Admissions & Getting Started Advice for Students Master's Degrees Career prospects & Alumni Contact Information

West and South Slavonic Languages and Cultures belongs to the Department of Modern Languages.

P.O. Box 24 (Unioninkatu 40 B)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki


There are three study lines in the subject: the Polish line, the Czech line, and the South Slavonic line. The student can choose one or more of these. However, elementary courses for particular languages do not necessarily start every year.

The Basic Studies (perusopinnot) last one year, and the aim is to bring the students’ linguistic competence up to level A2 in terms of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Students majoring in West and South Slavonic Languages and Cultures start their minor subject studies from the beginning of their first year. One of the most useful minor subjects is ECEBB, i.e. East Central European, Balkan and Baltic Studies, which offers courses on the history and society of the countries concerned.

Intermediate Studies (aineopinnot; also known in English as Subject Studies) can be completed in one year in the case of minor subject students. Those majoring in the subject spread their Intermediate Studies over two years, the latter of which involves attending the proseminar and preparing a Bachelor’s thesis. The target level for linguistic competence is B1/B2.

The minor subjects chosen at the BA level influence the student’s research orientation at the MA level and subsequent career prospects. Special attention is therefore paid to the choice of minor subjects in the study guidance offered within the subject.

Certain courses at the level of Advanced Studies can be taken before completion of the BA degree; this particularly applies to the practical language skills courses. The Advanced Studies constitute a Master’s degree for which no minor subjects are needed. The target level for linguistic competence is C1.

At least one semester at the MA stage is spent at a university in the appropriate Slavonic country. The teachers assist the students in applying for exchange scholarships.

The West and South Slavonic languages are taught specifically as foreign languages; we unfortunately lack the resources to provide instruction suitable for native speakers. Students who are native speakers of a West or South Slavonic language, or who have had their school education in one of these languages, and who have not taken the Finnish matriculation examination, must therefore take their Basic and Intermediate Studies, as well as the language skills courses at the level of Advanced Studies, in one of the other languages taught within the subject.