Departmental history dates back to 1989 when the formation of a Department of Social Administration and Political Science within Democritus University was first discussed at the National Council for Tertiary Education. Deliberations and debates culminated in Presidential Decree 304/94 formally establishing the Department which commenced operating in October 1996 having a student intake of 80 for the academic year 1996-97.
It is a privilege for the Department that it is the only University level institution, in the Greek higher education system that offers a combined degree in Social Policy, Social Administration and Social Work.
During the first years of operation the Department struggled with limited staff and high aspirations and hopes. In its 16th year, though, it has a buoyant faculty of 25 full time members (4 professors, 6 associate professors, 9 assistant professors, 6 lecturers) and an ample number of adjunct staff, offering a wide number of core-obligatory and elective courses. To date there are approximately 1045 undergraduate students, whereas student intake has been risen to 200.
The Department has attracted scholars with extensive research and professional experience, coming from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds (social policy / social administration, sociology, economics, law, criminology and social work). The Department has developed co-operation with European Universities in the context of the ERASMUS and the SOCRATES programmes. Members of staff have been involved in several other international research projects and European networks.
A taught post-graduate programme in social policy and social work operated during the academic year 2009-10. Its continuation is among the top priorities of the Department in the near future. About 39 research students were recruited to work on Ph.D. projects. Nine of these Ph.D projects have been successfully completed.
The Department also organized two international conferences (in 2001 and 2003) and one ‘young researchers’ conference (in 2007 for celebrating its 10th anniversary), alongside a large number of workshops, seminars and colloquia.
Among the Department’s objectives are:
- To cultivate and promote the disciplines of social administration, social policy and social work, through academic teaching and research.
- To promote understanding of the historical, philosophical, value and ethical base informing social welfare and social work.
- To provide students with the necessary analytical, evaluative and problem solving skills for their career as professionals as well as social scientists in the modern world.
- To promote social solidarity and the delivery of quality services