About Us

about us

About us

Our goal is to train competent, committed and innovative professionals who are capable of working effectively in multi-professional settings to assist individuals, families and communities experiencing difficulties in their lives. Our study programmes endeavour to provide students with the critical-reflective thinking skills necessary to understand the socio-cultural context of their work. As future social professionals they should be able to contribute towards constructive social change and prevent social exclusion, poverty, inequality and mental health problems.

Our department has established a dynamic network of various institutions of higher education, research, social care and social administration. Our courses respond to needs of the Hungarian scoiety and meet international trainign standards. We combine theory with teaching lots of relevant practical skills and put a strong emphasis on making our students employable in Hungary and in the European Union.

Our study programmmes reflect the diverse cultural heritage of Pécs, a home for ethnic minorities and European Capital of Culture, 2010. We have a number of international partners who collaborate with us in our research projects and in various academic programmes.

The International Federation of Social Workers (ISWF) and the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) issued a document in 2004 in Adelaide: Global Standards for Social Work Education and Training. In defining Hungarian national training standards the philosophy and recommendations of this document were followed.

Currently, social workers in Hungary have to face a number of problems and some of these are both qualitatively and quantitatively different from the social problems of the Western European welfare states, such as increasing poverty, marked regional inequality, ethnic minority issues, indebtedness, homelessness and a high incidence of various forms of self-destructive behaviour, including alcohol and drug-addiction. Economic problems, constant transformations in various economic and social sectors, severe budgetary restrictions and the legacy of state socialism are a major challenge for social professionals that they can respond only if they can mobilize their creative potentials and are ready to rely more on available community resources. Therefore, to teach the philosophy and the practice of learned resourcefulness is a priority in our training.


In Hungary, the development of social work as a profession had basically followed the international line of improvement until the communist bureaucracy started its liquidation on ideological grounds after the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1945. Communists considered social policy and social work unnecessary - as they claimed, in every political act in "the people's democracy" (a contemporary euphemism for the totalitarian communist regime) the highest possible level social care is manifested. Admitting the existence of social and mental problems would have disclosed the failure of the entire social system. "Social work" was degraded to an element of control and most of its early representatives were not professionals but "reliable party members". The legalization of social professions started some years before the transition of the social system in 1989 and demanded the devoted and strenuous work of the new generation of social professionals who endeavoured to bring about major changes.

The structure of training and the curricula, though adapted to national traditions of higher education in Hungary, was largely based on contemporary Western European and American professional expertise. The Hungarian Alliance of Social Professionals was formed in 1991 to ensure high standards in academic work and research. Our Department was the first to introduce two semester placements in the training.

Hungary's recent accession to the European Union has demanded even more accommodation to EU standards and structures. With the onset of the Bologna-process the social worker training in Hungary has been transformed to facilitate our joining the European Higher Education Area. ECTS (European Credit Transfer System), one of the major improvements of the Bologna process has been introduced to promote the exchange of academic information among European institutions of higher education. ECTS facilitates the recognition of studies completed abroad as well as international curriculum development, serving the interests of a more integrated and flexible European labour market. The Bologna process does not demand European universities to unify their degree programs but to look for points of convergence. The Bologna Declaration has adopted a structure of clearly defined study cycles: undergraduate (bachelors) and graduate (masters and doctorate). This three-cycle training has recently been introduced in Hungarian schools of social work.(http://www.wes.org/ewenr/03sept/BolognaGlossary.htm.) Universities in Budapest and Pécs are presently the only institutions in Hungary where students can obtain an Masters degree in Social Work and Social Policy.

The International Federation of Social Workers (ISWF) and the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) issued a document in 2004 in Adelaide: Global Standards for Social Work Education and Training. In defining Hungarian national training standards the philosophy and recommendations of this document were followed.

