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Finnish Higher Education Institutions

Higher education in Finland can be pursued under two main categories research based degrees from Universities in twenty-one disciplines and the professionals degrees as per the demands of the labour market to carry out research and development from Universities of Applied Sciences. Thus in Finland,  there are two types of higher education institutions:
  • Universities
  • University of Applied Sciences (UAS) or Polytechnics
The Universities as well as, Universities of Applied Sciences provide Bachelor’s and Master’s degree courses of study, with slight variation in the admittance requirements. Higher education institutions in Finland also provide open instruction and continuing education.

Universities in Finland

The Universities in Finland themselves plan the content and structure of the degree programmes. They provide artistic and scientific undergraduate and postgraduate education based on the research conducted.  Universities in Finland provide studies in 21 disciplines

Fields of study are:

  • Educational Sciences
  • Engineering and Architecture
  • Art and design
  • Dentistry
  • Economics and business administration
  • Fine arts
  • Law
  • Sport sciences
  • Health sciences
  • Humanities
  • Agriculture and forestry
  • Psychology
  • Medicine
  • Military science
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Natural sciences
  • Pharmacy
  • Social sciences
  • Theatre and dance
  • Music
  • Theology
Finnish Universities award- Bachelor’s, Master’s, and post-graduate Licentiate and Doctoral degrees. They also provide continuing education and Open University education.

Bachelor’s degrees:  A Finnish University Bachelor’s degree comprises at least 180 ECTS credits and lasts for 3 years. 

Master’s degree: A Finnish University Master’s degree comprises 120 ECTS credits and lasts for 2 years. 

Postgraduate degree: Artistic or Scientific postgraduate degrees, referred as the licentiate and doctorate are awarded. Doctoral degrees consist of 240 ECTS credits and the duration of studies is 4 years, or 2 years following the pre-doctoral Licentiate degree.

Open University Education: Open university education is generally for people who live in Finland and are not full-time. This form of education does not lead a qualification. Almost all the Universities in Finland provide open university education.

Universities of Applied Sciences/Polytechnics

Polytechnics in Finland are also called as Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) and emphasize on meeting the needs of the working world by training the professionals for a particular work.  The education in polytechnics puts stress on cooperation and collaboration with the industry and business sectors at the regional level. 

Fields of Study

Polytechnics or University of Applied Sciences provide studies in the following 8 areas:
  • Humanities and Education
  • Business and Administration
  •  Culture
  •  Technology, Communication and Transport
  •  Natural Resources and the Environment
  •  Social services, Health and Sports
  •  Tourism, catering and Domestic Services
The Universities of Applied Sciences award Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, and also provide open education and vocational teacher training.

Bachelor’s degrees: A Finnish polytechnic/UAS Bachelor’s degree requires 3.5-4 years of full-time study. 

Polytechnic Master’s degree: This degree lasts for 1-1.5 years. 

Open polytechnic / UAS studies: Open Polytechnics do not provide full-time studies and do not lead to a qualification. These are provided in daytime, evenings, weekends and on the web at all polytechnics all over Finland.  

Vocation Teacher Training: Vocational teacher education is for candidates who wish to work as a teacher at University of Applied Sciences and vocational education institution.  It holds 60 ECTS credits and covers studies in vocational pedagogy, educational sciences basics and teaching practice. 
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