Social Work and Social Pedagogy

The professional fields of social work and social pedagogy include everyday social support and interventions for people in stressful, disadvantaged and crisis situations. Social pedagogy work areas can be found for example in youth work, child and youth welfare, or community work. Social pedagogical approaches are used in adult counselling as well as in the field of early childhood education and care. The aim of social pedagogy is to provide support in transitions in the life course, such as during periods of unemployment, parenting or migration, or during the ageing process and in emergency situations (e.g. safe houses for women and children, homeless shelters).


Social Pedagogy at the University of Salzburg provides a research and theory based course for employment in social support situations. With its roots in educational science, social pedagogy is concerned with social education and support, social justice and societal change. Important concepts are life-world orientation (German: Lebensweltorientierung), participation, gender and diversity, as well as social inequality. Social education aims to understand social problems in the context of organisations, societal dynamics and social policy.

Researching Social Processes

Social work and social pedagogy examine backgrounds, effects, challenges and changes in the field of social support and in social services. We analyse biographical aspects of subjectivity, personal development and coping skills, as well as processes within and between organisations. We take a critical look at how social pedagogical actions contribute to an increase in social differences and inequalities, and consider possible strategies to avoid these problems.

Studying Social Pedagogy

To find out where you can study social education courses in our degree program click here.


  • News
    The 6th annual conference on 6.migration and integration research in Austria took place from the 16 to 18 September at the der University of Salzburg – partly in person, partly online. A resolution for the reception of refugees from Moria was approved.
    As part of its profile „Räume und Identitäten (Spaces and Identities)“ the third annual conference was held on the 30th January 2020 at the Department of Public, International and European Law at the University of Salzburg. The conference with the title „Lebensende in Institutionen ( End of Life in Institutions)" raised a controversial social issue.
    Applications for two dissertation prizes (worth 2,000 euros each) can be made until the 31st October.
    This semester from the 28.09.2020 personal registration for USI courses will not be possible in order to avoid unnecessary crowds of people.
    The Armenian religous anthropologist Dr. Yulia Antonyan (Jerevan State University) and the Austrian Armenologist and Head of the ZECO Centre for the Study of the Christian East, Univ.Doz.Dr.Dr.h.c. Jasmine Dum-Tragut Bakk.rer.nat., are among the winners of an international research competition in Armenia.
    Important dates and information on registering for courses at the Language Centre in Winter Semester 2020/21
    historioPLUS , like so many others, has also had to adapt to the change in circumstances due to Covid-19. For this reason the current year has appeared a little later than in previous years.
    The Language Center has been active in the field of intercomprehension didactics for almost 20 years,Well-known multilingual didactics experts, came together to present the current state of research in this area.The result is the anthology "Lehr- und Lernkompetenzen für die Interkompehension. Perspektiven für die mehrsprachige Bildung (Teaching and Learning Skills for Intercomprehension. Perspectives for Multilingual Education)"Band 10 der Salzburger Reihe zur Lehrer/innen/bildung.
    Registration for the webinars with Ms MMag. Dr. Olivia Vrabl, colleagues from IT-Services and the ZFL-Team is possible at anytime.
    Programme management and discussion moderation: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sabine Coelsch-Foisner
    During the time of Corona, in particular, it became clear just how important it is to support students digitally in their every day university life. The project „On Track“ – stay on track combines digital and social worlds. It is starting at the right time!
    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Corona semester
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