Currently, social workers in Hungary have to face a number of problems and some of these are both qualitatively and quantitatively different from the social problems of the Western European welfare states, such as increasing poverty, marked regional inequality, ethnic minority issues, indebtedness, homelessness and a high incidence of various forms of self-destructive behaviour, including alcohol and drug-addiction. Economic problems, constant transformations in various economic and social sectors, severe budgetary restrictions and the legacy of state socialism are a major challenge for social professionals that they can respond only if they can mobilize their creative potentials and are ready to rely more on available community resources. Therefore, to teach the philosophy and the practice of learned resourcefulness is a priority in our training.



The research culture of our department has been shaped to meet the new challenges social workers face in contemporary Hungarian society and facilitate participation in international research projects. Our works are rooted mainly in the social constructionist tradition, emphasizing responsibility, multiple perspectives and dialogue in the service of human development, as main resources for scientific research.

There are several collaborating research teams within the department:


The department is a major centre of addiction research in Hungary. The team, led by professor Gabor Kelemen, has conducted several research projects on the process of recovery since its formation in 2001.

In 2014-15 the team conducted an evaluation on residential treatment programs (therapeutic communities) for clients with substance use disorder in Hungary and proposed a new model for short and mid-term evaluation. Our main results are summarized in Hungarian Social Review (2015) The research wassupported by the Hungarian Ministry of Human Resources (project no. 19487-2/2014.) Team leaders: Prof. Dr. Gabor Kelemen and dr. Marta B. Erdos.

In a previous project „Psychosocial change and the rhetoric of transformation in Twelve Steps movements" the team studied the social role, specific culture and psychosocial effects of Hungarian twelve-step movements and the process of recovery as a learning process of the sober culture. The project was funded by the National Scientific Research Fund (OTKA) and was a continuation of a previous research on the power of reintegration rituals ("The Role of Ruptures, Mismatches, Microdissynchronisms in the Reintegration Rituals of Addicts", 2002-2006, also funded by OTKA). The team explored the sober speech code ("code of grace") of recovering addicts and could identify verbal markers of continuing recovery vs. relapse. Recovery was conceived as a successful rite of passage, a major life transition where the addict is re-born as a sober person.

In 2006-2007 the team participated in an international network studying various methods of theatre therapy to help improve the efficiency of clinical work with addicts. The research was supported by EQUAL, EU.

In 2002-2003 we participated in several national and international projects such as "The Message of Sobriety" (Matra-Kap); "Self-Help and Self-Care in the Context of Recovery" (Phare Network, a project evaluation); Social Construction of Addictions" (Hungarian Ministry of Youth and Sports).

The team has several collaborating members in Norway, in the United Kingdom and in Iceland.

Social Innovation, Evaluation and Research Centre

The Social Innovation, Evaluation and Research Centre (Szociális Innovációs-, Értékelő- és Kutatóközpont, SZINEK) was established in 2008 to improve social research and development in the Southern Transdanubian Region. The aim of the centre is to promote dignity, social justice, equality of chances and social solidarity in the transforming Hungarian society. In the Hungarian acronym of the unit (SZINEK, meaning „colours") the philosophy of the staff is reflected. We believe that cultural diversity is an important resource for social development within the European Union.

In EU-funded social projects evaluation, innovation and dissemination of results are considered core issues. SIERC supports project owners by meeting the demands in social research and development. Researchers lay emphasis on knowledge transfer into the immediate and wider community. We are keen to form an international collaborating network of social researchers who would be interested in working on international projects with us.

We have conducted a number of pilot projects, such as evaluation of social worker students’ competencies and future career in health settings (2012); evaluation of a school mentoring programme (2013-5); and on residential treatment programs (therapeutic communities) for clients with substance use disorder, working together with 4 Dimension Foundation for Sociological Research (2014-5). We are in close collaboration with professionals from Identity Exploration Limited/Social and Health Evaluation Unit International who support our endeavours to introduce evaluation research in Hungary.

