Structure of the Programme (2022-2024)

The Master’s Degree Programme in Social Exclusion offers two pathways to Master’s education, the Master of Arts or Master of Theology. Keep in mind, however, that the Master of Theology requires applicants to have a background in the study of religion, theology, or similar.

Whilst both options can be applied to, admission is awarded only to one option. For example, if you were to apply to both the Master of Arts and the Master of Theology, admission will be awarded on the basis of only one of these two options for Master’s studies. That is to reiterate, you can apply for both options but can only be accepted into one.


The structure of Master’s of Arts studies consists of 120 ECTS (or credits) to be completed over two years. They are broken down as follows:

The strength of the programme rests in its four key specializations: gender studies, philosophy, studies of religion (or theology), and history. Over the course of the two years, students will be exposed to the phenomenon of Social Exclusion from the perspective of the four key areas of specialization. More on specializations can be found under the section Specialization. The structure for being admitted to the program Master of Theology looks fairly similar to the one of the Master of Arts, the only thing that differs is that the 10 ECTS of free courses should be a selective course within the Theology Department.


The programme’s current structure (2022-2024) can be found here for Master of Arts and here for Master of Theology. However, below is included a brief breakdown of the structure and what each student’s study plan could look like. In the first year, students are intended to complete most mandatory courses, ten credits of specialization courses and possibly one or two free courses. This will come out to 60-70 ECTS since all courses are either 5 ECTS or 10 ECTS worth. It is highly recommended that students complete 70 ECTS in the first year so more time can be dedicated to the thesis process during the second year.


At the end of the first year, students will be asked to declare their intention to which specialization they have chosen to specialize in. They will also be asked for their preliminary thoughts on a thesis topic which will help to determine supervision for their theses in the second year. Please note that the thesis topic can be changed in the future, and will be developed further during the second-year thesis seminar. The second year will consist of the remaining specialization courses, the master’s thesis (30 ECTS), the thesis seminar (5 ECTS) and possibly any remaining mandatory courses or free courses that were not completed during the first year of studies.


For more information, kindly visit the ÅAU’s internal website (under Faculties-Faculty of Arts, Psychology and Theology (FHPT)- Materials and Guides and scroll down to the end of the page) to find Social Exclusion 2023-2034 Study Guide and Structure of the Master’s Program. You might also find it useful to check out the instruction videos on how to use Peppi or ÅAU’s tool to help you organize your studies, register for courses, book rooms and see your degree structure. 


Upon successfully completing all 120 ECTS, you will be awarded either a Master of Arts or Master of Theology within the Master’s Degree Programme in Social Exclusion at Åbo Akademi.