Living in Finland

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Universities

In Finland, you can complete higher education studies both in universities of applied sciences and in universities. Read more about university of applied sciences on the Infopankki page University of Applied Sciences.

Apply for a student position

You can apply to a university if you hold a certificate for completing a Finnish matriculation examination (ylioppilastutkinto), a foreign certificate that corresponds to the Finnish matriculation examination certificate, or a vocational qualification. Read more on the Infopankki page Applying for education and training.

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Joint application for universitiesFinnish | Swedish

What are the professions in which you can graduate?

Universities feature many fields of study. Students who graduate from an institute of higher education or university can work in a variety of positions.

Some university studies lead directly to specific profession. Such professions include the following:

  • Teacher
  • Lawyer
  • Physician
  • Actor
  • Engineer
  • Artist

However, some university studies do not lead to any particular profession. For example, students of social sciences or humanities may not graduate in a specific profession. These people can work in the following positions, for example:

  • Researcher
  • Journalist
  • State official

Studying at universities

You can complete a lower university degree (bachelor’s degree) (alempi korkeakoulututkinto (kandidaatin tutkinto)) and a higher university degree (master’s degree) (ylempi korkeakoulututkinto (maisterin tutkinto)). Some institutes of higher education have different names for the degrees. For example, in universities of technology, the equivalent of a master’s degree is the Master of Science in Engineering (diplomi-insinööri) degree.

When you are accepted into an institute of higher education, you receive the right to complete both degrees. You can also end your studies after the lower university degree.

The bachelor’s degree studies take about three years whereas the master’s degree studies take about two years. The progression rate of the studies depends on you.

You can also apply for separate master’s degree programme. A master’s degree programme is an education programme that leads to a higher academic degree. In order to be eligible to study in a master's programme, you must have earned a lower academic degree. These programmes last about two years. They often include students from many disciplines.

Graduation from a university

When your studies are complete, you will graduate and receive a bachelor’s or master’s degree. If you wish, you can apply for postgraduate studies after receiving your master’s degree.

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Information on studying at an institute of higher educationFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiThe National Union of University Students in Finland:
Information on Finnish student unionsFinnish | Swedish | English

Open university

An open university offers university courses. Anyone can study at an open university. You can study at an open university, even if you do not have a degree or qualification of any kind. Read more on the Infopankki page Studying as a hobby.

Scientific postgraduate education in universities

Scientific postgraduate education provided by universities is postgraduate education that leads to a degree. This kind of education prepares you for research work, for example. At universities, you can complete a licentiate’s (lisensiaatti) or doctoral (tohtori) degree. The majority of postgraduate students complete a doctorate.

Application for university postgraduate studies is available a few times a year. The application periods vary between universities and departments. Check the application periods with the department where you would like complete your postgraduate studies.

In Finland, postgraduate students often need to arrange their own funding. You can apply for grants from various foundations (säätiö).

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Further education in universitiesFinnish

linkkiCouncil of Finnish Foundations:
Information on foundations and grantsFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiCIMO:
Grants for foreign researchersFinnish | Swedish | English