contact: erdos.marta@pte.hu

Research Centre for Social Inclusion and Social Economy

The research centre was founded to plan and carry out professional and scientific activities on the correlated research areas of social inclusion and social economy. This activity is realized through cooperations in social sciences, human research-development and innovation. The research centre intends to contribute to the efforts of the University of Pécs to broaden the scope of its research-development-innovation services, as well as the development of the university’s national and international relations. This can be achieved by the discovery of new research fields in accordance with social and economic needs, as well as by organizing a network of cooperation on professional and scientific bases. These will provide further opportunities for university students to acquire knowledge and experience to develop their expertise and enhance their performance.

contact: szocialisgazdasag@pte.hu

International Research Network on Child and Youth Protection

The network was founded by prof. Arpad Barath, a retired member of our academic community. Co-founders were Madeline Aksich from Canada, Branka Bukoves and Dr. Anica- Mikus-Kos from Slovenia, Dr. Rune Stuvland from Norway, Dr. Ljiljana Sabljak form Croatia, Beata Kovacsne Batho and Judit Vastag from Hungary.

The aim of the international team of scholars is to work out innovative methods of child protection and provide traumatized children with adequate psychosocial support to facilitate rehabilitation. Various methods of community work and art therapy have been adapted and evaluated to reach this goal.

Major projects of the network:

"Promoting self-help and voluntary work with children and young people in Slovenia and Europe"(International action research, „Drusto za razvijanje prostovoljnog dela", Novo mesto, Slovenia. The project was started in 1993.

Mental health support and training for teachers working in child and youth protection in the states of former Yugoslavia. (International action research, "Together" - Slovenian Foundation, Ljubljana, 2002-

Building bridges: Children and young persons with war traumas in states of former Yugolavia. Psychosocial rehabilitation. International Children's Institute - ICI BiH, Montreal - Sarajevo, Canada, 1993-

Health education and health promotion in Kosovo. (International action research and training, International Organization for Migration, Budapest, 2003 -

Social exclusion and steps to inclusion in the social care of small village population in Baranya County. Családsegítő és Gyermekjóléti Társulás - Villány. Ifjúsági, Családügyi, Szociális és Esélyegyenlőségi Minisztérium Pályázati Programja. Hungarian Ministry of Family, Child Welfare and Equal Chances. 2003-2005.

The Carpathian Network of Social Professionals

The network has been initiated by Margit Molnar in 2008. CNSP is a think tank for social professionals who are interested in common traditions of our profession as well as current social problems and workable solutions in the region. CNSP considers the ethnic diversity and rich cultural heritage of the peoples living in the Carpathian Basin a major resource of social development. First steps of collaboration with Babes-Bolyai University (Romania) and Partium Christian University (Romania) have already been taken. Future members who wish to join our work are most welcome. 

Regional Development

The problem of regional inequality is a major social political issue within the European Union. It is an area of active and developing research where the establishment of international collaborating networks will enhance the relevance of the research. The team was formed in 2007 and is led by Gabor Szollosi.

Individual research

In addition to the above themes, individual research projects are also encouraged. For further information on these please see staff member's CV. 


Márta B Erdős: The Role of evaluation research in a country in transition (2016) ISBN 9780948314629


Marta B. Erdos, Gabor Kelemen, Jozsef Csurke, Joan Borst: Reflective recovery


ISBN 978-963-9771-50-5

Budapest: Oriold, 2011

217 pages

Language: English

In this book we invite the reader to take a few steps into the “multiverse” of 12-step fellowship recovery cultures. These fellowships exist in many different countries to guide and help dependent persons in their personal journey towards recovery. Twelve-step fellowships do not fit into the technological rationalism of service delivery models but represent a different kind of trans-formative framework. In the authors’ conception, recovery is the acquisition of the sober culture. Following the ideas of narrative therapists who assume that it is the clients who can teach us best the realities of their own lives, authors witnessed the learning processes of recovering persons who identify them-selves as alcoholics or drug-dependent persons. The integrative conception of health learning is based on the systematic exploration of related theories and on the sequential-transformative analysis of the data derived from interviews with 12-step members and other persons in recovery. Theory and research on processes of recovery are supplemented by a comprehensive analysis of drug policies that determine the social context for “active” and recovering addicts and helpers. Our research was conducted in the special environment of the transition society of Hungary. The social environment characterized by the chaos related to our state socialist legacy and the confusion of recent transitions demand in-depth reflection on the part of the communities and the person, creating a uniquely inspiring position for social and cultural research.

