Individual arrangements support studies

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.

This instruction features information about individual arrangements, intended to support your studies. Individual arrangements must be based on sufficient and documented reasons as well as a genuine need for them. If you are not sure whether you have the right to request individual arrangements, please contact an accessibility liaison.

What kinds of individual arrangements are available?

Individual arrangements are practical arrangements for teaching, supervision or examination. The content and implementation of the individual arrangements will be determined by your individual needs and situation. individual arrangements may include

  • Additional time to complete an examination or to submit assignments
  • A smaller or separate examination room
  • Use of a computer in examinations
  • Alternative completion methods

Individual arrangements do not entail compromising on learning objectives. They are intended to help you reach them. For example, the examinations and studies of all students are assessed with the same assessment criteria, and any individual arrangements employed have no bearing on the assessment.

Studies required for a degree can only be waived for extremely compelling reasons (e.g., a deaf student has a compulsory listening comprehension examination). The primary means of handling such cases is to agree on an alternative form of completion with the coordinating teacher or unit.

What can I do if I have a disability or challenge that has an extensive impact on my studies?

If your need for individual arrangements has such a profound impact on your degree that it may make it difficult for you to complete its objectives, please contact the accessibility liaison and an education planning officer. Please mention in your email if you are a student of the Open University.

For example, if you must complete most written examinations orally or oral examinations in writing, you may need to discuss your studies with the person in charge of teaching in your degree programme, a senior lecturer in university pedagogy and a representative from the individual arrangements expert panel. The goal is for you to receive the individual arrangements you need while ensuring that the objectives required for the degree as a whole are met. For example, you cannot complete an entire degree as distance learning, as that would imply you will not gain the required career and interaction skills through traineeships.

Similarly, it is not recommended for most of your degree to be completed orally even if you have difficulty writing, because then you would not develop as a writer.

What kind of certificate do I need for individual arrangements?

To be granted individual arrangements, you must have a certificate from a doctor or an equivalent expert, such as a psychologist, speech therapist or physical therapist, indicating the grounds for individual arrangements. A certificate of dyslexia can also be written by a special education teacher. The University of Helsinki does not accept recommendations written by other universities instead of a certificate from an expert.

The person who drafts the certificate must identify the student (with the name and personal identity code) and briefly describe the grounds for individual arrangements. The certificate should also indicate in concrete terms the arrangements that would benefit the student.

What to do in a teaching or examination situation?

Read about individual arrangements in examinations.

Information about borrowing accessible course and examination literature can be found here.

What should I do if I need extra support in using Sisu?

If you are not able to use Sisu due to the accessibility issues in Sisu (for example due to visual impairment), contact You will get an appointment with an accessibility liaison. The accessibility liaison and if needed the educational planning officer will help you draw up the study plan and register for courses. The meeting can be conducted online or in person. You do not need a doctor’s certificate to get extra support in using Sisu.

Individual arrangements expert panel

The University has an expert panel which can provide a recommendation for individual arrangements if you are a degree student. You can request a recommendation from the expert panel if:

  • The certificates you have received from healthcare professionals include information which you do not want to release to the teacher or accessibility liaison.
  • The certificates you have received from healthcare professionals do not sufficiently specify the individual arrangements needed.
  • The teacher or accessibility liaison cannot resolve your need for individual arrangements.
  • You have had problems receiving the individual arrangements you need.

When requesting a recommendation from the expert panel, complete a free-form application (pdf) according to the instructions. Please send the application with attachments via email using secure email connection erityisjarjestelyryhma(at) More information about confidential email can be found here.

The next meeting of the expert panel will be held on 9 December 2022. Applications must be submitted by 29 November 2022.

Processing of data at the University of Helsinki

Information on individual arrangements is confidential and processed by the university only by persons who need information for the planning and/or implementation of individual arrangements. Read more about the information security practices of the University of Helsinki and about the processing of students' personal data on the Data Protection website.

More information about support services

More information about various support services via the links below.