Proving your English language skills

The University of Helsinki demands an indication of academic level language skills of all applicants. Language skills can be indicated with your previous school or university education or by a standardized language test. Statements by individual language teachers or institutional language test scores are unacceptable, as they cannot be compared with standardized language tests. Language skills cannot be indicated with online studies or modules completed in the open university.

Next application period for Master's Programmes in English is December 3, 2018 - January 11, 2019. Information about applying for the autumn 2019 intake and the required language skills will be updated here by the end of October 2018.

N.B. During the next application round (2018-2019) for Master's Programmes in English all applications and required documents must be submitted directly to the University of Helsinki. University Admissions Finland (UAF) has closed down and will no longer process applications. If you already wish to submit application documents, language test results, or you have inquiries about the application process, you should direct all these to the University of Helsinki. Please see our contact information.

These instructions apply to you,

  1. if you are applying to Doctoral Studies.

  2. if you are applying to any of the following Master's Programmes:

  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Agricultural, Environmental and Resource Economics
  • Atmospheric Sciences
  • Chemistry and Molecular Sciences
  • Computer Science
  • Contemporary Societies
  • Data Science
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Economics
  • English Studies
  • Environmental Change and Global Sustainability
  • European and Nordic Studies
  • Food Sciences
  • Forest Sciences
  • Genetics and Molecular Biosciences
  • Geography
  • Geology and Geophysics
  • Global Politics and Communication
  • Human Nutrition and Food-Related Behaviour
  • Intercultural Encounters
  • International Business Law
  • Life Science Informatics
  • Linguistic Diversity in the Digital Age
  • Materials Research
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology
  • Neuroscience
  • Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences
  • Plant Biology
  • Russian Studies
  • Theoretical and Computational Methods
  • Translational Medicine
  • Urban Studies and Planning

3. Pedagogical studies in English (STEP)

When applying for Doctoral studies, please submit the language test directly to the Admission Services of the University of Helsinki.

When applying to Master’s programmes, you must submit your language test to University Admissions Finland (UAF). UAF is a centralized application and processing service that provides service for four Finnish universities, including the University of Helsinki. UAF services are free of charge for applicants. University Admissions Finland processes all educational certificates, carries out credential evaluation and verifies language skills.

When applying for more than one programme and you verify your language skills to them with the same language test, UAF needs to receive the test result only once.

Your language test score must be valid throughout the entire application period. This means that if your language test expires even one day before the final application deadline, your score will not meet the requirements set by the programme.

Check the validity of your test score and make arrangements for a new language test well in advance, if necessary.

Once you have submitted your UAF application form, you will receive detailed instructions on submitting the required enclosures with which you demonstrate English language skills.

Minimum requirement: 6.5; with a minimum score of 6.0 in the writing section.

When requesting the test centre to forward your IELTS Academic test score, give University Admissions Finland (UAF) as the recipient of the test score. (When applying for Doctoral studies, give University of Helsinki as the recipient of the test score). UAF accepts electronic test scores only when they are made available to UAF online by the test organizer. TRF links sent by email to UAF are not accepted. 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.

Paper copies of IELTS score slips are accepted from both the test organizer and the applicant. They do not need to be attested:  UAF verifies the score with the test organizer. Score slips sent as email attachments will not be accepted.

It is advisable to book your test date well before the application period has started, as it usually takes about two weeks for the score to be published.

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

Minimum requirement:

  • TOEFL IBT (Internet-based) 92, a minimum score of 22 in the writing section
  • TOEFL PBT (Paper-based) 580
  • 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

When requesting the TOEFL test centre to forward your results to University Admissions Finland (UAF), please fill in UAF’s Institution Code 3138 in the Score Report Recipient field. The testing centre must send the score slip directly to University Admissions Finland or make its electronic equivalent available to UAF. Please note that test results sent by the applicant will not be accepted. Be advised that after you have been informed of the test score, it takes approximately three weeks for the test result to reach University Admissions Finland.
When applying for Doctoral studies, give University of Helsinki as the recipient of the test score.

