Would you like to become a subject teacher?

The instruction belongs to the following themes

This article concerns all degree students regardless of whether they are studying in the new degree programmes or according to the old degree structures. 

The Subject Teacher Education Programme in English (STEP) is a one-year (60 ECTS) programme for students willing to qualify as subject teachers in comprehensive and upper secondary school in Finland. The programme helps the future teacher to develop into a professional in the planning, implementation, evaluation, and development of teaching. The STEP programme is available to students

  • who have already taken a Master level degree at a Finnish university or abroad
  • who are already degree students at certain Faculties at the University of Helsinki (see the subjects below).

The STEP programme offers pedagogical studies for the following school subjects in the comprehensive and upper-secondary schools in Finland:

  • English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Swedish (as the other domestic or foreign language)
  • Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics

Read more about the admission to the STEP programme.

Admission to the pedagogical studies

In the spring 2020, you can apply for pedagogical studies in the Bachelor's and Master's phase of your studies in the old and new degree programmes. Please notice that when you start actual pedagogical studies 1.8.2020, all the students will be studying according to the new degree programmes and structures.

The application process for pedagogical studies will change in 2021. At that point, it is possible to apply for the studies only at the Bachelor's level. In other words, it is not possible to apply for the pedagogical studies during the Master level studies. However, non-degree studies are available after you have taken the Master's degree.

Start your studies

Structure and content of studies

STEP - Subject Teacher Education Programme includes 60 ECTS credits of teachers' pedagogical studies. The studies comprise 25 ECTS of basic studies and 35 ECTS of intermediate studies, and they are divided into four periods and designed in such a way that the whole programme can be completed in one academic year. As a rule, the studies require full-time studying and they include a great deal of contact teaching where attendance is mandatory. 

In STEP, attendance is mandatory in all group teaching. Absences must be agreed upon with the responsible teacher who can give replacing tasks, but please note that it is not possible to replace all absences with written work as interaction is an important aspect of STEP. Please keep in mind that the students must attend at least 90% of the group sessions. 

Courses part of the basic studies are scheduled to be taken in autumn semester and intermediate studies during the spring semester. Teaching practices take place in periods II and IV.

  Basic Studies 25 cr (PED310) Intermediate Studies 35 cr (PED320)
Studies in Education

15 cr

Psychology of Learning and Development 5 cr (PED002) Social, Cultural and Philosophical Foundations of Education 5 cr (PED001)

Support for Learning and Well-being 5 cr (PED004) 

Studies in Subject Didactics 25 cr Subject Didactics I: Curriculum and Teaching 10 cr (PED0032) 10 cr Subject Didactics II: Assessment and Development 5 cr (PED007STEP)

Teacher as a Researcher Seminar 10 cr

  • Research Seminar 8 cr (PED0062)
  • Didactics 2 cr (PED0061)
Teaching practice 20 cr Basic Practice 10 cr (PED311)  Advanced Practice 10 cr (PED321) 


Registration to courses

Registration for the studies in the autumn term starts at 9.00 on 8th August 2020, and ends at 23.59 on 20th August 2020.

Registration for the courses is done through WebOodi.



Teaching Practices

STEP has two teaching practices:

  • Basic Practice 10 cr
  • Advanced Practice 10 cr

Teaching practice is carried out in schools in the Greater Helsinki area (field schools). The decision for placements is made by the Faculty of Educational Sciences.

During the practice periods, students familiarize themselves with the school community, observe and analyze lessons run by others, and plan and teach their own lessons. Students also participate in group guidance and get reflection guidance for their development as a teacher at the Faculty of Educational Sciences.

Students complete their practices in only one subject, but they can be qualified to teach other subjects if they have (or later acquire) an equivalency certificate for the subjects in question.

Criminal Records Extract

According to the Universities Act, the university must check the criminal records extract from students completing teaching practice and on-the-job learning with under 18-year-olds. This applies to students who have received their study right or separate study right after 1.1.2012.

For STEP students, the extract is checked once during their studies, i.e. before the Basic Practice period.

