Proving your English language skills

These instructions apply to you if you are applying to a Master's programme during the application period 3 December 2019 – 10 January 2020.

When you apply to our International Master's programmes in English or to our multilingual Master’s programmes with English as the language of the degree, you must prove your language skills in English. On this page, you will find all the accepted methods of proving your language skills in English.

If you are applying to a multilingual Master’s programme with Finnish or Swedish as the language of the degree, please find the instructions on proving your language skills at:

Please note that statements issued by individual language teachers or institutional language test scores are not accepted, as they cannot be compared with standardized language tests. Online studies or Open University studies are also not accepted.

Minimum requirement:

  • Overall score 6.5, with a minimum score of 6.0 in the writing section.

Please note that the University of Helsinki only accepts IELTS Academic test scores. Tests taken at the general level will not be accepted as proof of the applicant’s language skills.

How to submit the test score:

You can submit your IELTS results in one of the following ways:

  • Request the test centre to share your IELTS Academic test score to the University of Helsinki. TRF links sent by the applicant are not accepted.

OR

  • Submit a copy of your score slip as paper copy or as a PDF file to the email address masterenclosures@helsinki.fi. Copies of IELTS score slips are accepted from both the test organizer and the applicant. They do not need to be attested: University of Helsinki verifies the score with the test organizer.

It is advisable to book your test date well before the application period has started as it may take some time after the test date for your test score to be published.

IELTS scores are valid for two years and the score must be valid throughout the application period. This means that the test score must not expire before to the application deadline.

Minimum requirement:

  • TOEFL IBT (Internet-based) 92, a minimum score of 22 in the writing section
  • TOEFL rPDT (revised Paper-delivered Test) a minimum score of 20 in the reading section, a minimum score of 20 in the listening section, a minimum score of 22 in the writing section

How to submit the test score:

Request the TOEFL test centre to forward your results to University of Helsinki by giving the University of Helsinki's Institution Code 9872 in the Score Report Recipient field. The test organiser must make the test score available to the University of Helsinki electronically or send the score slip directly to the University of Helsinki. Test scores sent by the applicant are not accepted.

It is advisable to book your test date well before the application period has started, as it may take some time after the test date for your test score to be published.

TOEFL scores are valid for two years and your test score must be valid throughout the application period. This means it must not expire prior to the application deadline.

Minimum requirement:

  • C1 Advanced (formerly CAE): Pass levels A, B or C
  • C2 Proficiency (formerly CPE): Pass levels A, B, C or level C1 certificate

How to submit the test score:

To submit your C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency (formerly known as CAE and CPE) results to the Admission Services, log into your Candidate Results website and share your test result with the University of Helsinki.

It is advisable to book your test date well before the application period has started, as it may take some time after the test date for your test score to be published.

Please note that only tests taken after 2005 will be accepted. Please also note that the University of Helsinki only accepts C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency, no other Cambridge language tests are accepted.

Minimum requirement:

  • Overall score 62, with a minimum score of 54 in each communicative skills section (listening, reading, speaking and writing).

How to submit the test score:

Once you receive your test score, send it to Admission Services of the University of Helsinki from your PTE account. Test results are only accepted from the test organizer.

It is advisable to book your test date well before the application period has started, as it may take some time after the test date for your test score to be published.

PTE Academic scores are valid for two years and the test result must be valid throughout the application period. This means it must not expire prior to the application deadline.

Minimum requirement:

  • Skills level 5 in the reading comprehension, writing, and speaking subtests.

How to submit the test score:

Send your National Certificate of Language Proficiency test score copy to Admission Services of the University of Helsinki as a paper copy or as a PDF file to the email address masterenclosures@helsinki.fi.

Your results will be verified from the test organizer.

You can prove your language skills with upper-secondary education conducted in English in the following countries:

  • Nordic Countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden)
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

Submit an officially certified copy of your diploma to the Admission Services. If your upper-secondary education was completed in the Nordic countries, the language of instruction must be stated on the diploma.

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:

  • English as the A1 language with a minimum grade of 2.
  • English as the A2 language with a minimum grade of 5.
  • English as A language (literature/language and literature/language and performance) a minimum grade of 2.

Submit an officially certified copy of your diploma and grades to the Admission Services.

Alternatively you can order a Transcript of Grades from IBO and ask them to send it to the Admission Services of the University of Helsinki. University of Helsinki will get the final grades electronically from IBO.

You can prove your language skills with the European Baccalaureate. The following grades are accepted as proof of language skills:

  • European Baccalaureate with English as the LI language with an approved grade (a minimum grade of 4).
  • European Baccalaureate with English as the LII language with a minimum grade of 7.

Submit an officially certified copy of your diploma and grades to the Admission Services.

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:

  • EU/EEA countries or Switzerland
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

Please note that your degree/programme must be taught and assessed entirely in English.

Submit your degree certificate and transcript of records following the instructions on how to submit educational documents.

If your degree includes transfer credits from outside the specified countries/area, or courses conducted in a language other than English, the degree might not meet the requirement.

Online studies or studies completed on offshore campuses outside the accepted countries/area cannot be used to indicate language skills, even if the degree-awarding institution is located in one of the accepted countries.

The language of instruction must always be indicated clearly on the educational documents. You can prove your language skills also with an incomplete degree, if it is the same degree that you use to indicate your eligibility to Master’s level studies.

Online language studies or open university studies cannot be used to prove your language skills.

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 Polytechnic Degrees (1129/2014).

Submit your educational documents following the instructions for degrees completed in Finland.

You can prove your language skills with a degree completed at a Finnish university with English as the major subject.

Submit your educational documents following the instructions for degrees completed in Finland.

Please note that degrees completed in other countries with English as the major subject are only accepted as proof of language skills if the degree also fulfils the requirements mentioned above at University degree completed in English in EU/EEA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, UK, USA.

You can prove your language skills with the language skills level test for University of Helsinki applicants organised by the Helsinki University Language Services. The test includes the following sections:  reading comprehension, grammar and vocabulary, writing and oral skills.

Minimum requirement:

  • Average skills level 5 (C1), when using a scale from 1 to 6

The Admission Services will check your test result from the Language Services. You do not need to send a copy of your test result to the Admission Services.

Please note that the test is currently organised only for PhD applicants, but if you have taken the test earlier, you may still use it to prove your language skills when applying to Master's programmes.