Where can I find courses?

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 currently available courses, 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, target group or language of teaching. You can access course pages by clicking on the course title in the search results. Course pages provide detailed information on courses and include a link to their Moodle areas, if any.
  • 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 open university studies
  • Language Centre studies – If you wish to explore the studies offered by the Language Centre
  • Swedish-language studies – If you wish to study in Swedish

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

For basic information on each course as well as the content added by the teacher, please see the course pages in the Studies Service section “Courses”. You can view the information without logging in or registering, but some of the content added by teachers to the course pages may be available to course participants only. The course pages also give you access to information on the degree requirements the courses meet. Before registering, please always check the information on the course pages because teachers may update the pages after they have been published. 

When you know which course you wish to complete, add it to your study plan and register for it in Sisu. Information on registration is available at How do I register for my courses and exams?

You can find the course pages through the search available at Courses or from Sisu. After registration, you can find the link to the course page in the Studies Service calendar (requires login).

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

Teaching programmes are published in two parts: preliminary versions in March and the actual programmes usually in June.

Preliminary teaching programmes

  • Published in March
  • The preliminary teaching programmes of degree programmes are published on this page. To access them, select your degree programme from the menu at the top, and the teaching programme will appear at the bottom.
  • The Language Centre’s preliminary teaching programmes are published on the Language Centre’s website.
  • Open university courses can be found in the preliminary teaching programmes of degree programmes and the Language Centre. You can also find course details on the helsinki.fi website at Preliminary information about upcoming courses.
  • Preliminary teaching programmes contain the following information:
    • The courses you can complete in the upcoming academic year and the teaching periods in which they are offered
    • The course implementation and completion methods
    • The course languages
    • The courses included in open university education and the courses available to degree students free of charge or subject to regular rates
    • The courses open to exchange students

Actual teaching programmes

  • The actual teaching programmes for the autumn and spring terms are published in Sisu and on the Courses section of the Studies Service. Usually they are published by the end of June.
  • Summer courses are published in Sisu and on Courses, usually in early March. Information on open university courses can also be found on the helsinki.fi website at Open university: Summer studies
  • Before registering, please check the information on the course pages. Teachers may update the pages after teaching programmes have been published. You can find links to the course pages in Sisu and on Courses and, after you have registered, in the Studies Service calendar.
  • Actual teaching programmes contain the following information:
    • Detailed information on course implementation and completion methods
    • Course timetables and venues
    • Course teachers
    • Registration details
    • Any other details

I’m looking for open university studies

You can find information on open university studies on the Open University website. It includes information on:

  • courses offered during the academic year in specific degree programmes and on specific topics 
  • preliminary information on upcoming studies
  • information on registration and course fees

In the Courses section of the Studies Service, you can view open university courses by selecting ‘Courses open for all’ in the target group menu. As a rule, information on courses offered in the next academic year will be available from the end of June (summer courses from the end of March).

In addition, open university courses are included in the teaching programmes of degree programmes and the Language Centre. For information, please see the section above.

I wish to search for courses available to 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

For admission to Helsinki, applicants must have completed at least one academic year at their Home institution. The applicant’s completed studies must reflect the field the applicant would study during the exchange. 

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” 
  • completion methods

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. Type 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 selecting the previous study year in the "Choose 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. From the teacher 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. 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, Erasmus University Wide, Erasmus ICM or North2North 

  • You are required to choose the majority of your courses from one faculty. 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.  

If you are applying as a visiting student (freemover)

  • You are required to choose the majority of your courses from one faculty. 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 as a visiting student it may be very difficult to be accepted for courses of the below listed restricted faculties / degree programmes. Please see How to apply as a visiting student - Faculty specific requirements for any further information. 

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, with the exception of Academic writing in English for exchange students and Intercultural communication courses (if courses are offered).

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.  

The prerequisite for Medicine is two full years of pre-clinical and one full year of clinical studies. In Psychology, the prerequisite is two full years of university-level studies in Psychology. Medicine and Psychology are also highly restricted and access to them cannot be guaranteed to exchange students admitted via university wide agreements. 

For Life Sciences (the faculties of Agriculture and Forestry, Biological and Environmental Sciences, and Pharmacy), the prerequisite for studies in Helsinki is two years of completed university studies in the field in question. 

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. For example, 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.