Non-degree programmes for teacher qualifications


There are some changes to the admissions criteria because of the coronavirus outbreak. You can read the latest information on the website for Step.


Information on non-degree programmes in Educational Sciences in 2020 - 2021

In 2020 - 2021, the Faculty of Educational Sciences offers 60-credit programmes in Pedagogical Studies for Teachers in English, Finnish, and Swedish.  More information in the Pedagogical Studies for Teachers in English is now available on Studyinfo pages. The application period is 10 February 2020 - 6 March 2020.

The Faculty also offers a 60-credit programme in Studies for Special Education Teachers in Finnish and a Multidiciplinary Studies - programme for classroom teacher qualification for grades 1-6. The Multidiciplinary Studies are offered in Finnish (60 credits) and Swedish (70 credits).

These programmes do not lead to a university degree as such but they can be combined with other degree studies at the University of Helsinki. In addition, these studies are available for those who already have a higher education degree and  right kind and sufficient studies in the teaching subject, and who wish to qualify for teaching professions in Finland.

If you need further information about applying to these programmes, please contact the University of Helsinki Admission Services.

The qualification requirements for teaching personnel in Finland are stipulated in the Decree No. 986/1998 and the amendment to the previous degree, Decree No. 865/2005. According to the Decree, the subject teachers in comprehensive and upper-secondary schools must have taken a Master’s level University degreesufficient and right kind of university studies in their teaching subjects (either as part of their degree or separately), and the Pedagogical Studies for Teachers.

At the University of Helsinki, the 60-credit programme for pedagogical studies for (subject) teachers is offered in English, Finnish, and Swedish.

The programme in English is called STEP (Subject Teacher Education Programme in English) and it is available to

  • those who have already taken a Master level degree at a Finnish University or abroad. The degrees taken outside Finland must be recognised by the National Agency for Education. The applicants must also have a certificate provided by the National Agency for Education or a Finnish university that the studies are suitable and sufficient for subject teachers. This certificate is called an Equivalency Certificate, opetettavan aineen vastaavuustodistus in Finnish.
  • degree students in some of the programmes at the Faculties of Arts and Science at the University of Helsinki.

STEP covers the pedagogical studies for the following school subjects in the comprehensive and upper-secondary schools in Finland:

English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Swedish (as the other domestic or foreign language), Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics.

The Programme in Finnish orientate to school subjects in comprehensive and upper-secondary schools or to adult education subjects. More information on the Programme is offered in Finnish only.

The Programme organised in Swedish cover school subjects in comprehensive and upper-secondary schools but NOT adult education subjects. More information is available in Swedish only.

The application period for all the programmes is 10 February - 6 March 2020.  You can find more information on the selection criteria and application procedure, and application form on the Studyinfo pages which is a public, national database for educational programmes in Finland.

More infor­mation on the STEP Pro­gramme and ped­ago­gical stud­ies:

Instructions for students: Would you like to become a subject teacher?


Non-degree programme for special education teachers
The non-degree programme in special education gives the student formal eligibility and professional competence for duties as special education teachers in basic, pre-primary and early education. The formal eligibility obtained through the studies are based on the student’s first degree and original teacher competence. The extent of the studies is 60 credits and it is possible to complete them in one academic year. Approximately 100 students are selected to the programme each year.

There are three different applicant groups in the programme:
- Non-degree studies for special education class teachers (ELO)
- Non-degree studies for special education teachers (EO)
- Non-degree studies for special early childhood education teachers (VEO)

The basic requirements are either a degree providing a qualification for class teacher duties or a Master’s degree and teachers’ pedagogical studies, or a Bachelor of Arts (Education) degree in an early childhood teacher education programme at a university. In addition, two years’ full-time teaching experience is required of all applicants in the ELO and EO selection groups.

As the programme is organised in Finnish only, a good command of the language is a prerequisite for all applicants. Please see the up-to-date application data and application procedure in Finnish. More detailed information is provided in Finnish only.

The Faculty offers programmes in multidisciplinary studies, which is a compulsory part of class teacher education. The studies cover the school subjects and their didactics offered in Finnish comprehensive schools. This programme is offered for degree students at the University of Helsinki and, as a non-degree programme, for those who have already completed a Master’s level degree and all other required studies, which depend on the applicant’s degree.

The programme is arranged in Finnish (for degree students and for those who already have taken a Master's degree) and in Swedish (for Master's degree holders only) and all the candidates must have a good knowledge of the Finnish or Swedish language at the time of applying.

The extent of the programme in Finnish is 60 credits and in Swedish 70 credits.

For further information, please see the pages in Finnish or Swedish.