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university of tampere: admissions: official guide for master's degree programme applicants: academic and practical information:
Admissions - University of TampereUniversity of TampereAdmissions - University of Tampere
Official Guide for Master's Degree Programme Applicants

Studying at the University of Tampere

See also the Studies site for current students

The University of Tampere (UTA), situated in one of Finland's most vibrant student cities, is one of the largest and most competitive universities in Finland offering a wide range of courses and outstanding facilities for learning. UTA is committed to scientific research and advanced teaching focused on society, its economy, administration and culture as well as on public health, wellbeing and education. Today the University registers more than 15,000 full time students studying in its nine Schools: BioMediTech, School of Communication, Media and Theatre, School of Education, School of Heatlh Sciences, School of Information Sciences, School of Language, Translation and Literary Studies, School of Management, School of Medicine and School of Social Sciences and Humanities. A number of independent institutes are affiliated to the University: the Library, the Language Centre, the Institute for Advanced Social Research and the Finnish Social Science Data Archive.

Academic Calendar

The academic year at UTA starts in August/September. It is divided into two semesters each consisting of two periods. The first two periods constitute the Autumn Semester. The Spring Semester, which starts in January, is composed of the third and the fourth period. There is a Christmas vacation of two weeks after the second period. The summer vacation runs from the end of the fourth period until the start of the new academic year.

The four-period system does not apply to the School of Medicine, in which teaching is structured on a two-semester system.


Autumn Semester 2016 Spring Semester 2017
Period I: 29 Aug - 23 Oct Period III 9 Jan - 5 March
Period II: 24 Oct - 16 Dec Period IV: 6 March - 28 May

Teaching in the Spring Semester 2017 begins 9 January and ends by the end of May 2017. However, the academic year continues until 31 July 2017.

Orientation Course

An Orientation Course for new international students is arranged twice a year, in August, in the beginning of the Autumn semester, and, in January, in the beginning of the Spring semester. During the Orientation Course students get information on the system of study, student life in Tampere, Finnish language courses, and library and computer services at the University. In addition, a bus tour around the city will be offered. The Orientation Course is compulsory to all new international students. The course is free of charge.

Orientation Course programme

Language of Instruction

The official language of instruction at the University of Tampere is Finnish except for the degree programmes listed on this site which are taught in English. Also study modules, which do not lead to a degree, are offered in English. Degree students can study such modules as their minor subjects. They are also recommended for international exchange and visiting students of the University.

Furthermore, the University Language Centre offers Finnish language courses, which are taught in English. These courses range from the elementary to advanced level and are open to all degree students as well as to international exchange and visiting students of the University. These courses are meant to be taken alongside the course units in the major subject and they do not serve as preparatory courses for a degree programme taught in Finnish.

If you plan to apply for a degree programme given in Finnish, you must acquire your knowledge of Finnish before applying for the programme. An excellent knowledge of Finnish language is a requirement for admission to all degree programmes taught in Finnish.

Academic Degrees and Structure of Studies

Finnish university degrees correspond to Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctor’s degrees. In most fields students can also take a Licentiate’s degree before the Doctor’s.

The current degree system took effect at the Finnish Universities in 2005. Today, the extent of a degree is given in credits (in Finnish opintopiste). One Finnish credit corresponds to one ECTS credit. The average input of 1600 working hours needed for studies of one academic year corresponds to 60 credits. This means that one credit consists about 27 hours of work.

First cycle degree

The Finnish Bachelor’s degree (in Finnish kandidaatin tutkinto) is a lower university degree. It consists of 180 credits and takes three years of full-time study. To be awarded a lower university degree, the student must complete basic and intermediate studies (including Bachelor’s thesis). Basic and intermediate studies familiarise the student with the scientific terminology of his/her field of study, with its most important theoretical and methodological concepts, and its most significant research results and problems relevant to the objectives of the degree programme.

During their Bachelor’s studies students will opt for Master’s studies in a certain subject. Selection will be based on students’ earlier studies. Special criteria may also be imposed for Master’s studies.

Second cycle degree

The Finnish Master’s degree (in Finnish maisterin tutkinto) is a higher university degree. It takes two years of full-time study and consists of 120 credits. To be awarded a higher university degree, the student must complete advanced studies in his/her field. The main aim of advanced studies is to develop the student’s ability to seek and apply scientific knowledge. The student must also complete sufficient elective studies. A large proportion of the Master’s level studies is taken up by research, and the writing of Master’s thesis is usually the most extensive single study module.

Some academic fields have a somewhat different degree structure. In psychology, the extent of the Master’s degree is 150 credits. In medicine, the first degree is Licentiate of Medicine, requiring 360 credits.

Third cycle degrees

Postgraduate studies (Doctoral) in Finland have traditionally consisted of two degrees, i.e. the licentiate (in Finnish lisensiaatin tutkinto) and the Doctor’s degree (in Finnish tohtorin tutkinto). Students holding a Master’s degree may apply for the right to continue towards the postgraduate degrees. A postgraduate student is required to carry out independent research work, to familiarise him/herself extensively with other research in his/her field of study and with general scientific theory. In the studies for the Licentiate’s degree, an extensive Licentiate’s thesis is required. A doctoral student is required to submit a doctoral dissertation, based on major independent scientific work, and to defend it in a public debate.

For more information on Finnish higher education, see the website of the Ministry of Education and Culture or of Study in Finland by CIMO (Centre for International Mobility).


The current curricula of degree programmes taught in English can be found on the Curricula Guides site.

Forms of Instruction

Studies at the University of Tampere consist of several types of work forms. The most typical teaching methods are lectures, seminars, and exercises in small groups.

Lecture courses normally include 2-4 hours of lectures per week with a written examination on the contents of the course at the end of the course. Attending the weekly sessions and writing an essay and/or giving a presentation in class completes seminars. The most typical teaching method e.g. in language studies is working in small groups. There is normally a test at the end of the course.

Some courses may be completed by independent reading of literature included in the course unit requirements followed by an exam on set books. Such exams are taken on examination days usually arranged once a month. Writing an essay on the topics defined by the lecturer may also suffice to complete some courses.

Further information on completion of courses

Transcript of Academic Records

All students receive a transcript of their academic records for the courses taken at the University of Tampere. The transcripts are available both in English and Finnish from the Registrar’s Office. Please remember that the transcript is valid only when stamped and signed by the official of the University.

Students can browse their study records electronically through the web tool NettiOpsu

University of Tampere
Kalevantie 4, FI-33014 University of Tampere, Finland
tel. +358 (0)3 355 111
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Last update: 11.8.2016 9.34 Muokkaa

University of Tampere
+358 3 355 111

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