About the department Contact Information

The Department of Modern Languages
PO Box 24
00014 University of Helsinki
Unioninkatu 40 B, 6th floor

+358-2-941 24480

nykykielet-toimisto [at] helsinki.fi

The Department of Modern Languages is part of the
Faculty of Arts.

About the Department

The Department of Modern Languages began its operations on 1 January 2010, when the Department of English, the Department of Romance Languages, the Department of German, the Department of Slavonic and Baltic Languages and Literatures, and the Department of General Linguistics were merged into one large department.


The Department of Modern Languages is the largest department at the Faculty of Arts:

  • 22 disciplines, 17 of which can be studied as a major subject
  • Approximately 2,400 undergraduate students and 150 employees
  • 175 Master’s degrees per year
  • Several externally funded research projects


The mission of the department is

  • to conduct extensive research on languages spoken in Europe and elsewhere (English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French, German, Russian) as well as other important European languages (incl. Dutch, Catalan, Croatian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Czech) and literature written in these languages;
  • to develop the general theory of linguistics, translation studies, language technology and literary research;  
  • to educate experts in these areas of language and culture for the needs of society (teachers, translators and interpreters, researchers as well as academically educated experts for the public sector);
  • to function as a prominent opinion leader in these disciplines within Finnish society.


The Department is located in Metsätalo, or the Forestry Building, in Kaisaniemi (Unioninkatu 40). Built in 1939, Metsätalo derives its name from the period when it served as the home of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry as well as that of the Finnish Forestry Research Institute. The legacy of the past is still evident in the interior of the building, which features all Finnish wood species. The Humanities disciplines moved there in the summer of 2002.

The Department as an employer

As a multilingual and multicultural environment, the Department offers both students and researchers an inspiring study and work environment. The Department’s open positions are advertised on the University of Helsinki’s Recruitment webpage.