Degree Programme in Elderly Care
Bachelor of Social Services and Health Care, 210 ECTS

Bachelor of Social Services and Health Care

  • Programme
  • Curricula
  • Implementations

Name of the Degree Programme

Degree Programme in Elderly Care


The degree programme has no specialisation options.

Qualification awarded

Bachelor of Social Services and Health Care. A person who has taken the degree is qualified for posts and positions in the public and private sector, in voluntary work and in organizations for which the qualification requirement is a first cycle higher education degree. Geronomi (AMK) is legalized and registered professional. (Act Social Welfare Professionals 817/2015).

Level of qualification

The degree programme leads to a higher education degree which is a first cycle Bachelor-level degree in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). According to the eight-level classification of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and National Qualifications Framework (NQF), the degree represents level 6.
The description of the level of the Degree is included in the Statute, at

Specific admission requirements

Eligibility for studies at a university of applied sciences is stipulated in the Universities of Applied Sciences Act 932/2014.
The selection criteria are specified in the data of the Degree Programme at and
On the websites, application and instructions are in Finnish language for the degree programmes taught in Finnish.

Specific arrangements for recognition of prior learning (RPL)

The RPL procedure means the identification and recognition of the student’s previously acquired learning. The student has the opportunity to apply for the recognition of their competencies if the competencies correspond to the learning goals of the Degree Programme. The identification process is closely connected with the preparation of the student’s personal curriculum and is updated during personal counselling discussions.
The identification and recognition practices are presented in the RPL Instruction of SeAMK. It specifies how recognition of competencies is applied for, how the application is processed, and how the student is informed of it. The instruction lists the RPL contact persons of each Degree Programme, who counsel students on matters related to the process.
In the assessment of prior learning, for example the following evidence is used:
– certificates on training programmes with similar content and other training programmes
– testimonials and further clarifications by an employer
– interviews of the student
– written and oral exams or reports
– functional or written assignments or other evidence
– presentations, portfolios
The final project/thesis and the Maturity Test cannot be submitted to the RPL procedure.
The students’ ability to describe their competence in relation to the course learning outcomes is an essential aspect of the recognition and accreditation of prior learning. Please notice that as regard the accreditation of theoretical studies, students must demonstrate their command of the theoretical contents. Practical work experience alone is usually not an adequate basis.

Qualification requirements and regulations (incl. graduation requirements)

Please see the Degree Regulations of Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences.

Pedagogical approach and learning environment

The Degree Programme in Health Care and Social Services / Elderly Care is based on the socioconstructivist theory of learning. The theory emphasises the subjectivity of the learners, who actively construct a body of knowledge, assess their learning needs and direct their action accordingly. The teacher acts as a facilitator, helping students become aware and take steps towards expertise and understanding. Other pedagogical principles in the Degree Programme include the integration of theory and practice, progressive enquiry and development, cooperative learning and professional growth. Students are encouraged to develop reflection, or skill and willingness to examine the motives and effects of their actions using different perspectives. They develop their understanding and competence in a group. The group constitutes a learning environment, in which students learn interaction skills, giving and receiving feedback and ethical scrutiny of things using multiple perspectives.
The learning contents and pedagogy are based on a practice-oriented approach and progressive enquiry. The courses aim at developing competence required in practice and in the development of practice. The integration of social and health fields is an essential attribute of the Degree Programme. This means that students are encouraged to collaborate with practice to experiment with innovative action models. The theoretical contents of the courses are applied to practical situations in multiple ways, for example though working life projects, practical assignments and development tasks, information seeking using sources available in elderly care practice, guided practical training and participation in research, development and service provision. The learning contents are examined from multiple perspectives using both evidence-based and experiential knowledge. The development of the professional field is emphasised from the very beginning of the studies.
The learning environment is being developed in order to offer students an extensive range of courses and flexible progress while taking students’ prior education and work experience into consideration. Study methods involve lectures; study circles; worklife projects; group assignments; demonstrations and simulations; online learning and independent studies, among others.

