SUOMEKSI Study guide
Curricula > Bachelor's degree programmes, part-time studies > Bachelor's degree programme in social services

Bachelor's Degree Programme in Social Services, Sosionomi (AMK): 210 ECTS
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Degree title and level

Bachelor of Social Services

Study objectives

As a graduate from the Bachelor of Social Services programme, you will be a regulated social services professional, who works in demanding and diverse specialist positions promoting social inclusion. The programme emphasises individuals’ everyday coping skills through educational and counselling practice. Upon successful completion of the programme, you will have the skills required in preventive and rehabilitative work while promoting the customer’s inclusion with the aim of preventing marginalisation and reducing social inequality.

The Bachelor of Social Services degree includes six different areas of proficiency. A social services professional possesses ethics competence, and they are committed to adhering to the values and professional ethics of the social services sector in their work. A social services professional is able to create a professional and inclusive relationship of interaction and cooperation with the customer, as well as to support and guide different customers and customer groups in their daily lives, different stages of growth and development as well as different life situations. A social services professional demonstrates knowledge of the service systems and legal basis of welfare and social security and the ability to analyse structures and processes, which create social deprivation and inequality. In addition, a social services professional knows how to apply a reflective, experiential and developmental approach and demonstrates knowledge of the basic principles of administration and has the skills to work as an immediate supervisor and in development projects in the workplace.

Study contents

The contents of the Bachelor of Social Sciences programme are combined by the principle and operating method that promote social inclusion. The social pedagogy framework provides the basis for the curriculum content, the learning concept, the delivery of the study programme, and students' personal learning process. The philosophy and work methods of social pedagogy emphasise participation, dialogue, action, experience, community and an everyday-life-oriented approach.

The education is based on pedagogics and social sciences. Social services education also applies information generated by many other disciplines. The core contents of the programme include

• social pedagogy
• customer in changing operating environments
• professional interaction and work with customers
• promoting well-being
• welfare policy and welfare services
• educational and counselling practice
• multicultural work
• mental health care and substance abuse work
• services for children, adolescents and families
• early education or social counselling with adults
• empowering, creative and action-based methods.

Structure of studies

The scope of the Bachelor of Social Services degree is 210 ECTS. The Bachelor of Social Services degree consists of the shared core competence at the Lahti University of Applied Sciences (25 ECTS), professional core competence (155 ECTS) as well as complementary competence (30 ECTS).

Professional core competence (155 ECTS) includes professional studies (75 ECTS), shared studies in social and health care (20 ECTS), practice (45 ECTS) and a thesis (15 ECTS). The curriculum is made up of modules worth 10–15 ECTS each, and each module is divided into courses, which are worth 5–10 ECTS each. The studies include a minimum of 15 ECTS of studies in English.

More about the language of instruction

The degree programme language is Finnish. Some of the courses will be delivered in English, and some English-language learning materials will also be used.

Thesis

The UAS Bachelor's degree includes a thesis project which carries 15 ECTS. The thesis will expand and deepen your professional competence and provide diverse skills to work in sector development tasks. The thesis will improve your information gathering and problem-solving skills as well as sense-making. It also enables genuine interaction with working life, since the thesis is primarily drawn up as a working life assignment. The thesis can be completed individually or as pair or group work and it includes a written report.

Qualification

Successful completion of the programme earns the student a Bachelor of Social Services degree. In accordance with the act on social welfare professionals which became effective on 1 March 2016, the Finnish degree title of “sosionomi” may only be used by a person who has completed the Bachelor of Social Sciences degree. “Sosionomi” is a regulated profession overseen by Valvira, the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health.

Internationalization

We offer our students diverse opportunities to gain international competence for working life. You will be able to complete part of your studies at our partner institutions around the world and complete practice periods in other countries. Our language course offering is designed to help you develop extensive and diverse language skills. English-language courses provide opportunities to network with students and teachers from different cultures.

Co-operation with other parties

During the studies, the students complete practice periods in various social services environments either in Finland or abroad. The student can complete studies at the Laurea University of Applied Sciences and the HAMK University of Applied Sciences (the FUAS Federation of Universities of Applied Sciences). The student will complete studies in, for example, projects and authentic customer situations in cooperation with workplaces.

Research focus

Your studies will incorporate workplace development tasks in cooperation with businesses and workplace organisations. Multidisciplinary workplace-oriented projects and a range of learning environments (student cooperatives, LimuRadio, SimulTi, Fumatec, Linkku, etc.) help you build strong contacts with employer organisations throughout your studies.

Career opportunities

Graduates from the Bachelor of Social Services programme can be employed in positions offered by the state, municipalities and the third sector and companies in the social services sector. Among them, the most common are social welfare supervisor, supervisor, senior supervisor, and family worker. The content of the work of social services professionals includes customer counselling, guidance and support in their daily operating environments. Their job duties also include various pedagogy and teaching tasks as well as rehabilitative and social support duties. They can also work in service provision, management and development tasks.

The Lahti University of Applied Sciences Degree Programme in Social Services offers two alternative paths, each with its own application process.

The social pedagogic early childhood education option provides extensive skills for working in child welfare and family work as well as in the position of school social worker. Students who take this path/main subject are qualified to work as kindergarten teachers provided that they complete 60 ECTS credits in early childhood education and/or social pedagogy required for qualification.

The option of social pedagogic social counselling with adults provides skills to be employed in a broad range of social counselling positions, such as in rehabilitative work for adult population as well as in child welfare and family work.

Postrgraduate study opportunities

The Bachelor of Social Services degree offers good postgraduate study opportunities. After three years of work experience, you will be able to apply to a University of Applied Sciences Master's degree programme.