University degrees

Bachelor’s degrees (first cycle university degrees)

The scope of a first cycle university degree is at least 180 credits (3 years of full-time study). The degree title is kandidaatti / kandidat in all fields of study except for Law (oikeusnotaari / rättsnotarie) and Pharmacy (farmaseutti / farmaceut). The determined English translation for all of the first cycle university degrees is Bachelor’s degree and the most common degrees titles are Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science.

Studies leading to the first cycle university degree provide the student with

  • knowledge of the fundamentals of the major and minor subjects or corresponding study entities or studies included in the degree programme and the prerequisites for following developments in the field
  • knowledge and skills needed for scientific thinking and the use of scientific methods or knowledge and skills needed for artistic work
  • knowledge and skills needed for studies leading to a higher university degree and for continuous learning
  • a capacity for applying the acquired knowledge and skills to work
  • adequate language and communication skills

Studies leading to the bachelor’s degree may include: basic and intermediate studies; language and communication studies; interdisciplinary programmes; other studies and work practice for professional development. The degree includes a Bachelor’s thesis (6 – 10 credits).

Master’s degrees (second cycle university degrees)

The scope of a second cycle university degree is at least 120 credits (2 years of full-time study). In most fields the degree title is maisteri / magister, but in certain fields other degree titles are used, such as diplomi-insinööri / diplomingenjör (Technology), proviisori / provisor (Pharmacy) and arkkitehti / arkitekt (Architecture). The determined English translation for these second cycle university degrees is Master’s degree and the most common degree titles are Master of Arts and Master of Science. However, the title used for second cycle university degrees in the fields of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Dentistry is lisensiaatti / licentiat, and for these degrees the determined English title is Licentiate.

A person who has completed a first cycle degree is eligible to apply for studies leading to a second cycle university degree. In the fields of Medicine and Dentistry the university may arrange the education leading to the second cycle degree without including a first cycle degree in the education. In Medicine, the scope of studies required for the degree is 360 credits (6 years of full-time study) and in Dentistry 330 credits (5.5 years of full-time study).

Studies leading to the second cycle university degree provide the student with

  • good overall knowledge of the major subject or a corresponding entity and conversance with the fundamentals of the minor subject or good knowledge of the advanced studies included in the degree programme
  • knowledge and skills needed to apply scientific knowledge and scientific methods or knowledge and skills needed for independent and demanding artistic work
  • knowledge and skills needed for independently operating as an expert and developer of the field
  • knowledge and skills needed for scientific or artistic postgraduate education
  • good language and communication skills

Studies leading to the master’s degree may include: basic and intermediate studies and advanced studies; language and communication studies; interdisciplinary study programmes; other studies; and internship improving expertise. The degree includes a Master’s thesis (20 – 40 credits).

Doctoral degrees (third cycle university degrees)

Students can apply for doctoral studies after completion of a relevant second cycle higher education degree. The aim of doctoral studies is to provide the student with an in-depth knowledge of their field of research and capabilities to produce novel scientific knowledge independently.

The degree of lisensiaatti / licentiat (licentiate) may be taken before the Doctor's degree and in general it takes 2 years of full-time study to complete.

The doctor’s degree takes approximately four years of full-time study after a second cycle degree. When completed after a licentiate’s degree, two years of further study is generally required. A student who has been admitted to complete a doctor’s degree must complete the required postgraduate studies; demonstrate independent and critical thinking in the field of research; write a doctoral dissertation and defend it in public.