Social work is a branch of social science that explores questions around human wellbeing, social problems and the change processes associated with them on individual, communal, societal and global levels. Its ethical foundation is grounded in indivisible human dignity, respect and human rights. Working with people who are living in vulnerable situations and changing their life situations is at the heart of social work. Social work has a long history at Tampere University, especially when it comes to the study of families and children in complex situations, the lives and substance abuse issues of marginalized adults and the service systems related to these issues.
The Degree Programme in Social Work is the oldest of its kind in Finland and a nationally significant social work education and research unit. The degree programme creates research-based expertise in social work practice, tasks related to administration, development, research and education, and other tasks that require a basic education in the social sciences. In Finland, social work professionals are largely employed by the public sector. They work in various roles within social and health services and in multidisciplinary networks with children, adolescents, families, adults and the elderly. Changes in service systems, globalisation, environmental threats and their diverse consequences are constantly creating new challenges, responsibilities and opportunities to social work that a comprehensive and research-based university education provides good tools for addressing. The national employment rate for master’s graduates in social work is very high. Those who graduate from the degree programme with a master’s degree become legally qualified social workers. After a master’s degree in social work, it is possible to continue one’s education with specialisation studies and doctoral studies.