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.
Please note that the information on these Admissions pages was valid for the 2018 intake. Programme requirements and admissions info will be updated in late summer - autumn 2018.
Programme profile and research at UTA
Duration: 2 years
Extent: 120 ECTS
When to apply: The programme is not open for admission in 2019, the next intake is to be confirmed
Start date: to be confirmed
Tuition fee for non-EU/EEA students: 10 000 € / year
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What is Finland University?
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.
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
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 in the Master’s degree programme in Comparative Social Policy and Welfare consist of two parts: the University of Tampere (UTA) general eligibility criteria, and programme specific eligibility criteria, which specify and/or add information to the general criteria. You must meet both in order to be considered eligible.
To be eligible to apply for a Master’s degree programme at the University of Tampere, you must have
- a completed university level Bachelor's degree or equivalent in the field of the desired Master’s degree programme or in a closely related subject AND
- fluency in English sufficiently advanced for academic studies. For requirements, please see Language requirements.
Programme specific eligibility criteria
To be eligible to apply to the MDP in Comparative Social Policy and Welfare, an applicant must have a successfully completed Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in social sciences or in a closely related field. If the degree is from a different field, it must include a sufficient amount of studies in social sciences, policy studies or welfare issues.
Applicants with a Master’s degree will be admitted to the programme only for well-founded reasons.
Applicants who do not meet the general eligibility and programme-specific admission criteria will not be selected. Even if you meet all the admission criteria, this does not guarantee your admission to the programme. The competition for a study place at the University of Tampere is high as the number of eligible applicants annually exceeds the number of students that can be accepted.
Applicants with an unfinished Bachelor's degree
Your Bachelor's degree or equivalent must be completed well before the programme begins. If the degree is not completed by the end of the application period, you can be accepted to the programme on the condition that you send an officially attested copy of the degree certificate to the University by 31 July 2018. If admitted, you will first receive a notification on conditional acceptance and later a letter of acceptance once the officially attested copy of the degree certificate and transcript of records have reached the University.
You must submit evidence on a good command of English for academic purposes. There are two ways of indicating English language proficiency: language tests and previous studies.
1. Language tests
We accept the following tests as proof of a good command of English:
- TOEFL, Test of English as a Foreign Language; 90/Internet-based, 575/paper-based. NB: scores from TOEFL ITP/institutional testing programme are not accepted.
- IELTS (Academic), International English Language Testing System; 6.5 with no individual score below 5.5
- PTE (Academic), Pearson’s Test of Academic English; 62
Please note that the language test score must be valid throughout the application period. This means that if the language test expires even one day before the application deadline, you must take a new language test. Language test results are valid for two years.
We advise all 2018 applicants needing an international language test score to book for a test date well in advance, as test dates are filling up fast in the autumn and it may take several weeks for the test result to reach University Admissions Finland.
For information on how to submit a language test result, please see http://www.uta.fi/admissions/language-requirements.
2. Previous studies
If you fulfil one of the criteria below, you are exempt from submitting a language test score. Please note that you may fit into several of the categories that exempt from the language test requirement. Please choose in the application form the one you feel is most appropriate.
- A Bachelor's or a two-year Master’s degree completed in English in a university or university of applied sciences in Finland or another EU/EEA country, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the United States, excluding online degrees.
- A Bachelor’s degree completed in a Finnish university or university of applied sciences in Finnish or Swedish. The compulsory foreign language course included in the degree must be completed in the English language.
- Secondary education in English in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States.
Please note that in addition to assessing your previous studies in terms of eligibility, we assess them also to determine the level of your English skills based on the grades. If you feel your grades do not give the right impression of your English skills, we strongly recommend that you take a language test to indicate your proficiency.
For information on the documents you need to submit to indicate your language skills with previous studies, please see http://www.uta.fi/admissions/application-documents.
