University of Helsinki to provide master’s education in healthcare development

The University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Medicine will offer a new Master’s Programme in the Development of Healthcare Services as of next autumn. The programme will qualify students for planning, development, research and management positions and address the shortage of skilled social services and healthcare staff.

The University of Helsinki will begin providing master’s and doctoral education in health sciences. The new Master’s Programme in the Development of Healthcare Services, to be launched in 2023, will provide better training opportunities for social services and healthcare staff in the Uusimaa region, in particular.

The programme is geared to students interested in developing the sector who hold an applicable degree from a university of applied sciences, a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree or another suitable healthcare qualification. 

“We wish to provide professionals in this field with more opportunities for career advancement and ensure that specialists in clinical work and research-based development will work in the healthcare sector. The new programme will help attract and retain staff,” says Project Manager Terhi Kemilä of the University of Helsinki’s Teaching and Learning Services.

From modules to career paths

The scope of the new programme is 120 credits, and studies will be provided in Finnish and Swedish free of charge. The first application round will be organised in March 2023. It is also possible to complete some of the studies as fee-based studies before being granted the right to study.

The degree will consist of modules, from which students can create a suitable degree. The options available encompass clinical nursing science, population health, and social services and healthcare management. Once they reach the advanced studies stage, students can select courses from the Faculty of Medicine.

“There will be a great deal of synergy with the Faculty’s other degree programmes. For example, the module in management training will be organised collaboratively with the specialist programme in medicine,” explains Vice-Dean Anu-Katriina Pesonen, who is in charge of academic affairs at the Faculty of Medicine.

Students can complete some of the studies while working. At least 50 credits are completed as online studies, but the programme includes face-to-face courses as well. Pesonen says that students already working in the healthcare sector can apply their learning to their work, for instance, by completing their thesis in their workplace.

“We also hope that the wellbeing services counties will offer traineeships to our students,” Pesonen adds.

Graduates to work in specialist roles

The future holders of Master of Health Sciences degrees will be equipped to work in demanding specialist positions in the healthcare sector. Graduates can also become qualified as teachers.

“Our graduates can choose to work as planning officers, researchers, clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, chief nursing officers or head nurses. Alternatively, they may find work as heads of services or development, directors of social and health services, trainers or project managers,” notes Kemilä.

“Our goal has been to ensure that the content of the programme is relevant for the job market, also taking into account the needs associated with healthcare reform. We wish to establish a close connection to the scholarly research conducted at the University and in the Uusimaa social services and healthcare areas, both in specialised care and in primary healthcare,” says Dean Anne Remes of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki.