Study planning and supervision

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.

All degrees include a personal study plan (PSP), which is drawn up in Sisu. In your study plan, you outline the studies you intend to complete at different stages of your degree. You do not have to complete the plan all at once, but rather can update it as your studies progress. You will also use your study plan in Sisu to register for courses and submit electronic applications.

You can log in to Sisu from the menu at the top of this page. Further information on Sisu as well as user instructions are available at Sisu instructions for students.

How to plan your studies

  1. Find out what studies your degree includes either in Sisu or at Structure and scope of the degree programme.
  2. Explore the courses on offer: Where can I find courses?
  3. Add courses to your study plan in Sisu if they do not yet appear in your plan.
  4. Schedule your studies. To do this, you can use the template created by your degree programme.
  5. Select the completion methods of studies (e.g., a lecture-based course or an examination).
  6. When the registration period begins, go to the Study calendar tab in Sisu. Further information on registration is available at How do I register for my courses and exams?

Basic principles for the study plan

  • You do not have to create the entire study plan for the whole duration of your degree. It is enough that you add to the plan the studies you wish to register for. You can edit your study plan whenever you wish. You must apply for the approval of any changes you make only if you do not follow the predetermined structure of your degree (see Selections and applications made through the study plan).
  • You can have several plans in Sisu, but only one of them can be your primary plan. You can register for courses only through the primary plan. The primary plan is also used, for example, to register decisions on the recognition of studies and extensions. These decisions will not be transferred if you designate another study plan as your primary study plan, so select it carefully!
  • If you hold several rights to study, create a separate primary plan for each of them.
  • Sisu does not notify you if your studies have expired. Take the provisions on the expiry of studies into account when planning to incorporate previous studies into your degree.

Selections and applications made through the study plan

  • Sisu monitors and guides the selections you make in your study plan against the degree structure of your degree programme. You may also need some of the electronic services and applications available through Sisu to ensure that your plan corresponds to your needs. You can establish personal study paths, for example, as described below:
  • Selecting a study track: If students in your degree programme select their study track during their studies, your selection will be confirmed by Student Services in Sisu. Before this is done, you can create separate study plans for alternative study tracks to see what you would study in the different tracks. 
  • Completing studies at another higher education institution: Outline the stage of your degree where you would place a student exchange or studies completed under the Flexible Study Right Scheme (JOO). Further information on planning exchange studies can be found at Application process for exchange studies.
  • Deviating from the degree structure:
    • Under the free edit mode in Sisu, you can propose the establishment of personal study paths for your degree, for example, that a study module required for your degree be substituted with another study module you have previously completed at the University of Helsinki. Adjustments made under the free edit mode must always be submitted for approval to Student Services. Instructions for using the free edit mode
    • You do not usually have to have your study plan separately approved. However, your plan may include sections or modules indicated as requiring separate approval. It means that their content will be reviewed by Student Services before your graduation. Instructions for applying for separate content approval
  • Recognising prior learning: If you have previously completed studies elsewhere, outline the stage of your degree where you wish to place them. First carefully read the general principles of recognition and then ask for advice on selecting the correct application type, if necessary. You can apply for the inclusion and substitution of prior learning through your study plan.
  • Selecting a master’s programme: When you are about to graduate as a bachelor’s degree holder and wish to continue your studies in a master’s programme, you must indicate the master’s programme in your study plan. Read about the master’s programme options offered by your degree programme, their criteria and their registration periods at Continuing to a master’s programme after completing a bachelor's degree.  Instructions for selecting and confirming a master’s programme in Sisu
  • Changing degree requirements: As the curriculum period of your degree programme may change during your studies, the content of studies may also change. If that happens, it is recommended that you change a certain section of your study plan to the newer curriculum period or version so that you do not have to create a completely new plan. Instructions for changing the course or module version
  • If the duration of your right to study is about to expire before you graduate, you can apply in Sisu for an extension to your right to study. Instructions for applying for an extension
  • Education planning officers and student advisers at Student Services process applications in Sisu and request, if necessary, assessments from course and module coordinators to help them in making decisions. If you have questions about applications and electronic services in Sisu, you can contact your faculty’s Student Services

Instructions for those transferred from WebOodi to Sisu

These instructions only apply to students whose data were transferred from WebOodi to Sisu in May 2021.

