Working with social change and development as field of competence

Social change and the consequences it can have for the everyday life of the individual constitute great challenges in the welfare society. Problems regarding social inclusion, democracy and alternative arrangements of social activities are central issues in the current welfare debate. The new requirements that the late modern society creates leads to that established activities, services and operating models must change and evolve in order to be able to answer the demands and needs of the citizens. The Finnish society of today displays large challenges regarding integration. The welfare of children, youth and families, long-term unemployment, the situation of the disabled and the elderly, are areas requiring strong efforts in order to prevent and counteract marginalisation and exclusion.

In order to support different individuals and groups in society, the programme strives to provide students with competence to work with social change processes. This competence implies that the student

  • has extended knowledge in knowledge-guided social change processes and is able to problematize the implications of the concepts knowledge and learning for management, change and development of good practises within the social field.
  • is able to identify and critically analyse the relationships and processes in late modern society that affect people’s living conditions and inclusion on an individual, group and societal level.
  • can through social mobilisation, dialogue and empowerment, develop and enhance the individual’s own resources and social competence in order to handle, influence and change their own circumstances and conditions of life. Additionally, the student is expected to be able to discuss and problematize processes involved in social change in relation to different target groups and in relation to different social arenas, e.g. the home, the institution, the school and the local society.
  • has extended knowledge of current evaluation methods and models used in development and change of the social field of operations. The student can critically examine different types of evaluations and has insight into the consequences involved in choice of evaluation method or model. Additionally, the student is able to independently evaluate social activities and suggest changes leading to development of the activities.

After graduating with a master’s degree within the competence area social change and development, the student is expected to be able to develop and renew activities, services and operating models for different target groups within the social field of operation, within both public, private and non-profit organisations. Additionally, the student is expected to be able to identify the need for knowledge development within the social field of operations and can initiate such development that leads to change.

Leadership competence

The student has specialised knowledge in various leadership issues and can thus in an innovative fashion act towards increased wellbeing and inclusion between managers, collaborators and clients/patients. The student is able to independently manage multi-professional teams and projects based on their own field-specific knowledge.

The student is able to function as initiator and inducer in questions concerning wellbeing, accessibility and inclusion in workplaces, among clients/patients and in society in general. The student can function as coordinator and innovative resource in such networks. Additionally the student is able to identify connections between perspectives and debates in society.

The student is able to make decisions based on economic knowledge. The student has a strategical change-managemental knowledge that considers strategy and quality procedures as well as wellbeing among the personnel as an ongoing process.

Competence in research, development and innovation (RDI)

The student masters different research methods and is able to develop work within their own field of operations. The student is able to initiate, carry through and manage RDI projects as well as evaluate project processes and its effects. The student is able to create new knowledge and renew old modes of operation by combining knowledge within different fields. The student can critically evaluate different interests within the RDI activities and make evaluations according to research ethical principles. The student has a readiness to engage in demanding independent RDI activities, has a critical research and development approach and is able to develop economically viable client- and patient oriented activities.