Juhász, Gábor & Garai, Péter: Human Research in the Non-Profit Sector

ISBN 978-963-642-174-8
Pecs: University of Pecs, 2007. 
207 pages
Language: English

Some telling results of recent empirical research on civil organizations and target groups with employment and other social handicaps are summarized in this book. It can be concluded that human resource and organization development as well as the establishment of collaborating professional networks are of primary importance in contemporary Hungary.

Juhász, Gábor: Social and Labour Force interests. Civil Roles

ISBN 978-963-06-1261-6
Kaposvar: Human Exchange Human Resource Development and Consultancy Foundation, 2006. 
112 pages.
Language: Hungarian with English summaries

The four chapters and the thesaurus direct readers' attention to the importance of civil / non-profit organizations in regional or local collaborating networks of state economy through the definition of interests and stakes.

Kelemen, Gábor - B. Erdős, Márta: Craving for Sobriety 

ISBN: 63 216 3451
Published in 2004, Pecs. Faculty of Humanities University of Pécs & The Leo Amici 2002 Foundation. 
132 pages
Language: English

"An extraordinary fellowship of recovering addicts presents itself to the readers of this book. In the following pages, its authors address a series of questions focused on the evolution, practices and ideology of this small therapeutic community..." (from the preface written by Michael Seltzer, p. 7.)

The full publication list is available in the Hungarian Scientific Publications Database (MTMT): https://www.mtmt.hu/

International Relations

Open attitudes to the diversity of human cultures, the capacity to form and develop resourceful networks and improve one's self-reflective capacity are the cornerstones of social professions. Our department lays special emphasis on developing national and international relations with various institutions providing social worker training, conducting social research or practicing social work and encourage student participation in these networks.

International partners (in alphabetical order):

Arteveldehogeschool, Belgium
A student exchange program in the Erasmus network that has started in 2009. Two students, Bart Capoen and Thomas Clauw spent their placement at our Department from February, 2010 to June, 2010. (Field instructor: Eva Knyihar, European Capital of Culture Volunteer Coordinator, MSW)

Babes-Bolyai University, Hungarian Faculty, School of Sociology and Social Work (BBU, Romania).
In 2008, the School hosted two lecturers from our department who could lecture and participate in the research activities of the institution. The staff exchange programme was funded by the Leonardo Mobility Programme.
As a second step, we have invited Professor Albert-Lorincz Eniko into the Editorial Board of our journal, the Hungarian Social Review (Szociális Szemle).
Further co-operation is also planned the The Carpathian Network of Social Professionals.
There is a bilateral agreement between the Babes-Bolyai University and the University of Pecs.

Cheshire County Council
The CCC has several provisions in the field of social care throughout the county. The CCC offered placements in elderly care and in social care of persons with learning disabilities for our students. In 2007, six students could participate in the project for 39 weeks in the frameworks of the Leonardo Mobility Programme. The stipend they received from Leonardo Programme was complemented by a bursary from CCC to make students' lives more comfortable.

Grand Valley State University, Michigan
In the fall semester of 2009/2010 professor Joan M. Borst spent her sabbatical year at our department as a Fulbright Scholar. Her contributions to our methods of instructing social work in health settings have made her an invaluable member of the team. Also, she collected a huge number of reference books - kind donations from American colleagues and publishers - that serve as the basis of the Department Library.

Ferenc Rákóczi II. Transcarpathian Hungarian Institute, Department of History and Social Sciences
Ukraine, 9200 Beregszász, Kossuth tér 6.

