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University of applied sciences education

The core of a university of applied sciences education is workplace-based and professional higher education. Study projects and various types of projects are key elements in a university of applied sciences education. Universities of applied sciences ensure Finnish competitiveness by providing the skilled labour and experts needed in various fields. A university of applied sciences education renews the workplace and expert competence in research and development as well as innovation.

The educational offering in universities of applied sciences is extremely diverse. The various alternatives of a university of applied sciences education are:

  • bachelor´s degrees
  • master's degrees
  • professional specialisation
  • supplementary education and training
  • open UAS education
  • vocational teacher training


The scope of a university of applied sciences education is 210-270 study points (ECTS), taking 3.5-4.5 years to complete. The scope of a master's degree is 60-90 study points (ECTS).

Students may earn their Bachelor's degrees either full-time in undergraduate studies or in addition to their employment in adult education.




In university of applied sciences studies, students acquire the necessary qualifications for professional positions based on degree programme competence targets.

Studies are divided into compulsory, optional and elective. Studies may be taken at one's own university of applied sciences or another higher education institution in Finland or abroad. Studies must be at a higher education level. 

The university of applied sciences oversees the training, which may be divided into several different parts over time. Training may also be done partially or entirely abroad. Universities of applied sciences have actively established connections with different training venues in Finland and abroad. Students may also seek a training placement through their own networks.

In the final project, students demonstrate their skills in practical expert tasks by applying the competences of their respective fields. The final project is a workplace practice-based, independent research, design or report project dealing with an aspect of the student's field of study. It might be, for example, a research, product or workplace development project.


Instruction language


A Bachelor's degree can be earned in a degree programme offered in Finnish, Swedish or a foreign language. Instruction offered in a foreign language is available to both Finnish and foreign students. Some study modules can also be completed in a language other than the official language of the university of applied sciences. 


Funding studies


"Education leading to a first-cycle university of applied science degree

[...] shall be free of charge for students. " (351/2005, section 26) In other studies, such as professional specialisation, fees may be charged. The basis for charging these fees is specified in an applicable Government decree.

Students may apply to the State for student financial aid, which comprehends a study grant, housing supplement and a State-guaranteed student loan. For additional information on the funding of studies, consult the Kela (Social Insurance Institution of Finland) website and visit the student affairs office of the university of applied sciences.


Professional specialisation studies


Professional specialisation studies are extensive supplementary education programmes offered as adult education, in which existing knowledge and skills are further developed through an in-depth specialisation within an area of one's own field of study. 


Supplementary education


Supplementary education is offered by universities of applied sciences as custom-tailored programmes, which can be realised in accordance with the needs of various companies and organisations. Supplementary education also includes topical theme days, short-form courses, and labour market training open to all. Supplementary education can also be offered in co-operation with other organisations.

Open polytechnic education offers everyone the opportunity to develop themselves and their own professional skills in Bachelor's degree studies. 

Open polytechnics familiarise students with studies at a university of applied sciences and includes studies leading to a degree. Click here for more information on the opportunities offered by open polytechnics.

Vocational teacher training is provided to teachers at universities of applied sciences, vocational schools and adult education centres as well as to those planning on becoming teachers. Instruction is concentrated in five Teacher Education Colleges, which are located in Helsinki, Hämeenlinna, Tampere, Jyväskylä and Oulu. 

For additional information on the educational offering of universities of applied sciences, visit each university's website.