Grades and assessment

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This article is only for students studying in the new degree programmes. If you are studying according to the old degree structures, please visit the Studying in accordance with the old study requirements site for more information.

Here you can find information about the assessment and grading.

Assessment 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.

Study units are typically graded on a scale of 0 to 5. Theses associated with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees are graded on this same scale. The grades are:

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

NOTE: Failed courses do not appear on the transcript. 

Skills in the other Finnish national languages are graded on the following scale:

  • Good
  • Satisfactory
  • Fail

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

NOTE: Exchange students should pay special attention to the assessment scale and in case a course in their Learning Agreement is graded pass/fail, check well in time whether their home institution approves of courses with a grade "pass". 

The assessment scale used on a particular course can be seen in the course information either on the course page or in WebOodi.

How quickly will my studies be graded?

The teacher must assess your completed course and provide a grade within one month of completion.

Once the grade has been assigned, the studies will be entered into the student register within one month of the assessment. Both assessment and registration may take longer during the summer.

Can I improve my grade?

Read more about improving the grade of an accepted study unit and retaking a failed examination or course in the relevant instructions.

Assessment and grading of a study module

Study modules (e.g. basic studies) consist of study units, or courses. The contents of the study modules are indicated in the course catalogue for the degree programme in WebOodi.

You must apply to register study modules (basic, intermediate and advanced studies as well as other study modules) after you have completed all the associated courses. You cannot graduate without registering your study modules.

Applying to register a study module the person responsible for the study module will provide a grade for the module within one month of the application. After that, the module will be entered into the student register within one month of grading. During the summer, registration may take longer.

How are grades determined for study modules?

The grade for a study module is based on an average of the grades given for the associated courses, weighted according to the number of credits awarded for each course. When determining the grade, only courses assessed on a scale of 0–5 are taken into account. If more than half of the total number of credits in the module have been assessed using another assessment scale, no grade will be granted for the module.

The average grade for the module is calculated within two decimal places and rounded off as follows:

  • 5 (Excellent), average 5.00–4.50
  • 4 (Very Good), average 4.49–3.50
  • 3 (Good), average 3.49–2.50
  • 2 (Satisfactory), average 2.49–1.50
  • 1 (Passable), average 1.49–1.00

When calculating a grade for advanced studies, the thesis required for the second-cycle degree is not included. The grade for the module is based on the other study units included in the module.

What should I do if I am not satisfied with my grade?

If you feel you have been treated unfairly in the grading of your studies, read more on Legal protection of students.

If you are dissatisfied with your grade for another reason, read the instructions on Retaking completed studies and improving grades.