Florida State University, College of Social Work
In the autumn of 2005/6, Tomi Gomory, Associate Professor spent his sabbatical in Hungary as a Fulbright Scholar. He held lectures for our students and was involved in various research activities at the department. Professor Gomory was first author of the article „Kényszer vagy együttműködés" published in a leading Hungarian journal for social professionals („Esély").
In the spring semester of 2006/7 the Florida State University invited our students to participate in an international course (International Social Work and Social Welfare) The Hungarian participants could work together with students from the Florida State University and the University of West Indies via the Internet. Pat Lager, Director of International Programmes headed the course.
In July, 2008 Professor Gomory organized a faculty development visit for 11 lecturers and researchers form various universities in the United States who came to study the Hungarian system of social care.
Professor Gomory is a Member of the Editorial Board of the Hungarian Social Review.
There is a bilateral agreement between Florida State University and the University of Pecs to promote student exchange, joint courses and research projects.

Middlesex University, Centre for Excellence of Learning and Teaching in Mental Health and Social Work (Social Work Academic Group, SWAG, Middlesex, UK.).
In 2008, SWAG hosted our lecturer, beneficiary of the Leonardo Mobility Programme who was assigned to various tasks in lecturing and research. As the research and lecturing interests of SWAG coincide with ours, further plans on future co-operation are outlined. A lecturer has been invited to a conference in September on addiction counselling.

Patrium Christian University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Social Sciences
Ro 410209 Oradea, Str. Primariei Nr. 27.
http://www.patrium.ro Several colleagues are members of the editorial board and authors of Szociális Szemle (Hungarian Social Review).
Regular faculty visits and conference participations are planned. 

PROMIS Recovery Centre, Nonigton, UK
The Centre offers therapy for patients with various types of addictions. Dr. Robert Lefever, founder of the PROMIS Recovery Centre has written a number of seminal works on addictions and recovery. Some of his works have been translated and published by the Leo Amici Foundation and the University of Pecs to improve Hungarian professionals' theoretical knowledge and practical skills. In 2008, a lecturer from our department could spend three weeks at PROMIS conducting field research.

Sherborne Area Partnership (SAP), UK
SAP hosts volunteers from various European countries to share the work at Yeovil Trinity Foyer, a provision for young homeless persons. So far 6 students of social work have participated in the programme from our department and could spend their placement in one of the model organizations in the United Kingdom.

School of Health and Social Care, University College Chester, UK.
The Department of Social Work (Chair: Professor Aidan Worsley) hosted two Hungarian lecturers in 2007-2008 in the frameworks of the Leonardo Mobility Programme.
Beneficiaries could study methods of lecturing and participate in a research project of the hosting institution.

The Scientific Association for Hungarology Research 
Serbia, 24000 Subotica Branislava Nušića 2/1

University College Oslo, Norway
In 2003/4, Professor Michael Seltzer spent his sabbatical at our department and was involved in research at the Leo Amici Rehabilation Centre for drug addicts. As a recent development of our co-operation, Professor Seltzer has joined the Editorial Board of Hungarian Social Review.
University College Oslo and the University of Pecs have signed a bilateral agreement to promote student exchange (Erasmus programmes) 

University of Novi Sad, Teachers' Training Faculty in Hungarian in Subotica
Serbia,Subotica, Strossmayer str. 11.

Hungarian Social Review

Hungarian Social Review

The Hungarian Social Review (Szociális Szemle) is a scholarly biannual designed to represent the diversity, humane commitment and innovative power of the social professions. One of the important aims of the journal is to serve as a bridge both in space and time. Hungary has long been considered as the boundary between Eastern and Western Europe and this historical tradition has established an advantageous position to promote exchange and dialogue in the fields of social work and social policy.

The Hungarian Social Review provides information on recent national and international developments in policy, practice, research and education relevant to social work. The journal features full-length articles, reviews, interviews and conference reports.
The journal publishes in Hungarian and in English.

