6 DON’TS when applying to the SoEx Master’s Program

Each year when the application for the Social Exclusion Master’s program opens, the program receives a plethora of applicants. Many of the applications are in order, with a well-put-together motivation letter and with the right documents included. However, each year the program also receives applications that have made an error or two, which results in the applications being rejected. To reduce these frequently made mistakes we have compiled a list of don’ts most applicants do. Additionally, check out Information for Applicants on the blog, where all the essential information for applicants has been gathered. So, without further ado, avoid these 6 things when you apply for the Social Exclusion Master’s program.


  1. Applying to the wrong track!

It is important to notice that the Social Exclusion Master’s Program has two tracks. 1. Master’s Degree Programme in Social Exclusion, Master of Arts, and 2. Master’s Degree Programme in Social Exclusion, Master of Theology.

The first track, Master of Art, is the more popular track. This track allows for a wider perspective on what Social Exclusion entails. This track also offers the students to specialize in Gender Studies, History, Philosophy, or the Study of Religion during the second term. Applicants with a BA in subjects like the Study of Religion, Gender Studies, History, Philosophy, or Theology can apply for this program. The other track is Master of Theology. Applicants with a BA specifically in Theology should apply for this program! Additionally, applicants who have a BA in Theology or Theology and another subject can apply for both programs.

To further see the differences between the two tracks, check an earlier blog post about them.


  1. Forgetting to apply for the scholarship!

Applying for scholarships is foremost for international students. When applying it is important to tick the box for the scholarship in the application to be considered for the scholarship. More detailed information about scholarships can be found on the Åbo Akademi University’s website.


  1. Uploading faulty documents

Uploading the right documents is vital. It is important to remember to upload the documents and to check that the uploads are right. Any application with a faulty document will be discarded and seen as faulty. What is a faulty document you may ask? A faulty document can be someone else’s transcript or certificate, which is not your own. Even if you have all your other documents in order but by mistake included a faulty document, your application will be removed. In other words, double or even triple-check that you upload your own documents and NOT a friend’s or family member’s documents.


  1. Choosing the wrong language requirement!

When applying, double-check the language requirements. You can either submit your IELTS results, however, if your score is low or you have not done the test you can ask the program to assess your English language skills. For further information about the language requirements when applying check Åbo Akademi University’s website for the requirements and scroll all the way down to see all the exemptions and to see what is required for domestic applicants.


  1. Not knowing how to sell oneself in the motivation letter!

A motivation letter is meant for the applicant to stand out from the mass. It is a letter that gives the applicant character, it offers a way for the applicant to introduce themselves and connect to the program. What is most important when it comes to motivation letters is to WRITE ONE! Even if it might seem hard and difficult to sell oneself in the form of a motivation letter, there is a significant difference between writing one and completely leaving it unwritten. The motivation letter can include various interesting aspects of the applicant, like what have they learned in their academic career and what they want to achieve with the help of the program, or it can be more creative writing showing the personality of the applicant. Including a motivational letter in your application shows interest in the program, and your application will be taken more seriously.


  1. Leaving things to the last minute!

Immediately when you are interested in applying for the program start to think about your application. What you should include in the application, what to write in your motivation letter and which documents do you need to prepare. This will reduce stress when it is finally time to click send. The application time is shorter than you expect so start to think about your application as soon as possible.


When avoiding these common mistakes, you should be ready to apply for the Social Exclusion MA program with a stunning application.


Good luck!

365,691 Applying Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock



Sara Ahmed


In Complaint! Sara Ahmed examines what we can learn about power from those who complain about abuses of power. The idea for Ahmed’s book Complaint! came about when a group of students at the University Ahmed was working at filed a complaint against sexual harassment. Ahmed was asked by the students to attend a meeting as a feminist academic and to listen to the students and to aid them with their complaints to the administration. However, the lack of action taken from the Universities side, lead to Ahmed’s resignation in 2016. In the introduction to the book Ahmed explains the situations as follows:

“We worked together to confront the institution more directly about its role in enabling and reproducing a culture of harassment. The harder it is to get through, the more you have to do. The more we tried to confront the problem of sexual harassment as an institutional problem, the more we refused to accept weak statements about what the university was committed to doing, the more we questioned how they were changing policies without communicating with anyone why we needed to change policies (chapter  1), the more resistance we encountered.” (Ahmed 2021: 7)


Therefore, drawing on these oral and written testimonies from academics and students who have made complaints about harassment, bullying, and unequal working conditions at universities, Ahmed explores the gap between what is supposed to happen when complaints are made and what actually happens. To make complaints within institutions is to learn how they work and for whom they work. Complaint as feminist pedagogy or to have a feminist ear as Ahmed also refers to listening to those who are not being heard and dismantling institutional barriers that stop hearing these voices.


