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Bachelor’s Degree, Full-time studies

Degree Programme in Social Services

Autumn 2022

Select years, semesters and periods (when only one year is selected) by clicking buttons below. (S = Spring, A = Autumn)
Year of study 1 2 3 4
Search for study unit: ECTS 1 2 3 4 1A 1S 2A 2S 3A 3S 4A 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2
CORE COMPETENCE 95                                                        
Studying skills and working life competences
Finnish Language and Communication 3
English Professional Skills, B2 3
Augmentative and Alternative Communication 1
Information Technology, Information Search and the Basics of Research 5
Bachelor of Social Services’ Professional Development 1 3
Bachelor of Social Services’ Professional Development 2 1  
Bachelor of Social Services’ Professional Development 3 1    
Swedish Communication, B1
Swedish for Working Life, Oral Communication (replacing compulsory Swedish) 1    
Swedish for Working Life, Written Communication (replacing compulsory Swedish) 2    
Promotion of a Good Life
Lifespan and Education 5
Well-being in a Changing Society 5
Client-Oriented Social and Health Services 5
Basics and Methods of Customer Work
Professional Interaction and Ethics 5
Individual and Group Support and Counselling 5
Service Counselling and Recording of Client Data 5
Social Inclusion
Promotion of Social Inclusion and Community-Based Work 5  
Cultural Diversity and Supporting Immigrant Integration 5    
Promotion of Social Inclusion in Child Protection and Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Work 5  
Production of Welfare Services and Management
First-Line Management and Work Community Skills 5  
Production of Social and Education Services and Entrepreneurship 5    
Workplace Safety and Medicinal Treatment 5
Optional Studies
(Select 15 ECTS)
COMPLEMENTARY COMPETENCE 65                                                        
Research and Development
Research and Development Methods 5    
Thesis 15                                                        
Thesis Plan 5    
Thesis Implementation 5      
Thesis Report 5      
Optional Methodological Studies
(Select 15 ECTS)
Group Tutoring Methods 5
Action-Based and Creative Methods 5  
Nature- and Environment-Based Methods 5  
Digital and Media Competence in Social Service Professionals’ Work 5  
Work Community and Work Unit Management 5  
Service Design 5  
Neuropsychiatric and Mental Health Challenges in the Course of Life and in Everyday Life 5
Entrepreneurship Training in Social and Education Services 5  
Financial Social Work 5
Crisis and Trauma Social Work 5  
Optional Customer Group-Specific Studies
(Select 30 ECTS)
Bachelor of Social Services, Social Work with Adults
Professional Principles and Customer Groups of Social Work with Adults
(Select 10 ECTS)
Principles of Social Work with Adults 5  
Client Groups and Service System of Social Work with Adults 5  
Methods of Social Work with Adults
(Select 10 ECTS)
Working Methods of Social Work with Adults 5    
Individual Counselling in Social Work with Adults 5    
Bachelor of Social Services, Disability Support Work and Services for the Elderly
Bachelor of Social Services, Disability Support Work
Basics, Services and Client Groups of Disability Support Work 5    
Social Work with People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities as a Special Area 5    
Bachelor of Social Services, Services for the Elderly
Multi-Professional Social Work with the Elderly 5    
Social Work with the Elderly to Support Agency and Functional Capacity 5    
Bachelor of Social Services in Child Protection
Child and Family Services to Support Families
Families, Services and Legislation to Support Children’s Well-Being 5  
Family Work in Child Protection Community Care and Foster Care 5  
Children as Customers of Child Protection
Child’s Status in Child Protection 5    
Ensuring a Child’s Well-Being in Foster Care 5    
Bachelor of Social Services, Social Work with Children and Youth
Social Work in Schools
School as a Meeting Place 5  
Counselling in Schools 5  
Counselling in Schools
Youth and Action-Based Methods 5    
Counselling and Tutoring Youth 5    
Bachelor of Social Services, Early Childhood Education
Basics of Early Childhood Education
Principles of Early Childhood Education 5  
Early Childhood Education Activities and Tutoring Children 5  
Family-Based Collaboration and Bachelors of Social Services as Educators 5  
Advanced Early Childhood Education Studies
Supporting Parents and Family Services 5    
Identifying and Supporting Children’s Special Needs 5    
Action-Based Working Methods in Early Childhood Education 5    
CORE AND COMPLEMENTARY COMPETENCE TRAINING PERIODS 50                                                        
Voluntary Work 5
Project-Based Training in Client Work 5
Client Work Training 10  
Demanding Client Work / First-Line Management Training 10  
Research, Development and Innovation Training 5    
Complementary Competence Training 15      
ECTS credits per period / semester / academic year 72 118 93.7 25.3 29.5 42.5 58.5 60.5 60.3 33.3 25.3 14.8 14.8 6.8 20.3 20.3 28.8 28.8 19.9 22.4 22.4 30.2 30.2 11.4 13.9 13.9 13.2 13.2

Due to the timing of optional and elective courses, credit accumulation per semester / academic year may vary.

Programme description

The Bachelor’s degree in Social Services consists of 210 credits (ETCS). On average, it takes around 3.5 years to complete the degree programme in accordance with the personal study plan.

Under the Act on Social Welfare Professionals (817/2015), the Bachelor of Social Services is a protected and licensed professional title. Those who have completed a Bachelor’s degree in Social Services, may apply for the right to practice a social service profession as a licensed professional from the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira).

