The teaching in the Master's Programme in Contemporary Societies (COS) 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.

Career services

Studies are part of your career. At the University of Helsinki, all degrees include career planning. The Career Services at the University of Helsinki, in cooperation with degree programmes, supports the growth of your expert identity as part of your studies and with separate services.

From the start of your studies until one year after the completion of your degree, the Career Services supports your career path.

Career Services  

  • gives career counselling and job seeking support
  • arranges info sessions, workshops and events
  • provides suitable job and traineeship offers for students
  • shares university’s subsidy for traineeships and  
  • facilitates group mentoring programmes.

Check out the Career Services on the Instructions for students “Work and Career” and “Traineeships”. 

Career prospects

As a graduate of COS with a Master’s in Social Science (MSocSc), you will have built your portfolio with courses that provide solid expertise in your study track and reflect your personal interests and career goals. You will be qualified to work in both the public and private sectors, in governmental administration or in various types of organisations.

Making use of the unusually broad range of courses available, you will also have acquired excellent qualifications to continue with an academic career and PhD studies.

Alumni story: “Social sciences helped me see the big picture”

“I have always been concerned about the Baltic Sea archipelago and marine environment. It seems paradoxical that a country like Finland with a high level of knowledge and interest is located along the coast of one of the world’s most polluted seas,” Amanda Sundell says.

According to Sundell, although many people would like to contribute to a cleaner Baltic Sea, putting words into action is often a challenge. This is where DROPP, the social enterprise Sundell established in 2014, comes into the picture. DROPP sells recyclable water bottles and bottled spring water. The idea is not to urge people to buy more water bottles, but to encourage them to choose a better alternative if they have already decided to buy a bottle.

Sundell has always been interested in social issues and been passionate about justice and the environment. That was also why she began to study at the University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Social Sciences.

“Social sciences helped me see the big picture and develop myself on many levels.”

Hel­sinki­UNI In­ter­na­tional Tal­ent Pro­gramme (HITP)

Would you like to build a career in Finland? Do you want to build professional networks during your studies and get valuable insight into Finnish working life? Then you should apply for the HelsinkiUNI International Talent Programme (HITP).  

HITP is a group mentoring programme where Finnish companies and international students are brought together to share ideas and to learn from each other. 

What will you gain from HITP? 

  • Successful applicants are placed in a group and assigned a mentor from a Finnish company or organization. When applying you can choose which of the participating companies interest you the most. 
  • You will receive support in growing your network among both professionals and fellow students. During the programme your group will meet 4–5 times on the company premises. Themes for the meet-ups include a company introduction and an overview on current competency requirements in that specific field.  You will also get to present your own skills to the company.
  • When the HITP has been completed, the goal is that cooperation can continue between the student and the company if both parties wish to do so. 


More information about the HelsinkiUNI International Talent Programme.

Improve your career options with Finnish

Although it is easy for international students to get by with English in the Helsinki region, learning Finnish will significantly improve your career options after graduation.

The University of Helsinki offers free Finnish language courses for enrolled international degree students. The beginners and intermediate level courses are not only a way to learn the language, but you also learn more about Finnish culture and get to network with other international students across the fields.

Information about the Finnish courses for international students in the Instructions for students.

Doctoral education

An important aim of the COS programme is to provide you with a solid foundation to pursue a doctoral degree. The University of Helsinki offers several relevant doctoral programmes, such as:

More information about Doctoral Education at the University of Helsinki.

Alumni of the University of Helsinki

After graduation, the world is wide open and full of possibilities. How can you venture forward to make the career path you want? What kind of work would you like to do? What kind of life should you lead? The Helsinki alumni community is there to support you as you transition from the University to the world of work.

All previous University of Helsinki degree and exchange students, as well as staff, are our alumni. As a member of the University of Helsinki alumni network, Finland’s largest network of experts, you get valuable support, knowledge and contacts for your working life.

More information about the Helsinki alumni community and its activities.

Find alumni of the University of Helsinki on Linkedin.