Non-degree studies

A person who is not enrolled as a degree student at a Finnish university can be granted a fixed-term right to pursue studies in the Faculty of Arts. Such studies are known as non-degree studies.

Applications for non-degree studies will open on 14 Mars 2018, and the closing date will be 28 March 2018 at 16.15 (local Helsinki time). If you are interested in applying, please read the instructions below and submit an application and the required enclosures by the closing date.

The decisions regarding non-degree studies admission 2018 have been sent 28.5.2018.

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Next application period will be 20.3.-3.4.2019. Further information will be updated in December 2018.

Applicants may be granted the right to pursue non-degree studies if they have completed an academic degree by the deadline for applications. The degree may be a Finnish university degree or a degree completed at a university abroad which the Finnish National Agency for Education has recognised as comparable to a Finnish university degree. An exception to the above is the discipline of Romani and Roma culture, for which applications are accepted from applicants with an upper secondary qualification.

The right to pursue non-degree studies cannot be granted to applicants enrolled as degree students at any Finnish university at the time when they must inform the University of Helsinki of their acceptance of the right to pursue non-degree studies (see Scope and duration of the right to study, fees to be collected and acceptance of the student place).

University of Helsinki degree students may complete non-degree studies as part of their degree. Students graduating during the spring term of 2018 may apply for the right to pursue non-degree studies, but their degree must be completed at the time when they must inform the University of their acceptance of the right to pursue non-degree studies (see Scope and duration of the right to study, fees to be collected and acceptance of the student place).

Degree students from other Finnish universities can apply for the right to pursue studies at the Faculty of Arts under the JOO Flexible Study Right Scheme. The right to complete non-degree studies cannot be granted even in the case that the applicant’s home university does not support the JOO application.

In 2018, the right to pursue non-degree studies can be granted for studies which provide teaching qualifications in a school subject to be taught. In addition, the Romani language and Roma culture are open to applicants for non-degree studies. Study rights are granted only for modules or courses of a minimum scope. For each application, the applicant may be granted the right to complete up to 100 credits.

For detailed information about the Faculty’s teaching subjects and related studies, please see here. The courses and study modules offered in the disciplines are listed in WebOodi under the Faculty’s course catalogue, on the “Study blocks” tab. If you cannot find a module for basic studies on the “Study blocks” tab, look under the “Structure of degree” tab and click “Bachelor of Arts”.. For instructions on using the WebOodi course catalogues, see separate instructions. NB. You can browse the course catalogues in WebOodi without logging in.

However, the application process for non-degree studies does not include modules and related courses offered by the University of Helsinki Open University during the academic year. Typically, such modules and courses include basic studies in the following disciplines representing school subjects to be taught: philosophy, history, Swedish as a second national language and Finnish language and literature. Also, basic studies in Romani and Roma culture are typically available at the Open University. The right to complete basic studies or related courses in the above-mentioned disciplines cannot be applied for through the application process for non-degree studies. If another discipline is added to the teaching programme of the University of Helsinki Open University before the curriculum is confirmed in May, the right to complete non-degree studies in that discipline cannot be granted even if applications for it have been accepted. Even in the case that Open University studies are unsuitable for some reason for the applicant, the applicant cannot be granted the right to pursue the above-mentioned studies as a non-degree student. If a discipline is added to the summer teaching programme of the Open University, applications to study such disciplines as non-degree studies can be submitted.

In addition, for resource reasons related to the current education reform, the application process for non-degree studies does not include advanced studies (60 cr) in any discipline representing school subjects to be taught or the studies in speech communication (10 cr) required to qualify as a native language and literature teacher. Teaching in speech communication is offered every academic year at the University of Helsinki Open University.

Applicants cannot be granted the right to complete studies that are essentially equivalent to those previously completed, unless these studies have expired or will expire in the next academic year. When deciding on the expiry of studies, applicants are treated in the same way as students admitted in or after 2018 to complete a degree in the Faculty of Arts.

Applicants must have the required knowledge and skills to complete the studies applied for. For example, sufficient language proficiency is required for language studies. The prerequisite knowledge and skills can be assessed on the basis of previous studies or a test.

A test is typically required in those language disciplines where studies do not begin at the elementary level. The test ensures that applicants have the language skills needed to complete the studies. The decision on whether to administer a test cannot be made before the closing date for applications because this decision requires information on all applicants. Applicants will be separately informed if a test will be required. NB. If more applicants apply for a discipline than its teaching resources permit, the test can also serve as an elimination test.

