Social Work

The aim in social work, as both a professional activity and a discipline, is to promote wellbeing among people and their communities. To achieve a positive change and solve people’s problem situations, social work is carried out in multidisciplinary cooperation with clients, their families, communities and different networks at the individual as well as societal level. In social work education, a research-based approach is intertwined with a professionally oriented, practical approach in an intriguing way.

In social work practice as well as in its research and teaching, phenomena are explored from the perspective of a societal framework, with an orientation towards academic research. The expertise in social work and the professional skills provided by the education ensure a direct path to the world of work. The programme enables graduates to work as experts in the diverse and interesting welfare sector, in both client work and different administrative, development and education tasks. To work as a social welfare professional, one must have completed a master’s degree in Finland that includes major subject studies or corresponding university studies in social work. The corresponding major subject studies in social work can also be completed separately in addition to a master’s degree (Act on Social Welfare Professionals, Laki sosiaalihuollon ammattihenkilöistä 817/2015).

Social work studies at the university prepare students for research positions and open the door for doctoral studies in social sciences. Central themes in the social work research conducted at the University of Jyväskylä are the inclusion, opportunities for action, and wellbeing of individuals and communities, as well as violence in everyday life and institutions. The preconditions for a sustainable society are studied from the viewpoint of social work. In addition, the research focuses on ethics, ideologies, change processes and professional practices in welfare service systems, institutions and professions.