Profile of the programme

In the Degree Programme for geronomi (AMK) the focus is on ensuring that students become prepared and committed to the promotion of a good life for older people on the level of the individual, communities, organizations and also on the level of society. Their work with individual clients and groups involves prevention, support, care, rehabilitation and promotion of the old person’s participation in various settings of elderly care and services. Important areas in the degree programme are the assessment of aged clients' well-being, functional capacity and need for support and the well-planned use of various gerontological care and nursing interventions and social work methods to promote the client’s well-being and function. The degree programme also emphasises skills required in the organization of individualized services, such as the assessment of service needs; case management; organisation of service pathways and multi-professional services for elderly clients, and supporting the clients’ families. On the level of service organisations, the focus is on the supervision of the service provision, first-level management and on the development of human resources and services. On the level of society, the emphasis is on the evaluation and development of the service provision systems and on influencing decision-making and elderly policies in society.

Occupational profiles

The purpose of the Degree Programme in Elderly Care is to produce experts who will primarily work in various sectors and levels of social welfare and health care, in enterprises and in the third sector. The areas of expertise and duties of Bachelors of Social Services and Health Care are as follows:
- Personal case management for elderly persons: assessment of elderly clients' well-being, ability to function and needs for services; customisation of the services to suit specific needs and co-ordination of multi-professional activities
- Planning, supervision and development of family care-giving and other informal care services for older people as well as peer support activities
- Client work in care and service organisations for the elderly
- A variety of tasks in dementia work on various levels and the development of dementia work
- Planning, supervision, evaluation and development of services for the elderly in the public and third sectors
-Work in various undertakings and development projects in elderly care
There are a number of job titles for Bachelors of Elderly Care (UAS) in the field of social welfare and health care. Among them are case manager, client advisor, counsellor/supervisor, head counsellor/supervisor, social welfare counsellor/supervisor, development manager, project worker, project manager and elderly care manager. The Finnish title geronomi (Bachelor of Social Services and Health Care) is also becoming increasingly common. In the third sector, the graduates can work as coordinators of volunteer work, for example.


During their studies, students have an opportunity to undertake an international exchange in a place offered by a partner of Seinäjoki UAS or in a place suggested by the student. The recommended length of the exchange is three months during the fourth or fifth semester. Students of the Degree Programme as a group can also participate in international intensive courses organized by collaborative networks. It is also possible to study courses in the module Empowerment and Wellbeing of Older Adults in English language. Home internationality is enhanced by the use of learning materials in foreign languages, by contacts with exchange students and visiting lecturers and by multicultural learning contents. Students’ own initiative in internationality is appreciated.

Access to further studies

After three years of work experience, the student will be eligible for further studies for a Master’s Degree in the field in question.
Master of Social Services, Master of Health Care (Health Promotion), Master of Social Services and Health Care (Development and Management). Graduates are also opted for university studies (nursing management, gerontology, nursing science)

Structure of the studies

In accordance with the Universities of Applied Sciences Act, the studies of a Degree Programme consist of basic studies, professional studies, practical training promoting professional skills, free elective studies, and a final project/thesis. The extent of the studies is 60 credits a year.
The professional studies are based on gerontological knowledge of aging. Gerontological knowledge forms a foundation for subject matter from both health care and social work, which are integrated in the work of elderly care experts, or geronomi (AMK). From the gerontological knowledge foundation, students move on to the knowledge of services, to the methods in preventive work and psychosocial support, to the care, nursing and rehabilitation methods and to the management in elderly care and services. For a description of practical training, please see “Work-based learning and practical training”.
Students’ research and development skills become more advanced as students progress through the Degree Programme. Students start with information seeking, communication and scientific writing skills, project work and innovation, and then move on to field-specific research and development studies. The continuum of research and development studies ends with a Bachelor’s thesis on a topic relevant and meaningful to the practice of elderly care and services. The thesis can take the form of a research, report, development undertaking, production or a product.
The elective (free choice) studies are based on students’ individual choice. The studies can comprise large modules, for example multidisciplinary working life projects, modules completed during international exchange programmes or the module on early childhood education. Students can also opt for free choice studies offered by other degree programmes at Seinäjoki UAS or other higher education institutions, or they can become involved in student union activity or tutoring, or request credits for professionally relevant employment.
The curriculum includes five seams permeating through the studies and extending over them. They are based on SeAMK’s reports, studies and strategy, as well as on the national and international recommendations and regulations related to education provided by universities of applied sciences.
- The Information Search seam strengthens the student’s professional and field-specific information search skills throughout the studies.
- The Internationalization seam secures the improvement of the student’s international competencies during their studies.
- The studies corresponding to the Entrepreneurship seam help the student understand the central and growing role of entrepreneurship in society.
- The Sustainable Development seam makes the student aware of social responsibility and helps them understand the diversity of sustainable development as a working life skill.
- The seam of Career Guidance helps the student recognise their competencies and own strengths. It also includes working life knowledge, job search skills, and lifelong learning.
Students have the opportunity to include multidisciplinary, workinglife -oriented project studies in their personal curricula (ProSeAMK). The recommended timing for multidisciplinary working life projects is the third and fourth semester.