Course-specific prerequisites have been defined in discipline-specific degree requirements (“previous studies”). Applicants may be granted the right to complete a single course as non-degree studies if no previous studies are required for the course or the applicant has completed the required studies, or if the applicant can likely demonstrate by 31 August 2018 that he or she has completed the required studies or the applicant is applying for the right to complete the required studies in the same application process.

As a rule, there are no prerequisites for basic studies. The right to complete an intermediate study module can be granted if the applicant has completed the preceding module (basic studies), or the applicant can likely demonstrate by 31 August 2018 that he or she has completed the preceding module, or the applicant is applying for the right to complete the preceding module or the courses missing from it in the same application process.

At the Faculty of Arts, the language of study in basic and intermediate studies is, as a rule, either Finnish or Swedish.

Applicants must demonstrate that they are proficient in one of these languages. Typically, applicants have completed an academic degree in Finnish or Swedish, in which case they can demonstrate language skills with their degree diploma.

If you have not completed an academic degree in Finnish or Swedish, please consult Rector’s Decision No HY/219/00.00.06.00/2017. Appendix 1 (in Finnish, in Swedish) explains how applicants can demonstrate language skills in Finnish and Swedish.  Proof of language proficiency can be demonstrated only as specified in the above appendix. Language proficiency must be demonstrated by 31 August 2018.

The exception, however, are courses in language disciplines completed entirely in the language in question. In such cases, applicants can apply for the right to complete individual courses by demonstrating that they are proficient in the language in question. The language skills needed to complete a course are assessed on the basis of documents submitted by the applicant at the application stage.

Applications can be submitted from 14 March to 28 March 2018, at 16.15 (local Helsinki time), using the following two electronic application forms:

The application forms will be available from 14 March at 00.01 to 28 March 2018 at 16.15 (local Helsinki time). Submit your application in good time!

Enclosures to the application must also be submitted within the application period. The enclosures can be submitted as follows:

  • As attachments to the electronic application form (saved or scanned as a PDF file)
  • As hard copies to the Metsätalo Student Services; if you send the enclosures by post or leave them in the Student Services post box, please mark the envelope with the Finnish words “Erilliset opinnot” (non-degree studies).

Each applicant can submit up to three applications. Each application can be used to apply for a single discipline. If applying for several disciplines, you must complete a separate application for each.

The right to complete non-degree studies can be applied for by submitting a basic application or a teacher application.

The teacher application can be used to apply for the right to complete the basic and intermediate study modules in a discipline representing a school subject to be taught. Applicants can apply for the right to complete an entire module or incomplete parts of a module. Applicants granted the right to pursue non-degree studies will be notified of the studies that they must complete to obtain the qualification.

The disciplines equivalent to school subjects at the Faculty of Arts are ethics, English, Spanish, philosophy, Finnish as the second national language, history, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Latin, Swedish language and literature for native Swedish speakers, minority religions (Islam), Portuguese, French, Swedish, German, Russian, Estonian, and native language and literature/Finnish as a second language. For detailed information about the Faculty’s disciplines representing school subjects and related studies, please see here.

NB. Studies in the subject of Evangelical Lutheran religion must be completed in the Faculty of Theology, whereas studies in the subject of social studies must be completed in the Faculty of Social Sciences.

The right to complete non-degree studies can be granted to those who submit a teacher application in the following two cases:

  • The applicant has completed a second-cycle degree and studies in education for teachers or holds the right to complete such studies at a Finnish university on the closing date for applications.
  • The applicant has completed a second-cycle degree but has not completed certain pre-determined courses which he or she must complete to receive a certificate of equivalence for the school subject to be taught (typically needed to apply for studies in education for teachers).

The studies mentioned under item 2 above include the following:

  • Supplementary studies in the relevant philology discipline for graduates in translation accordning to degree requirements 2016-2017 or earlier
  • Supplementary studies in Finnish required of graduates in Finnish language and culture or Finno-Ugric Languages and Cultures, Linguistic Line of Studies accordning to degree requirements 2016-2017 or earlier
  • Supplementary studies in history required of graduates in political history or economic and social history
  • Supplementary studies (in any school subject) listed in a decision on equivalence provided by the Finnish National Agency for Education or in an equivalence statement provided by the Faculty

The basic application can be used to apply for the right to complete one or more courses and/or modules in Romani and Roma culture. The modules and/or courses must be identified in the application.

Applications must be accompanied by the documents specified on the application form or instructions. The official who processes applications may also request the submission of particular documents.

Typically, applicants must submit a copy of their degree diploma together with any appendices and supplements as well as a transcript of studies. Other possible enclosures include a language certificate, an equivalency certificate or statement on studies required for teacher qualifications, a certificate of the expiry of the right to study, and a statement on the estimated date of completion of incomplete studies (if such studies are a prerequisite for the studies applied for).

