Knowledge on society. Expertise on policy. Competence in research.
A joint approach by three European universities to contemporary societies and social issues.
The Master's Degree Programme in Comparative Social Policy and Welfare (COSOPO) provides an interdisciplinary approach to contemporary societies in Europe and facilitates understanding the social policy and welfare issues in global, national and local contexts. In this programme, you are able to develop skills for understanding and analysing the development of societies and for engaging with sustainable welfare and policy solutions.
Our graduates work around the world for national and local governments, private companies, non-governmental organisations, and academia. During the studies, you will learn the dynamics of social policy in countries that represent different welfare models and may choose a specialisation based on your interest in some area of social policy. You will concentrate on comparative designs and practise qualitative and quantitative policy analysis. As a part of the studies, you may improve your future employment prospects by gaining work experience as a trainee or doing voluntary work for three months.
COSOPO combines contact teaching with online learning. You will get experience from three European universities during intensive periods of teaching and may flexibly plan your schedule during the academic year. As a COSOPO student, you will be a member of a student community that extends beyond Tampere to Linz and Vilnius. COSOPO is jointly organised by Tampere University (Finland), Johannes Kepler University (Austria) and Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania).
Information about studies
- Type: Master's degree
- Degree earned: Master of Social Sciences
- Planned duration: 2 years
- Extent of studies: 120 ECTS
- City: Tampere
- Campus: Central Campus
- Tuition fee for non-EU/EEA citizens: 10000 €
Students of the COSOPO programme will gain knowledge and understanding of comparative and interdisciplinary welfare and social policy research. The programme also offers an excellent opportunity for intercultural communication and learning by combining contact teaching with online learning.
Upon completing the programme, students will be able to:
- Understand the European dimension of social policy and welfare.
- Engage in an open and critical examination in the fields of social policy and welfare.
- Use and accomplish research in the fields of social policy and welfare in the countries representing different welfare models.
- Meet the different professional demands in the fields of social policy, welfare, social and welfare statistics, social security systems, labour policy, poverty, gender etc.
- Discuss relevant current literature, approach new scholarship, and critically present in public.
- Develop, complete and present scientific papers.
More about the language of instruction
The language of the programme is English.
The Master's Degree Programme in Comparative Social Policy and Welfare (COSOPO) is jointly organised by three European universities: Tampere University (Finland), Johannes Kepler University (Linz, Austria) and Mykolas Romeris University (Vilnius, Lithuania).
The COSOPO programme provides an interdisciplinary approach to contemporary societies in Europe. It is based on the strong research tradition on social policy and welfare in social sciences at Tampere University, Johannes Kepler University and Mykolas Romeris University. The aim of the programme is to facilitate the understanding of social policy and welfare in Europe. The programme focuses, for example, on the dynamics of social policy in the countries representing different welfare models and on analysing different fields of social policies from various perspectives. During the programme, students will learn about comparative designs, and about the methodology of qualitative and quantitative policy studies.
The tuition fee of the programme is 10,000 euros per academic year for non-EU/EEA students with a scholarship system for fee-paying students.
The programme aims at improving students' academic credentials and in enhancing their career prospects as highly qualified analysts and applied researchers in national, European and international organisations. Graduates are expected to work in the areas of welfare management and social policy development and they will be able to apply their skills in creating, developing and evaluating social programmes and projects.
Co-operation with other parties
In addition to studies in one’s own degree programme, students may take full advantage of the teaching offered by the Tampere higher education community ranging from technical to vocational studies in various fields.
Postgraduate study opportunities
The COSOPO programme gives eligibility for postgraduate studies in social sciences.
Eligibility criteria in the Master's degree programmes consist of two parts: Tampere University's general eligibility criteria, and programme-specific eligibility criteria, which specify and/or add information to the general criteria. You must meet both to be considered eligible. Applicants who do not meet both the general eligibility and the programme-specific eligibility criteria will not be selected as students at Tampere University.
