Specialization in psychosocial work with children and youth

Do you want to help strengthen the feeling of inherent worth in children and youth and encourage them to use their full potential, competence and hidden opportunities? What about developing your interaction skills with children and youth so you can provide a sense of belonging and community? And at the same time help to ensure children’s needs and rights by changing service systems?

2 years part time
Not supported by Lånekassen
Application date 15.04.2018
60 credits

The Norwegian Directorate of Health as principal

The programme is part of an initiative in the government’s strategy plan for children and youth’s mental health with the Norwegian Directorate of Health as principal. The programme is interdisciplinary and inter-agency and addresses anyone who has a bachelor’s degree or equivalent (teachers, health- and social workers, cultural workers and police officers) and who are in work-related contact with children and youth.

Videreutdanning i psykososialt arbeid med barn og unge

Psychosocial work

To understand children’s and youth’s actions, reactions and skills, one has to be familiar with their social and cultural framework of understanding and activity.

The initiatives of children and youth are important and need to be acknowledged, but at the same time, they are dependent on adjusted support and supervised interaction during everyday life activities.

Psychosocial work involves a continuous maintenance of curiosity, conversation, interaction and collaboration during which, through thought, feedback and challenges, the subjects receive acknowledgment, hope, stamina, energy and positive expectations.

You learn about

  • The basis of interaction and identity development in children
  • Children’s rights, living conditions, childhood environment as risk- and protection
  • Connections between biological, psychological and social understandings with relevance to children’s attachment and belonging.
  • Different types of mental afflictions among children and youth – and how these are expressed.
  • Basic research methods and research ethics – and action research in particular
  • Innovation and project work for children- and youth in service systems

Det viktigste er å møte det enkelte barn eller ungdom i sin situasjon, og her er dette studiet unikt. Det samme er de fantastiske foreleserne som plukkes fra øverste hylle.

Knut Andersen, tidligere student, psykososialt arbeid med barn- og unge

You will develop your skills to

  • Engage in appropriate relationships and development-supportive dialogue and interaction with children and youth, families and networks.
  • Initiate and develop, at interdisciplinary and inter-agency levels, collaboration and cooperation that are focused on mental health and vulnerable life situations
  • Organize collaboration, cooperation, knowledge- and practice development between children and youth, their networks and the authorities in both the business and voluntary sectors.
  • Initiate and lead development projects.

Who is the programme for?

Anyone with a bachelor’s degree or equivalent (180 ECTS) in health- and social sciences (child welfare, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social work, nursing or social education), diaconal work, medicine, teaching, police work and/or psychology, and one year of relevant professional practice from working with children and/or youth after completed studies.

Applicants with other university college- or university education on equivalent level may be admitted after special assessment.

It is essential that your employer enables you to study and sees the opportunities this programme can provide, not only for you as a professional, but for the children- and youth in your community.

The programme requires that you hold at least a 50% position directly with children and youth during the course of study.

Master's degree level

Teaching and academic supervision will be research- and evidence based, and a separate research training will be provided and noted on your certificate. This will make it easier to apply to have the programme included in other relevant master’s degree programmes at VID or other universities and to have parts or the entire programme approved as the first year of a master’s degree programme (1+1).


The programme is completed over two years (four semesters). The first year of study comprises four weekly session, two each semester. Students in the first semester attend three additional days twice. In the second year of study, there are five three-days sessions each semester. Academic supervision is included in the sessions this year. The sessions include lectures, group work, individual specialization and presentations of academic material and examples from fieldwork practice.

Attendance at dialogue conferences, networking sessions and independent fieldwork practice workshops must be scheduled outside the weekly sessions. It is considered part of your professional practice.

During the course of study, you must participate in counselling (totally 60 hours, 15 hours per semester) with the counsellors at the University. There should be at least five group sessions per semester.


  • Epistemic perspectives
  • Mental health among children and youth
  • Qualitative and quantitative methods
  • Organization and coordination of services – youth and adults
  • Psychosocial work- competence- and service development, diverse practices, theories and ethical dilemma

Facts about part time

Application deadline

15. April 2018

Language of instruction


Study program and semester fee

Part time, 2017–2018

Semester fee: NOK 460
Copy fee / student council: NOK 270
Study fee: NOK 0
Total per semester: Kr 730

Part time, 2018–2019

Semester fee: NOK 460
Copy fee / student council: NOK 270
Study fee: NOK 0
Total per semester: Kr 730

All fees are in the Norwegian krone. Read more about study program and semester fee.

Eystein Victor Våpenstad

Academic questions?

Eystein Victor Våpenstad
associate professor

Helle Nærø

Questions about admission?

Helle Nærø


Read the admission requirements before you apply

Det kreves bachelorgrad (180 studiepoeng) eller tilsvarende i relevant fagområder. Søkere med annen utdanning på tilsvarende nivå kan bli tatt opp etter særskilt vurdering. Det kreves 1 års relevant praksis etter utdanning. I de to årene utdanningen pågår må studenten stå i et arbeidsforhold hvor hun eller han arbeider minimum 50 % i direkte arbeid med barn og unge (under 23 år).

Du har også mulighet til å søke på grunnlag av realkompetanse.