Examination regulations, assessment and grading

Please see the Degree Regulations of Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences.

Graduation requirements

Please see the Degree Regulations of Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences and instructions for graduates at Intra.

Mode of study

Full-time, except in adult education groups, where part-time multi-form studies are undertaken

Head of degree programme

Ms Päivi Rinne, GSM +358 40 830 4190, e-mail: paivi.rinne(at)

Student counsellor

Ms Marita Lahti, tel. +358 40 8302320, e-mail: marita.lahti(at)
Ms Pirjo Takala, tel. +358 40 8302167. e-mail: pirjo.takala(at)

Coordination of international mobility

Tiina Välimäki, 040-830 4127, tiina.valimaki(at), Coordinator, Outgoing student exchanges to Europe
Maria Loukola, 040-830 2240, maria.loukola(at), Coordinator, Incoming and outgoing student exchanges outside Europe

Student services

Tel. +358 20 124 5055,

Coordination of Practical Training

Ms Marita Lahti, tel. +358 40 8302320, e-mail: marita.lahti(at)

Field of study

Health and welfare
The classification of the educational field is based on the international ISCED classification used by the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes of the Degree Programme in Social Services represent level 6 in the European Qualification Framework (EQF). The desired learning outcomes emerge from the function of social work and services in society and from the nature of the profession. The learning outcomes are described in detail in the sections on the programme profile and degree-specific competences below.

