Completing your degree according to old degree requirements

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These instructions are intended for students who are studying according to old degree requirements. You can find more information about the transition period, the new degree programmes and transferring to them on Flamma. Pay no mind to the degree programme selection above, it only concerns students in the new degree programmes.

The University of Helsinki moved to a new system of degree programmes on 1 August 2017. However, students can continue to study and graduate in accordance with the old degree requirements during a transition period that ends on 31 July 2020. NB! In some degree programmes, the transition period may be shorter or longer. Please see your faculty’s instructions for more information. Please note, however, that the end of the transition period does not affect the duration or validity of your right to study.

On 1 August 2020, all students will be automatically transferred to the new degree programmes to complete their degree. If you do not graduate by 31 July 2020, you will be transferred to a new degree programme. The rules concerning the expiry of studies are more restrictive in the new degree programmes. For more information on the expiry of studies, please see the section Expiry of studies.

If you have had a longer break in your studies, your right to study must be reinstated, or you must apply for an extension of your right to study in order to complete your degree. You can find more information about the procedure best suited to you in the section Continuing to study.

To continue your studies, you must draw up a study plan, indicating which studies are still missing from your degree and which current courses based on the new degree system correspond to the studies you have not yet completed. For more information, see the section Continuing to study.

If you wish to complete your degree, carefully read the instructions below as well as your faculty’s instructions

If your right to study is reinstated, you can also transfer to a new degree programme to complete your degree. However, in such a case, you must take into account the new rules concerning the expiry of studies; more information is available in the section Expiry of studies. For information on transferring to a new degree programme, see the section Transferring to a new degree programme.

If you do not intend to complete your degree, you can forfeit your right to do so. For the form and instructions for waiving your right to study, please click from the forfeiture of the right to pursue degree page.

Principles for completing a degree in accordance with the old degree structure

The following principles apply to the completion of studies in accordance with the old degree structure:

  • The old degree structure means the one in force prior to 1 August 2017.
  • In the old degree structure, the expiry of studies is subject to faculty-specific rules.
  • During the period of transition from the old to the new degree structure, teaching is arranged in accordance with the curricula of the new degree programmes. Each faculty has created a table of equivalence that shows which current course corresponds to which course in the old degree structure.
  • You can find the old degree structures and tables of equivalence in your faculty’s instructions.
  • Students can complete studies in accordance with the old degree structure until the end of the transition period. All students will then be automatically transferred to the new degree programmes, and the new regulations will apply to all.

Continuing to study

Where to begin?

To continue your studies after a longer break, your right to complete a degree must be reinstated, or you must apply for an extension to complete your degree.

If you began your current studies in or after 2005:

  • If your right to study under the legislation on the target duration of studies is no longer valid, apply for an extension.
  • If your right to study is valid, but you failed to register for the academic year at the beginning of the current one, pay the re-enrolment fee and register for the academic year.  For instructions, see the information under the heading Forgot to register?
  • If your right to study is valid, but you failed to register for the academic year during the academic year preceding the current one or during an earlier academic year, apply for the reinstatement of your right to study.
  • If you have registered as a non-attending student for the current academic year, register for attendance.

If you began your current studies in or before 2004:

  • If you failed to register for the academic year at the beginning of the current one, pay the re-enrolment fee and register for the academic year.  For instructions, see the information under the heading Forgot to register?
  • If you failed to register for the academic year during the academic year preceding the current one or during an earlier academic year, apply for the reinstatement of your right to study.
  • If you have registered as a non-attending student for the current academic year, register for attendance.

For more information on planning and continuing your studies, please see your faculty’s instructions.

Graduation according to old degree requirements

You can submit an application for a degree diploma electronically once you have completed the required compulsory studies and have entered into the Student Register. The study modules required for the degree must also be recorded as completed. Remember to also check the grades for your studies and study modules.

The transition period of the degree reform will end on 31 July 2020. Please note the following if you intend to graduate in accordance with the old degree structure: 

  • You must submit your diploma request by 31 July 2020. 
  • Your master’s thesis must be approved no later than at the last meeting for grading theses during the academic year. Please contact your faculty well in advance to check the timetable for the grading of master’s theses.
  • You should plan your studies so that you can complete any missing studies in the spring to ensure that the studies and study modules have been entered into the student records by 31 July 2020. 
  • If the schedule is tight, please find out whether you can complete missing studies during the summer. You must complete all studies by 31 July 2020 and submit your diploma request by 31 July 2020. If you complete studies during the summer, please ask the relevant staff to record the modules as soon as the studies have been entered into the student records. 
  • You should prepare for longer than usual diploma delivery times due to the high number of graduates. Diploma requests submitted in June and July will be processed in the order they have arrived. Processing times may be delayed into the autumn.

You must be registered for attendance or non-attendance for the term during which you will be awarded your degree. The degree diploma may be granted in absentia provided that all the studies required for the degree have been completed and entered into the Student Register during the previous term.

The language of the degree diploma is either Finnish or Swedish. If you are studying in an English-language or foreign-language degree programme, you will receive an English-language diploma in addition to a Finnish- or Swedish-language one.

