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 Theology. Such studies are known as non-degree studies.

Applications for non-degree studies will open on 1 April 2020, and the closing date will be 15 April 2020 at 15.00 (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.

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 2020 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 2020 the right to complete non-degree studies may be granted for studies that provide the qualifications required of subject teachers of Evangelical Lutheran, Catholic or Islamic religion. The right may also be granted for studies that provide the qualifications required for work in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland if the applicant has completed a Master of Theology degree and wishes to supplement it. 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.

The courses and study modules offered in the disciplines are listed in WebOodi in the course catalogue of the Bachelor's Programme in Theology and Religious Studies, under Optional Studies. 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 (inculding summer teaching) in the Helsinki region or as web-based studies. Because the basic studies included in the Bachelor’s Programme in Theology and Religious Studies can be completed at the University of Helsinki’s Open University, they cannot be completed as non-degree studies. If another modules or study units are 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 those modules and study units cannot be granted even if applications for them 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 you are missing individual study units that you need to complete in order to apply for an equivalency certificate for studies required of a subject teacher, you may be granted a non-degree study right, even if the same study units are also offered at the Open University. You must submit a teacher application for non-degree studies and the study units in question have to be specified in advance (e.g. in an equivalency statement).

In addition, due to limited resources caused by the education reform, applications for non-degree studies are not accepted for advanced studies (60 cr).

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 2020 to complete a degree in the Faculty of Theology. Applicants who are granted a study right, who have completed studies that have expired or will expire next year, will be granted a study right to the whole incomplete study module they have applied for. They will also get a specification of the studies they at least have to complete to obtain the qualification. Information on expiry of studies can be found on the web site Instructions for Students.

Applicants must have the required knowledge and skills to complete the studies applied for. The prerequisite knowledge and skills can be assessed on the basis of previous studies.

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 2020 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.

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 2020 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.

As a rule, studies at the Faculty of Theology are completed in 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 47/2016. Appendix 1 explains how (in Finnish, in Swedish) 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 2020.

Applications can be submitted from 1 April to 15 April 2020, at 15.00 (local Helsinki time), using the following two electronic application forms:

  • Application 1 (only in Finnish or Swedish) to apply for the right to complete studies required for a clerical post in the Evan­gel­ical Lutheran Church of Fin­land when the applicant has completed a Master of Theology degree.
  • Application 2 (only in Finnish or Swedish) to apply for the right to complete the basic and intermediate study modules in a discipline representing a school subject to be taught.

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, teologinen tiedekunta” (non-degree studies).

Each applicant can submit up to three applications.

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

The application 2 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. If the applicant has an old equivalency statement, the studies might change from those specified in the statement.

The Faculty offers studies in the teaching subjects of Evangelical Lutheran religion and Catholic religion.

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 application 1 can be used to apply for the right to complete studies required for a clerical post in the Evan­gel­ical Lutheran Church of Fin­land when the applicant has completed a Master of Theology degree. 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 the student register. 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, CVs or language course diplomas for other languages than Finnish or Swedish. 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 2020. If your email address changes after the closing date for applications, please notify the Metsätalo Student Services.

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 applications cannot be accepted, priority will be given to applicants who need to complete the least amount of studies to qualify in their teaching subject or for a post in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. 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 previous academic performance.

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 the academic year 2020–2021 will be published by the end of June in WebOodi.

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.

Applicants who are granted the right to pursue non-degree studies must inform the Faculty by 24 June 2020 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 1 July 2020.

If the study right is free of charge and unconditional, it will take effect on 1 August 2020.

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 2020. Proof of payment must be presented no later than 31 August 2020.

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 2020. Applicants must prove that they meet the conditions by 31 August 2020. 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 2022.

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 completion attempt 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 student must apply for such permission by 31 October 2022.

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.