Teaching at the Faculty of Law

The Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki is the leading Finnish institute of legal research and education with international recognition. The professors and other teachers who provide instruction in the Faculty’s degree programmes are leading experts in the field.
What is teaching like at the Faculty?

The Faculty has two units, one in Helsinki and one in Vaasa. In Helsinki, students can complete a degree in the Bachelor’s Programme in Law and the Master’s Programme in Law, or the international master’s programme, the Master’s Programme in Global Governance Law.

In Vaasa, students can complete a Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws degree. The curriculum is identical at both units, in Helsinki and in Vaasa.

The Faculty of Law provides instruction in Finnish and Swedish for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees (in Helsinki and Vaasa). Another special characteristic of the Faculty is that students can complete a bilingual (Finnish and Swedish) Bachelor of Laws degree. In such cases, at least one-third of the studies are completed in Finnish, one-third in Swedish and one-third in either Finnish or Swedish, or partially in English. Bilingual degrees are extremely relevant in terms of employment. Further information on bilingual (Finnish and Swedish) degrees at the University of Helsinki is available on a related webpage and on the Instructions for Students website (in Finnish and Swedish only).

The compulsory branches of law taught at the Faculty are grouped into six thematic modules. Teaching is organised so that the branches of law taught under each thematic module constitute a coherent and appropriately aligned whole in terms of content and methods.

The Faculty’s goal is to train its students for demanding national and international positions which require legal expertise. The teaching emphasises the development of qualifications relevant to conceptualising and solving legal problems, versatile argumentation and interaction skills.

A great deal of teaching is available in English.

The Master’s Programme in Global Governance Law makes use of the extremely strong competence in the field of European public law and international law as well as general jurisprudence at the Faculty. A degree programme with matching content is not available elsewhere.

The Faculty is a popular destination for exchange students.

Teaching at the Faculty of Law is wide-ranging and based on research

Teaching based on research is provided in all central branches of law, from the first year of studies to graduation. The broad-based nature of teaching boosts particularly the relevance of the Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws degrees to professional life, as it lays the foundation for serving in all kinds of legal positions. At the same time, in-depth guidance is available, for example, regarding students’ chosen thesis topics, since the teaching and research staff are composed of esteemed researchers in their fields.

All teaching provided at the Faculty is based on research. Instead of being limited to individual focus areas, the expertise of our staff covers extensively, diversely and in an in-depth manner the different areas of the judicial system. The teaching provided at the Faculty also includes a strong international dimension.

Mem­bers of the Teach­er's Academy at the Faculty of Law

The University of Helsinki Teachers’ Academy is a network of distinguished university teachers, the only of its kind in Finland. By investing in teachers, the University also invests in students and the quality of learning. Appointment to the Teachers’ Academy signifies special recognition for teaching merits and scholarship in the field of teaching. Read more about the Teachers’ Academy.

Learning and teaching environment

The Faculty of Law operates in Porthania, right in the middle of the City Centre Campus. Porthania, a bright and elegant building, hosts modern educational technology services. Around the corner, the Main Library and Learning Centre Aleksandria at Kaisa House offer students modern learning facilities. Services provided by Helsinki University Library are also easily accessible (e.g., databases, online journals and textbooks).

The Faculty utilises digital guidance, supervision and learning environments extensively (including Moodle and Zoom). Pre-recorded instructional videos are also used to a degree. The Faculty has established a studio where staff can record their instructional videos. In 2021, the Faculty’s first freely available MOOC (in criminal law) was introduced. The course is included in the compulsory intermediate studies of the Bachelor’s Programme in Law. Besides the extensive utilisation of digital guidance, supervision and learning environments, teaching requiring attendance at the Faculty safeguards students’ right to contact instruction.

The Faculty’s location and its role as part of the multidisciplinary University of Helsinki provide broad and natural contacts with operators in the public sector, governmental bodies and business life as well as operators involved in the administration of justice. In addition, the Faculty has close and natural connections to parties outside the legal profession thanks to its location. The wide-ranging contacts make it possible for the Faculty to carry out multidisciplinary research and teaching.

Additionally, the Faculty of Law maintains active and close international collaboration networks, for example, under the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and Una Europa.

The Faculty is home to several international research projects with international staff

Development and quality of teaching

The Faculty of Law is continually developing its teaching on the basis of student feedback and pedagogical research. The Faculty’s educational offerings constitute a well thought-out and consistent whole.

Feedback is collected on both individual courses and more extensive offerings. Over the course of their studies, students also respond to HowULearn surveys, providing the Faculty with data on studying and giving students the chance to receive feedback, for example, on their learning skills.

Students participate in all decision-making and related preparations at the Faculty, for example, as members of degree programme steering groups and the Faculty Council.

The Faculty has an Advisory Board composed of active alumni who work in central legal positions, which discusses the teaching provided by the Faculty and its development at regular intervals. The Advisory Board has emphasised the key role of the wide-ranging and research-based nature of teaching in focusing legal education on skills. Teaching at the Faculty has been developed according to this notion.