To be eligible to apply to a Master’s degree programme at Tampere University, you must have
- Bachelor’s degree - nationally recognized first cycle degree
- Which corresponds to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to three years of full-time study
- From the relevant field for the Master’s degree programme that you’re applying to
- From an accredited institution of higher education
- AND a good command of the English language for academic purposes.
A Bachelor’s degree completed in a university outside Finland must provide eligibility for university-level master’s degree studies in the country in which it was awarded.
Applicants in their final year of the Bachelor’s degree are eligible to apply if the degree will be completed by 31 July 2020. In this case, they may be accepted conditionally.
Applicants with a Master’s degree may be admitted only well-founded reasons and only if they are able to show that the new degree at Tampere University provides the applicant with significant new knowledge and skills.
Programme specific eligibility criteria
To be eligible to apply to the Master's degree programme in Comparative Social Policy and Welfare, an applicant must have a successfully completed Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in social sciences or in a closely related field. If the degree is from a different field, it must include a sufficient amount of studies in social sciences, policy studies or welfare issues.
Language skill requirements
All applicants must submit evidence on a good command of English for academic purposes. There are two ways of indicating English language proficiency: language tests and previous studies.
The minimum English language test result requirements
Test name & Minimum test result
- TOEFL iBT: 92 overall, with no section below 20
- IELTS (academic): 6.5 overall, with no section below 5.5
- PTE (academic): 62 overall, with no section below 42
- C1 Advanced: C
- C2 Proficiency: C1
- Finnish National Certificate of Language Proficiency (English): Proficiency level 5
*The previous CAE and CPE have been renamed as C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency.
It is possible to be exempted from submitting a language test score if you have completed particular studies listed by Tampere University. Only these studies are accepted. If you apply without a valid language test result, carefully examine the exemptions.
A maximum of 12 students is admitted to the Comparative Social Policy and Welfare programme.
Students are selected to the programme from those applicants who submit a complete application (application and application documents by the deadline) and fulfil the official eligibility criteria.
The student selection is made by an admissions committee based on the academic qualifications and merits shown in the application documents. Please note that not all applicants fulfilling the requirements can be admitted.
Students admitted to a Master’s degree programme may be required to complement their earlier degree with complementary studies.
How to apply
Application step-by-step checklist
- Check the general eligibility and programme-specific eligibility criteria of the programme/s you wish to apply. You are allowed to apply three programmes at the same time.
- Read through the instructions on how to apply and start preparing your application documents as early as possible!
- Take a language test if required, please see the language requirements.
- When the application period opens, fill in the online application at Studyinfo.fi during the application period and upload required enclosures for the application. Application period 4 December 2019 at 8:00 GMT+2 - 15 January 2020 at 15.00 GMT+2.
- Upload all required enclosures and send the educational documents by post, according to the country specific-requirements if applicable. Documents must reach Tampere University Admissions Office by 31 January 2020 at 15.00 GMT+2. The documents must reach the University by the given deadline.
- Wait for the admission results to be announced in early April 2020.
- If you are offered a study place, remember to accept it by the given deadline.
- Pay the tuition fee, if required. Start preparing your arrival in Finland.
- Register as a student and join the Tampere University community!
Online application form
The online application form will be available during the application period only at Studyinfo.fi. The application period starts on 4 December 2019 at 8 am (GMT+2) and ends on 15 January 2020 at 3 pm (GMT+2).
You will need to upload copies of all required documents as enclosures on the application form. In addition to the general application enclosures, some programmes have listed additional programme-specific enclosures that are needed when applying to these programmes.
You will need to upload all required enclosures on your application form online at Studyinfo.fi. In addition to uploading, you must submit officially certified copies of your educational documents to Tampere University Admissions Office by post. Applicants whose degrees have been awarded in certain countries need to pay special attention to the documentation and documents from these countries must be submitted in a particular way. These country-specific requirements must always be followed first and foremost, prior to the regular requirements.
Applicants must post the educational documents to Tampere University Admissions Office so that they arrive by 31 January 2020.
There are no programme-specific enclosures when applying to this programme.
Admission results and appeals
Admissions results will be announced in early April 2020. All applicants will be informed about the admissions results.