You can apply to a university of applied sciences once you have completed vocational school, upper secondary school or a matriculation examination in Finland or some other country. Read more on the InfoFinland page Applying for education and training.
At universities of applied sciences, you can study many fields. Examples of professions in which you can qualify are provided in brackets for each field:
- Natural resources and the environment (forestry engineer, landscape architect)
- Humanities and education (sign language interpreter)
- Culture (musician, interior decorator)
- Tourism and catering (head waiter, hotel worker)
- Social services, health and sports (midwife, physiotherapist, nurse)
- Social sciences, business and administration (sales negotiator, marketing assistant)
- Technology, communications and transport (automotive engineer, marine engineer)
Full-time studies last about four years. The duration of the studies depends on the study programme and your own pace.
The studies include plenty of practical exercises. The studies also include a practical training period.
Ministry of Education and CultureList of universities of applied sciencesLink redirects to another website
Preparatory education for immigrants
Universities of applied sciences may organise free-of-charge preparatory education for immigrants aimed at providing students with language skills and other abilities necessary to study at a university of applied sciences. During this education, students practise their Finnish skills, learn how to read expository texts and polish their study skills. The students also receive information on their field of study, employment opportunities and studies leading to a degree. Preparatory education applicants are often required to have Finnish skill level B1 or B2.
Open university of applied sciences
An open university of applied sciences provides access to courses available at universities of applied sciences. Anyone can study in open universities of applied sciences. You can study in an open university of applies sciences, even if you do not have a degree or qualification of any kind. Read more on the InfoFinland page Studying as a hobby.
Postgraduate studies in universities of applied sciences
If you would like to deepen your professional expertise, you can complete a higher university of applied sciences degree (ylempi ammattikorkeakoulututkinto). It is intended for people who have graduated, for example, from a university of applied sciences and who are already employed.
You can apply for the opportunity to complete a higher university of applied sciences degree if you have
- a university of applied sciences degree (ammattikorkeakoulututkinto)
- a degree from another institute of higher education
- at least three years of work experience from a suitable field
You can apply for the higher university of applied sciences degree in the joint application (yhteishaku) period. This is held twice a year in the spring and autumn. Read more on the InfoFinland page Applying for education and training.
Completing the higher university of applied sciences degree takes about a year or 18 months. The scope of the studies is about 60 or 90 credits.
The further studies deepen and expand your knowledge in your own professional field. Nurses can complete a higher degree in rehabilitation, for example. You can also choose a degree programme conducted in English.
Guidance for higher education
You can use the SIMHE services of higher education institutes to seek help and information about Finnish higher education and how to apply for higher education. They can also provide information about other educational opportunities for people who have already completed higher education courses.
You are entitled to guidance in SIMHE services if
- you have moved to Finland,
- you are interested in higher education, and
- you have completed higher education courses or a higher education degree abroad.
The guidance can be individual or group guidance.