Assessment and grading

The instruction belongs to the following themes

By selecting a degree programme you are able to see the general content as well as the possible degree programme-specific content. You do not have to select a degree programme to see the Open University's instructions.

Here you can find information about grading scales and assessment principles at the University.

Grading scales and grades

The University of Helsinki grading scale is not a proportionate scale and does not therefore fully correspond to the ECTS grading scale. The difference is: the ECTS system is based on an expectancy of the distribution of different grades, the Finnish system is not. This means that in the Finnish system there is no rule or expectation as to how big a proportion of the participants in any given course can be given what grade; each student is graded on his/her individual performance, not in relation to the performance of others.

Courses and examinations are typically graded on a scale of 0 to 5. Theses included in bachelor’s and master’s degrees are graded using the same scale. The grades are as follows: 

  • 5 (Excellent) 
  • 4 (Very good) 
  • 3 (Good) 
  • 2 (Satisfactory) 
  • 1 (Passable) 
  • 0 (Fail) 

Proficiency in the second national language (Finnish/Swedish) is graded using the following scale: 

  • Good 
  • Satisfactory 
  • Fail 

Degree programmes may also separately decide to grade courses on a pass/fail basis. 

You can check the grading scale to be used on a specific course from the course information available on the Courses webpage or from the course brochure in Sisu. 

The scope of the degree is measured in (ECTS) credits. Courses yield credits according to the workload required. One credit represents approximately 27 hours of work.

How quickly will my course or examination be graded?

The teacher should evaluate completed studies well before the next opportunity to complete or register for them, but no later than within one month from the date of completion. In the period between 1 June and 31 August, the teacher may evaluate completed studies within more than one month from the date of completion.  

The teacher records  completed studies in the student information system (Sisu) and confirms them within one month of the evaluation of your completed study. Evaluations that require separate recording (e.g. traineeships) are handled by University Services. Information on completed studies are recorded in the student information system within one month of their evaluation, unless there are special circumstances that prevent this. 

If at least five students completed the same studies at the same time, you will receive information from the electronic information system (Sisu) concerning the grade and also the grade distribution. 

The results of the Finnish specialist examination in medicine and dentistry shall be announced within six weeks of the examination. 

How can I get information on the grading principles? 

As a student you have the right to know how grading principles have been applied to your performance. 

Your examination papers and related notes may not be disclosed to third parties or published without your permission. Your examination papers may not be used for teaching and research purposes without your permission if you can be identified on the basis of the answers.

In connection with the announcement of results at the latest, the examiner shall inform the students where the examination papers will be retained, and where and when the students may access their graded papers. Students have the right to receive a copy of their examination paper at their own expense.

For more information, see the page Legal protection of students and the Regulations on Degrees and the Protection of Students’ Rights at the University of Helsinki.

Can grades be raised?

For information about raising passed grades and retaking failed courses and examinations, see the webpage entitled Retaking completed studies and improving grades.

Assessment and grading of modules

Study modules (such as basic and intermediate studies) are composed of individual courses.  The grade for a module is determined on the basis of the completed studies to be incorporated into it so that each completed course is weighted in accordance with the relevant number of credits.  

When determining the module grade, only those completed studies that have been assessed on a scale of 0–5 will be taken into account. If more than half of the completed credits for a module have been assessed on a scale other than 0–5, the module will be assigned the grade of ‘pass’.  

As a rule, modules will be compiled and their grades recorded when you submit a graduation request in Sisu.  

For more information on modules and their grading, see the webpage entitled Study modules and their compilation.

What should I do if I am dissatisfied with the grading of my studies?

If you feel that you have been unfairly treated in the grading of a course or examination, read the relevant instructions on the webpage entitled Legal protection of students

If you are dissatisfied with the grading of your studies for another reason, follow the instructions provided here: Retaking completed studies and improving grades.