

2

2

0

6

2.

Social Development and Planning

M

2

2

0

6

3.

Theories and Models of Psycho-Social Work

M

3

1

0

6

4.

Social Care in State of Emergency

Creative Techniques in Social Work

E

E

2

2

2

2

0

0

6

6

5.

Teamwork in Social Work

Social Work with Addicts

E

E

2

2

2

2

0

0

6

6

CREDIT VALUE OF THE STUDY PROGRAMME EXPRESSED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ECTS SYSTEM

The credit value of each teaching subject is expressed in accordance with the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). With regard to this system, every subject is assigned a certain number of credits, with the total of 30 credits in each semester, that is, 60 in an entire academic year, thus making it the total of 240 credits upon the completion of the first cycle.

CRITERIA AND CONDITIONS FOR TRANSFER OF ECTS CREDITS

The conditions of transfer of ECTS credits from one study programme organised at the University of Banja Luka to another, as well as from a study programme of the University of Banja Luka to a study programme organised at another university are defined in accordance with the Rulebook on First and Second Cycle Academic Studies of the University of Banja Luka, that is, in accordance with Article 24-29.

SIMILARITY TO OTHER STUDY PROGRAMMES OF SOCIAL WORK

The amendments to the curriculum of the Study Programme are harmonised with similar programmes organised at the following:

- Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb (Republic of Croatia) – Study Centre of Social Work http://www.pravo.unizg.hr/scsr/za_buduce_studente/preddiplomski;

- Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) http://fpn.unsa.ba/bs/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/5.-SOC.RAD-NPP2015-2016-NPP-2012-2013-U-AK.GOD_.-2016-2017.-I-CIKLUS-2.pdf;

- Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade (Republic of Serbia), www.fpn.bg.ac.rs/;

- Faculty of Philosophy, University of Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina), http://ff.svemo.ba/sites/default/files/slike-statickestranice/Nastavni%20plan%20Studija%20socijalnog%20rada%202016.-17.%20%281%29.pdf;

- Faculty of Social Work, University of Ljubljana (Republic of Slovenia); https://www.fsd.uni-lj.si/izobrazevanje/dodiplomskistudij/studijski_program/program_1%20_stopnje/.

ASSESSMENT OF STUDY PROGRAMME, RESULTS ACHIEVED, AND QUALITY MONITORING

The Study Programme of Social Work insists on issues related to the assessment and monitoring of the curriculum quality. During the process of accreditation, the Study Programme conducted a comprehensive survey concerning self-assessment and filed a report that highlighted both its advantages and disadvantages, as well as the steps to be taken in near future. Over the course of 2019, anonymous independent assessors evaluated the curriculum and stated that the educational objectives and learning outcomes were clearly defined, well-organised, and announced publicly on the official website of the Faculty, that special attention had been paid to students’ participation as regards its design, that assessments were carried out on a regular basis, which pointed to how dedicated its creators were to its improvement, that the internship programme was well-designed, along with the contracts signed with the organisations offering internship, that the assignment of respective ECTS credits had been done in line with the European methodology, and that the qualifications awarded were consistent with the objectives proclaimed.

On the other hand, the shortages observed accentuate the lack of support offered to students in relation to their own personal development and the necessity for strengthening international exchange concerning scholarly research and other projects, as well as the lack of human resources development plan and hiring new members of staff.

Using these findings as a guideline, the Study Programme continues with the activities aimed at monitoring changes and timely responding to them, which is a direct contribution to quality improvement. Given the aforementioned, a document entitled Plan for Removing the Shortages Observed and Implementation of Recommendations for Improvement has been designed, with a view to identifying the challenges to the curriculum, the methodology of their removal (concrete tasks), the persons in charge of respective activities, and the deadlines. This Plan has already been put into motion, with several activities having been completed regarding an increase in  internship quality, providing information to students, signing new agreements of cooperation, student mobility etc.

The amendments being currently proposed should contribute to an improvement of the curriculum and to the way it is implemented, since they are a result of monitoring, identifying, and analysing the factors affecting the profession of social work, and they account for a greater support offered to students in the process of their personal growth and reflect the need for a higher level of harmonisation with the study programmes offered in the region of former Yugoslavia, which should have an impact on student mobility.

CRITERIA OF ENROLMENT AT THE FOLLOWING ACADEMIC YEAR

A student is entitled to getting enrolled at the following academic year in accordance with Article 49 of the Law on Higher Education of the Republic of Srpska (Official Gazette of the Republic of Srpska, issue 73/10), under provision that they have completed their 60 ECTS workload in the current academic year.

