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Global Society – Comparative Social Policy and Welfare

Tampere University
2 years
Master's degree
Scholarships available
On campus
No 2021 intake; inquire for more information.
Tampere University

Program description

Global Society – Comparative Social Policy and Welfare

The Master's Degree program in Comparative Social Policy and Welfare (COSOPO) provides an interdisciplinary approach to contemporary societies in Europe and facilitates understanding social policy and welfare issues in global, national and local contexts. In this program, you are able to develop skills for understanding and analysing the development of societies and for engaging with sustainable welfare and policy solutions.

Our graduates work around the world for national and local governments, private companies, non-governmental organisations, and academia. During the studies, you will learn the dynamics of social policy in countries that represent different welfare models and may choose a specialisation based on your interest in some area of social policy. You will concentrate on comparative designs and practise qualitative and quantitative policy analysis. As a part of the studies, you may improve your future employment prospects by gaining work experience as a trainee or doing voluntary work for three months.

During your studies in the COSOPO program, you will get experience from two European universities as the program is jointly organized by Tampere University (Finland) and Johannes Kepler University Linz (Austria). The program combines contact teaching with online learning which means that you will be able to work together with the students and teachers of both universities during intensive 1-2 week periods of teaching each semester and during the rest of the academic year you will be studying on-line which allows you to flexibly plan your schedule.

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Admission requirements

General eligibility

To be eligible to apply to a Master’s degree program at Tampere University, you must have

  1. Bachelor’s degree - nationally recognized first cycle degree
    • which corresponds to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to three years of full-time study
    • from relevant field for the Master’s degree program that you’re applying to
    • from an accredited institution of higher education
  2. AND a good command of the English language for academic purposes.

A Bachelor’s degree completed in a university outside Finland must provide eligibility for university-level master’s degree studies in the country in which it was awarded.

Program-specific eligibility criteria

To be eligible to apply to the Master's degree program 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.

For more information about admission requirement, please visit the university website.

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Program content

Advanced Studies in Comparative Social Policy and Welfare

Introduction to Master's Degree Studies

  • Scientific Writing

Theoretical Approaches to Social Policy and Welfare

  • Theories of Welfare States and Comparative Social Policy: An introduction
  • Welfare State Theories
  • Comparative Research in Social Policy

National Systems of Welfare Production

  • Eastern European Model: Lithuanian System of Work and Social Security
  • Continental Model: The Austrian System of Work and Social Security
  • Nordic Model: Nordic Welfare Societies
  • European Social Policy: Content and Actors

Research Areas of Social Policy

  • Social Demography
  • Family Policy
  • Social Inequality and Exclusion
  • Political Dynamics of Social Policy-Making in Select Fields
  • Optional Studies from the Global Society Framework

Empirical Research Methodology and Methods

  • Methodology of Social and Comparative Research
  • Quantitative Research Methods and Comparative Research Design
  • Qualitative Research Methods and Comparative Research Design

Practicum / Internship

  • Internship

Master's Thesis and Thesis Seminar

  • Master's Thesis and Thesis Seminar

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please visit the university website for more information.

Tuition fees

Tuition fee for non-EU/EEA citizens: 10000 € per academic year.

You will not be required to pay the fee if you are:

  • an EU/EEA citizen
  • equivalent to EU/EEA citizen (i.e. citizen of Switzerland)
  • already reside in Finland (a continuous A or a permanent P/P-EU residence permit), or have an EU Blue Card issued in Finland. The exempting residence permit must be valid when you are applying for studies and at least until 1 August i.e. when the study right commences. Please note that a residence permit in another EU/EEA country does not exempt you from the tuition fee.


Upon successful completion of the program, students will earn a Master of Social Sciences degree (120 ECTS).

Learning outcomes

Upon completing the program, 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 present scientific papers

Continuing studies

Postgraduate study opportunities

The COSOPO program gives eligibility for postgraduate studies in social sciences.

Career opportunities

The program aims at improving students' academic credentials and in enhancing their career prospects as highly qualified analysts and applied researchers in national, European and international organisations. 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 programs and projects.

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About this institute

Tampere University

Tampere University is one of the most multidisciplinary universities in Finland. Almost all internationally recognised fields of study are represented at our university. Tampere University is a merger of the former University of Tampere and Tampere University of Technology. University...

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Contact info

Tampere University

Kalevantie 4
33100 Tampere

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Contact school

Want to know more about Global Society – Comparative Social Policy and Welfare? Fill out the following form and we'll pass your details on to a representative from the school, who will respond to your enquiry.


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