Licensing examinations

In order to receive a license to practice the profession of veterinary surgeon, persons who have completed a degree in a third country, meaning a country outside the European Union or European Economic Area, must, as a rule, complete additional studies in Finland. As well, sufficient skills in Finnish or Swedish are required.

This general rule applies to degrees completed by citizens of countries both within and outside the EU and EEC.

First, a conditional licensing decision will be issued by the Finnish Food Authority detailing the additional studies and practical training required of the applicant. Only after completing these additional studies can a license and right to practice as a veterinary surgeon in Finland be granted. Obtaining said decision requires that an application be submitted to Finnish Food Authority. Application instructions are available on Finnish Food Authority’s website (in Finnish). 

After receiving Finnish Food Authority’s decision, veterinary surgeons may complete examinations subject to a fee, arranged by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. The examinations include theoretical knowledge examinations on clinical subjects, environmental hygiene and legislation and two practical examinations.

In addition to the examinations, persons with a veterinary medicine degree completed in a third country must provide proof of completing clinical training (duration 2 to 6 months) as specified by the Finnish Food Authority, as well as practical training in food hygiene.

Gen­eral in­struc­tions and ex­am­in­a­tion fees

Licensing examinations are subject to a fee

On 1 August 2016, examination fees and new examination types were adopted by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.

Examination fees

Clinical subjects, legislation: 350 euros per examination = 1,400 euros in total

Food hygiene, environmental hygiene: 200 euros per examination = 400 euros in total

Practical examinations: 300 euros per examination = 600 euros in total

Total: 2,400 euros

Fees for retaking examinations are the same as for normal examinations.

Administration and general instructions for licensing training

Sanna Ryhänen

Telephone:  +358 2941 571 55


There are altogether eight examinations, on the following topics:

  • Small animal diseases
  • Equine diseases
  • Production animal health care, treatment and reproduction
  • Food hygiene
  • Environmental health
  • Control and legislation
  • Practical examination: small animals and horses
  • Practical examination: production animals

Examination type

Examinations may consist of essays, case studies and multiple choice questions.

Examination requirements

Examination requirements correspond with those of the clinical examinations that are part of the Licentiate degree in veterinary medicine, as well as the examinations on legislation, food hygiene and environmental hygiene completed when pursuing the same degree. Knowing minutiae by heart is not required. Examination requirements are updated annually.

Examination material is available for loan at the University Library and for purchase at bookstores. The legislation is available online. Veterinary surgeons completing the licensing examinations will be provided with usernames and passwords for the electronic course platforms of equivalent courses included in the Licentiate degree. This way, they can familiarise themselves with the lecture material and make use of it when preparing for the examinations.

Examination schedule

All theoretical knowledge examinations and the two practical examinations can be completed in one academic year (August–May). Some examinations are arranged only once a year, others more often. Practical examinations are arranged in the spring at the same time as examinations for students pursuing a Licentiate degree. Examinations on clinical subjects must be completed before the practical examinations.

Examination duration

The duration of clinical examinations on theoretical knowledge is six hours. Examinations on food hygiene, environmental health and legislation last four hours.

Language of examination

Examination questions can be provided in either Finnish or Swedish. If the applicant wishes to receive questions in Swedish, notification must be given when registering for the examinations. A general dictionary (not a thesaurus) may be used in the examinations. Examination supervisors will inspect any dictionaries before the examination begins.

Registration for examinations and fee payments

Registration for examinations must be completed no later than four weeks before the examination date. Late registrations will not be accepted. Examination fees must be paid before completing examinations.

Each examination requires a separate registration through a registration form (in Finnish only).

Pass rates and the validity of passed examinations

Results from passed theoretical knowledge examinations are valid for six years. The passing score for the examinations is the same as for students completing a Licentiate degree.

Examination results

All examinations are graded with the scale of pass/fail. Participants will be sent an email notification of the results within six weeks of the examination. Graded examination answers are available for review at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Helsinki/Mäntsälä. No detailed model answers will be provided, but grounds for grading, including concise answer explanations, will be made available. Appeals and appeal procedures for written examinations are governed by Section 55 of the Regulations on Degrees and the Protection of Students’ Rights at the University of Helsinki.

Certificate for passed examinations

Applicants who have passed all examinations will receive a certificate from the Faculty.