Would you like to become a subject teacher?

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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.

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

Admission to the pedagogical studies

You can apply for pedagogical studies in the Bachelor's phase of your studies thus 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.

Read more about the admission to the STEP programme.

Start your studies

  • STEP Info session for the new students will be organized in week 35:
    Tuesday 31 August 2021 at 8.15-9:45 Info session for STEP programme (a Zoom link will be provided to registered students beforehand)
  • Start of the STEP courses: on 1 September.

    Teaching in Period 1 will be organized mostly remotely but some contact sessions are also scheduled

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 85 % 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.

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) 


Registration to courses

Registration to STEP courses: 20 August - 27 August 2021

At first, activate your user account before you register to courses!  More information

As a new STEP student, you must make a study plan in Sisu before you can register to STEP courses. Here you can find instructions: how to make a study plan

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 2021-2022. 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 can be found also in university`s webpages: How to registrate for courses in Sisu.

Sisu tutors

Read more about Sisu.

Instructions for non degree studies in 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: siltavuori-student@helsinki.fi). 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. 

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.

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 2020, the study right is valid from 1 August 2020 until 31 July 2022. 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@helsinki.fi.


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, please send an email to siltavuori-student@helsinki.fi ans ask for instructions how to request a compilation of studies in the Sisu system.

Contact information and study guidance

STEP uses Moodle as its primary information channel.