Subject Teacher Education Programme in English (STEP)

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The Subject Teacher Education Programme in English (STEP) is a one-year (60 ECTS) programme for students aiming 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, 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:

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

Admission to the pedagogical studies

The STEP Programme is available to those

  • who have already completed a suitable Master’s level degree at a Finnish university or abroad, and have had sufficient studies in at least one teaching subject covered by the Programme (=non-degree applicants); or
  • who are degree students at certain Faculties at the University of Helsinki (=degree applicants).

Degree students at the University of Helsinki apply for pedagogical studies (60 cr) during their bachelor level but complete studies during their Master’s degree. It is not possible to apply for the pedagogical studies during the Master level studies. However, non-degree studies are available after you have obtained a Master's degree. There are no tuition fees for non-degree students and studies can be completed in one academic year.

Read more about the admission to the STEP programme.

More Information about the admission requirements can be found on database.

Study rights

Basic degree students

The study right for STEP is valid as long as the student's study right for their basic degree studies (i.e. Master’s degree programme) is valid for. Degree students must apply for possible extension on their study right through their own faculties. More information on degree students' study rights can be found here.

Non-degree students

For non-degree students (i.e. students who have already obtained a Master's degree) the study right is limited to two years. For example, for the students selected in the separate selection quota in 2022, the study right is valid from 1 August 2022 until 31 July 2024. Please note that STEP studies must be completed in a certain order.

Non-degree student: If your pedagogical studies are not completed during the first academic year, you must register yourself for the following academic year through the Oili enrolment and registration service. If, for some reason, you are not able to register with Oili, please contact Kaisa House student services ( Kindly note that registration for the academic year is required for you to be able to enroll and participate in your studies.

Non-degree students can also 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

The application for the extension of study right should be sent to:

Structure and content of studies

STEP - Subject Teacher Education Programme includes 60 ECTS credits of teachers' pedagogical studies. The studies include 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.

The whole STEP programme (60 ECTS) can be completed in one academic year, however, it is also possible to complete the courses over two years’ time.

  • The studies require full-time studying and and include contact teaching where attendance is mandatory.
  • Students must attend at least 85 % of the group sessions. Possible absences must be agreed upon with the responsible teacher who can give replacing tasks.
  • Compulsory attendance is required from the last week of August till the end of May.

Basic studies take place in the autumn semester and intermediate studies during the spring semester. Teaching practices take place in periods II and IV.

The Arts and Science students study mostly together, with the exception of subject didactics where STEP students study partly in two separate groups, depending on their teaching subject.

Pedagogical studies for teachers 60 cr (PED300) 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) 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) 


STEP studies in 2022-2023

You can check your individual study calendar either on My Studies (on Studies Services page) or through Study calendar on Sisu.

Academic year 2022–2023

Autumn term 2022
Spring term 2023
Intensive period 28 August – 4 September Intensive period 2 – 15 January
1st teaching period 5 September – 23 October 3rd teaching period 16 January – 5 March
Examination and study week 24 - 30 October Examination and study week 6 – 12 March
2nd teaching period 31 October – 18 December 4th teaching period 13 March – 7 May
Examination and study week 19 – 23 December Examination and study week 8 – 14 May
  Intensive period 8 – 31 May

Registration to courses

In order to use the IT services (including Sisu) at the University of Helsinki, you must first activate your user account: Instructions on how to activate a new account.

As a new STEP student, you must make a study plan in Sisu before you can register to STEP courses: How to make a study plan. Remember to register for the course via your primary study plan, not through Sisu’s Search page.

Creating a study plan in the Subject Teacher Education Programme (STEP) 

  1. Log in to Sisu 
  2. Start drawing up your study plan by opening the Structure of studies -page from the navigation pane. 
  3. Click on the button “New study plan” at the top of the page. 
  4. Select “My educations” from the pop-up window which then appears. Select the study plan template for “Extended Studies in Education for Subject Teachers”. If you have other study rights, they may also be displayed here. 
  5. In the “Curriculum period” drop-down menu, select the current curriculum period 2022-2023. If you wish, you can rename your study plan. Finally, click on the button “Create a plan”. 
  6. In the study plan, click on the heading Programme, which will open a selection assistant on the right side of the view. Select PED300 Subject Teacher Education Programme in English (STEP) 60 cr. 
  7. Your study plan is now done. You don’t need to save your study plan, as Sisu does this automatically. 

More information and tips on How to register for courses in Sisu.

Here you can find Sisu instructions for non-degree students.

Read more about Sisu.

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 (e-mail: 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. 


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 their Master’s degree certificate. A separate certificate will not be given to a degree student but the completed studies will be marked into the official study transcript, which you can order here.

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 successfully completed the Pedagogical studies for teacher 60 cr (PED300), including the Basic Studies 25 cr (PED310) and Intermediate Studies 35 cr (PED320), you need to submit a study module registration request. Kindly notice that a study module’s assessment request cannot be completed before you have finalized your Sisu study plan.

After you have submitted the study module’s assessment request, please send an email to with the heading 'Graduating non-degree student, STEP’, and the Student Services will post your official certificate. The delivery time of the certificate by post is 2-3 weeks from the submission of the study module’s assessment request (information about the certificate will be sent to you by e-mail).

Equivalency certificate for teaching subjects

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. Instructions and contact details for obtaining the equivalency certificate.

Contact information and study guidance

STEP uses Moodle as its primary information channel. 

  • Should you have any questions related to STEP studies (regarding study rights, planning of studies, graduation etc.), please do not hesitate to get in touch with Siltavuori Student Services: Remember to mention ‘STEP’ in the title of your email so your request can be processed more quickly.
  • Teachers are responsible for their respective courses (see the course pages for contact information). Professor Markku Hannula is responsible for the Science subject didactics and University Lecturer Kaisa Hahl ( for the Arts subject didactics. 
  • During teaching practices, the mentor teacher and the field school's principal are responsible.