Non-degree programmes for teacher qualifications in Education in 2020 - 2021

In 2020 - 2021, the Faculty of Educational Sciences offers the following 60-credit Programmes:

  • Pedagogical Studies for Subject Teachers in English, Finnish, and Swedish.  More information in the Pedagogical Studies in English is now available on Studyinfo pages. The application period is 10 February 2020 - 6 March 2020.
  • Studies for Special Education Teachers in Finnish.
  • Multidisciplinary Studies for classroom teacher qualification for grades 1-6 (age groups 6-13) in Finnish and Swedish.

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. These studies are also available for those who already have taken a suitable higher education degree 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 schools (grades 7-9, age groups 14-16) and upper-secondary schools (grades 10-12, age groups 16-18) must have taken:

  • Master’s level University degree
  • sufficient and right kind of university studies in their future teaching subject(s), either as part of their University degree or separately, and;
  • Pedagogical Studies for (Subject) Teachers.

At the University of Helsinki, the 60-credit programmes for Pedagogical Studies for (Subject) Teachers are 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 he/she has taken sufficient and relevant studies in the subject(s) they are going to teach at schools. This certificate is called an Equivalency Certificate, "opetettavan aineen vastaavuustodistus" in Finnish.  It is sufficient for the programme admission to have only one teaching subject of 60 credits for a qualification for the comprehensive school.
  • some degree students 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 domestic or foreign language), Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics. It is not possible to apply to  STEP in other school subjects.

The Programme in Pedagogical Studies in Finnish cover practically all school subjects. In addition, in Finnish there is also a separate Programme in Pedagogy for Adult Education Teachers. More information on these Programmes is offered in Finnish only.

The Programme organised in Swedish cover school subjects in comprehensive and upper-secondary schools but not adult education. 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.

This information for the 2021 application round will be updated in December 2020.

More infor­mation on the STEP Pro­gramme and ped­ago­gical stud­ies:

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


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 higher education degree and original teacher competence. The extent of the Programme 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:

  • Special Education Class Teachers (ELO)
  • Special Education Teachers (EO)
  • Special Early Childhood Education Teachers (VEO)

The basic requirements are either a degree providing a qualification for class teacher duties (ELO);  or a Master’s degree and Pedagogical Studies (EO), or a Bachelor of Arts (Education) degree in an early childhood teacher education programme at a university (VEO). 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 also offers Programmes in Multidisciplinary Studies, which is a compulsory part of class teacher eligibility. The studies cover all 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 already have 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 is 60 credits in Finnish and 70 credits in Swedish.

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

Studies for Special Education Teachers

2017, 2018, 2019

Pedagogical studies for subject teachers

2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

The most important piece of information for the English speaking applicants is the number of applicants for the STEP Programme in 2020:

  • degree students: 15 eligible applicants for 17 vacancies
  • non-degree applicants: 19 eligible applicants for 8 vacancies.

Multidisciplinary studies

2017, 2018, 2019