Department of Social Sciences

The Department of Social Sciences, which is a part of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies, is a multidisciplinary unit comprising five major subjects on two campuses: Sociology on both the Joensuu and Kuopio campuses, social and public policy on the Joensuu Campus, and social psychology, social pedagogy and social work on the Kuopio Campus. It is also possible to study philosophy on the Kuopio Campus. 

The department offers master's degree programmes in all five major subjects and one international Border Crossings master's degree programme , plus scientific postgraduate education in all of its major subjects. Furthermore, the department offers specialised training for professional social workers.

The research focuses on the study of migration and border areas, the examination of the mechanisms of welfare and its ruptures, research into social work and the research in education and work.

The research staff of our department participates in developing the society by acting as experts in different civil bodies and by participating in social discussion based on their research. ​

The Department of Social Sciences contributes to the top-level international field of research of Borders, Mobilities and Cultural Encounters (BOMOCULT) defined in the 2015–2020 strategy of the University of Eastern Finland, and in the emerging fields of research of Effectiveness in Healthcare and Social Services (EF-FEC) and Welfare Ruptures: Recognising Uncertainties, Finding Solutions (WR). From the perspective of its research traditions, the department's key fields of research are welfare; upbringing, education and work; migration; multiculturalism and borders; and questions related to social work. The department focuses its research on social questions and development challenges typical of Eastern Finland.

Mission statement

The mission statement of the Department of Social Sciences adheres to the scientific university tradition, in which teaching is based on research. The department makes use of a dialogue between different fields, looking for fresh and unique approaches to the challenges of social research. The research conducted by the department is internationally acclaimed and socially significant. The department's scientists participate analytically and critically in social dialogue.  

The research conducted in the department is free, open and public, and its results are intended equally for scientists, citizens, authorities and NGOs. The department's research policy emphasises equality and scientific freedom, both as the ethical grounds for research and as starting points for research practices and recruitment.