Master's Degree Programme in Comparative Social Work (CSW)

   Application period  No new intake for the programme


 Master of Social Sciences
   Major Subject
 Social Work
 120 ECTS
   Duration of Studies
 2 years (full time)
   Start Date

 See the programme structure here

 – a Bachelor's degree in the field of social work
 – good command of English

   Tuition Fees


* University of Lapland does not charge tuition fees from degree students. Higher education in Finland is supported by the Finnish government, which means that both Finnish and international students can benefit from one of the world's best education systems, free of charge.

What Will You Learn?

Career Opportunities

Studying in Lapland

Ready to Apply?

Important Dates and Timelines

What Will You Learn?

Comparative Social Work Programme (120 ECTS) degree structure:

  • International Joint Studies 80 ECTS (courses 43 ECTS + thesis 37 ECTS)
  • University of Lapland courses 40 ECTS

Comparative Social Work students acquire a better understanding of national and global social work through a comparative approach of study. The studies include compulsory and elective studies in different spheres of social work as well as coursework on international legislation connecting social work and social policy. This provides students with tools for a broader implementation of the discipline. For example, student practice training in neighbouring countries gives students the chance to familiarise themselves with social work in different contexts and societies.

Master's Degree Programme in Comparative Social Work (CSW) is a two-year programme developed within the frameworks of the Barents Cross Border University (BCBU). BCBU  creates cross-border learning environments between universities in Northern Finland and North-West Russia. The programme is based on cross-border education where teaching is carried out in co-operation with all partner universities in the BCBU network in Finland (Rovaniemi, Oulu) and in Russia (Arkhangelsk, Murmansk, Petrozavodsk).

The degree offered: Master of Social Sciences

Career Opportunities

The increased mobility of people in today's world has set new demands for social work and its professionals. The need for experts with skills to understand cultural diversity, international contexts of social issues, as well as a comparative approach to different societies has increased the world over. There is also a need for social work professionals who understand the special characteristics of social work in remote regions and in border areas. The programme uses its environment in the Arctic as well as in  the border area between EU and Russia as an example providing students with skills to work in a changing field of social work all over the world.

Graduates from the programme will receive a qualification of a social worker according to Finnish legislation. Graduates from the programme can work, for example, as social workers in multicultural environments as well as experts in international projects and tasks in the social sphere. In addition, the graduates will have  a possibility to continue toward obtaining a doctoral degree.

Studying in Lapland

The University of Lapland, located on the Arctic Circle in the city of Rovaniemi, is the perfect choice for studying in the North.

Our contemporary premises and relatively small sized campus provide students with a cosy atmosphere in which to learn, study, and relax in. As the northernmost university in Finland and in the European Union, issues pertaining to the Arctic and circumpolar North constitute essential topics in our research and teaching. Additionally, we are the only university in Finland which specializes in Arctic themes, and our Faculty of Law is one of only three universities in its own field in Finland.

More reasons to study in Lapland

For further information

If you have questions concerning the studies, the admission requirements and the application process, please contact admission(at)