The extract must be presented to the STEP Educational Planner. The students will be notified of the date after the studies start. The students can not begin their practice if they have not presented the extract. If the extract causes action, the one who checks the extract will be in contact with the student, field school, and other necessary parties.

Students who have, after turning 18, lived in other EEA-countries, must deliver the extract from the countries in question. The Faculty of Educational Sciences does not have an obligation to check extracts granted from outside the EEA-countries. The extracts can be ordered and more information of the process received from the Legal Register Centre ("Application for a criminal records extract: students practical training").

An extract obtained for the studies is free of charge. The time of delivery is about 7 working days and the extract cannot be ordered over the phone. The extract on criminal background must not be older than six months when presented to the STEP Educational Planner.

Study rights

Basic degree students

The study right for STEP is valid as long as the admitted applicants’ study right for their basic degree studies (Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree programme) is valid.

If a student graduates and has not completed the programme, the student must within a year after completing the Master’s studies, make a transfer application of the study right to the separate student’s study right. After one year, one cannot make this transfer. If a person wants to complete the pedagogical studies after one year of graduation, he or she must apply to a programme through the normal student selection in the separate selection quota.

The transfer application can be written in free form but must include the following information:

  • Personal information (name, birth date, student number, contact information)
  • Teaching subject

Please send the application as a PDF file to Siltavuori Student Services.

Separate students

For a student admitted into STEP in the separate selection quota, the study right is limited to two years. For example, for the students selected in the separate selection quota in 2017, the study right is valid from 1 August 2018 until 31 July 2020. Please note that STEP studies must be completed in a certain order.

The separate selection student can, however, apply for the extension of study right for one year. The extension is granted only for valid personal reasons (pregnancy, sickness, military service etc.).

The application for the extension of study right must include the following information:

  • Personal information (name, birth date, student number, contact information)
  • Teaching subject
  • List of STEP studies completed
  • Estimate for the schedule of completion of the remaining studies

Please send the application as a PDF file to Siltavuori Student Services.


Degree student 

When a degree student has completed both Basic and Intermediate Studies in Education (60 cr), an additional clause concerning the completed Pedagogical Studies for Teachers will be written into his or her Master’s degree certificate. 

The completed studies will also be marked into the official study transcript. 

A separate certificate will not be given to a degree student, but you can order the official study transcript that shows you the completed studies. 

If the pedagogical studies are completed as separate studies after a Master’s degree, the qualification for the subjects taught in basic education or in the upper secondary school must be proved with an equivalency certificate (vastaavuustodistus) given by the subject faculty. 

The equivalency certificate is needed at the time of applying for a teaching position in a comprehensive or upper secondary school if the Pedagogical Studies for Teachers or studies of a new teaching subject have been done separately. 

Non-Degree Student

A separate certificate will be given to a student who has completed the Pedagogical Studies for Teachers (60 cr) as a non-degree student. The language of the certificate is English. The Faculty does not grant STEP certificates in Finnish or Swedish. 

Once you have completed all of your STEP studies and see them registered in WebOodi, please send an email to siltavuori-student@helsinki.fi to request a compilation of studies. Write "STEP compilation of studies" in the subject line so that the right administrative person will be able to see the email directly. In the same email, please let the office know whether you want to pick up your certificate or if you want it mailed home (make sure your address is correct in WebOodi). Please also note that if the certificate were to get lost in the mail, you would not be reissued a certificate but you would get a copy of the original.

After the aggregation of STEP studies has been sent to the Faculty of Educational Sciences, the certificate process takes at least two weeks. 

Contact information and study guidance

Contact information and study guidance 

STEP uses moodle as its primary information channel.  

  • Questions related to study rights, study arrangements, planning of studies, study guidance and graduation contact Student Services Siltavuori (siltavuori-student@helsinki.fi).
  • Teachers are responsible for their study units. See WebOodi courses for contact information. Professor Markku Hannula (markku.hannula@helsinki.fi) is responsible for the Science subject didactics and University Lecturer Kaisa Hahl (kaisa.hahl@helsinki.fi) for the Arts subject didactics. 
  • During teaching practices, the mentor teacher and the field school's principal are responsible.