The qualification requirements for teaching personnel in Finland are stipulated in Decrees No. 986/1998 and 865/2005. Subject teachers in comprehensive schools (= peruskoulu in Finnish, grades 3-9) and upper secondary schools (= lukio in Finnish, grades 10-12) must have completed, among other things, the Pedagogical Studies for Teachers as defined in the Decree.
The Subject Teacher Education Programme (STEP) is the Pedagogical Studies for Teachers arranged in English complying with the Decree requirements. It is arranged every year by the Faculty of Educational Sciences. The programme helps the future teacher to develop into a professional in the planning, implementation, evaluation, and development of teaching.
Please read more about the content and structure of the Programme.
The extent of the Programme is 60 credits which corresponds to 60 ECTS credits in the European system. It corresponds to the full-time work load of a whole academic year. The academic year runs from 1 August to 31 July but the compulsory attendance is required from the last week of August until the end of May.
Even if the Programme can be completed n one academic year the non-degree students are automatically given a study right for two years.
There are no tuition fees connected to the Programme.
The STEP Programme is open to those
The Faculty of Educational Sciences and the Admission Services arrange an information session on the studies and application process to the STEP Programme through Zoom platform during the application period. The exact time and link to the Teams area will be published here in November 2023.
More information on the application procedure is published by the end of November 2023. The application period is 29 February 2024 - 14 March 2024 for the studies starting in the end of August 2024.
There are three documents required from the non-degree applicants who are not degree students the University of Helsinki.
Master degree certificate. If your degree is taken outside Finland, you must have your degree recognised by the National Agency for Education. More information on the recognition of foreign degrees can be found trough this link.
You have provide by the end of the application period the so called Equivalency Certificate (= opetettavan aineen vastaavuustodistus in Finnish). It is a certificate that shows that you have taken sufficient and right kind of studies in the school subject(s) you are going to teach.
Please notice that it may take several weeks to obtain such a certificate from a Finnish University or from the National Agency for Education, so please act early!
Read more about the certificate here.
You have to show sufficient knowledge of English. Please see the various options below.
Please note that the University of Helsinki only accepts IELTS Academic test scores. Tests taken at the general level are not accepted.
The IELTS Indicator test is also accepted.
The Home Edition and Paper Edition of TOEFL iBT are also accepted.
You can prove your language skills with upper-secondary education conducted in English in the following countries:
You can prove your language skills with the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) or the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Career-related Programme (CP), if your programme has been completed in English.
If your IB examination has been completed in a language other than English, you can prove your language skills with the the following grades:
You can prove your language skills with the European Baccalaureate. The following grades are accepted as proof of language skills:
You can prove your language skills with a university degree (Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral degree, or polytechnic/university of applied science degree) completed in English in one of the following countries:
In addition in the following countries:
The degree/programme must be taught and assessed entirely in English. The language of instruction must be clearly indicated on the educational documents.
You can prove your language skills with a degree completed in a Finnish university or university of applied sciences if you have demonstrated foreign language proficiency in the English language in accordance with the Government Decree on University Degrees (794/2004) or University of Applied Sciences Degrees (1129/2014).
You can prove your language skills with a degree completed at a Finnish university with English as the major subject.
You can prove your language skills with an Equivalency Certificate in English which you have already received or will receive during your studies.
You may attach the required documents electronically in your application on the Studyinfo.fi pages. Alternatively, you can submit the required documents in paper, please see the options below. These documents may be unofficial copies of the documents.
However, if you are offered a study place, you may be asked to send officially certified copies of the used documents and authorised translations. Please find more information on the legalisation and authorised translations below.
All the admitted students (after the admission letter has been sent, not as a part of the application) may be asked to send original or official, legalised copies of the documents used the application process.
Please see below for instructions for submitting paper (hard copy) attachments.
A document copy can be certified as follows:
Only the above are accepted as certified copies. For example, the following are not considered certified copies:
The following criteria must be met for a document copy awarded by an educational institution to be considered certified:
Please note that an educational institution cannot certify a degree certificate awarded by another organisation (e.g., the Finnish Matriculation Examination Board or the IB organisation) or another educational institution.
A translation is considered an authorised translation only if it was done by an authorised translator or the educational institution that awarded the document.
An authorised translation must include the translator’s stamp and signature. In addition, every page of a translation with multiple pages must bear the translator’s stamp or signature.
You can get an authorised translation of any document from an authorised translator. In Finland, authorised translators include those who pursuant to Act on Authorised Translators (1231/2007) have the right to work as such. A register (in Finnish and Swedish) maintained by the Finnish National Agency for Education can also be used to acquire information on authorised translators in Finland. If you are not in Finland, you can also obtain an authorised translation from an authorised translator living in your country of residence.
We accept translations made by the educational institution that originally awarded the document. If the educational institution awards the document directly in Finnish, Swedish or English, no separate translation is required.
If you cannot obtain officially certified copies of your academic documents from the awarding institution, you may submit legalised copies of your academic documents.
Legalisation can take place by two different routes depending on whether the country of the awarding institution is a signatory to the Hague Convention of 1961 or not. Documents supplied by countries that have ratified the Hague Convention are legalised by the issuance of an Apostille Certificate (stamp or paper certificate). Documents issued by other countries are legalised in two steps: first by the foreign ministry of the issuing country, then by a competent Finnish Embassy or Finnish Consulate of that country.
The Apostille Certificate (stamp or paper certificate) is necessary if the document has been issued by the authorities of a country that has ratified the Hague Convention of 1961. Information on the Hague Convention as well as an English language list of its member states can be found here:
The website also provides information about the authorities issuing Apostille Certificates in various countries.
Please make sure that the Apostille certificate is firmly and clearly attached to all the documents it is certifying as being official.
If the country issuing a document is not a signatory of the Hague Convention, a document is legalised by the foreign ministry of the issuing country, after which a competent Finnish Embassy or Finnish Consulate of that country legalises the document, certifying the competence of that foreign ministry official to issue such legalisation.
You are always responsible for the arrival of documents at Admission Services by the set deadline. This is also the case if you do not deliver the documents yourself.
The easiest and most secure way to submit the required documents is to attach them electronically in your application via Studyinfo.fi. The documents do not have to be officially certified.
However, the applicants have also the right to submit the documents in paper but it is not recommended. The paper documents must be sent by post or courier, or dropped off in the designated letterbox
If sending documents by regular post, please use the following address:
00014 HELSINGIN YLIOPISTO
Do not send documents intended for Admission Services by post to any other address than the one above.
If sending documents by courier (UPS, DHL, FedEx, etc.), please use the following address:
Do not send documents intended for Admission Services by courier to any other address than the one above.
If a courier service requests a phone number, please provide the following: +358 2941 911.
You can drop off your attachments in the letterbox located at Unioninkatu 40, on the corner of Unioninkatu and Yrjö-Koskisen katu streets in Helsinki. Attachments can be dropped off in the letterbox at any time, but please note that the attachments must be dropped off in the letterbox before 15.00 local Helsinki time to be considered as having arrived during the same day. If you drop off attachments in the letterbox after 15.00, the attachments are considered to have arrived on the following weekday.
NB! Do not give documents intended for Admission Services to porters or drop them off in any other letterbox than the one designated for this purpose.