Bachelor of Social Services, Full-Time Studies, Fall, 2022


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Social Awareness and Reflective Approach to Social Work
Social Work in a Changing Society
Professional Development 1 3
Information and Communications Technology 1
Practice, Theoretical Framework and Ethical Principles in Social Work 7
Human Growth, Development and Learning 4
Multiple Professional Perspectives on Social and Health Care
Promotion of Health, Wellbeing and Functional Capacity 1 2
The Client as an Active Agent in Social and Health Care 1 3
Reporting and Written Communication 2
Client Work in Social Services
Introduction to Client Work in Social Services 2
Professional Communication and Creative Methods 5
Multi-Professional Work in Social and Health Care
Promotion of Health, Wellbeing and Functional Capacity 2 2
The Client as an Active Participant in Social and Health Care 2 2
Promotion of Health, Wellbeing and Functional Capacity, Practical Training 2
English at Work for Social Services 3
Legislative Premises and Aspects of Care in Social Work
Social Legislation and Social Security System 5
Pharmacotherapy, First Aid and Ergonomics 4
Counselling in Social Services
Socio-Pedagogical Approach to Social Work 5
Theoretical Premises of Client Work in Social Services 3
Operating Environments in the Fields of Education and Social Services, Practical Training 5
Client Work Competence in Social Work
Work Processes and Methods in the Field of Social Services
Socio-Pedagogical Client Work Process and Documentation 5  
The Basics of Case Management and Social Rehabilitation in the Field of Social Services 4  
Swedish at Work for Social Services 3  
Strengths-Based Approach to Social Work
Strengths-Based Client Work 11  
Client Work Methods 5  
Research, Development and Innovation Activities 1 2  
Change and Development Activities in Social Work
Special Perspectives on Client Work 4  
Research, Development and Innovation Activities 2 4  
Spoken Communication in Finnish 2  
Client Work, Practical Training 11  
Development of Social Work Practice
Working in Communities
Group Activities in Social Work 4  
Group Counselling, Practical Training 5    
Project and Community Development 5    
Professional Development 2 1    
Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Finances 5    
Multicultural Work 5    
Community Work 5    
Advocacy in Social Services
Structural Social Work and Advocacy 6    
Intensive Case Management 2    
Professional Development 3 1    
Professional Expertise in Social Work Practices
Professional Expertise in Social Services and Early Childhood Education
Advanced Practical Training 15    
Professional Expertise in Social Services 4      
Scientific Writing 1      
Thesis Planning 5    
Thesis Implementation 5      
Thesis Finalising 5      
Complementary Studies
(Select 25 ECTS)
Profiling Complementary Studies
Complementary Studies in Early Childhood Education
(Select 15 ECTS)
Preparatory Language and Mathematics Studies
Other Complementary Studies
ECTS credits per period / semester / academic year 6055551529313025262915014.514.515.515.500151512.512.500131314.514.5007.57.5

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

Bachelor of Social Services, daytime and multimodal education

The programme in Social Services is a wide-range programme that gives you a formal qualification to work in areas such as early childhood education, child protection, school welfare work, work with immigrants, older people and the disabled as well as in substance abuse and mental health services. As a Bachelor of Social Services, you can work with people of all ages in the public, private and third sectors. Bachelors of Social Services also work in first-line manager duties and in development projects.

Your studies in social services comprise modules in social and educational studies. The socio-pedagogical approach is the central theme in your studies. The socio-pedagogical activities support the social growth and daily functioning of individuals and communities. The aim is to support people's social inclusion and prevent exclusion. Resource orientation, dialogicality and sociocultural inspiration are key aspects of the studies.

The studies in social services are partly guided by the strategic objectives of Karelia UAS and, of which, this education focuses especially on the promotion of health and wellbeing, active ageing and socially sustainable development. Studies in social services take into account the needs of sparsely populated areas by developing remote and digital services and by implementing practical training throughout the province.


Degree title: Bachelor of Social Service
Extent: 210 cr. / 3.5 years

Description of Competences

The studies in social services are based on both the common and professional competence needs of the health and social care sector. All health and social care professionals need, for example, client work competence and skills to develop services and their work practices. These competences are partly built up through multi-professional studies common to all health and social care sectors, which provide you with the skills to work in a multi-professional way.
The degree in social services is based on the national competence requirements for Bachelor of Social Services graduates:

- ethical competence in social services
- client work competence
- social service system competence
- critical and participatory societal competence
- research, development and innovation competence
- workplace, leadership and entrepreneurship competence

The studies in social services focus on the student's professional growth, socio-pedagogical client work competence and the inclusion of individuals and communities. The competences common to all degree programmes at Karelia UAS are learning to learn, operating in a work place, ethics, sustainable development, internationality and multiculturalism and proactive development.

Competence Development and the Content of Studies

The degree in social services contains work-related common core studies (185 cr.) and complementary studies (25 cr.) The common core studies include 38 credits of practical training and a thesis of 15 credits.

The early stages of studies in social services are designed to prepare you for university studies and to familiarise you with the student community and your team. The development of professional competence and the study plan are reviewed in discussions at the beginning and during the studies, both in group guidance sessions and annual development discussions. In the middle and final stages of studies, the skills for planning your own career and further studies are strengthened through knowledge on working life, job search skills and the identification of your own competences and development needs.

