Planning Your Studies (HOPS)
The Finnish system of academic education gives you a lot of freedom in planning your studies and there is no ready-made annual schedule. This freedom also requires independence and responsibility as choosing subjects and course units, avoiding overlapping courses and keeping the schedule balanced throughout the academic year may sometimes be difficult and time-consuming.
Please read the Principles of study planning page, which contains information about what a HOPS is, and why students are expected to create one.
You must update your study plan regularly, in accordance with faculty-specific practices and as necessary, or when your situation is further clarified or changes. This allows your HOPS to progress and develop with you throughout the entirety of your studies, supporting your study planning and helping you make study-related choices and manage your studies on the whole.
All students (with the exception of medical students) have a named HOPS teacher, who can provide support with study planning and updating plans. If necessary, your HOPS teacher can direct you to other guidance services that may be of use. HOPS guidance practices vary from faculty to faculty.
Doctoral students’ supervisors support them in planning their career after their studies and dissertation.
Preparing a personal study plan (HOPS)
From main goals to partial goals
First consider your main goals – what you are aiming for through your studies and how. Then, divide the goals into smaller partial goals. Your main goal can be completing a study module, and your partial goals can consist of completing the courses encompassed by the module.
For example, the Basic Studies in Psychology module can be completed as open university studies in 1–1.5 years. The teaching schedule states which course units the Basic Studies in Psychology module includes, when and how to complete them, do the courses involve classroom education, exams, exercises, and so on.
You can estimate the work amount required based on the number of credits: one credit is equal to roughly 27 hours of work.
You can gain a more concrete view of the study planning process by entering the various steps involved, such as attending lectures, obtaining and reading exam literature, exam dates and completing online exercises, into your calendar. Some like to draw up and adhere to a detailed daily curriculum, while others prefer preparing a weekly schedule.
Your plan should not be too demanding, and it should be possible to work on it as your studies progress. The life of an adult student is a process of fitting together work, family and studies. You should also remember to make time for relaxation and hobbies.
The HOPS plan is a process and it is updated constantly. The study coordinators/planners for open university studies can provide support in the creation of personal study plans.
Aiming for a degree?
The goal of your open university studies may be to complete a university degree sometime in the future. In this case, the following should be taken into account when preparing the HOPS:
- what studies the degree you are aiming for includes
- which ones of them can be studied through the open university arrangement
- when can they be studied in the open university.
Curricula for degrees that can be completed at the University of Tampere.
Study coordinators/planners are always happy to assist you in planning your studies with the goal of completing a degree. They can also provide information on applying to become a degree student at the University of Tampere – for example, does the degree programme you are aiming for provide the opportunity to apply to become a degree student based on open university studies. Information on university applications is published annually at the beginning of December.
Degrees cannot be completed in the open university.
Exchange and Visiting Students
Exchange and visiting students receive a Letter of Acceptance from one faculty for one degree programme. Despite this, you can take some courses in other faculties to form a larger multi-disciplinary entity according to your own needs and interests, as long as you meet the requirements of a course unit (e.g. previous or equivalent courses taken, knowledge of the language of instruction) and there are still places left.
For some course units the attendance of exchange and visiting students is restricted. For up-to-date information on course units offered in foreign languages during the academic year, please see the teaching schedules.
If the course unit you are interested in is not taught during the semester, you can check if it could be completed through independent study, e.g. by taking a book examination or writing an essay. To check this, there are links in the teaching schedule from the names of the faculties to the descriptions of course units in the curriculum. If you cannot find the requested information in the teaching schedule, please contact your international coordinator for more information.
Study Agreements of Exchange Students
The Learning Agreement has been developed for the Erasmus students to guarantee the transfer of credits for courses passed successfully by the student. Erasmus students need to fill in an ECTS Learning Agreement (LA), which has been developed in order to ensure that studies abroad would be accredited at their home university.
The student’s home university will provide the Learning Agreement form. The LA needs to be approved and signed by the International Coordinator of the student’s host faculty at UTA upon arrival in Tampere.
How to get my LA signed?
To confirm your study programme upon your arrival, please ask the International Coordinator at your host faculty to sign your Learning Agreement. If your home university also requires the Erasmus Institutional Coordinator's signature, bring your LA to the International Office (Main Building, Room A129) thereafter.
At the end of the exchange period, after passing the agreed course units, ask the International Coordinator at your host faculty to sign your Learning Agreement. After that, if your home university also requires the Erasmus Institutional Coordinator’s signature, bring it to the International Office.
Please allow a couple of days for the process. Coordinators of International Education of the Centre for International Education are also authorized to sign the Learning Agreement on behalf of the Erasmus Institutional Coordinator.
Other Exchange and Visiting Students
Whereas the ECTS Learning Agreement is compulsory for Erasmus students, UTA encourages also other students to fill in a corresponding agreement on their studies and have it signed by the International Coordinator of their host faculty upon arrival. The student’s home university may have their own, specific form for this purpose. Alternatively, the Study Programme form of UTA can be used.
Faculty-specific practices and HOPS teachers
Faculty of Communication Sciences
Master's Degree Programme in Cultural Studies
Master's Degree Programme in Human-Technology Interaction
For those who have chosen to undertake HTI studies, making and updating a HOPS plan is obligatory and forms part of the degree. New students are expected to fill in the HOPS form and return it to the head of academic counselling. Further information and the details of HOPS teachers can be found on the HTI programme portal.
Master's Degree Programme in Internet and Game Studies
The IGS master’s programme includes an obligatory course entitled Personal Study Planning, which involves creating a personal study plan. The master’s thesis seminar leader will also serve as the HOPS teacher.
Master's Degree Programme in Media Education
Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences
Master's Degree Programme in Biomedical Technology
The Master's Degree Programme in Biomedical Technology includes a compulsory course entitled BTK0025 Personal Study Planning . It involves creating a personal study plan. The Master´s thesis seminar supervisor will also serve as a HOPS teacher.
Faculty of Natural Sciences
Master's Degree Programme in Computational Big Data Analytics
For those who have chosen to undertake CBDA studies, making and updating a HOPS plan is obligatory and forms part of the degree. The heads of academic counselling are responsible for HOPS guidance for students on the CBDA programme.
HOPS form (xlsx)
Heads of academic counselling for the CBDA master’s programme
Master's Degree Programme in Software Development
For those who have chosen to undertake SDE studies, making and updating a HOPS plan is obligatory and forms part of the degree. New students are expected to fill in the HOPS form and return it to the head of academic counselling.
HOPS form (xlsx)
Heads of academic counselling for the SDE master’s programme