Those students who complete early childhood education studies may work as social pedagogues in early childhood education and care. When they graduate, they must apply for their degree certificate and the qualification as a social pedagogue in early childhood education and care separately.
The Bachelor’s degree in Social Services provides students with extensive abilities to work as social service professionals in social services and early childhood education, as well as in various roles of counselling, education, planning and development in health and wellness services. The degree offers a wide range of employment opportunities. The professional titles include social counsellor, counsellor, social pedagogue in early childhood education and care, and family worker. Bachelor of Social Services graduates have basic skills for supervisory work and entrepreneurship. The degree also prepares students for lifelong learning and further studies that lead to a Master’s thesis at a university or university of applied sciences, for example.

The degree consists of core competence and complementary competence studies. The studies include a thesis, practical training periods and optional studies. The studies are organised as modules, which are mainly divided into study units of five ETCS.

Competence objectives

The objective of the studies is to train creative and socially aware social service professionals who have reflective skills and a strong professional identity, and who value their own professional skills.

The competences required in the work of social service professionals are outlined in the competence requirements issued by the network for UAS education in social services. The competence requirements for Bachelors of Social Services (based on the book Ammattina sosionomi 2020):

1. Ethical competence in social services
2. Customer work competence
3. Social service system competence
4. Critical and participatory societal competence
5. Research, development and innovation competence
6. Workplace, management and entrepreneurship competence

Turku University of Applied Sciences has defined innovation competence requirements, which are integrated with the competence requirements for Bachelors of Social Services (see ‘Pedagogical Practices and Assessment’).

The core competence studies provide students with the basic professional competences required for social and education services, including interaction, counselling, learning, information seeking and development skills. Students prepare a personal study plan (PSP), which helps them to deepen their expertise in complementary competence studies and practical training. They develop and deepen their methodological competence (15 ETCS) and competence required when working with certain customer groups (20 ECTS + 10 ETCS). Studies related to different customer groups:

-Bachelor of Social Services, social work with adults
-Bachelor of Social Services, disability support work and services for the elderly
-Bachelor of Social Services, child protection
-Bachelor of Social Services, social work with children and youth
-Bachelor of Social Services, early childhood education

Upon graduation, students qualify as social service professionals regardless of their selection of customer group-specific studies. The only exception is the qualification as a social pedagogue in early childhood education and care (Act on Early Childhood Education and Care 540/2018), which requires the completion of at least 60 ETCS worth of studies in early childhood education and social pedagogy. Under the act, to qualify as a social pedagogue in early childhood education and care, students must complete 30 ECTS worth of studies in early childhood education theory, an advanced practical training in day care (15 ETCS) and a thesis on early childhood education (15 ECTS).

In the course of their studies, students participate in research, development and innovation projects, which focus on the promotion of social inclusion and agency. Internationality is one dimension of the studies. International competence is developed through student or intern exchange, foreign-language study units or practical training in a multicultural environment.

Pedagogic approaches

At Turku University of Applied Sciences, we work as a community and follow the principles of innovation pedagogy (Innopeda®). Innovation pedagogy combines learning with research, development and innovation activities. Learning is regarded as a process of building knowledge in social interaction with other people in various learning environments. Students’ active role in the development of their learning plays a central role.
We view social service professionals’ approach to their work from social and educational perspective. The social perspective refers to the interaction, coexistence, communities and a sense of community between people. Educational thinking is required so that in their work as counsellors, social service professionals can affect and support the growth of individuals as part of their communities and society in an informed way.
The Bachelor of Social Services studies combine theory and practice with an exploratory approach. A key tool in professional development is reflection, which means that
students take the time to critically examine and evaluate their actions. During their studies, students apply theories and research knowledge to practice in their practical training and project and development assignments.
A close cooperation with various working life partners ensures that Bachelor of Social Services students receive the best possible support and education for their future profession in different fields of social services. When performing their practical training and project and development assignments, students can also deepen their interaction and counselling competences, exploratory approach to work and social service expertise.
Innovation pedagogy is based on experiments, the sharing of information and competence, the combination of various perspectives and creativity. The aim of innovation pedagogy is that graduates not only have competence in their own field but also opportunities for a good life and the knowledge, skills and attitude required to participate in creating a sustainable future.


In our teaching, we use participatory and collaborative learning methods and action-based learning. In different modules, we use different learning methods and approaches such as flipped learning and simulations. Students study individually and in different kinds of groups.

In the Bachelor of Social Services studies, the assessment of learning is based on students’ competences and their development. We mainly use numerical assessment (0 to 5) for study units and pass/pass with amendments grading for practical training periods. The assessment criteria and competence descriptions for different levels (0=fail, 1–2=satisfactory, 3–4=good and 5=excellent) are given in the study unit implementation plans. Student learning is assessed based on various learning assignments, reports, learning diaries, video assignments or exams. The assessment methods include self-assessment, peer assessment, assessment by teachers and group assessment.

The studies include core and complementary competence studies, and practical training periods as described in the following table:

Studying skills and working life competences 20 ETCS

Promotion of a good life 15 ETCS

Basics and methods of customer work 15 ETCS

Social inclusion 15 ETCS

Production of welfare services and management 15 ETCS

Optional studies 15 ECTS


Research and development 20 ETCS (incl. a thesis of 15 ETCS)

Optional methodological studies 15 ETCS

Optional customer group-specific studies 20 ETCS + 10 ETCS (those who focus on early childhood education select Bachelor of Social Services, early childhood education 30 ETCS)


Voluntary work 5 ETCS

Project-based training in customer work 5 ETCS

Customer work training 10 ETCS

Demanding customer work/first-line management training 10 ETCS

Research, development and innovation training 5 ETCS

Complementary competence training 15 ETCS