During your studies, you can apply for Karelia Business Academy (Y-akatemia) to study entrepreneurship in multidisciplinary teams. It offers you the opportunity to combine entrepreneurship with your studies. You will complete your degree there in accordance with the Business Academy curriculum and, by agreement, you can replace courses included in the social services curriculum.

Work-Related Learning

The competence modules in the social services curriculum emphasise content- and practice-oriented cooperation with working life partners. At the beginning of your studies, you will be oriented towards cooperation with working life through theoretical studies, assignments, practical trainings, visits to different settings and visitors. In the second year of your studies, you will enhance your professional competence, particularly in client work. You will learn, for example, different client work methods and documentation. In the third year, you will deepen your learning by working with individuals, groups and communities, and in various development projects. You can work in cooperation at provincial, national or international level.

Professional development as an expert in social services is achieved by working and studying in a dialogue with working life. You can develop your competence through multidisciplinary cooperation, networking, learning assignments, projects and practical trainings. During your studies, you will collaborate in research, development and innovation projects both with Karelia and our partners. At the final stage of your studies, you deepen your professional competence by completing a work-related thesis.

The learning and service environment Tarmo at Karelia offers health and social care students the opportunity to complete learning assignments, practical trainings, client-oriented development activities and multidisciplinary cooperation. As a student of social services, you can also choose, if you wish, an entrepreneurial path.

Pedagogical Choices

Studies in social services are implemented annually in both daytime and multimodal formats. Multimodal education is delivered online, including occasional contact teaching days. Studies in social services are based on the concept of learning as a reflective, experiential and socially constructed process. During your studies, it is important that you learn to acquire and evaluate knowledge in a broad and critical way and to apply knowledge in new and changing contexts. Changes in society and working life require the ability for continuous learning and updating personal skills. The teacher acts as a facilitator of learning and guides and supports students to gradually take more and more responsibility for their own learning process and learning. These same principles are applied to online learning, too.

Learning takes place in different learning environments, such as simulations. In addition to the simulation environment, different pedagogical learning environments and methods are used, such as escape room pedagogy, gamification, VR and AR technologies. The aim is to learn how to use and apply knowledge in real-life client situations.

Flexible Course Implementation

At the beginning of your studies, you will draw up a personal study and career plan and set out your personal learning and performance objectives as well as the timetable. When you draw up your individual study plan (ISP), you will familiarise yourself with the social services curriculum and compare its content with your previous knowledge. You have a possibility to apply for the recognition of prior studies or for the validation of the competence acquired elsewhere as part of your degree. Accreditation is based on the separate RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) procedures.

The degree in social services contains 25 credits of complementary studies. You will design the content of these studies according to your own professional objectives. You can choose complementary studies from the course supply offered by Karelia or the national CampusOnline study portal.

Various implementations enable flexible studying. Multimodal education allows you to study independent of time and place. You can also speed up your studies by designing individual study paths and through studification. You can accomplish complementary studies at any stage of your studies by choosing study units from the course supply offered by Karelia and other universities of applied sciences (mainly online).


Work in the field of social services is rapidly becoming more international. During your studies, you will develop interpersonal and cooperation skills that are culturally sensitive and support diversity. You will understand national and global structures and processes that produce inequality, disadvantage and well-being. You have a possibility to enhance your international competence and internationalisation at home through international course supply and project work and you can participate in study exchange and practical training, depending on current supply. You can enhance your international competence, for example, by acting as a tutor for international students. You will also meet exchange students in courses instructed in English language. Furthermore, you can act as a sponsor student for immigrant students attending a preparatory course for higher education. International competence will develop your ability to promote intercultural dialogue.


Assessment is based on students' self-assessment, peer assessment and feedback from fellow students. Work-based feedback is also utilised. Assessment and feedback help you to follow your development and to set new objectives for your learning. A variety of assessment and feedback methods will be used to assess your competences. Assessment is based on agreed assessment criteria and set learning objectives. Assessment is an ongoing process that supports your learning. Karelia has defined general assessment principles, yet, the specific assessment criteria are explicated in course descriptions.

Career Opportunities

After graduation, you have the qualification and the right to practice social welfare profession as a licensed social welfare professional. The qualification will enable you to work in areas such as child protection and family work, mental health and substance abuse work, work with older people, rehabilitative work, work with people with disabilities and multicultural work. The work will focus on guiding service users in their everyday lives using a variety of working methods. The qualification also gives you the competence to work in first-line manager duties and in development work. During your studies, you can obtain a qualification to work as a Bachelor of Social Services in early childhood education. The work of a Bachelor of Social Services in early childhood education focuses on promoting and supporting children's growth, development and learning, and cooperation with families.

Transformation of work and personal career progress require continuous learning after the degree is completed. A major part of learning takes place at work, yet it can be enhanced through education. You can complement your competence through studies in an open university of applied sciences or through master-level studies. Completing a master’s degree can open new recruitment opportunities for first-line manager duties or demanding expert and development tasks, or to teaching jobs.