General information


In the degree programme in Rehabilitation Counselling, the students complete the degree of Bachelor of Health Care in health and social studies.

In the degree programme, the students gain the skills to work in guidance, counselling, planning, coordination and development positions in the different operating areas of rehabilitation in the public and private sector, non-governmental organisations and as entrepreneurs. Rehabilitation counsellors who have completed their degree are able to assess and promote coping in everyday life and opportunities for being active for families and individuals of different ages and with different life situations. They can implement and coordinate effective rehabilitation in cooperation with other professionals in the field of rehabilitation.

Studying is practically-oriented, with almost one-third of studies taking place as practical training. The studies are carried out flexibly by taking advantage of team learning as well as online and project work. Previous competence may speed up graduation. The studies enable the creation of an individual career path by focusing on the entrepreneurship and internationalisation capabilities, for example. All students complete a part of their studies in English, and student exchange abroad is also possible.

​Degree level

Bachelor's degree (EQF 6)

Starting group code


Degree-related qualifications

There are no specific degree-related or statutory qualification requirements in the field.

Rehabilitation counsellor (Bachelor of Health Care) is not a protected occupational title, but rehabilitation counselling is mentioned in several laws and statutes.  In the current legislation, rehabilitation counselling is based on the new Health Care Act (L 30.12.2010/1326), which combines parts of the Act on Specialised Medical Care (1.12.1989/1062) and the Primary Health Care Act (28.1.1972/66), as well as the Disability Services Act (3.4.1987/380). The qualification requirements for the field of social services are laid down in the Act on Qualification Requirements for Social Welfare Professionals (2005/272).


Targeted competence

The rehabilitation counsellors who have graduated from JAMK University of Applied Sciences are able to act as experts in rehabilitation services in the public and private sector, non-governmental organisations and as entrepreneurs. They are familiar with the multidisciplinary knowledge base of rehabilitation, evidence-based rehabilitation activities, good rehabilitation practice and the current legislation and instructions on rehabilitation, and are able to utilise them in different kinds of client situations in rehabilitation. They have mastered the principles of networking, rehabilitation communications and multi-professional cooperation. Rehabilitation counsellors have versatile skills in guidance and advice as well as interaction and teamwork skills. Rehabilitation counsellors utilise the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) in their work.

Rehabilitation counsellors have the skills to work with an investigative, developing and evidence-based approach, as entrepreneurs and in project management. They can describe, productise and market their own competence to promote their employment and career planning.

Degree profile

In the degree programme in Rehabilitation Counselling, the students can specialise further based on their own career plan.

The students learn entrepreneurial thinking in the common studies of JAMK University of Applied Sciences, as well as the School of Health and Social Studies' own courses and those of the degree programme. Students have the opportunity to specialise further via an individual study path supporting entrepreneurship and/or multidisciplinary team activity.

Internationalisation competence is realised systematically and in a goal-oriented manner based on the student's career plan. Internationalisation at home is learnt through language and culture studies as well as studies in a foreign language. In international student exchange, the students focus on the country's service system, the service culture and the different existing operating models for rehabilitation as well as ones under development.

Structure of studies in Peppi

Individual courses (full-time studies)

Individual courses (part-time studies)


Prior learning recognition procedures are described in the Degree Regulations and in the Study Guide.

Degree programme application and admission

Structure and completion of studies

During the first year, the studies focus on clients in health care and social services, the client-oriented service process, promoting well-being and health, guidance and advice, as well as different kinds of operating environments and workplaces where rehabilitation is implemented.

During the second and third year of studies, the contents of the competence areas of the first year are investigated more in depth from the point of view of rehabilitation counselling. There, the focus is on the rehabilitation patient as a client, the starting points of rehabilitation, assessing the need for rehabilitation and the service systems of rehabilitation as well as the operating environments.  The students specialise further in interaction, guidance and advisory skills, networking, rehabilitation communications as well as the principles of multi-professional cooperation.

During the last half year of studies, the students can deepen their professional competence in the study module for developing professional expertise by focusing their studies on the area of Rehabilitation Counselling that they have selected.  The studies in the degree programme in Rehabilitation Counselling include a bachelor's thesis that is a research, development or innovation project implemented based on the development needs of working life.

The studies are practically-oriented, but they also require theoretical understanding and critical thinking. Approximately one third of the studies involve practical training that promotes vocational skills; it is carried out in accordance with the student’s Personal Learning Plan and career plan in development projects and work in the field, such as in specialised health care, municipal health care, social welfare services, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela), insurance companies, labour administration, organisations or companies. Practical training is included in both daytime and multiform studies. International competence can be improved by completing courses or practical training abroad. At least 20 cr of the studies are carried out in English.

Further information is available in the Study Guide:

​Assessment and learning guidance

Forms of study

In full-time studies the students form multi-professional teams at the start of their studies. Students from different degree programmes in health care and social services study in your team.  The teams operate independently and responsibly in different kinds of learning situations, such as projects. The students' common basic skills in health care and social services, which form a basis for the work, are constructed with the help of team dialogue. After the first study year, the teamwork continues with students in one's own field.

People in the team learn by doing together, and the importance of dialogue in learning is highlighted. The team's coach supports learning. Team study includes dialogue practice, lectures, learning tasks both together with the team and individually, exams, online studies and practical training that promotes vocational skills, as well as participation in working life projects. The full-time studies require participation in studies on weekdays.

Part-time studies combine online learning, independent studies, group work and classroom learning. Working methods include e.g. learning tasks, lectures, small group work and counselling. The studies require you to have an active approach to studying, motivation, and the desire to take responsibility for your own learning. Online learning requires basic IT skills. During the first year, the students meet on approximately two days per month to study in multidisciplinary teams.  In addition, the studies may include some theme weeks. During the following years, the studies include classroom learning and practical training periods. Part-time studies will suit you if you have previous experience in the field or if you want more flexibility due to your life situation regarding the time or place of completing your studies.


To be awarded a Bachelor’s degree certificate, the student must complete the studies of the degree programme within his/her study period in accordance with his/her Personal Learning Plan. Further information in the Degree Regulations.

Employment and further studies

​Professional profiles of graduates with examples

According to a thesis that was completed in the spring of 2014 (Laine & Nappa 2014), students who graduated as Rehabilitation Counsellors from JAMK University of Applied Sciences during 2007–2013 worked under 49 different job titles (N=69).   Most of the job titles included the word “counsellor”, such as rehabilitation counsellor, counsellor involved in outreach work, social counsellor, responsible counsellor or counsellor at a youth home. Other job titles included job coach, regional secretary, rehabilitation specialist, rehabilitation liaison, project employee or similar.


Further studies

The students may, after graduation and a work career of at least three years, continue their studies in a Master’s degree programme. A Master’s degree from a university of applied sciences is a higher post-secondary degree. Studies can also be continued by applying for a university Master’s degree programme or similar programmes. After a Bachelor’s degree from a university of applied sciences, it is also possible to continue studies at higher education institutes abroad in Master’s degree level programmes.

In addition, the University of Applied Sciences offers continuing education possibilities in specialisation studies and in working life-based continuing education. A student who completes an upper post-secondary degree may receive an opportunity for further studies in science or arts at universities (Section 37/558/2009). All further studies must be applied for separately.

​Other information


In addition to the teachers, the planning work of the degree programme in Rehabilitation Counselling has involved representatives of the students as well as representatives of the field of health care and social services from public, private and non-governmental organisations. The common and profession-specific future competences in health care and social services have been mapped in the planning meetings.

Contact information

Mirja Immonen, Head of Department, +358 405478949
Piippukatu 2
FI-40100 Jyväskylä