MDP in Comparative Social Policy and Welfare

Knowledge on Society. Expertise on Policy. Competence in Research.

A joint approach by three European universities to contemporary societies and social issues.

Programme profile and research at UTA

Finland University
Degree: Master of Social Sciences
Duration: 2 years
Extent: 120 ECTS
When to apply: 1.12.2017 – 17.1.2018
Start date: August 2018
Tuition fee for non-EU/EEA students: 10 000 € / year
UTA Scholarships

Master's Degree Programme in Comparative Social Policy and Welfare (COSOPO) 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 Romeris 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 COSOPO programme is developed and organized by three European universities, each having its own area of expertise. Therefore the programme provides a unique combination of professional and research expertise as well as academic traditions.

Another specific feature of the programme is also that the COSOPO curriculum combines contact teaching and literature examinations with on-line learning. This gives students flexibility in planning their schedules. 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 students continue to work together in an on-line learning environment.

Study objectives

Students of the COSOPO programme will gain knowledge and understanding of comparative and interdisciplinary welfare and social policy research. The programme also offers an excellent opportunity for intercultural communication and learning by combining contact teaching with on-line learning.

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

Career opportunities

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 organizations. 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.

Doctoral study opportunities

The COSOPO programme gives eligibility for post-graduate studies in Social Sciences, for example in UTA’s Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences.

Applying for the programme


Eligibility criteria to the Master's degree programmes consist of two parts: the University of Tampere general eligibility criteria, and programme specific eligibility criteria, which specify and/or add information to the general criteria. Applicants must meet both in order to be considered eligible.

General eligibility:

To be eligible to apply for a Master’s programme at UTA, an applicant must have

  • a completed university level Bachelor's degree or equivalent in the field of the desired programme or in a closely related subject
  • fluency in English sufficiently advanced for academic studies. For more information, please see Language requirements.

Language requirements

Applicants must submit evidence on a good command of English for academic purposes.


Application period

Master's programme application period, 1.12.2017 – 17.1.2018

Start date

August 2018

More information on admission to this programme will be available in the beginning of Autumn semester.


Contact information

Eveliina Permi
Coordinator of International Education
Eveliina.Permi (at)