Social work education started at the University of Jyväskylä in 1975. However, it only attained the position of an independent discipline in the Dept. of Social Sciences and Philosophy in the year 2000.
In Finland, professional qualification for social work can be achieved by completing the degree of Master of Social Sciences (majoring in social work). The University of Jyväskylä is one of the six universities in Finland at which this master's programme is available. Our department also participates, jointly with the other five Finnish universities in the organisation of a doctoral programme in social work as well as of a postgraduate degree with a professional specialization, called the licentiate in social work.
The main areas of expertise in social work research and teaching at the University of Jyväskylä are eco-social social work, evaluation research, gender aspects in social work, childhood and family studies, and care research.
The aim of our programmes is to foster students' professional, personal and political growth. We strive to educate social workers of the future who are flexible in a rapidly changing society and working life. During their studies, students acquire knowledge of the changes in people's living conditions and needs, to interpret these changes, to plan how to meet these needs, and to pass on the acquired knowledge to other professionals and policy-makers. After graduation, many students work in practical social work, while others find employment in administration, research, development, and the teaching of social work and social care. In addition to public welfare agencies, many non-profit organisations hire social workers.