Master's programme application period December 2018 - January 2019
Late August 2019 (to be confirmed)
A maximum of 12 students
The tuition fee of the programme is 10 000 euros per academic year (non-EU/EEA students) with a scholarship-system for fee-paying students: http://www.uta.fi/admissions/fees-and-scholarships#scholarships
How to apply
Applications are submitted through an electronic application system. A link to the application form is available on the Admissions web page during the application period. If you apply to more than one UTA Master’s degree programme, you are requested on the application form to list the programmes you apply to in priority order. All applications are pre-processed by the centralized University Admissions Finland (UAF) service. You must be able to support your application with enclosures related to your educational background, language skills, and other qualifications and merits. The deadline for submitting the application is 17 January 2018.
You must be able to prove your educational background by means of officially authenticated copies of your documents. If the documents are not in English, Finnish or Swedish, both the authenticated copies of the documents in their original language and an officially confirmed complete and precise translation into one of the languages mentioned above are required.
In addition to the standard document requirements, educational documents issued in certain countries have more specific requirements for submission. Please go through the requirements carefully and check the country-specific requirements for your degree awarding country before applying.
For more information on the required documents, and instructions for applicants, please see How to apply.
If selected, you will have to present your original educational documents upon arrival at the University of Tampere in order to be able to register at the university.
Tuition fee and scholarships
Finnish universities collect tuition fees from non-EU/EEA citizens starting their studies in Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes taught in English.
You are not required to pay the tuition fee if you are:
- EU/EEA citizen or a family member (spouse/child) of an EU/EEA citizen.
- equivalent to EU/EEA citizens (i.e. citizen of Switzerland).
- already residing in Finland on a permanent basis (continuous A, or permanent P/P-EU residence permit type), or have an EU Blue Card issued in Finland.
You must submit documents confirming your residence permit status with your application. For more information on the required documents, please see Application documents. Please note that the continuous or permanent Finnish residence permit needs to be valid during the application period, and at least until 1 August 2018. If the residence permit status changes after 1 August 2018 or during the studies, according to Finnish legislation tuition fees may be charged.
The University of Tampere offers a substantial number of scholarships for the most talented fee-paying students. The scholarship scheme consists of two scholarship categories.
- University of Tampere tuition fee scholarships cover either 100% or 50% of the tuition fees during the two-year Master’s degree programme.
- University of Tampere global student award for academic excellence scholarships cover 100% of the tuition fees and include a 7,000 € annual scholarship to cover your living expenses during the two-year Master’s degree programme.
Applicants apply for the scholarship as part of the application to the degree programme. Admitted applicants who have been granted a scholarship will be informed about this together with the admission decision.
For more information on who is required to pay the fee and on the available scholarships, please see Fees and Scholarships web page.
Students are selected to the programme from those applicants who fulfil the official admission criteria. Candidates for admission should be well qualified and capable of benefiting from the study programme in question.
Student selection is made on the basis of application documents; there is no entrance exam.
You will be assessed on the following merits:
- the academic quality as well as the success and the relevance of your overall study record in the completed Bachelor's degree and other studies, judged primarily from the degree certificate and transcript of records
- motivation to study specifically in this programme; demonstrated interest in and commitment to research in social policy and welfare, judged from the letter of motivation and the CV
- English language skills for academic purposes, judged from the certificate provided
In addition, work experience relevant to the programme, and other relevant merits and qualifications may be taken into account.
The University may arrange interviews to assess the most qualified applicants. The interviews are conducted by video, telephone or in Skype in February-March. The interviewees will be contacted using the contact details provided on the application form. Prior to the interview, instructions will be sent to the interviewees by email. The purpose of the individual interview in English is to establish your motivation, and your aptitude and ability to discuss the content areas of the programme. An effort is also made to establish your social skills and language skills in English. Please note that only a selection of applicants may be interviewed.
Applicants who have not yet completed a Master's degree or equivalent will be given priority in student selection.
After the assessment, the programme makes a proposal to the Dean on the students to be admitted. The Dean makes the final decision on admission.
Announcement of results and rectification procedure
Admissions results will be announced by 29 March 2018. All applicants will be informed about the admissions results.
Please see the University's general instructions concerning rectification procedure: http://www.uta.fi/admissions/degreeprog/applying/selection.html
Coordinator of International Education
Eveliina.Permi (at) uta.fi