If you are about to graduate and you submit an application in Sisu, mention this in the grounds for your application to ensure that your application is processed as soon as possible. In addition to submitting an application in Sisu, also send an email message to your faculty’s Student Services, with the following text in the subject field: ‘Graduating student, application submitted in Sisu’. In the message, explain the application type in question.

In what cases should the study plan be updated or a new study plan be created?

Due to a technical upgrade, study plans created before autumn 2020 must be updated, or a new primary study plan must be created for the curriculum period 2021–2022. In this case, Sisu indicates that your plan is against the rules, and you cannot submit applications through your plan.

  • Here you can find instructions for updating your old plan to comply with the rules: Sisu instructions: Updating your study plan created prior to 1 August 2020
  • NB! In the study tracks of certain degree programmes, students must create an entirely new primary study plan rather than update their old plan. This also applies to students who began their studies in 2020.
  • As a rule, students who began their studies before 1 August 2017 must also create a new study plan. In such cases, read the Sisu instructions for students who began their studies before 2017.
  • If you are unsure whether the update requirement applies to you, please check the curriculum period for which your study plan has been created in Sisu under My study plan [date]. If your study plan has been created for the curriculum period 2017–2018, 2018–2019 or 2019–2020, you must update your plan or create a new plan for the current period 2020–2021.
  • This is because the structures for the periods 2017–2020 do not meet the requirements posed by the deployment of Sisu, for example, they do not allow you to graduate or submit applications in Sisu.

Missing or deficient studies in the study plan

You may encounter a situation in which your previous studies are not displayed in the section of the study plan where you think they should be. Often, such studies were completed in accordance with old degree requirements or at the Open University.

If the course you have planned and the course you have completed are indicated as equivalent in Sisu, you can add the missing course to your study plan. Otherwise, you can use the free edit mode. For details, please see the study plan instructions under Adding missing course credits to the study plan.

If completed credits transferred from Oodi appear different under My profile in Sisu (e.g., a different course code), read the instructions available at Potential issues with information transferred from Oodi.

Support for study planning

Work on the personal study plan (PSP) is a process that continues throughout the degree programme to support your progress and the development of your expertise. PSP supervision supports you in drawing up your study plan and developing professionally.

When you begin your studies, you will be assigned a teacher or a group of teachers responsible for PSP supervision. They will help you find answers to questions arising during studies. PSP supervision is also a way to interact with teachers and other students.

As part of PSP supervision, you will:
  • Define study-related goals and future professional goals
  • Plan your studies
  • Recognise and develop competence

The goal of guidance and supervision is to support your progress and a smooth learning process, and to promote student-centred learning. Guidance, supervision and advice can be provided in the degree programmes in many ways: in groups headed by a supervisor, in a seminar, in student peer groups or as a separately agreed one-on-one meeting. Guidance and supervision can also be incorporated into certain courses. For further information on practices in your degree programme, please see the section specific to your degree programme on this page.

Sisu is a tool for both you and your PSP supervisor. Once you have been added to your supervisor’s group (‘tutor’ and ‘tutoring group’ in Sisu), your supervisor will have access to your study plan, and you can send each other questions and comments regarding the plan. This way, your supervisor can give your feedback on your plan and answer any questions you may have. Detailed information on supervision in Sisu can be found in the instructions for study plans.

You can receive study-related guidance and supervision not only from your supervising teacher, but also from support, advice and guidance services.   

The Guidance Compass provides answers to frequently asked questions about studies and helps you find the right service.

Further information

For guidelines on student supervision, guidance and progress monitoring, please see the rector’s decision (2017): Guidelines for academic supervision and guidance as well as the monitoring of student progress at the University of Helsinki (PDF)