PhD in Social Work


  • One of a kind programme in Switzerland
  • Open to students with a master degree in Social Work from a Swiss university of Applied Sciences or a master degree in Social Sciences, Law or Economics from a Swiss university

Information session - PhD Programme in Social Work


In partnership with the Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts (HES) this programme: 

  • Contributes to the interdisciplinary study of social problems, their developments and dynamics. 
  • Focuses on affected individuals, families, groups and communities and provides knowledge about their experiences, their constructions of meaning and their ways of dealing with disadvantage and exclusion. 
  • Engages in analysis and reflection on social action and creates - through evaluation and systematic intervention research - a scientific basis for evidence-based professional intervention and the development and innovation of social work offerings. 
  • Produces knowledge about social work organisations and contextualises them within the landscape of available services and in relation to the social security system. 

Registration as doctoral candidate in Social Work


  1. The doctoral candidate contacts ITTS management (Prof. Barbara Waldis) and sends his/her master's transcripts, his/her experience (courses, teaching, research projects, etc.) to be used for possible equivalences for 30 ECTS, a description of the thesis topic (one page maximum) as well as a potential indication of the choice of two thesis co-directors (UniNE + HES).
  2. He/she obtains a letter from the thesis co-directors confirming that they agree to supervise the thesis.
  3. The doctoral candidate sends to the Registration Office (Bureau des immatriculations) his/her registration file with the requested documents as mentioned on the page Registration and Conditions → Doctorate.
  4. The doctoral candidate commits to signing the doctoral charter with both thesis co-directors. A copy is sent to ITTS management.
  5. A pedagogical contract is established after discussion with ITTS management. The parties signing the contract are: the dean of the FSE, ITTS management and both thesis co-directors. This pedagogical contract is signed no later than September 1st.