Diploma application forms: 

Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry: Master of Science/Master of Food Sciences

Faculty of Arts: Master of Arts

Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences: Master of Science

Faculty of Law: Master of Law

Faculty of Science: Master of Science

Faculty of Social Sciences: Master of Social Sciences

Swedish School of Social Science: Bachelor of Social Sciences

New degree programmes and the transition period

The University of Helsinki moved to a new system of degree programmes on 1 August 2017, involving major changes to the content and structure of degrees. Students can transfer to the new degree programmes within a three-year transition period that ends on 31 July 2020. During this period, students whose right to complete a degree was granted prior to 1 August 2017 can study according to the old requirements. On 1 August 2020, all students will be transferred to the new system. 

If you were granted the right to study prior to 1 August 2017, you can complete your degree according to the old degree structure during the transition period. 

What is different in the new degrees?

  • Degrees can no longer include studies completed more than ten years ago. This provision applies to all studies. For individual courses, the time is counted from the date of completion, and for modules, from the date of completion of the last component of the module. Completed courses and modules are valid until the end of the term when the expiry date falls. Degree programmes can also decide on shorter expiry periods.
  • Degrees can no longer comprise studies included in a previous degree completed at a university of applied sciences. Studies can still be substituted with studies included in a degree completed at a university of applied sciences or with other studies completed at a university of applied sciences, if the learning objectives set for the studies to be substituted are met. However, if you began your studies prior to 1 August 2017, transfer to a new degree programme during your studies and have included studies from a previous degree completed at a university of applied sciences (e.g., a minor subject module) before transferring to a new degree programme, you can incorporate the studies into a degree pursued in the new programme, taking into account the rules on the expiry of studies.
  • If you have received your right to pursue a degree before 1 August 2017 and have transferred to a new degree programme you can include in your degree all the studies you have completed (except when standing orders of your Faculty or corresponding decisions limits the maximum scope of the degree). However, degrees can’t include studies completed more than ten years ago.
  • If you began your studies after 1 August 2017 the amount of studies indicated on the diploma received upon graduation is limited. This means that a bachelor’s degree can include up to 200 credits when the minimum scope is 180 credits and a master’s degree up to 135 credits when the minimum scope is 132 credits.
  • The advanced studies required by master’s programmes include a 30-credit written thesis. However, the scope of the written thesis in the medical fields (degree programmes in medicine and dentistry) and veterinary medicine is 20 credits.
  • Master’s theses are assessed on a scale of 0 to 5. (The thesis grade is not taken into account when calculating the total grade of advanced studies.)
  • Modules can include only the amount of studies decided as being within a module’s scope in the degree programme curriculum, plus up to five credits. If you began your studies prior to 1 August 2017 and you transfer to a new degree programme during your studies, you can, however, incorporate into your degree all the modules you had completed prior to your transfer, regardless of their scope, taking into account the rules on the expiry of studies.
  • In the medical fields (degree programmes in medicine and dentistry), modules and other studies completed according to the curriculum no longer expire once the student is granted the title of kandidaatti (Candidate of Medicine/Dentistry).

Expiry of studies

The principles concerning the expiry of studies changed with the introduction of the new degree programmes. The key changes are outlined below.

All studies, including modules, expire in ten years from the end of the term when they were completed.

  • A higher-level module no longer extends the validity of a lower-level one; for example, basic studies can expire even if intermediate studies were completed less than ten years ago. 
  • Language and communication studies, which did not expire in the old system, also expire ten years after their completion.
  • The validity of studies can no longer be extended. Instead, studies that have expired ten years after their completion must be completed again if they are to be included in a degree.
  • The new rules on expiry apply to all students who begin their studies in the new degree programmes or have transferred to them, regardless of when they were granted the right to complete a degree.

Students who study according to the old degree requirements during the transition period must follow the previous rules on the expiry of studies. For more information, see your faculty’s instructions.

Transferring to a new degree programme

If you are able to complete your studies and degree by 31 July 2020, you should do so in accordance with the old degree requirements.

If you are unable to complete your studies and graduate by 31 July 2020, you should consider transferring to a new degree programme even before the end of the transition period.

Transferring from the old degree structure to a new degree programme is possible only if you hold a valid right to complete a degree. The transfer takes place using the e-form tool, available on Flamma. Logging in to Flamma requires a valid user account in the University system. For instructions on how to activate your user account, click here.

Please note that a decision to transfer to a new degree programme is binding; after submitting the relevant form, you can no longer complete your studies according to the old degree structure. 

Before deciding to transfer, please draw up a personal study plan and take the following into account:

  • Carefully read the University’s general instructions for transferring to a new degree programme and, in particular, your faculty’s transfer regulations on Flamma. Students can transfer from the previous programmes or major subjects only to the degree programmes and/or study tracks determined in the transfer regulations.
  • Degree programmes, study tracks or major subjects can issue recommendations on the stage of studies at which students should transfer to new degree programmes.
  • The structures of the new degree programmes differ from those of the old programmes. You can find information on the structures in the course catalogues in WebOodi (no login required). For instructions on how to find the degree structures, click here
  • Note that the new degree programmes have more restrictive rules on the expiry of studies.
  • If you transfer to a new degree programme at the bachelor’s stage, you will be provided with options for master’s programmes in accordance with faculty decisions.