TOEFL 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:

  • CAE: Pass levels A, B or C
  • CPE: Pass levels A, B, C or level C1 certificate

For CAE/CPE (Cambridge Advanced/Proficiency Examination), address the test score to University Admissions Finland (UAF) (When applying for Doctoral studies, Admission Services of the University of Helsinki). An applicant's copy is acceptable, as your results will be verified with the test organizer. Include your Candidate's ID (3 letters and 6 numbers) and secret code (4 numbers). These codes can be found on your Confirmation of Entry and Timetable document. If you do not have these codes, please contact Cambridge ESOL. Test scores sent as email attachments are not accepted. Please note that only tests taken after 2005 will be accepted.

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

PTE Academic Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic is a paperless test. The results are typically available within five working days following the test session. Once you receive your test score, send it to University Admissions Finland from your PTE account (When applying for Doctoral studies, to Admission Services of the University of Helsinki). Choose Finland as the "Country", "University Admissions Finland" as the "Institution" and click "Search". Select the university you want to send your results to and confirm your order. University Admissions Finland can access to your test results within 48 hours. Online language test results are accepted only from the test organizer.

Minimum requirement: average skills level 5.

Send your test score copy to University Admissions Finland together with your application. Your results will be verified with the organizer. This test is available only for applicants living in Finland.

When applying for Doctoral studies, contact Admission Services for more information.

 

Minimum requirement: skills level 5 in the reading comprehension, writing and speaking subtests.

Send your test score copy to University Admissions Finland together with your application. Your results will be verified with the organizer. This test is available only for applicants living in Finland. When applying for Doctoral studies, send the copy to Admission Services of the University of Helsinki.

Upper-secondary education in English in the Nordic Countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden), Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand or the USA is an acceptable way of demonstrating academic English language skills.

You can indicate your language skills with an International Baccalaureate, if the examination has been completed in English. If the examination has been completed in a language other than English, the following ways of indicating academic language skills are acceptable:

  • English as the A1 language with an approved grade (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) with an approved grade (a minimum grade of 2).

With the European Baccalaureate the following ways of indicating academic language skills are acceptable:

  • 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.

A university degree (Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral degree, or polytechnic/university of applied science degree) completed in English in one of the EU/EEA countries or Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland or the USA is an acceptable way of demonstrating academic English language skills.

A degree completed at a Finnish university with English as the major subject is also an acceptable way of demonstrating academic English language skills.

If you are indicating your language skills with a higher education degree completed in English in one of the EU/EEA countries or Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland or the USA, the majority of the degree must be completed in English. If your degree includes transfer credits from outside the specified country/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 cannot be used to indicate language skills, even if the degree-awarding institution is located in one of the accepted countries.

If you verify your language skills with your higher education degree, the language of instruction must always be indicated clearly on the educational documents. A conditional acceptance of your language skills with your future degree is also possible. However, this can be done acceptably only if you indicate your language skills with the same degree as your university eligibility.

Online language studies or open university studies are not acceptable when indicating language skills.

Applicant’s degree completed in a Finnish university or university of applied sciences is accepted as an adequate proof of proficiency when this degree includes foreign language studies in English as defined by the Government Decree on University or Polytechnic Degrees.                

This additional method of proving your English language proficiency applies to you only if

  1. You are applying to Doctoral studies.
  2. You are applying to any of the following Master's Programmes:
  • Atmospheric Sciences
  • Chemistry and Molecular Sciences
  • Computer Science
  • Contemporary Societies
  • Data Science
  • Economics
  • European and Nordic Studies
  • Geography
  • Global Politics and Communication
  • Geology and Geophysics
  • Life Science Informatics
  • Materials Research
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences
  • Theoretical and Computational Methods
  • Translational Medicine
  • Urban Studies and Planning

3. Pedagogical studies in English (STEP)

These additional instructions apply to you, if you are applying to the following Master's Programme:

  • International Business Law

Proficiency in English will also be considered sufficient if the applicant has completed the former further educational LLM diploma programme at the Faculty of Law at the University of Helsinki. Concerning language requirements of the Faculty of Law Faculty´s former further educational LLM diploma programme is considered what is mentioned in Rector´s decision about degrees completed in English in the EU/EEA area.