Master's Degree Programme in Inequalities, Interventions and New Welfare State

A changing world needs experts with cross-disciplinary knowledge to tackle social inequalities. Learn how to reinvent social welfare strategies directly from world-class social and behavioural scientists. 

This programme is designed to give students rigorous training on social inequalities and welfare, effective social policy or intervention design, and using advanced statistical methods to measure data on these topics. The programme collaborates with the national INVEST flagship’s world-class social and behavioural scientists. There is a strong emphasis in developing students quantitative research skills.









Entry requirements


General Requirement

You are an eligible applicant for Master’s studies if

  • you have a nationally recognized first cycle degree – typically a Bachelor’s degree – from an accredited institution of higher education and (if applicable in the country of the degree) from a nationally accredited degree programme
  • your degree corresponds to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to three years of full time study
  • your degree gives eligibility to master level studies in the country where it was issued
  • Please see in more detail:

Language Requirements

Applicants must have excellent English language skills and a certificate that proves those skills. You can indicate your language skills by taking one of the internationally recognized English language tests. 

Applicants must reach the minimum required test results to be considered eligible to be accepted to the University of Turku. No exceptions will be made. Read more about the language requirements, recognized qualifications, required levels and exemptions here. 

Study right

It is not possible to have more than one Bachelor’s or Master’s study right at the same Faculty. Therefore, when accepting an offered study place, the student will lose any previous BSc. or MSc. study right at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Turku.


Before you start preparing your application, always read the full admission requirements on the application portal

Who can apply?

All applicants must have at least a Bachelor’s degree in applicable fields of social and behavioural sciences. This degree should correspond to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to three years of full-time study. It should be awarded by a nationally accredited institution of higher education and give eligibility to master level studies in the country where it was issued. The content of previous studies should be similar/related to the INVEST project. For example: 

  • social inequality
  • comparative social research
  • child and youth development
  • welfare state services, benefits, and policy processes
  • population and family demographics
  • prevention and intervention research and quantitative methodological courses (e.g. STATA skills)

Note: Persons who have the first-cycle applied sciences degree and have completed courses on scientific thinking, writing and quantitative research methods in areas relevant to the programme are also eligible to apply. Possible supplementary courses must have been completed in a higher education institution and the content and methods must be verifiable from transcripts of records. If the content of courses or the method skills acquired is not evident from the transcript, provide a signed statement from the institution in question.


The following selection criteria will be used when assessing the applicants:

  • Previous degree studies (relevance)
  • Academic performance
  • Thesis or research paper title and abstract
  • Content of previous studies: quantitative research methods
  • Other relevant work/ study related experience
  • A Letter of Motivation

Programme in brief


The first year of studies will mainly consist of methods and substantive courses together with the initial development of the thesis idea and proposal. Second year studies will centre on seminars and the thesis in the first semester and will also include work-life competences, and internship and exchange studies in the second semester. The thesis will be supervised by the research group members and students will write their thesis in the form of a working paper with a view to publication.

Detailed course descriptions are published in the electronic Curriculum.


INVEST research covers six research themes – socioeconomic inequality and wellbeing, intergenerational and within-family influences, social relationships and networks, demography and life course, skills and learning, and health and biology – under the fields of sociology, social policy, psychology, child psychiatry, social work, statistics, economics, and epidemiology.


The master thesis is considered an important area of specialization during the studies in the programme. Successful graduates will be awarded a title of Master of Social Sciences from the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Theses can be done within the frame of research themes like comparative research on social inequalities; child and youth development in context; welfare state services, benefits, and policy processes; population and family demographics; child and adolescent epidemiology; prevention and intervention research; and advanced statistical methods related to these topics.

  • (Note) The contents of formally eligible applicants’ previous degrees do not always correspond to the academic level of the programme. Therefore, admitted students can be required to complete additional, Bachelor level studies while studying for the Master’s Degree as quickly as possible and in any case during the first year of the studies. These studies are not part of the Master’s Degree and may extend the targeted study time. The extent and contents of the additional studies are defined individually for each student when a personal study plan is created in the beginning of the studies. The amount of required additional studies cannot exceed 15 ECTS.

Career prospects

  • High cross-disciplinary knowledge on social inequalities, welfare, and welfare policies and interventions
  • Excellent quantitative research skills
  • Practical experience of working life (the programme includes an internship).

The MPINVEST programme educates research and public administration professionals for analysing social inequalities and welfare state institutions as well as developing new policies and intervention methods to reduce disadvantages and improve wellbeing and skill development of children and youth. Typical areas of employment include:

  • public administration,
  • research focused public and private institutions,
  • academia, and
  • data science.

The Master’s Degree provides eligibility for scientific postgraduate degree studies and it is expected that all chosen student should acquire researcher’s skills that should also make them eligible for social and behavioural science PhD programmes including lNVEST’s own PhD programme.

Charles Ng’iendo painting at the “INVEST a way Day” event in Turku
The programme offers practical tools for solving increasing inequality. It allowed me to gain a lot of experience in methodological aspects.
Charles Ng’iendo
Inequalities, Interventions and New Welfare State
Olesia Komarova
The wide range of research topics available on the programme, along with the rich and diverse backgrounds of the teachers, helped me widen the outlook on my future career paths.
Olesia Komarova
Inequalities, Interventions and New Welfare State
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