A student who has not met the requirements for getting enrolled at the following academic year as defined by the aforementioned Article is entitled to getting enrolled at the following year by being granted either to transfer no more than 15 ECTS credits, regardless of the number of subjects covered by the figure in question, or by being granted to transfer two subjects, regardless of their respective ECTS workload.

In case that a student does not meet the requirements for getting enrolled at the following academic year, they repeat the act of enrolment at the current academic year and are entitled to attending classes and taking exams from the following academic year up to the number of credits achieved in the current academic year. For each student, a list of eligible subjects, in terms of attending classes and taking exams, is decided upon and filed in their personal records. A student is entitled to choosing a different set of electives upon repeating the act of enrolment at the current year of academic studies.

In case there are amendments to the curriculum made, a student who fulfills their academic duties on schedule is not subject to any of these. Otherwise, they are required to accept them in their full capacity. Senior students are entitled to taking exams one year following the final year of studies. Upon the expiration of this period, their status can be renewed and they are entitled to taking exams providing they pay the respective fee.

It is the duty of the Registrar’s Office, the professor in charge of a subject, and the respective teaching assistant to keep full records of a student’s academic workload completed respectively.

Students’ duties

The status of student is awarded by the act of enrolment at the Study Programme. Students’ duties are defined by Article 104 of the Law on Higher Education of the Republic of Srpska. These duties imply attendance at classes and other activities regulated by the respective subject syllabus and obeying the provisions of the Rulebook on First and Second Cycles Academic Studies at the University of Banja Luka.

A student is entitled to expressing their opinion as regards the quality of education or other services provided by the Faculty, to filing complaints and objections, to having their requests responded to, and to starting a lawsuit in front of the competent court should they find some decisions made by the Faculty unsatisfactory and harmful to their interests.

Students are entitled to forming students’ organisations, thus promoting and fighting for their rights and achieving higher education goals.

Students at this study programme are obliged to actively participate in lecture and exercise classes, to submit essays, seminar papers, and research projects, as well as to give presentations and be engaged in other academic activities, for which they are awarded points according to the Law on Higher Education of the Republic of Srpska, the Rulebook on First and Second Cycle Academic Studies of the University of Banja Luka, and the Instructions for Grading Students’ Workload of the University of Banja Luka respectively. At the beginning of a semester, the professor in charge of the subject introduces topics and issues, methodology and forms of work, and credits awarded to particular activities that make up of the overall subject workload.

The professor in charge of a subject is required to publicly announce to a student the score as regards every individual academic activity, as well as the overall score they have achieved since the beginning of a semester. A student is entitled to sitting each and every academic activity during the course of a subject, disregarding of any other activity or exam. In accordance with the academic calendar stipulated by the University, the Faculty organises exam terms. As defined by the decision of the Senate of the University, students are entitled to two exam sessions in the respective January-February, June-July, and September exam term per subject, and to one exam session in the April and October term respectively.

The grade awarded depends on the combined score achieved during pre-exam activities and the final exam. The passing grades range from 6 to 10 in a 5-10 grading system, the former being the lowest and the latter the highest grades. With regard to the aforementioned, the grades of 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 are awarded for the respective point ranges: 51-60, 61-70, 71-80, 81-90, and 91-100. The grade of 5, marking a failed exam, is awarded for scores below 51.  

Upon each exam session, the professor enters the respective pre-exam activities scores and the final grade into the exam application form and the report on the exam taken, with the former and the latter being submitted to the Registrar's Office for further processing and storage.

LEARNING OUTCOMES 

In terms of learning outcomes, graduates should be able to:

-          acquire and understand basic scholarly and professional knowledge from the theories of social work, basic methodological procedures (work with an individual, work with a group, and work in a community), social policy and related areas, as well as of political, sociological, psychological, pedagogical, and legal disciplines relevant to social work;

-          acquire knowledge and skills by means of mandatory practical work organised in social security institutions, educational and health care institutions, administrative bodies, non-governmental organisations, and competent ministries, under professional supervision;

-          apply the acquired knowledge and skills by demonstrating the professional approach and competences in their work;

-          be capable of collecting data on and analysing contemporary trends of social work and social policy within the existing social context and understand their interconnectedness and causality;

-          establish communication within the social work domain and its surrounding and transfer information, ideas, problems, and solutions to professional circles;

-          develop learning skills necessary for their further formal and life-long education.