Editorial Board:

Prof. Eniko Albert-Lorincz, Ph. D. (Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca)
Prof. habil. Arpad Barath, Ph.D. (University of Pecs)
Dr. habil. Marta B. Erdos, Ph. D. (University of Pecs)
Viktoria Borda(University of Pecs)
Julianna Boros (University of Pecs)
Dr. Zsuzsanna Brettner, Ph. D. (University of Pecs)
Gabor Flora, Ph. D. (Partium Christian University, Oradea)
Dr. habil. Gabor Juhasz, Ph. D.
Dr. habil. Gabor Kelemen, Ph. D. (University of Pecs)
Dr. Jozsef Madacsy, Ph. D. (University of Pecs)
Prof. Michael Seltzer, Ph. D. (University of Oslo, Norvégia) 
Daniel Molnar (University of Pecs)
Dr. Margit Molnar, CSc(University of Pecs)
Gyorgyi Szilagyi, Ph. D. (Partium Christian University, Oradea),
Dr. Gabor Szollosi, Ph. D. (University of Pecs)
Prof. Tomi Gomory, Ph. D. (Florida State University, United States)


Hungarian Social Review 2015/1-2

Hungarian Social Review 2014/1

Hungarian Social Review 2013/1-2

Hungarian Social Review 2010/1

Hungarian Social Review 2009/1-2


Manuscript Submission Guidelines:

The journal publishes in English and in Hungarian. Papers must be original and not currently under review elsewhere. Normally articles will be up to 5000 words including endnotes and references.
Typed double-spaced (12 pt) throughout on one side of A4 white paper, papers should include: (1) Title page (authors postal/email addresses, tel/fax nos) (2) 2nd page: Abstract (100-150 words) and about six key words (3) Main text: see American Psychological Association Publication Manual (4th ed.) for details. UK or US spelling.
Please email submissions as MS Word or rft attachments to the editors at:
Marta B. Erdos
Editorial Board Member

Covering letter: Please attach to every submission a letter confirming that all authors have agreed to the submission and that the article is not currently being considered for publication by any other print or electronic journal. Anonymous peer review is ensured; authors may suggest three possible reviewers.

Reflective Social Education System in the 21st Century

Presentation of the TÁMOP-5.4.4-09/2-C-2009-0008 project the ’Reflective Social Education System in the 21st Century’

The project is trying to realize the double model of a social expert who acts and learns reflexively, and the principles of this model are carried out in every phase of the training process being adopted to the conditions of each phase. One of the goals of the training centre is to strengthen the operation of the training as a network that does not divide but connects the target groups learning at different levels. Another goal of the development is to support the career planning process of the social experts by organizing the items of the trainings of a given experts into a logical procedure, which also connects various groups being trained at different levels.

By improving the standard of the trainings we would like to provide experts, volunteers or lay helpers with the appropriate competences for the service system that is getting more and more modern. By developing the thematics, curriculums, the practical trainings and the teacher education and also by making the trainings mobile, using new technology (information trainings, e-learning) we improve the harmony between the trainings and the demands of the everyday work; and by doing so we are actually making the helping activities much more effective.

Realizing the model of an expert following the reflexive practice and strengthening the competences that belong to the service development plans have a direct impact on the praxis of the social experts and consequently on the relationship between the expert and the client. Thus the main target group of the project includes the people studying in social trainings and continuing vocational trainings and also colleagues teaching in the education system. The second or indirect target group includes those who use social services or various care services for children.

The project is carried out with the component ’C’ of TÁMOP-5.4.4, with the support of 39.506.928 HUF, with the consortium cooperation of the University of Pécs as the main tenderer (the organizational unit responsible for the tender: Department of Social Work and Social Policy, Faculty of Humanities), and the South Transdanubian Regional Resource Centre Nonprofit Service Ltd.

 Other cooperating partners:

- Élettér Foundation, Pécs

- Szocionet South Transdanubian Regional Methodological Human Service Centre, Kaposvár

- Rinyamenti Region Local Government Association, Nagyatád

(Translated by Georgina Mucsi)

Study programmes at undergraduate level:



Department of Community and Social Studies

H-7624, Pécs, Rókus utca 2. (M. épület)    +36-308932950, +36-72-501500/64310    feher.lilla@pte.hu