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New degree programmes at the University – see what it's all about!

20.05.2016

The degrees offered by the University of Helsinki are being reformed, with the reform entering into force on 1 August 2017.

The names of the new degree programmes leading to Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees have now been decided.

This reform is based on the Big Wheel project that began in 2014 at the initiative of Vice Rector Keijo Hämäläinen, in charge of education. The Big Wheel will see the current degree structures of the University of Helsinki’s faculties change into new entities, degree programmes. Planning for the programmes continues in the University’s Big Wheel working group, in faculties and departments and in the executive groups of the new programmes.

What will happen to the current degree structures and requirements and why?
Which faculties will the new degree programmes be in?
Can my studies expire?
When do current students have to move into the new programmes?

We compiled a small FAQ package to answer these questions and many others.

If we have neglected to ask or answer something below, please contact our Board or Specialists!

On the progress of the reform in general: HYY Members of the Board Laura Luoto and Maria Loima, Specialist Anne Rautanen, Communications Officer Tapio Reinekoski.

On student’s legal protection: HYY Member of the Board Tarik Ahsanullah, Specialist Anne Rautanen, Communications Officer Tapio Reinekoski.

For more information, you can also contact your own subject’s student representatives (also known as “hallopeds”). Their contact information, categorised by faculty, can be found here: https://www.halloped.fi/en/helsinki/organs.
The new degree programmes’ student representatives and their contact information will also be updated into the halloped.fi website as soon as all representatives have been chosen.


1) How are my studies affected by the reform? Will subjects be discontinued because of the reform? What happens now? Who looks after students’ interests?

The aim of the reform is to create new degree programmes into the University of Helsinki that start at the beginning of the academic year of 2017–18. Instead of the current structure of subjects, departments and faculties, these degree programmes would be based on the different disciplines of the University. After the reform, a degree programme could thus include study units and contents from several current departments or faculties. On the other hand, some degree programmes may be almost identical to the degree structures of current subjects.

In other words, the reform in itself does not pose a threat to the subjects’ future. Instead, the University’s change programme, that is, the internal cuts made because of the huge cuts to universities’ funding, is causing both the Rector and the Deans and Heads of Department to lay off people. The situation is currently the most alarming for subjects that had limited resources to begin with. Even if these subjects would not get their own Bachelor’s or Master’s programme after the Big Wheel has turned, they could still be taught as optional modules or specialisation options. However, this requires that the student representatives chosen into the executive groups of the new degree programmes have the will to defend these subjects and that subject organisations cooperate closely with the representatives.

In the Big Wheel reform working group, students are represented by HYY’s Specialist (educational policy) Janne Lardot. Broad matters of principle and issues such as finalising the new degree programmes are decided by the University’s Academic Affairs Council (ONE) where students are represented by HYY’s Specialist (educational policy) Anne Rautanen. The Student Union has been recruiting new student representatives to the executive groups of new Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes throughout the winter and spring.

2) What are the new degree programmes like?

The new degree programmes are listed at the end of this page. The Bachelor Degrees only have Finnish titles for now; we will post the complete list as soon as it's ready!

Of the new Master's Programmes, 34 will be international and available in English. Check the complete list below!

Starting at the beginning of the academic year of 2017–18, you can apply to the new Bachelor’s or Master’s programmes. You will not have to make a binding choice on any single discipline when applying. Instead, you will be able to choose a specialisation option out of a selection of several disciplines or thematic study modules within the degree programme. Students can also get individually chosen optional studies from other degree programmes’ disciplines and contents included in their degree.

Precise learning outcomes will be drafted in concrete terms for each degree programme, study module and study unit. The descriptions of study units must include their contents, teaching methods and methods used for assessing students. The goal is to get rid of the current vague descriptions such as “after having completed the course, the student knows the basic terms and theories of the field” and replace them with practical information. Each study unit should include a breakdown of what kinds of skills students acquire during the unit and for what purpose – are the skills relevant for later studies or for work duties after graduation.

The schedules and working methods of the new degree programmes must also help students smoothly progress in their studies and study full-time.

3) Is my major going to change? Will my current studies expire?

Current students will get a three-year transitional phase, during which they can complete their studies according to the current degree structures. The degree requirements of the academic year of 2016–17 will be in effect until the end of the transitional phase.

Current students may also choose to move into the new degree programmes to complete their studies. The exact conditions of this move, such as the amount of supplementary studies, are still in the planning stages.

If you choose to move into a new programme, you cannot return to the old degree structure later. If you want to move into a new degree programme and have already completed studies included in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, these studies can be used to replace study units from the new degree programme. An equivalency table will be drafted for each subject at a later point. This table will show the correspondence between study units in the old degrees and study units in the new degree programmes.

Completed degrees will not expire. However, studies that are over ten years old and have not been tied to a completed Bachelor’s or Master’s degree cannot be included into degrees completed according to the new degree programmes.

