Where can I find courses?

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.

This page provides information on where you should search for courses at different stages of your studies. If you are not yet familiar with the terminology of university studies, please see the vocabulary for new students.

I wish to browse the courses now available

If you wish to explore the courses currently available, begin with the following websites: 

Courses – If you wish to search for interesting courses from the studies offered by the University as a whole 

You can search for courses with specific terms or refine the search results, for example, by date or form of teaching. You can access course pages by clicking on the course title in the search results. Course pages provide further information, such as course material and a link to the relevant Moodle area. 

Courses offered by degree programme – If you wish to explore the courses offered by a specific degree programme or study track 

Optional studies – If you wish to know what optional studies are offered by, for example, other degree programmes 

Open University studies – If you wish to explore the studies offered by the Open University 

Language Centre studies – If you wish to explore the studies offered by the Language Centre 

I already know what studies I will complete, and I wish to view course information and register

For basic information on each course as well as the content added by the teacher, please see the Courses website. You can view the information on this site without logging in or registering, but some of the content added by teachers to course pages may be available to course participants only. Course pages also give you access to information on the degree requirements the courses meet. 

When you know which course you wish to complete, add it to your study plan and register for it in Sisu (requires login). 

You can add a course to your study plan in Sisu by searching for it, for example, with the course code. You should then select the course completion method, after which you can register for the course. If necessary, you can find out more in the Sisu study plan instructions. You can also access basic information on courses and teaching in Sisu. 

After registration, you can find the link to the course page on the My Studies website (requires login).

I wish to find out more about the courses offered by my degree programme in the next academic year

Bachelor’s and master’s programmes publish their preliminary teaching programme on this page to support the planning of studies in the next academic year. The preliminary programme contains information on the courses that can be completed in the next academic year, the teaching period and language in which they can be completed, and the completion methods offered.  

You can access the preliminary teaching programme of your degree programme for the next academic year by selecting the programme from the menu at the top. The Language Centre’s preliminary teaching programme is published on the Language Centre’s website. Courses offered in the next academic year as well as related details are published in Sisu and on the Courses website. Information on courses offered in the autumn term 2021 will be published by the end of July, and information on courses offered in the spring term 2022 will be published by the end of November.

Information for exchange students

Here is a guide for incoming exchange students for finding courses for Learning Agreement. Below you find information about preliminary teaching programmes, restrictions for attending courses and instructions about course levels. Please read the whole instruction carefully

Your Learning Agreement

When planning your Learning Agreement, start by looking at the syllabuses by clicking on the Faculty links below at subsection “Links to course information”. Please use the links below instead of the Course search when looking for courses for your Learning Agreement. Course lists for the next academic year are published in the end of March/beginning of April. 

When you choose courses, please pay attention to:

  • language of teaching
  • availability for exchange students
  • teaching period: please select your courses so that they are not all organized during the same teaching period. An academic year is divided into four periods. Autumn semester consists of periods I & II, spring semester consists of periods III & IV. Please note that exchange students do not take part in the intensive period before arrival. 
  • restrictions: please see more from the subsection “Restriction in attending courses” 

Links to course information

You can find lists of courses and preliminary teaching programmes offered by different faculties and fields of study by clicking on the links below. If you have questions regarding the course content, please contact responsible teacher for course unit or student services. More information on course content and contacting, go to subsection “Course descriptions”.  

Language courses for all exchange students

Course descriptions

You do not have to write course content in your Learning Agreement. However, if you would like to know more about the course content you can find course descriptions via the Courses search by typing the name of the course in the search. Please note that course descriptions may be published about a month before the course begins, which means that during the application process for the next autumn semester / academic year, you may need to use course descriptions from the ongoing study year. When applying for the spring semester studies, search the course descriptions by clicking “+More search options” and then selecting the previous study year in the Academic year field. In addition, if the course is taught for the first time, you can’t find the course description from the Course search. Which means that you have to proceed with the name of the course. In the Course search you can also find the responsible teacher for the course, whom you may ask more information on the content if needed. 

Re­stric­tions in at­tend­ing courses

In the majority of cases non-degree students (scholarship holders and exchange students) have non-restricted access to courses within their own subject and most of the other courses given in English, but some restrictions may apply. Restrictions marked below are non-negotiable. 

If you are an exchange student coming under the Erasmus, Nordplus, SEMP or Faculty and unit bilateral agreement programme: 

  • You should choose the majority of your courses from the faculty/degree programme (or study track) that has the exchange agreement with your home institution. 

If you are an exchange student coming under University bilateral agreement, Nordlys, ISEP, Erasmus University Wide, Erasmus global or North2North 

  • You are required to choose the majority of your courses from one faculty and you can be only accepted by the Faculty closest to your educational background . Also note that you need to have sufficient prior academic background in the disciplines taught.  

Please note that you may not be able to take all the courses you want. If there are mandatory courses which you need to take in order to graduate, we recommend that you would take them at your home university. It is strongly recommended to be flexible with your course selection because you may have to adjust your plans. 

Courses from the following degree programmes are only available to that faculty's/degree programme's own exchange students:

  • Faculty of Medicine 
    • Courses which have a code beginning with MED-
  • Faculty of Veterinary Medicine 
    • Courses which have a code beginning with ELK-, ELL- and clinical work 
  • Faculty of Law 
    • Courses which have a code beginning with ON-, OIK-, IBL- or GGL- 
  • Bachelor's Programme in Languages (study track: English) and Master's Programme in English Studies 
    • Courses which have a code beginning with KIK-EN or ENG- 
  • Politics, Media and Communication, Global Politics and Communication
    • Courses which have a code beginning with PVK-, PVM- or GPC 
  • Geography (Faculty of Science) 
    • Courses which have a code beginning with GEOG- 

Language centre's English courses are not open to exchange students. 

We are experiencing a high demand for some courses, especially at the Faculty of Educational Sciences and at the Faculty of Social Sciences. This means you must be aware that it may be difficult to fit on these courses.  

Priority is usually given to those exchange students that are enrolled at the University of Helsinki in the degree programme offering the course. 

Detailed information concerning the rights of exchange students and other non-degree students to participate in courses is best obtained from the degree programme's staff.  

Course levels

The courses at the University of Helsinki are offered on different levels. You can usually find out the level used (Bachelor/Master) by the faculty on the Courses site. In case you need more information, here are a few examples of how you can find out the course level: 

  • From the numeric course code by looking for the first number in the number line, ex. TTK-EL110, where the first number 1 indicates that the course is basic level (2 is often intermediate and 3 advanced). However, please note that not all faculties use this numbering. In those cases, the first letters of the course code will be different between Bachelor and Master level.
  • Some faculties also name their study levels using concepts Basic, Intermediate or Subject and Advanced studies  
  • In some faculties, K stands for bachelor and M for master in the course codes, so you can tell that for example "EDUK" is a Bachelor course and "EDUM" a Master course.
  • Faculties or degree programmes might also divide their syllabus to bachelor and master’s level courses.  

The following terminology will help you to find out if the course is suitable for you: 

  • Basic studies are Bachelor’s level courses and do not usually require previous studies in the subject. 
  • Subject studies or Intermediate studies are Bachelor’s level courses, which require some previous studies. Courses are mainly for 2nd or 3rd year students of the subject. 
  • Advanced studies are Master’s level courses. Courses are mainly for students who have completed a Bachelor’s degree or have the same level of knowledge. However, advanced Bachelor's level students are usually allowed to take Master's level courses in their own study field. Exceptions are listed in the course information. 

Please note that depending on the course level, the programmes have the right to decide whether the student has enough previous studies to participate.