Bachelor’s & Master’s Degrees in Finland

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Finland is a Nordic nation with population around 5.6 million and total area of 338,145 km2. Most of us know Finland from Nokia which is now part of Microsoft. Just like other European countries, Finland also has an excellent education system. School education of Finland is considered as one of the best education systems in the world. University or higher education is also made according to the modern standards. For international or foreigner students, 13 universities and 22 universities of applied sciences (UAS) are offering more than 400 bachelor’s or master’s degree programs offered in English language. Doctoral study and research programs are also offered in English. At present, more than 20,000 international students are continuing their studies at various locations inside Finland.

Tuition Fee in Finland

There is a tuition fee for international (Bachelor’s or Master’s) students who are not citizens of EU/EEA and are taking their degree program in languages other than Finnish or Swedish. Swiss nationals are also exempt from tuition fee in Finland. How much one has to pay as tuition fee varies depending upon the study level and institution. However, there are scholarships offered by each institution to those students who have to pay tuition fees which means that the applicant must check and apply for the relevant scholarships. If the scholarship is not awarded to the applicant then he/she must pay full tuition fee for that program.

For finding answers related to different practical questions about who has to pay tuition fees and who does not, click here.

‘EU Blue Card holders do not have to pay tuition fee in Finland’.

Typically, for a Bachelor’s degree at the Vaasa University of Applied Sciences (VUAS) the tuition fee per academic year in 2020 is Euros 7000, meaning that a 3.5 years degree will cost Euros 24,500 as tuition fee only. For a Master’s degree, tuition fee per academic year in the same institution is Euros 8000.

‘Estimated living cost of one person in Finland for 2020 is around Euros 6720. This means that the applicant should have around Euros 14,000 to bear the living costs and  full fees for one academic year.’

Aalto University Finland
Aalto University Finland- Photo by M. Ahsan Bashir (2011)

Bachelor’s Study Programs in English

Bachelor’s degree programs taught in English are offered by both the universities of applied sciences (UAS) and the universities. An international student who is eligible for admission in Bachelor’s degree in his/her own country is typically also eligible for admission in Finland in Bachelor’s degree. For example, if a student has completed 12 years of education from Pakistan (i.e., F.SC, F.A etc.), he or she is eligible to apply for admission in Bachelor’s degree in Finland also. But, of course, the grades of the applicant do matter in securing the admission in Finland along with other requirements. There are specific English language requirements for each degree program.

‘Applying for admission in Finnish universities is absolutely free of cost.’

In addition, there is an entrance exam (called FINNIPS entrance exam) for the international students which must be passed by the applicant for getting admission. This test is conducted in different countries of the world. For example, in 2020 this entrance test has been conducted in 12 different countries.

Different sections of this test may include Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Logical deduction depending upon the degree program. SAT test results are also accepted by the Finnish universities.

‘Applications can be submitted either by using ‘joint application system’ or as ‘Separate applications’.’

Joint application means that with just one application the applicant can apply for 6 study programs in one or different higher education institutions of Finland. For international students, there are 2 joint application periods per year i.e., one in the spring and one in the autumn of each year. The applicant may have to prioritize the degree programs applied i.e., the offer will be made to the study program which was put at the highest priority by the applicant. More information about the joint application procedure can be found here.

Separate application means that the applicant applies directly to the institution for admission in the specific program. The admission forms are filled separately for each program or each institution. In such cases, there is generally no limit to how many programs you can apply to. There are differences in the application periods and application methods among degree programs. Therefore, the applicant must check the description of the study program carefully and contact the admission services of the relevant institutions if needed. Most of the study programs which needs to be applied via separate application can be found at www.studyinfo.fi. Further details about different bachelor’s degree programs taught in English in Finnish Universities can be found here.

Master’s Study Programs in English

Admission application process for a Master’s degree taught in English is also similar to the Bachelor’s admission application process i.e., either you can apply through a joint application or separately to a university or university of applied sciences (UAS).

For admission in a Master’s degree offered by UAS, the applicant must have at least 3 years of work experience after the completion of Bachelor’s degree. In some programs like Music, Theatre and Dance, Media, Craft and Design the artistic activities can be considered as the work experience.

For admission in a Master’s degree offered by a university, there is no specific requirement of minimum prior work experience. The applicant can get admission if he/she is a fresh graduate and fulfils other admission requirements.  

As mentioned above, there are different yearly tuition fees for different Master’s degrees. For example, yearly tuition fee for Master’s in Aviation and Tourism Business offered by Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki Pasila campus is Euros 9500, whereas, the same for Master of Business Administration, Business Management offered by Turku University of Applied Sciences, Kupittaa Campus is Euros 11500. Similarly, there are differences in the fee of degrees offered by the universities also.

Therefore, it is highly recommended to check thoroughly the tuition fee & specific admission requirements for each program of interest.

Paid Summer Jobs & Thesis Work

In Finland, international (non-EU/EEA) students are eligible to work during their studies with some restrictions. With student residence permit, it is allowed to work for a maximum of 25 hours per week. During  summer or Christmas holidays or other times outside the study there is no limit on working hours per week. 

Summer jobs in Finland are mostly well-paid. These jobs are offered for about 3 months. In the universities, there is a fairly good chance of getting a paid summer job depending upon the student’s academic performance.

Master’s thesis are mostly paid also. International students can find thesis possibilities in their relevant departments/research laboratories or industries. Six months is a standard time for completing Master’s thesis. Industry pays slightly higher than the public universities to Master’s thesis students.

A detailed overview of rules and regulations related to international students and others working in Finland can be found here.

Useful Links

Main website providing almost all relevant information about admission process and requirements in Finland is www.studyinfo.fi.

For information about different Master’s programs offered by the universities of applied sciences, click here.

For information about different Master’s programs offered by the universities, click here.

For information about different Master’s programs offered by the universities of applied sciences, click here.

For information about different Master’s programs offered by the universities, click here.

For information about summerjobs in Finland, click here.


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