Ahmed explores how complaints are made behind closed doors and how doors are often closed on those who complain since complaints are usually seen as negative, not heard, tiresome and a distraction from what is “important”. To open these doors—to get complaints through, keep them going, or keep them alive—Ahmed emphasizes, requires forming new kinds of collectives. In other words, Ahmed sets out to give complaints a hearing, to give them room, to listen to them and to show their importance, power and life-changing ability through the extensive work of her book.


Sara Ahmed is a feminist and independent scholar, whose work include intersectional feminism, queer, and race studies. Her research additionally includes how bodies and worlds take shape; and how power is secured and challenged in everyday life worlds as well as institutional cultures.



Happy Black History Month!

For the month of February, we are celebrating Black History Month! Many have certainly heard about Black History Month but what does it practically mean and how can each and everyone celebrate it?

Black History Month | School of Social Work

What is Black History Month and why do we celebrate it?

Black History Month is an annual celebration of the achievements of Black individuals and to remember Black history and its contributors to civilization. However, Black History Month was not always called that and neither did it start with an entire month of celebration. It started in 1926 as the Negro History Week when the American scholar and historian Carter Godwin Woodson wanted to celebrate the achievements of African Americans and focus on their central role in U.S. history. Woodson was the first to open the long-neglected field of Black studies to scholars and popularized the field in the schools and colleges of black people, making the field a “serious area of study”. Woodson decided upon celebrating Negro History Week the second week in February, due to both Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass, who both played a huge role in the emancipation of enslaved Africans and the abolitionist movement, celebrating their birthday during that week. However, the idea grew in the 60s as a result of the social movements protesting racial injustice and inequality and eventually evolved into today’s well-known Black History Month. Later in 1976, US President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month and stated that it is time to acknowledge the too-often neglected accomplishment of African Americans.


90 years after Woodson envisioned a weeklong celebration to educate people on Black history and culture, the former US President Barack Obama stated in a speech on February 12th 2016 that:

“So we are so proud to honor this rich heritage.  But Black History Month shouldn’t be treated as though it is somehow separate from our collective American history — (applause) — or somehow just boiled down to a compilation of greatest hits from the March on Washington, or from some of our sports heroes.   There are well-meaning attempts to do that all around us, from classrooms to corporate ad campaigns.  But we know that this should be more than just a commemoration of particular events.

It’s about the lived, shared experience of all African Americans, high and low, famous and obscure, and how those experiences have shaped and challenged and ultimately strengthened America.  It’s about taking an unvarnished look at the past so we can create a better future.  It’s a reminder of where we as a country have been so that we know where we need to go.”


Additionally, each year Black History Month has a theme. The theme for 2022 is Black Wellness and Health, in honour and support of physical and mental health of Black individuals, in addition, to recognising Black medical practicians and decolonizing racial medical practises.

Things to do during Black History Month!

Now that we know the history of Black History Month, we can discuss what everyone should think about and do to uplift, support, and celebrate Black individuals. A lot could be said here but let’s focus on five key aspects.


  1. To celebrate Black Joy as much as Black resistance! Meaning not to only focus on pain, suffering and trauma, but to instead give room for Black joy. Black joy means to claim ownership of the free self through joy, celebrating Blackness and having the right to love Blackness. Below are shared links to read and hear more about Black Joy.


The Pleasures of Resistance: Enslaved Women and Body Politics in the Plantation South, 1830-1861 by Stephanie M. H. Camp

What is ‘black joy’ and why do we need it in our lives?

Why we need to celebrate Black Joy | Valerie June | TEDxNashvilleSalon


  1. Center Black voices and Black stories! It can be a movie, book, series, or other forms of media by Black creators telling stories that centre Blackness. To hear stories told by Black individuals about Black individuals is to decolonize the narrative of Blackness that Whiteness has told. This blog’s monthly book suggestion gives some suggestions, in addition, the Instagram account @womensprize also occasionally lifts Black authors. Otherwise, a simple Google search will give a plethora of great media to consume that centre’s Black voices.
  2. Buy Black! This entails supporting Black-owned businesses, shops, and brands, both local and/or global ones. To economically support Black business, today and always, is part of being an ally to a community that is deeply affected by systemic racism.
  3. Continue supporting racial justice movements and organizations! Whether it is economical support, following and sharing information or educating oneself on the matter are all as valid and important.
  4. Finally, even if we only celebrate Black History Month for the entirety of February, Blackness should be celebrated all year round. Meaning that these are not things that one should consider only during the month of February but something to keep in mind all year round.

10 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month This February | Houstonia Magazine