The origins of the University date back to 1925 when the Civic College was opened in Helsinki. In 1930, this institution became known as the School of Social Sciences, and in 1949 the first faculty, the Faculty of Social Sciences, was founded. In 1960, the School was transferred to Tampere and re-established as the University of Tampere in 1966.
Around 15,000 students are currently pursuing degrees at the University of Tampere. Every year, the University grants approximately one thousand Master’s degrees and a hundred doctoral degrees. The University employs approximately 2,100 staff.
At the beginning of 2011, the University of Tampere conducted a thorough overhaul of its organisation. The former faculties and departments were rearranged into what is referred to as the schools model. The University now has nine schools: 1) BioMediTech, 2) School of Communication, Media and Theatre 3) School of Education, 4) School of Health Sciences 5) School of Information Sciences, 6) School of Language, Translation and Literary Studies, 7) School of Management, 8) School of Medicine, and 9) School of Social Sciences and Humanities.
The University of Tampere is Finland's largest provider of higher education in the field of social sciences and the related administrative sciences. In its instruction and research, the University takes a critical approach to phenomena in society. Its experts engage in the societal debate both through their publications and through the mass media; their opinions are sought after, and their words carry weight in discussions and decision-making. The University offers a wide range of research and expert services to both private companies and public bodies.
The School of Social Sciences and Humanities is one of the largest schools at the University of Tampere. The total number of permanent teaching staff amounts to 250, and the School has approximately 2,300 students, around 440 of whom are postgraduate students.
The School offers doctoral degrees in the following disciplines:
Gender Studies (formerly Women’s Studies), History, Logopaedics, Philosophy, Psychology, Social Anthropology, Social Policy, Social Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, Youth Research and the study field of Peace and Conflict Research.
The Unit of Pori offers postgraduate degrees in the disciplines of Social Policy, Social Work and Sociology.
The School’s decision-making bodies are the Management Board and the Dean of the School. The Dean of the School is appointed by the University Board. The matters related to doctoral studies that are considered by the School’s Management Board are prepared by the Postgraduate Committee.
Finland has a dense network of institutions of higher education, with a total of 14 universities (yliopisto) and 24 universities of applied science (ammattikorkeakoulu) located around the country. Finnish universities are publicly financed through the Ministry of Education and Culture but enjoy autonomy in their internal affairs. Finnish universities do not collect tuition fees, which means that the cost of studying is relatively low; however, the university does not provide scholarships for students. The new Universities Act introduced in 2009 allows universities to charge fees from non-European students who study on programmes that are taught in foreign languages. At the University of Tampere, the fee system is still under preparation. The Student Union and student associations charge small membership fees from graduate students; for doctoral students, membership in the Student Union is optional.
As of 1 August 2005, the two-tier degree system was introduced in Finland. The first tier is the Bachelor's degree, which is completed before the Master’s degree; the Bachelor’s degree is designed to take three (3) years and the Master’s thereafter two (2) years.
The Master’s degree includes advanced studies in the student’s major subject. A large part of the advanced studies consists of research work for the Master’s thesis. The Master’s degree grants eligibility for postgraduate studies.