Non-degree studies

Individuals who are not enrolled as a degree student at a Finnish university can be granted a fixed-term right to pursue studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences. Such studies are known as non-degree studies. The application period is annually in April.

Please note that the instructions on this webpage apply to the application round for the autumn 2024 intake.

Changes to units responsible for studies

The degree programme reform at the University of Helsinki entails changes in the responsibilities for the provision of studies among units. The responsible units grant study rights. Therefore, take note of the following changes:

  • Teaching subject studies in ethics are not provided by the Faculty of Social Sciences, and are now the responsibility of the Faculty of Arts.
  • It is not possible to complete studies in history at the Faculty of Social Sciences as a teaching subject as non-degree studies.
  • The basic and intermediate studies in philosophy are the responsibility of the Faculty of Arts.
  • Statistics studies are the responsibility of the Faculty of Science, excluding methodology studies of the Faculty of Social Sciences.
Studies that can be applied for

Read more about the optional study modules available at the Faculty of Social Sciences on the Instructions for Students website.

The right to complete non-degree studies can be granted for full courses or modules. The right can usually be granted only for studies not offered by the University of Helsinki Open University in the academic year following the application period.

As a rule, applicants cannot be granted the right to complete advanced studies as non-degree studies.

Decisions on whether to grant the right are based on teaching resources and the applicant’s previous studies as well as the reasons given by the applicant. The right to complete non-degree studies does not entitle students to pursue a degree, and the right is restricted to those studies for which it has been granted.

If you are applying for a right to complete studies intended for completing the 60 cr module in social studies as a teaching subject, also itemise on the application form the optional courses outside the study modules to which you are applying the study right, if you are not applying for the right to complete one of the compulsory study modules with the scope of 25 cr.

Prior knowledge and skills required for the completion of the studies

In order to complete the studies applied for, the applicants must possess adequate prior knowledge and skills.

The requirements related to courses are defined in the degree requirements for subjects (“previous studies”). It is possible to grant a right to complete non-degree studies for an individual course if the completion of the course does not require previous studies or the applicant has completed the required studies or the applicant can in all likelihood prove by 31 August 2024 that they have completed the required studies or the applicant is applying for the right to complete the required studies in the same application process.

Language of instruction

The primary teaching language of the Faculty of Social Sciences is Finnish. Some studies are provided in Swedish or English. However, students may always use Finnish or Swedish in the written assignments related to their studies.

Application procedure

The application period will begin on 1 April 2024 and end on 15 April 2024 at 15.00 (local Helsinki time). The application form closes immediately after the application period has ended. Fill out your application well in advance!

Application form attachments must be submitted within the application period. You may submit attachments

  • Electronically as an attachment to the application (save as PDF/scan as PDF)
  • On paper to Kruununhaka Student Services. If you send the attachments by post or leave them in the postbox, please mark the envelope with the Finnish words “Erilliset opinnot” (non-degree studies).

Application attachments

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

There is no need to submit attachments for studies or degrees completed at the University of Helsinki, or for study rights at the University of Helsinki. Studies and degrees will be checked directly from Sisu.

When submitting attachments, please make sure that the transcript of studies includes all pages and that degree certificates include all the attachments (all pages).

Copies need not be certified. If required, the Faculty will ask the applicant to present the original document. If an applicant provides incomplete or inaccurate information, their study right may be revoked.

NB! Only the requested enclosures should be submitted. For example, motivation letters, employer’s testimonials, employment certificates or CVs are not requested as attachments. These documents will receive no consideration when deciding whether to grant study rights.

Granting the right to study

The decision to grant the right to complete non-degree studies is made by the dean of the Faculty after having consulted the degree programme/study track.

Applicants will be notified by email of the decision as soon as it has been made, most likely in May 2024. Should your email address change after the end of the application period, please notify Kruununhaka Student Services

The granting of study rights is affected by degree programme resources and the number of applicants to specific studies.

It is possible that the right to complete non-degree studies is granted conditionally or the right is granted only to some of the studies for which the applicant has applied. In the first case, the right will enter into force only if the conditions defined are met within a stated time limit. Typically, the condition is a receipt for the payment of the study right.

Applicants may be placed on a reserve list.

The scope of the right to study, fees and confirmation of the student place

Individuals pursuing non-degree studies have the right to complete only the studies to which they have been granted a right. Individuals pursuing non-degree studies are not enrolled at the University of Helsinki as attending students and do not have the right to pursue a degree at the University.

Obtaining the right to pursue non-degree studies for a specific course (or module) does not guarantee that course-based instruction will be organised during the duration of the right to study. If a course cannot be completed by participating in the teaching, it may typically be completed as a book examination or an essay. Information on instruction during the autumn term 2024 and spring term 2025 will probably be published in June 2024.

The right to study is free of charge if it is related to studies that the applicant requires in order to become eligible to work as a subject teacher in social studies and the applicant has completed the pedagogical studies required of teachers at the end of the application period or they have a study right in a Finnish higher education institution by the end of the application period.

In other cases, the right is based on a fee. In accordance with the decision of the rector of the University of Helsinki, the fee for the completion of non-degree studies is €15/cr.

If the study right is free of charge and unconditional, it will enter into effect on 1 August 2024.

If the right to study is subject to a fee, it becomes valid once the applicant has demonstrated that they have paid the fee, but no earlier than 1 August 2024. The payment must be verified by 31 August 2024 at the latest.

The right to study ends when the individual has completed the studies to which the right was granted, however no later than 31 July 2026.

Further information

Further information on applying for and granting the right for non-degree studies is available from Kruununhaka Student Services.

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