General information


After completing a master's degree in health and social studies, you are able to work in challenging, multidisciplinary expert, development and management positions or as an entrepreneur. You have mastered a proactive and preventive approach to work. You can apply evidence-based knowledge base in the changing operating environments of health care and social services.

In the studies in social services on the promotion of the well-being and participation of families, you will acquire expert competence for the customer-oriented renewal of family and well-being services. You will also acquire the capabilities to work in positions requiring a networked approach to work, as well as a supervisor, an entrepreneur and a development consultant in family and social services.

Degree level

Master’s degree (EQF 7)

Starting group code


Degree-related qualifications

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


Targeted competence

The goal of the education is that the graduates of the degree programme are experts of promoting the well-being and participation of families in the field of social services, who

• are able to acquire, process and assess information concerning families from the points of view of different fields, and who understand the legal and ethical grounds and opportunities in the background of family work and support for families  
• are able to analyse critically and predict social and global changes, particularly from the point of view of the well-being of families
• have mastered the central work orientations requiring special competence for work with families of different ages as well as empowering working methods
• are able to manage, develop and renew the activities of the work community and single processes in complex and unpredictable operating environments, and have mastered the working methods of customer-oriented consultations and dialogic guidance  
• identify the strengths of their expertise and their development targets and deepen and expand their networked working methods in a goal-oriented manner.

Degree profile

The profile of the degree is built on partnership, development and consultation competence in family and social services. As a developer of family services and a consultation expert, you will learn to analyse and develop family phenomena and family services in a multidisciplinary way as a part of different cultures and the course of a person's life. You will also be able to analyse social and global changes critically and predict their social impact in families and family services in particular. In the education, you will gain basic skills in partnerships and networking, and you can also strengthen your entrepreneurship and internationalisation competence.

Structure of studies in Peppi

The structure of the studies (90 cr) is as follows:

• Family expertise and participation competence, core studies 20 cr
• Research and development activities linked to the core studies 15 cr
• Optional studies 15 cr
• Elective studies 10 cr
• Thesis 30 cr

JAMK's common optional studies in multidisciplinary groups are:

• Leadership 5–15 cr
• Entrepreneurship 5–15 cr

Individual courses


The Prior Learning Recognition Procedures are described in the Degree Regulations and the Study Guide.

Degree programme application and selection

Information about applying for degree programmes and student selection

Structure and completion of studies

The studies include the degree core studies, optional and elective studies as well as a thesis. The studies consist of courses and larger competence areas.

During the first 1½ years of studies, the focus is on strengthening the competence in family expertise and participation as well as research and development competence. The Master's thesis constitutes one third of the studies, and therefore work on the thesis begins already during the first year of studies. During the last 1–1½ years, the main focus of the studies is on the elective studies chosen based on the Personal Learning Plan (PLP) and career plan as well as the thesis seminar work. You can deepen your competence related to entrepreneurship and internationalisation by selecting studies that support the competence areas from JAMK's extensive selection of Master’s degree studies.

Studies completed in other Master's degree programmes and Master's degree studies offered by partner universities or the Finnish Online University of Applied Sciences can also be accepted as optional and elective studies. In addition, the students can utilise open online studies offered by international institutes of higher education, the MOOC courses, in accordance with the Personal Learning Plan and career plan.

In addition to the courses offered within the degree programme, courses in Finnish and in English are offered by all of JAMK’s Master’s degree studies. The students make choices in accordance with their PLP within the competence areas/courses through learning tasks and the thesis. The studies are implemented as multiform studies, utilising working life and the more extensive research and development projects as learning environments. At least 5 ECTS credits of the studies in the degree programme are completed in English.

Further information is available in the Study Guide:

Assessment and learning guidance

Learning outcomes are assessed in relation to the learning objectives of the course. Assessment decisions are based on the assessment criteria provided in the course descriptions. Courses are assessed on the assessment scale specified in the course description. According to its purpose, the scale may be either of five steps: 5 (excellent), 4 (very good), 3 (good), 2 (satisfactory) and 1 (adequate) or a pass (P)/fail (0). Completion of the course has been failed (fail (0)) if the student does not achieve the minimum outcomes set for completion of the course.

The student has the right to know how the criteria apply him or her. Course performance is recorded in the transcript of records no later than one month after the declared time of completion of the course and always before the end of the school year.

Further information is available in the Study Guide:

Forms of study

​Part-time studies

In education implemented as multiform studies, the studies are mainly carried out in virtual learning environments. In addition to remote learning, the studies include an average of two days of classroom teaching per month during the first 1.5 years, followed by thesis seminar work. The studies can be completed part-time alongside work, or intensively as full-time studies. A part of the studies are carried out in multi-professional teams, where the students can network with other professionals in the field and develop their own work community.


Being awarded a Master’s degree certificate requires the student to 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

The degree provides the qualification to apply for a public office or position or other tasks that require a higher post-secondary degree.

Job titles and profiles of graduates: director (social service institutions), other special experts in social welfare, developer/counsellor in social services, kindergarten teacher, school social worker and entrepreneur.

​Further studies

The master's degree of the university of applied sciences is a Master's degree of a University. The graduate may get the opportunity to continue their studies in the scientific or artistic studies of universities (§ 37/558/2009). Students can also continue for example by applying for the corresponding follow-up training programs at foreign universities. The University of Applied Sciences also offers continuing education opportunities for specialisation studies and in working life-based continuing education. All further studies must be applied for separately.

A master's degree in Social Services from a university of applied sciences includes studies in both early education and social work.

Other information


The education involves cooperation with companies, representatives of public and non-governmental organisations as well as international partner universities. Discussions with representatives of working life and discussions in the research network on family services have been taken into account in drawing up the curriculum. The planning has also taken account of the views of the students that have participated in the previous degree programmes, which have been collected during personal and group discussions and via course feedback.

​Contact information

Asta Suomi, Specialist, +358 400 416 481,
Sirpa Tuomi, Programme coordinator, +358 400 976 750
Piippukatu 2
40100 Jyväskylä