Generic and subject specifc competences

Competencies are extensive knowledge entities, or combinations of the individual’s knowledge, skills, and attitudes. They describe qualifications, performance potential, and the ability to cope with professional duties.
Common/general competencies are fields of know-how common to different Degree Programmes, but their special characteristics and importance may vary between professions and work assignments. General competencies form the basis for professional activities, cooperation, and the development of expertise. According to Arene’s (Rectors' Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences) recommendations, general competencies include learning skills, ethical competence, cooperation skills, innovation skills, and internationalization skills. In addition to the above-mentioned competencies, entrepreneurial skills and quality management skills are emphasized in the degree studies of SeAMK as competencies common to all.
Degree programme-specific competencies form the basis for the development of the student’s professional expertise.
Gerontological competence. The graduates (geronomi AMK) apply multi-disciplinary gerontological knowledge and skills to elderly care and services and understand ageing from the perspectives of individuals and their life courses and from the perspectives of community and society. They have adopted a resource-oriented approach to old age as a foundation for their work with the elderly. The graduates observe and promote the implementation of ethical principles defined for elderly care and services, as well as aged people’s self-determination, justice and individuality to ensure dignified old age. The graduates are capable of encounters and interaction with all kinds of people based on acceptance, empathy, dialogue and reflection. They know how to approach ageing people from different cultural backgrounds. They work in a holistic and multi-disciplinary manner, paying attention to aged clients’ individual backgrounds in a variety of settings.
Multi-disciplinary assessment and evaluation competence. The graduates (geronomi AMK) know how to assess, plan and implement service packages based on elderly clients’ needs in multi-professional collaboration. They are able to assess and anticipate aged people’s holistic wellbeing, ability to function and need for services in relation to clients’ resources, individual lives and coping in their respective environments. The graduates know how to assess, implement and coordinate multi-disciplinary, individual services for elderly people, use methods for assessing functional capacity and apply knowledge of activities that promote the well-being of elderly people. They are aware of social and health risks and the background factors of these risks, which may jeopardize elderly people’s well-being and ability to function. Together with other professionals, the graduates know how to assess elderly people’s needs for assistive equipment and support them in the use of the equipment.
Counselling competence. In their counselling work, the graduates (geronomi AMK) observe the principles of foresight and preventive work with the elderly, promoting clients’ health and well-being. They are capable of taking action to prevent elderly people’s social exclusion and the related risks, and know how to disseminate information on factors related to elderly people’s health and well-being. The graduates are familiar with the case management approach and use methods of case management and networking when counselling individual clients and group. They use counselling to promote social engagement and empowerment of elderly people while respecting people’s self-determination and apply community group counselling and goal-oriented group counselling methods in their work. The graduates counsel and advise elderly people, their next of kin, families and significant others on how to meet individual needs and cope in daily life, and they are familiar with special features in counselling elderly people. The graduates are able to carry out the counselling process so that they take into account people’s individual needs.
Gerontological care, nursing and rehabilitation competence. The graduates (geronomi AMK) promote elderly people’s social engagement and agency in care, nursing and rehabilitation services . The graduates know how to use a resource-oriented and rehabilitative approach to work and how to apply important elderly care methods in their work with individuals and groups. They make use of information and welfare technology to provide a safe and functional environment, use socio-cultural and action-based methods and strengthen the sense of community as part of the care, nursing and rehabilitation. The graduates are able to implement and evaluate safe pharmacological care for aged people. They recognize common diseases and their effect on aged people’s ability to function and know how to counsel them in the treatment of diseases and in rehabilitation. The graduates are familiar with methods of caring for, supporting and rehabilitating people with dementia and able to develop services for people with memory disorders. They know how to support home-living elderly people and care-giving families and are able to develop services to support these families.
Service provision competence. The graduates (geronomi AMK) are familiar with important national and international strategies and objectives designed for elderly policies and use them to develop services and the quality of services. They participate in public discussion on the position of aged people in society and service provision systems and use their expertise to influence the aged people’s position. The graduates are familiar with the service settings and service provision (in the public, private and third sector) and able to apply their knowledge to the organization, provision and development of services. They are familiar with social, health and rehabilitation services for aged people and with the relevant legislation, guidelines and programmes, so that they can apply their knowledge to both service development and client work. The graduates know how to extensively use culture and sports services to support functional capacity and well-being of aged people. They are able to co-ordinate multi-professional collaboration to meet the needs of aged people through the development, planning and implementation of services.
Management, development and quality assurance competence. The graduates (geronomi AMK) are able to develop and manage work with the elderly in an ethical, client-centred manner. They know how to apply important strategies and theories on work community development and management to develop, co-ordinate and manage work with the elderly. The graduates are able to evaluate the quality of services provided for the elderly and to use important tools of quality work. They demonstrate flexibility and an ability to conduct dialogue in the work community and possess relevant negotiation, reporting and counselling skills. They have an entrepreneurial approach to work. The graduates are able to work in managerial positions and have basic skills in financial management and marketing. They know how to support staff welfare at work. The graduates are able to apply research, development and innovation methods to develop the services and work communities and they know how to work in projects. They apply gerontological research and knowledge to development and management and they are able to produce knowledge that serves the foresight work and development of services for the elderly.

Work-based learning and work placements

Work-based learning and practical training are closely connected with the basic and professional studies described above and with the competences defined for the graduates (geronomi AMK).
Students have guided practice during their practical training periods. This means that a supervisor is appointed for the student at the university and in the practical placement. Students’ action is guided by the course learning outcomes and by the personal goals they have set for themselves. It is recommended that students carry out their various practical training periods in several placements rather than in a single one.
The student’s salaried work during their studies and the competencies achieved through it can be used in order to complete a course. This is referred to as employment-integrated learning, and it can also be related to voluntary work or hobbies. It is essential that the things learnt through working contribute to the attainment of the learning goals of the course. Learning achieved through employment-integrated learning can be verified, for instance, through skills demonstrations and assignments.
Employment-integrated learning means that it is possible for students to have their current employment or other suitable activity recognised and evaluated, so that they can earn credits from the work or activity. The work or activity must contain an adequate number of elements that coincide with the desired learning outcomes of the course and it must be of adequate duration. The student, teacher and the student’s employer carry out the employment-integrated learning process in cooperation. The employer makes a commitment to offer the student an opportunity for employment-integrated learning, in accordance with the learning outcomes of the course. The employment-integrated learning options are discussed with the contact person in charge of employment-integrated process in the degree programme, as part of the student’s personal study plan. Attention will be paid to the overall progress of the studies and to the required formation of professional competence. The practical arrangements should be discussed with the teacher of the course. Student fullfils application and afterwards the student indicates his/her competence following instructions given by teacher.