No enclosures need be submitted for studies and degrees that have been completed at the University of Helsinki. Such studies and degrees will be verified directly from Oodi. NB. Copies of equivalency statements issued by the Faculty of Arts must be submitted when studies specified in the statement are being applied for.

When submitting enclosures, please ensure that your transcript of studies contains all pages and that the copy of your degree diploma contains all appendices and supplements (all pages).

The copies need not be certified. If necessary, the Faculty will ask the applicant to present the original document. If an applicant provides incomplete or inaccurate information, his or her study right may be revoked.

NB. Only the requested enclosures should be submitted with the application. Applicants should not submit any other unrequested documents, such as a letter of justification, letter of motivation, employer’s statement or recommendation, testimonials, or a CV. These will receive no consideration when deciding whether to grant the right to pursue non-degree studies.

The dean of the Faculty decides on granting the right to complete non-degree studies after consulting the relevant degree programme.

Applicants will be notified of the decision by email as soon as it has been made, most likely in May 2018. If your email address changes after the closing date for applications, please notify the Metsätalo Student Services. Once the emails have been sent, information will be updated on this page.

The decision to grant the right to study depends not only on the resources of each degree programme, but also on the number of applicants for specific studies.

If all teacher applications cannot be accepted, priority will be given to applicants who need to complete the least amount of studies to qualify in their school subject to be taught. If a discipline’s teaching resources also permit the admission of applicants who wish to complete entire modules, such applicants can be ranked based on their performance in the test mentioned earlier or in their previous studies.

NB. Applications for studies providing qualifications as a native language and literature teacher of Finnish will focus on studies in the Finnish language and literature, not the qualification as a whole.

If all basic applications cannot be accepted, the applications will be subject to a lottery system.

The Faculty may also grant conditional rights to complete non-degree studies or grant rights to complete only some of the studies applied for. In the former case, the right to study will take effect only if the specified conditions are met by the set deadline. Common conditions include a receipt of payment for the study right fee or a certificate of the completion of previous studies.

Applicants can be placed on a reserve list.

Students pursuing non-degree studies may complete only those studies for which the right was granted. They are not enrolled at the University of Helsinki as degree students and do not have the right to complete a degree at the University.

Being granted the right to complete a specific course (or module) as non-degree studies does not guarantee that this course (or module) will be taught before the right expires. If the course cannot be completed by attending teaching, it can typically be completed as a book examination or an essay. The teaching schedule for autumn 2018 will be published most likely in May 2018 and for spring 2019 most lakely at the latest in September 2018.

The right to study is free of charge if it applies to studies which the applicant needs to qualify as a subject teacher and if the applicant has completed studies in education for teachers by the closing date for applications or holds the right to complete such studies at a Finnish university on the closing date for applications.

Otherwise, a fee will be collected. According to the rector’s decision, a fee of €15 per credit will be collected for non-degree studies of a scope of 1–35 credits and a fee of €10 per credit for non-degree studies of a scope of 36–100 credits.

Applicants who are granted the right to pursue non-degree studies must inform the Faculty by 20 June 2018 of their acceptance of this right. If they fail to inform the Faculty, their study right will be revoked. Applicants who fail to inform the Faculty of their acceptance or applicants who inform the Faculty that they do not wish to pursue the studies applied for can be replaced by applicants from the reserve list. Acceptance from the reserve list will end at the latest 4 July 2018.

If the study right is free of charge and unconditional, it will take effect on 1 August 2018.

If the study right is subject to a fee, it will take effect once proof of payment is submitted, but no earlier than 1 August 2018. Proof of payment must be presented no later than 31 August 2018.

If the study right is conditional, it will take effect once the conditions indicated in the decision are met, but no earlier than 1 August 2018. Applicants must prove that they meet the conditions by 31 August 2018. The conditions may include meeting the required prerequisite knowledge and skills (test) or proving the completion of previous studies (e.g., completion of the basic studies module).

The right to study will expire once the student has completed the studies for which the right was granted, but no later than 31 July 2020.

Once the right to complete non-degree studies expires, the student can apply to the dean for permission to complete one course through an additional examination (no retakes allowed) if the student has previously tried to complete the course once but failed and cannot try to complete the course again before the expiry of his or her right to complete non-degree studies. The course must be such that it can be completed as an examination. The student must apply for such permission by 31 October 2020.

Further information on the application procedure for and granting of the right to complete non-degree studies is available from the Metsätalo Student Services (metsatalo-student(at)helsinki.fi).

No statistics have been compiled on the number of applicants for non-degree studies and the number of students accepted.