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Types of Degrees in Higher Education of Finland

Universities in Finland offer Bachelor’s, Master’s, Postgraduate licentiate and Doctoral degrees. Polytechnics or Universities of Applied Sciences offers Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. 

University Higher Education Degrees in Finland

The Universities in Finland offer Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees. 

First-Cycle University Degree - Bachelor’s Degrees

The degree is known as kandidaatti/kandidat in all areas of study except Law (oikeusnotaari/rattsnotarie) and Pharmacy (farmaseutti/farmaceut). The English translation for all these degrees is Bachelor’s degree. 
This qualification comprises the basic and intermediate studies, interdisciplinary programmes, language and communication studies, and other studies and work practice for professional development. This qualification also comprises a Bachelor’s thesis that holds 6 to 10 credits. The Bachelor’s degree provides knowledge in the major and minor subjects.
  • Duration: 3 years 
  • ECTS Credits: 180

Second-Cycle University Degree - Master’s Degrees

The Master’s degree provides knowledge of the major subject or the advanced studies encompassed in the degree programme. The Second-cycle university degree is known as maisteri/magister. Other Second-cycle university degree titles are as follows-
  • Technology: Diplomi-insinoori/diplomingenjor 
  • Pharmacy: Proviisori/provisor 
  • Architectute: Arkkitehti/arkitekt
The English translation for all the degrees at this level is Master’s degree.
The Second-cycle university degree title in the medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine fields is lisensiaatti/licentiat (In English: Licentiate). 
  • Duration: 2 years
  • ECTS Credits: 120
Admission Requirement: To gain admittance into a second-cycle university degree, students must hold a first-cycle degree.

In the Medicine field, the degree comprises of 360 credits and requires 6 years of full-time study and the Dentistry fields comprise 300 credits and requires for 5 years of full-time study.

The Master’s degree consists of language and communication studies, basic and intermediate studies, advanced studies, interdisciplinary study programmes, and internships. This qualification also consists of a Master’s thesis that has 20 to 40 credits.

Doctoral Degrees

The doctoral degree programme provides pupils an in-depth knowledge of their area of research. Doctoral studies in Finland consist of studies in the chosen area, research and a Doctoral thesis. A pre-doctoral degree of lisensiaatti/licentiat (Licentiate) that lasts for 2 years can be undertaken before the Doctor's degree. 
  • Duration:  4 years after the completion of second-cycle degree or 2 years following the pre-doctoral licentiate degree. 
  • ECTS Credits: 240 
Admission Requirement: Second-cycle degree is required to obtain admission into a doctoral degree programme. 
At the end of the doctorate degree, students are required to defend in public and submit a Doctor’s dissertation.

Specialist Degree in Medicine

In the field of Medicine, the basic degree is called Licentiate of Medicine. After completion of the basic degree, a Specialist Degree in Medicine can be done, which is a professional postgraduate degree.  During the medicine studies, the candidate is required to works as an assistant physician.
  • Duration: 5-8 years

Polytechnics or University of Applied Sciences (UAS) Higher Education Qualifications

The Polytechnics offers polytechnics Bachelor's and Master's degree. 

First-Cycle Polytechnic Degrees- Polytechnic Bachelor’s Degree

The Polytechnic Bachelor's degree provides a theoretical background along with the practical training in the chosen field. This degree provides a broad knowledge of a particular field.
  • Duration: 3.5-4 years
  • ECTS Credits: 210-270
The first-cycle polytechnic degree is known as ammattikorkeakoulututkinto/yrkeshogskoleexamen and the English translation is Bachelor’s degree. The Polytechnics Bachelor’s degree includes professional and basic studies, practical training, optional studies and a bachelor’s thesis. 

Basic/Core Studies: Lays down a solid foundation for continuing studies in the field and professional specialisation

Professional Studies: Students get to select an area of expertise.

Elective/Optional Studies: Must be of higher education level 

Practical Training: Students gain professional experience in their chosen field through hands-on job training. 

Bachelor’s Thesis: Students go in-depth of their field of specialization and put together the theoretical and practical knowledge into practice.  

Second-Cycle Polytechnic Degrees- Polytechnic Master’s degrees

The second-cycle polytechnic degree consists of advanced specialist/professional studies, elective studies, and a Master's thesis.This qualification provides the pupil broad and advanced knowledge and skills required for the professional field. The polytechnics formulate the content of the degree programmes themselves. 
  • ECTS Credits: 60-90
  • Duration: 1-1.5 years (full-time)
This degree is known as ylempi ammattikorkeakoulututkinto/hogre yrkeshogskoleexamen (In English: Master's degree).
Admission Requirement: Students should hold a first-cycle polytechnic degree along with a minimum of 3 years of professional experience.
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