Read about the different disciplines that are offered at the Swedish School of Social Science.
Studies in journalism and communication cover the role of journalism and media in society, journalists’ rights and responsibilities as well as the understanding of the origins, current status and development of media. The programme also features courses on the development and significance of strategic communication. Moreover, the programme entails courses in journalism practice on various platforms as well as in journalistic working methods and communication skills. Students will be trained in media language skills, including grammar, and understanding of genre and stylistics. The various courses are brought together during the spring term in the Smocka newsroom, a media platform where students work together to produce print, radio, video and online material.
The theoretical courses prepare students for research in journalism and communication, and provide them with opportunities to participate in ongoing research projects. The research perspective is integrated in the teaching of journalistic skills.
Education in journalism and communication involves professional training for journalists and communications experts as well as an introduction to academic research in journalism, media and communication. Similar to other Nordic journalism programmes, the training has traditionally been oriented towards journalism and media, and today takes into account that understanding and skills in broader field of communication are needed in the future.
Students can choose to focus on courses that will support their prospective career in media or communication, or select courses from journalism and communication to supplement their other studies.
There are no prerequisites for studying journalism and communication at the Swedish School of Social Science, except that many of the courses should be studied in the set order. All students enrolled in the Bachelor’s Programme in Social Sciences can participate in the education.
Graduates find employment as journalists, communications specialists in private and public organisations, or consultants and media experts.
The person creates social reality through interaction in groups, organisations and communities. The focus of social psychology is on how society and individuals influence and form one another. Social psychology examines how the person’s thinking, emotions and behaviour are formed in interaction with other people and society.
Central teaching and research themes in the subject include interaction within and between groups, organisational psychology, moral and political psychology as well as the individual’s development in relation to social contexts.
The aim of the studies in social psychology is to learn to analyse social phenomena from both an individual and a social perspective, to develop critical thinking and to learn to conduct research that produces new knowledge and insights. Social psychologists have advanced knowledge in social interaction as well as theoretical and methodological competence which enables them to understand and influence social interaction.
Students of social psychology have knowledge and skills which are highly valued on the job market. Graduates work in a wide variety of positions, for example, in various education positions, in youth work, with the integration of immigrants, in recruitment and human resource development within organisations, as consultants, in rehabilitation, as therapists and as researchers. Some positions, such as, researcher and therapist positions, require further education.
Studies in social work include issues relating to the living conditions of individuals and various groups as well as the complex social problems in a society faced with major changes. Graduates from the programme can address, help and support people in challenging and difficult situations as social work professionals. At the same time, the studies provide the ability to understand social change and its causes and impact on peoples’ lives.
Social work is its own option available for application within the Swedish School of Social Science. Together with the University of Helsinki, the School has a national responsibility for providing professional education for Swedish-speaking social workers. This means that the School is the only place in Finland providing professional qualifications for social workers in Swedish. Completing both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in social work provides professional qualifications for social work.
At the Swedish School of Social Science, the education for social workers includes studies in social policy. Knowledge of social policy is relevant for students of many other disciplines in the social sciences as well. For this reason, we have made our courses in social policy available to all students. In social policy, students gain an understanding of the distribution of welfare, social risks as well as local and global means for furthering welfare. Such understanding is needed in professions in national and international organisations, ministries and research institutes, insurance companies, businesses and the media.
Our education is tied to our research. We are involved in top-level research and network activities on various aspects of Nordic welfare and equality, including, for example, a consortium within the Strategic Research Council of the Academy of Finland.
Sociology studies the individual's social living conditions, different groups and societies, with emphasis on modern society. Sociology tries to identify patterns in the individual's actions, understand how groups and societies are structured and how the power in society works. Sociology studies society at large, but also differences in individuals' opportunities for action, values and living conditions, as well as how they are determined.
The choices an individual makes are often based on hidden structures in society. Sociology analyses these social structures as well as social categories that are often taken for granted, e.g. gender, age and ethnicity. Sociology deals with both theoretical and concrete issues in various sectors of society, e.g. issues relating to the environment, politics, migration, family, working life or crime. At the Swedish School of Social Science, gender, ethnic relations and culture in a globalizing world are prominent themes.
The courses in sociology combine lectures, literature reading, group discussions and writing. The groups are relatively small at the School, and a dialogue between students and lecturers is made possible. The approach creates flexibility, and students can discuss the issues that feel difficult or interesting. The students get to develop their own way of learning, practicing critical thinking and writing, and communicate.
Studies in political science provide students with extensive insight into political phenomena with a focus on participation, governance and leadership in public policy from a Nordic, European and global perspectives. Students learn how individuals, organisations and political institutions participate in and influence political processes.
Students also learn how the public sector is organised as well as how international organisations, governmental authorities, municipalities, non-profit organisations and companies collaborate to produce welfare for the citizens. Students are provided with the tools to analyse how public policy is steered and implemented, as well as the methods to evaluate the consequences of political lines of action and decisions.
At the beginning of the studies, students become acquainted with the different fields of study in political science and examine the areas they find most interesting. Students will learn the concepts and theories of social science needed to independently analyse current political events. During their studies, students will have the opportunity to conduct their practical traineeship in ministries, municipalities, political parties or non-profit organisations as well as to study in an international environment.
An education in political science provides profound insight into topics such as democracy, participation and political communication, as well as public organisation, problem-solving and leadership. Students will gain the competences required to serve in various tasks and areas of society in the roles of decision-makers, public officials and entrepreneurs. Previous students of political science are currently employed as advisors, analysts, researchers, opinion makers and consultants in leadership positions in municipalities, the parliament, international organisations such as the EU or the UN, or in various public and private organisations in the third sector, the media and the business world.
The discipline of legal studies – or jurisprudence – seeks to understand the origins, contexts and applications of laws as well as to examine the legal system. It also strives to provide students with proficiency in the current laws of various legislative areas as well as the ability to identify and analyse legal problems.
The courses in public law and social law form the core of the discipline. The legal protection of the individual in relation to the government is a running theme in the studies. The significance of international legislation is also discussed in courses on human rights and migration rights as well as several courses on EU law. Other jurisprudential areas covered in the studies include administrative law, municipal law, social security law and family law.
The teaching in legal studies includes both lectures and case studies. The teaching emphasises the application of legislation, as graduates from the Swedish School of Social Science often find employment in positions which require an understanding of the possibilities and limitations afforded by legislation.
Students of legal studies have the skills needed to serve in positions which require a good understanding of legal issues in the area of public law, for example in various organisations, as governmental or municipal decision-makers or as government officials. Such positions are often in leadership or feature decision-making at an advanced level.
Students may also choose courses from the University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Law or from the Hanken School of Economics, and have these courses recognised for their degrees in legal studies from the Swedish School of Social Science.