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Masters Degrees in Finland

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A Masters in Finland can be a great choice for adventurous international postgraduates looking for a unique study abroad experience in Europe. And, with historic universities and a good chance of paying no fees for your Masters, the country has plenty to offer.

Masters Study in Finland - Key Details
Universities 36
Oldest University University of Helsinki (1640)
International Students 24,168
Course Length 2 Years
Typical Fees (Domestic / EU) None
Academic Year September to June
Read more about Masters Study in Finland

Why study in Finland in 2020?

Finland’s clean and safe cities, pristine wilderness and high quality of life make it a great destination for Masters study.

Though slightly less well-known than its Nordic neighbours, Finland boasts several universities with an excellent track record. The higher education sector in Finland has considerably expanded the number of postgraduate programmes in English to attract international students.

Here are just a few reasons why you could consider studying a Masters in Finland:

  • No tuition fees - If you’re an EU / EEA national, higher education is completely free!
  • Relatively low cost of living - Compared to other Nordic countries, Finland is less expensive to live in. This means you can experience the famous Nordic model of living without worrying too much about your bank balance.
  • Academic freedom - Finland is rightfully proud of its egalitarian society, and this is reflected in a higher education sector that emphasises the importance of co-operation and academic independence.
  • Research and development - Universities of applied sciences in Finland maintain close links with local industry, allowing you to put your skills into practice.

For the latest information on the impact of coronavirus on studying a Masters in Finland, please read the Finnish National Agency for Education COVID-19 guidance page. Here you can find updates on travel and education restrictions.

Finnish universities

Finland has two types of higher education institutions where you can undertake Masters degrees: 13 universities and 23 universities of applied science (UAS).

All degrees, including Masters degrees, are awarded ECTS credits. Universities follow the Bologna three-tier system: Bachelor (three years), Master (two years), Doctorate (four years).

Universities of applied science are more focused on vocational training and applied research. As such, their Masters are a little different than in universities and last one to one and a half years. In addition, they can only be accessed upon completion of a Bachelors and three years of professional experience.

Finnish university rankings

The success of Finnish universities in global rankings is one way to measure the quality of its research and training opportunities. Several Finnish institutions feature in academic league tables for 2020.

Top 5 Finnish Universities in 2020
University THE 2020 QS 2020 ARWU 2019
University of Helsinki =96 107 63
Aalto University =184 134 301-400
University of Oulu 201-250 374 301-400
University of Tampere 251-300 =395 501-600
University of Eastern Finland 351-400 =498 401-500

Finnish Masters courses

Masters degrees offered by Finnish universities are always two years in duration. Degrees at universities of applied science can be shorter, due to the fact that students must have significant professional experience before starting these courses.

As in other European countries, credits are gained through a mix of compulsory / core courses and optional courses or activities. Teaching for Masters degrees is delivered face-to-face or virtually through lectures, seminars, tutorials and practicals, as well as language courses or a period of internship. Assessments are based on coursework, exams and a final dissertation.

How to apply

The Finnish academic year begins in September, but the application period for Masters programmes in Finland is generally from November through to February / March (though in some cases it may close as early as the end of January). The exact dates may vary from one university to another, or even within one single university, depending on the Masters programme in question.

Entry requirements

Masters applicants should hold an undergraduate degree (three years minimum). For UAS Masters, you will also need three years of professional experience. If you already hold a higher education qualification from a country other than Finland, your eligibility is decided based on:

  • Your academic performance
  • Language skills: English or Finnish / Swedish if you are opting to pursue a Masters in one of the country’s official languages
  • Other faculty-specific requirements, if applicable

Application process

Both kinds of universities in Finland use the free system for Masters applications (the Finnish equivalent of UCAS).

Working after your Masters

Universities have career services that can advise you on employment opportunities. They will have local knowledge of the labour market in Finland and in the Nordic region so if you intend on staying after your studies, it is worth talking to them.

Whether or not you need a visa to work in Finland after your Masters depends on your nationality:

  • EU and EEA citizens are free to live and work in Finland without restriction
  • Non-EU / EEA nationals can apply for an extended residence permit that grants them a year to look for employment after graduation

You can find out more about applying for an extended residence permit on the Finnish Immigration Service’s website.

Frequently asked questions

How much does a Masters in Finland cost?

EU, EEA and Swiss students can currently study a . Other international students will pay between €8,000 and €18,000 for an English-language Masters programme.

Do I need a visa to study in Finland?

If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss national, you don’t need a . Other international students should apply for a residence permit for studies once they’ve received an offer from a Finnish university.

Can I work while studying in Finland?

EU, EEA and Swiss nationals can during their Masters in Finland, while citizens of other countries can work for an average of 25 hours a week during term time (or unlimited hours during the holidays).

Do I need health insurance during my studies in Finland?

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is valid for EU and EEA nationals, but other international students will need to take out private when applying for a residence permit.

Finnish university cities

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