Capability approach

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General information 

Resilience, realising one's own potential, self-reliance, these are some of the concepts behind the capability approach. You will explore the conceptual aspects of empowerment from three perspectives:

  1. community development approaches used in developing countries;
  2. Dutch ideas arising from the innovations of New Style Welfare such as the functional social work infrastructure;
  3. and 'positive' psychology approaches like mindfulness.

But it is not only theory that you will be engaged with. You will get 'hands on' learning experiences in ways to help clients be empowered to navigate the pathway (back) to greater inclusion, whether this means finding employment or participating in society in non-salaried activities. Approximately one third of the students will be Dutch and two thirds international. The activities are carried out in multinational and multicultural groups so you will learn skills of intercultural communication for yourself as well as social work empowerment of clients.

Overview of main modules, English and the welcome week complete the programme

Programme outline

Capability Approach – Exchange Semester

Capability Approach focuses on widening your understanding of an innovation in the thinking of social services providers. Instead of focusing on problems the approach is aimed at stimulating and supporting the strengths of the people involved not providing them with prepared solutions. It offers you the opportunity to actively engage in multidisciplinary professional practice for empowering marginal individual and groups in society. You will be a member of a team of experts who are asked to produced a volume of professional journal, along with other teams who produce their own journal. The Journal entries will clearly be embedded in theory and in the practical experiences you undergo. For example, interviews with experts in empowering methods, approaches and models will be carried out and presented in critical articles. You will acquire skills needed to make a creative and professional journal in classes.

Please click here  for more information.

Practical information

ProgrammeCapability Approach
SchoolSchool of Social Studies
Language of instructionEnglish

In September

More information about the academic calendar

Deadline15 August 2018
DurationOne semester (30 ECTS). Click for more information about ECTS credits
Tuition feesThere are NO fees for exchange students from partner universities. In case you have any questions, please contact Jelco Caro.
Admission requirements
  • You are a 2nd, 3rd or 4th year student (Bachelor level).
  • You have a background in (preferably) Social Work, social studies, allied health care studies, but no specific knowledge is required.
  • You have completed your 1st year of your education and have obtained at least 30 ECTS in the main phase (year 2, 3 or 4).
  • Language requirements for international students: Internet based TOEFL 550, or Dialang level B2.
Capacity30 students maximum
How to applyPlease find the application procedure here
Intro weekAn introduction week is part of the programme. The start of the fall semester will be the end of August 2018.
DisclaimerThe programme is subject to cancellation if the minimum number of registered students has not been achieved.



For more informatie please contact the programme coordinator Jelco Caro. Check us out on:


Tel: (+)31-(0)50 595 3031 or 595 3361


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