Social Work is in Finland an independent, social science -oriented discipline. Teaching in social work takes place within six universities in Finland, and that at the Chydenius University Consortium in Kokkola forms part of the teaching provided by the University of Jyväskylä and conforms to its program and degree requirements. The main difference relative to the university itself lies in the fact that teaching is geared towards adults who are studying alongside their daily work. With this particular and permanent offer for adult part-time students of social work only, the University Consortium is unique in Finland.

Social Work studies as adult education means that it can be studied besides working in the field. The programs especially apply to the demands of working and family life of the adult students and take use of the particular chance of combing theory and practice directly. Our teaching is organized according to the methods of blended learning, which means that various forms of learning, i.e. contact seminars, internet-based courses and distance learning are connected. The contact seminars, mainly in Kokkola, are offered in the evenings and at the weekends.

Offers at the level of BA-studies started in Kokkola in 2002 as part of the Open University program, providing a qualification which would enable students to go on to take a MA-degree. In 2006, a MA -program in social work was initiated within the Social Science unit of the Chydenius University Consortium. It has an annual enrollment of 20 students and the part-time -students achieve their MA-degree generally in 2–3 years.

Doctoral Studies in Social work are offered at the Kokkola University Consortium as a part of the doctoral studies of the Social Work Unit at the main campus of the University of Jyväskylä. Students can enroll in the National Doctoral School of Social Work and Social Services http://www.sosnet.fi/In_English/Doctoral_Studies.iw3, in the International Doctoral School in Social Work INDOSOW http://www.indosow.net/ and in the Nordic-Baltic Doctral Network in Social Work http://www.sosnet.fi/NBSW.iw3.

The social work team consists of a professor, a university lecturer, three university teachers, a study counselor and a department secretary. Four researchers are involved in the research- and development project of the social work unit. The particular emphasis of the Social Work teaching and research unit in the Kokkola University Consortium is focused at the so-called eco-social approach, i.e. at a holistic view of the human welfare and environment. Citizens’ participation and user involvement and the strengthening of the social networks in the community are essential as well as the partnership with the third sector, social economy and social enterprises.


ECOSOS ­ - Contribution of Social Work and Systems of Income Security to the Ecosocial Transformation of Society

The Role of Welfare Services for the participatory citizenship of marginalized groups (PalKO), Academy of Finland: Research project 2011–2014.

Citizens participation and rural welfare services; KAMPA-research and development project.

Rural Local Welfare Systems (RLWS)

Regional research and development center of social services in Central Ostro-Botnia -network.

Regional Clinic of Social Work Teaching and Research.


International Doctoral School in Social Work INDOSOW http://www.indosow.net/

European comparison of educational systems as part of welfare politics

European Network of Social Work Studies as Adult Education (ALLISW)