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Archived Curricula Guide 2015–2017
Curricula Guide is archieved. Please refer to current Curricula Guides
Master's Degree Programme in Comparative Social Policy and Welfare

Master's Degree Programme in Comparative Social Policy and Welfare is jointly organised by three European universities: University of Tampere (Finland), Johannes Kepler University (Linz, Austria) and Mykolas Romeris University (Vilnius, Lithuania).

The COSOPO programme provides an interdisciplinary approach to contemporary societies in Europe. It is based on the strong research tradition on social policy and welfare in social sciences in the University of Tampere, in the Johannes Kepler University and in the Mykolas Romenius University. The aim of the programme is to facilitate the understanding of social policy and welfare in Europe. The programme focuses, for example, on the dynamics of social policy in the countries representing different welfare models and on analyzing different fields of social policies from various perspectives. During the programme students will learn about comparative designs, and about methodology on qualitative and quantitative policy studies.

The curriculum of the programme combines contact teaching and literature examinations with on-line learning. Most courses start with contact teaching which takes place during the intensive programmes organized in Vilnius, Lithuania; Tampere, Finland and Linz, Austria. These two-week intensive programmes bring together the students of all three universities to participate in lectures, seminars and excursions. Afterwards the courses continue on-line. In addition, students conduct a Master’s thesis on social policy and welfare issues. Each partner university organizes a local Master’s thesis seminar for supervising the students. These seminar groups are brought together in the last intensive programme during the second year of studies so that all students can give and receive feedback for their Master’s thesis from each other and from the professors of all three universities.

The programme prepares students for postgraduate studies, independent research work as well as for professional expertise on social policy and welfare. At the University of Tampere the students graduate with the degree of Master of Social Sciences.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completing the programme, students will be able to:

  • understand the European dimension of social policy and welfare
  • engage in an open and critical examination in the fields of social policy and welfare
  • use and accomplish research in the fields of social policy and welfare in the countries representing different welfare models.
  • meet the different professional demands in the fields of social policy, welfare, social and welfare statistics, social security systems, labour policy, poverty, gender etc.
  • discuss relevant current literature, approach new scholarship, and critically present in public
  • develop, complete and defend scientific papers


Working Life Connections

The programme aims at improving students' academic credentials and in enhancing their career prospects as highly qualified analysts and applied researchers in national, European and international organisations. Graduates are expected to work in the areas of welfare management and social policy development and they will be able to apply their skills in creating, developing and evaluating social programmes and projects. Working life connections are realised during the studies, for example, by visits to different types of organizations in Finland, Austria and Lithuania during the programme's intensive periods and by a compulsory internship that students must complete as part of the programme.

School of Social Sciences and Humanities