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This article concerns all degree students regardless of whether they are studying in the new degree programmes or according to the old degree structures. 

The Subject Teacher Education Programme in English (STEP) is a one-year (60 ECTS) programme for students willing to qualify as subject teachers in comprehensive and upper secondary school in Finland. The programme helps the future teacher to develop into a professional in the planning, implementation, evaluation, and development of teaching. The STEP programme is available to students

  • who have already taken a Master level degree at a Finnish university or abroad
  • who are already degree students at certain Faculties at the University of Helsinki (see the subjects below).

The STEP programme offers pedagogical studies for the following school subjects in the comprehensive and upper-secondary schools in Finland:

  • English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Swedish (as the other domestic or foreign language)
  • Chemistry, mathematics and physics

Read more about the admission to the STEP programme.

Admission of degree students studying with the old degree requirements

Please note that if you are pursuing studies in accordance with the old degree requirements (if you began studying before 2017 and have not transferred to a new degree programme) and if you wish to include pedagogical studies for teachers in your degree, you must apply for a right to complete them in the spring application procedure (from 6 February to 6 March 2019). Otherwise, you can apply for a right to complete pedagogical studies for teachers after graduation.

The procedure for applying for a right to pursue pedagogical studies will change in 2020. At that point, a provision will be introduced according to which applications for a right to pursue pedagogical studies for teachers can be submitted no more than three times during bachelor’s studies. This applies to students studying in accordance with the new degree requirements (students who began their studies in 2017 or later).

Start your studies

Structure and content of studies

STEP - Subject Teacher Education Programme includes 60 ECTS credits of teachers' pedagogical studies. The studies comprise 25 ECTS of basic studies and 35 ECTS of intermediate studies, and they are divided into four periods and designed in such a way that the whole programme can be completed in one academic year. As a rule, the studies require full-time studying and they include a great deal of contact teaching where attendance is mandatory. 

In STEP, attendance is mandatory in all group teaching. Absences must be agreed upon with the responsible teacher who can give replacing tasks, but please note that it is not possible to replace all absences with written work as interaction is an important aspect of STEP. Please keep in mind that the students must attend at least 90% of the group sessions. 

  Basic Studies 25 cr (PED310) Intermediate Studies 35 cr (PED320)
Studies in Education

15 cr

Psychology of Learning and Development 5 cr (PED002) Social, Cultural and Philosophical Foundations of Education 5 cr (PED001)

Support for Learning and Well-being 5 cr (PED004

Studies in Subject Didactics 25 cr Planning, Implementation and Assessment of Teaching 10 cr (PED0032 Curriculum and Development of Educational Institution 5 op (PED007)

Teacher as a Researcher Seminar 10 cr

Teaching practice 20 cr Basic Practice 10 cr (PED311) Advanced Practice 10 cr (PED321


Registration to courses

Registration for the studies in the autumn term starts at 9.00 on 2 August 2019, and ends at 23.59 on 22 August 2019.

Registration for the courses is done through WebOodi.



Teaching Practices

STEP has two teaching practices:

  • Basic Practice 10 cr
  • Advanced Practice 10 cr

Teaching practice is carried out in schools in the Greater Helsinki area (field schools). The decision for placements is made by the Faculty of Educational Sciences.

During the practice periods, students familiarize themselves with the school community, observe and analyze lessons run by others, and plan and teach their own lessons. Students also participate in group guidance and get reflection guidance for their development as a teacher at the Faculty of Educational Sciences.

Students complete their practices in only one subject, but they can be qualified to teach other subjects if they have (or later acquire) an equivalency certificate for the subjects in question.

Criminal Records Extract

According to the Universities Act, the university must check the criminal records extract from students completing teaching practice and on-the-job learning with under 18-year-olds. This applies to students who have received their study right or separate study right after 1.1.2012.

For STEP students, the extract is checked once during their studies, i.e. before the Basic Practice period.

The extract must be presented to the STEP Educational Planner. The students will be notified of the date after the studies start. The students can not begin their practice if they have not presented the extract. If the extract causes action, the one who checks the extract will be in contact with the student, field school, and other necessary parties.

Students who have, after turning 18, lived in other EEA-countries, must deliver the extract from the countries in question. The Faculty of Educational Sciences does not have an obligation to check extracts granted from outside the EEA-countries. The extracts can be ordered and more information of the process received from the Legal Register Centre ("Application for a criminal records extract: students practical training").

An extract obtained for the studies is free of charge. The time of delivery is about 7 working days and the extract cannot be ordered over the phone. The extract on criminal background must not be older than six months when presented to the STEP Educational Planner.

Study rights

Basic degree students

The study right for STEP is valid as long as the admitted applicants’ study right for their basic degree studies (Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree programme) is valid.

If a student graduates and has not completed the programme, the student must within a year after completing the Master’s studies, make a transfer application of the study right to the separate student’s study right. After one year, one cannot make this transfer. If a person wants to complete the pedagogical studies after one year of graduation, he or she must apply to a programme through the normal student selection in the separate selection quota.

The transfer application can be written in free form but must include the following information:

  • Personal information (name, birth date, student number, contact information)
  • Teaching subject

Please send the application as a PDF file to Siltavuori Student Services.

Separate students

For a student admitted into STEP in the separate selection quota, the study right is limited to two years. For example, for the students selected in the separate selection quota in 2017, the study right is valid from 1 August 2018 until 31 July 2020. Please note that STEP studies must be completed in a certain order.

The separate selection student can, however, apply for the extension of study right for one year. The extension is granted only for valid personal reasons (pregnancy, sickness, military service etc.).

The application for the extension of study right must include the following information:

  • Personal information (name, birth date, student number, contact information)
  • Teaching subject
  • List of STEP studies completed
  • Estimate for the schedule of completion of the remaining studies

Please send the application as a PDF file to Siltavuori Student Services.


Degree student 

When a degree student has completed both Basic and Intermediate Studies in Education (60 cr), an additional clause concerning the completed Pedagogical Studies for Teachers will be written into his or her Master’s degree certificate. 

The completed studies will also be marked into the official study transcript. 

A separate certificate will not be given to a degree student, but you can order the official study transcript that shows you the completed studies. 

If the pedagogical studies are completed as separate studies after a Master’s degree, the qualification for the subjects taught in basic education or in the upper secondary school must be proved with an equivalency certificate (vastaavuustodistus) given by the subject faculty. 

The equivalency certificate is needed at the time of applying for a teaching position in a comprehensive or upper secondary school if the Pedagogical Studies for Teachers or studies of a new teaching subject have been done separately. 

Separate Selection Student 

A separate certificate will be given to a student who has completed the Pedagogical Studies for Teachers (60 cr) as a separate selection student. The language of the certificate is English. The Faculty does not grant STEP certificates in Finnish or Swedish. 

1. The certificate writing process will begin without a separate application after the overall grades for both the Basic and Intermediate Studies in Education are aggregated by study secretary. The study secretary has one month to aggregate the studies after the last completed study unit. 

2. After the aggregation of STEP studies has been sent to the Faculty of Educational Sciences, the certificate process takes at least two weeks. 

3. The certificate will be mailed to the student to his or her address found in WebOodi. Make sure your address in WebOodi is valid. If you want to reclaim the certificate from the Student Service Point Siltavuori, contact siltavuori-student@helsinki.fi

Contact information and study guidance

Contact information and study guidance 

STEP uses moodle as its primary information channel.