For more information about Contemporary Societies at University of Helsinki, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
MSSc

How long you will study
2 years

Domestic course fees
find out

How you will study
full-time

Course starts
September

International course fees
EUR 13000 per year

All study options

About Contemporary Societies at University of Helsinki

Goal of the programme

Is your goal to understand the complex issues associated with contemporary societies? As societies become increasingly diverse, change rapidly, and are confronted with inequalities, there is a growing need for professionals trained in the analysis of these dynamics. To become an expert in the analysis of contemporary societies - choose COS!

The multidisciplinary, research-based Master's Programme in Contemporary Societies (COS) focuses on the key themes in the dynamics of contemporary societies, both in a European and a global context.  Depending on your study track, one or several of the following pathways are available to you: Ethnic Relations and Migration, Mind and Society, Socio-Cultural Shifts, and Sources of Inequalities.

Tuition fees

Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries, who do not have a permanent residence status in the area and pursue their studies in English, are liable to pay tuition fees. You can check from FAQ at the Studyinfo website whether or not you are required to pay tuition fees.

Find out more about the Be 1* of the Best Scholarship Programme.

Information on the languages of instruction

The entire course programme is taught in English.

Programme contents

COS is a two-year programme. The programme includes studies in your study track (Sociology; Social and Public Policy; Social Psychology; Social and Cultural Anthropology; Development Studies) and thematic studies. The compulsory studies in a thematic pathway are specific to different study tracks as follows:

  • Ethnic Relations and Migration: Sociology and Social Psychology
  • Mind and Society: Sociology and Social Psychology  
  • Socio-Cultural Shifts: Social and Cultural Anthropology; Development Studies
  • Sources of Inequalities: Social and Public Policy, Sociology and Development Studies

The thematic pathways highlight the strengths of research at the University of Helsinki and its methodological expertise. As a student here you can include courses from all pathways in your optional studies. The teaching in the COS programme is organised so that you can acquire expertise and skills relevant for working life as well as qualifications for doctoral studies. The unique context offered by the COS programme helps you to develop versatile expertise. The programme design allows you to build your individual portfolio according to your interests and career plans. 

During your first year in the programme you will study in your study track and take COS thematic and  research skills courses. You will also begin your work towards your Master's thesis. The second year consists of further thematic studies, attending thesis seminars and writing your thesis.

The home of the COS programme is the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki, in the heart of Helsinki and the City Centre Campus. The city campus, with 21,000 students, is situated near many potential workplaces: ministries, important public institutions, NGO headquarters and the Faculties of Education, Law, Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, and Theology.

Finland in general, and the University of Helsinki in particular, offer an exceptionally rich setting for interdisciplinary studies focusing on contemporary societies. The international teaching staff are research leaders in their fields and have longstanding experience of teaching multicultural student groups. All of the participating disciplines are ranked among the best 100 subjects in the QS World University Ranking by Subject. Moreover, the COS programme invests in building an alumni network and gives you support for both international mobility and work experience.

Selection of the study track

COS offers five major subjects (study tracks): Sociology, Social and Public Policy, Social Psychology, Social and Cultural Anthropology, Development Studies.

To apply you must have a Bachelor's degree including studies in one of these disciplines. You should apply for the study track that is closest to your previous studies.

Programme structure

The scope of the Master

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMSScHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study2 years
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course fees find outInternational course feesEUR 13000 per year

Notes about fees for this course

Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries, who do not have a permanent residence status in the area and pursue their studies in English, are liable to pay tuition fees. You can check from FAQ at the Studyinfo website whether or not you are required to pay tuition fees.

Find out more about the Be 1* of the Best Scholarship Programme.

Entry requirements

Contact University of Helsinki to find course entry requirements.

What students think about University of Helsinki

    Flexible and chances to dive deep

    I was positively surprised by flexibility of studies (now I am working abroad and at the same time writing my thesis and participating in Helsinki Law Clinic) and number of courses aimed at developing teamwork. Also, master degree programmes last 2 years which was one of decisive factors for me as against one-year programmes. Two year period provide more chances to dive deep into studies!

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