Duration of studies, right to study, graduation and expiry of studies

The completion of studies requires a valid right to study. Most students are admitted to complete a Bachelor’s and/or a Master’s degree or doctoral degree. Teaching has been designed the way that degree can be completed within the target duration for degrees defined in legislation. For bachelor´s degree this means three years, for master´s degree two years and for doctoral degree four years.

In addition to degree studies, it is also possible to apply for the right to complete individual law courses or apply to the Faculty for exchange student status. More information about applying to the Faculty. Note also that you can study law in Open University as well.

During their studies, students must sometimes update their study plan, or the time allocated for their degree may expire. Students may also forget to register for attendance or non-attendance for the academic year.  This site provides information to students who have been screened for progress monitoring (Etappi system), need an extension to their right to study to be able to complete their degree, or wish to apply for the reinstatement of their right to study. The site also explains how students can waive their right to study.

Restrictions on the duration of degree studies apply to students who initiated their studies on or after 1 August 2005. Further details about the target duration of studies and related restrictions are available in the University's guidelines.

When your right to study is about to expire for the first time, Student Services will email an expiry notification to your helsinki.fi email address towards the middle of your last term. Students whose right to study has already been extended are responsible for applying for a new extension, if needed.

The right to pursue a degree can be extended in two ways:

1. On grounds provided by law
Submit a certificate of the reason for the delay in your studies and the time elapsed to one of the student service points.

Check the list of grounds provided by law.

2. On the grounds of an application for a discretionary extension
A separate application is required for a discretionary extension to the right to pursue a degree. When considering submitting such an application, it is best to wait until you are able to continue your studies. If you do not plan to pursue your studies in earnest, postpone your application until your life situation presents the opportunity for study. Since the extension to the duration of studies can be granted for limited amount of time only, you should not apply for an extension unless you can allocate enough time to your studies. Your right to study is allowed to expire, and it does not need to continue uninterrupted. You cannot apply for an extension in advance, but must wait until you right to study is about to expire.

The expiry date is determined for each degree (Bachelor’s or Master’s). The expiry date is either 31 July or 31 December. If your right to study expires at the end of July, you must submit your application by mid May. If your right to study expires at the end of December, you must submit your application by mid November.

Additional instructions for discretionary extensions:
1) Use the e-form to apply for an extension.
2) Enclose with your application a graduation plan, with an itemised list of the studies missing from the degree, as well as a schedule for completing the remaining studies and the degree. If you refer to personal reasons that you believe have a clear causal relationship with the delay in studies, you must enclose medical certificates and other related documentation with the application. If your thesis is unfinished, ask your supervisor to provide a statement that you can enclose with the application.

You must present a goal-oriented and feasible plan for completing your studies in order to be considered for an extension. The scope of the Bachelor of Laws is 180 credits, and the target duration of studies is three years. This translates to an average of 60 credits completed per academic year. The scope of the Master of Laws is 120 credits, and the target duration is two years. In other words, you are expected to complete an average of 60 credits per academic year.

The first extension to the duration of studies can be granted for a maximum of four terms (two academic years) based on the graduation plan and its estimated duration. Subsequent extensions can be granted for a maximum of one academic year, if, according to the plan, the student is unable to complete the degree sooner.

As a rule, the maximum amount of extension granted may not exceed that defined as the normative duration of study in the Universities Act. In other words, for the right to pursue both a Bachelor of Laws and a Master of Laws, this means a maximum extension of five academic years (ten terms), while for the right to pursue a Master of Laws, the maximum extension would be two academic years (four terms).

In its decisions on extensions, the Faculty adheres to the principles expressed in Rector’s Decision 50/2015.

Students will be notified of the decision by mail sent to the postal address indicated in their application. An entry about the extension granted will also be stored in Oodi. Students are responsible for handling their annual registration.

Students must register for attendance or non-attendance each academic year. Students who fail to register lose their right to pursue a degree. However, the right to study can be reinstated.

If you register for attendance or non-attendance by 31 July the same academic year for which you have failed to register, you can have your right to study reinstated by paying the re-enrolment fee and presenting a receipt of payment at one of the student service points. If you register for attendance, you must also pay the Student Union fee and present a receipt of payment at one of the student service points.

If you wish to re-enrol after the academic year for which you to failed to register has ended, you must first apply for readmission into the Faculty. You must then pay the re-enrolment fee and, if you also wish to register for attendance, the Student Union fee. Present the receipts for payment at one of the student service points.

Use this e-form to apply for the reinstatement of your right to pursue a degree. Enclose with your application a study plan indicating the studies missing from your degree and the term in which you plan to complete them.

The decision on your application will be emailed or mailed to the address you have indicated. After receiving the decision, you must apply for the reinstatement of your right to study at one of the University’s student service points, as described above.

You can request a diploma when you have completed all the studies required for the degree and these studies have been entered into the Student Register. Diplomas can be requested with the e-forms below.

Application form for graduation as Master of Laws
Application form for graduation as Master of International and Comparative Law
Application form for graduation as Doctor of Laws or Licentiate of Laws

After having requested your diploma by the e-form above, you will be notified by email when you can collect your diploma. The delivery time is approximately three weeks from when the request was submitted. Please be prepared for delays during the busiest times at the end of the term (December and June).

The diploma can be collected from Kruununhaka Student Services during opening hours. If you cannot collect your diploma, you can authorise someone else in writing to do so.  The diploma can also be mailed to the address indicated on your diploma request form. The diploma will be delivered as a 2nd class letter. Please indicate on the diploma application form whether you will pick up your diploma from Kruununhaka Student Services or have it mailed to you. If the diploma goes missing or is damaged in transit, you can receive only a copy, not another original diploma.

The Faculty organises a graduation ceremony once a term.

More information from Flamma or from Kruununhaka Student Services.

The most significant amendment is that all studies to be included in a degree will expire within ten years. This means that studies that have not previously expired (e.g., language and communication studies) will also expire.

The date of completion for a module is the date of completion for the last course included in the module. The module can be included in a degree within ten years of its date of completion. NB! Basic and intermediate study modules in the same subject can be included in a degree within ten years of the date of completion for the intermediate study module.

If you are not planning to use your right to complete a degree, you may waive this right by submitting a binding, written notice to Student Services in Kruununhaka. Once waived, the right to complete a degree cannot be reinstated later, but you can apply for a new right to complete a degree through admissions.

Please find the application form.

Etappi is a study progress checkpoint system, which supports the smooth progress of studies and graduation.

NB! The Etappi system was shelved for two calendar years starting 1 January 2016. Any Etappi blocks were removed from WebOodi at the time. Students who initiated their studies prior to 1 August 2005 will no longer be included in the Etappi checkpoint system.

Kruununhaka Student Services offers guidance regarding to Etappi checks.