National Post-Graduate School for Social Work and Social Services

The National Post-Graduate School for Social Work and Social Services was launched in 1995. All six universities (Helsinki, Jyväskylä, Eastern Finland, Lapland, Tampere, and Turku) that have social work education and the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) make up the post-graduate school.

The post-graduate school receives its funding from the Ministry of Education and the Academy of Finland. The post-graduate school has currently 28 doctoral students. Eight of these students receive full-time funding (for 4 years mainly) from the Ministry of Education for their doctoral studies and others are funded through the local university research projects or by working as an assistant or lecturer at the university. Some doctoral students are also working outside the university as social workers or in projects in the social field.

The school’s activities include joint courses and seminars, thematic group sessions, individual supervision and internationalisation. The joint courses and seminars cover such issues as theory in social work research, scientific writing, research methods and methodologies. During the years 2010–2013 the programme of the post-graduate school focuses especially on three themes essential for the field of study. The themes are: 1) The study of interventions in social work, 2) The expertise and knowledge base of social work, and 3) Social problems encountered in social work in their social and cultural contexts.

Every university contributes the post-graduate school with a  certain amount of  professor work. The professors  are in charge of  three thematic groups and the supervision of the students in the  groups. In addition to that, there are also post-doc researchers offering  personal supervision to individual students.

The post-graduate school has given a lot of  priority to the students’ needs and wishes to  reveice good  supervision. Therefore, every student is entitled to 3  supervisors (of  which one is from his/her home university).

Since 1995, 38 doctoral dissertations have been finished within the school. The postgraduate school has proved to be very successfull. It is very inspiring to work together nationally in post-graduate training. The school has given opportunities to discuss different research traditions nationally.