For those who graduate during the transitional phase, the expiry of studies will follow the current regulations.

The University is collecting information on the progress of the reform, its preparatory work, its schedule and decisions concerning it into Flamma on the following page:  https://flamma.helsinki.fi/fi/iso-pyora.

We also recommend following the websites and notices of the faculties.

If you want to know what the Rector’s decisions or the memoranda of the Big Wheel working group mean in practice, you can also contact your subject’s student representatives or the members of the board or specialists in charge of education policy at HYY.

4) I want to influence the future of my subjects – what should I do?

This is the time to give feedback on the study-related problems that your subjects have. There is power in numbers: together with your subject organisation and student representatives, tell the vice deans in charge of education in your faculties and the chairpersons of the executive groups of the new degree programmes how your studies should be reformed.

Even though the Big Wheel’s goal is to make it more clear what skills students have acquired after completing their degrees and to help students better identify their own skills, these goals can easily remain on the level of rhetoric. This is why students should be actively involved when the new programmes are planned as well as give feedback on how the work has succeeded so far. Cooperation between subject organisations and student representatives is most likely taken into account in the executive groups of the new degree programmes. However, we still recommend gathering the entire subject organisation’s views and support to back up the student representatives acting in the executive group.

The University Management often tell the Student Union that students themselves have not pointed out any problems in the planning and completion of studies, nor have they suggested any improvements. This, however, does not necessarily mean all is well: the “lack” of criticism is most likely due to the students’ worries and problems not reaching the ears of the University Management.

Simultaneously with reforming the degree programmes, the University is laying off its employees and reshaping its administration into a new form, the new service organisation. Any problems caused by the University’s cuts and lay-offs cannot be explained with the changes caused by the degree programme reform or the administrative reform. These reforms cannot be used as excuses for slowing down studies, cancelling teaching and exams or the lack of study counselling.

We recommend you start seeking student counselling right now from the personnel in your own subject’s or department’s academic administration. The academic administration must perform their duties without exception: they must admit new students, offer counselling to students and take care of the administrative tasks related to graduation.

None of the ongoing changes can impede the smooth progress of studies or delay graduation. HYY has collected information from students on the effects of the cuts to the University funding and the simultaneous large structural changes, and it is clear that problems have already arisen. The Student Union hopes that it would be informed of problem situations as frequently and early as possible – either directly or through student representatives.

The new Bachelor's Degrees as of August 2017, names available only in Finnish for the time being:

Biologian kandiohjelma
Bio- ja ympäristötieteellinen tiedekunta
Luonnontieteiden kandidaatti LuK

Elintarviketieteiden kandiohjelma
Maatalous-metsätieteellinen tiedekunta
Elintarviketieteiden kandidaatti (ETK)

Eläinlääketieteen kandiohjelma
Eläinlääketieteellinen tiedekunta
Eläinlääketieteen kandidaatti (ELK)

Farmaseutin koulutusohjelma
Farmasian tiedekunta
Farmaseutin tutkinto

Filosofian kandiohjelma
Humanistinen tiedekunta / Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta
Humanististen tieteiden kandidaatti (HuK) / Valtiotieteiden kandidaatti (VTK)

Fysikaalisten tieteiden kandiohjelma
Matemaattis-luonnontieteellinen tiedekunta
Luonnontieteiden kandidaatti (LuK)

Geotieteiden kandiohjelma
Matemaattis-luonnontieteellinen tiedekunta
Luonnontieteiden kandidaatti (LuK)

Historian kandiohjelma
Humanistinen tiedekunta
Humanististen tieteiden kandidaatti (HuK)

Kandidatprogram i samhällsvetenskaper + socialt arbete
Svenska social- och kommunalhögskolan
Politices kandidat (Pol. Kand.)

Kasvatustieteiden kandiohjelma
Käyttäytymistieteellinen tiedekunta
Kasvatustieteen kandidaatti (KK)

Kemian kandiohjelma
Matemaattis-luonnontieteellinen tiedekunta
Luonnontieteiden kandidaatti (LuK)

Kielten kandiohjelma
Humanistinen tiedekunta
Humanististen tieteiden kandidaatti (HuK)

Kotimaisten kielten ja kirjallisuuksien kandiohjelma
Humanistinen tiedekunta
Humanististen tieteiden kandidaatti (HuK)

Kulttuurien tutkimuksen kandiohjelma
Humanistinen tiedekunta
Humanististen tieteiden kandidaatti (HuK)

Logopedian kandiohjelma
Lääketieteellinen tiedekunta
Humanististen tieteiden kandidaatti (HuK)

Maantieteen kandiohjelma
Matemaattis-luonnontieteellinen tiedekunta
Luonnontieteiden kandidaatti (LuK)

Maataloustieteiden kandiohjelma
Maatalous-metsätieteellinen tiedekunta
Maatalous-metsätieteiden kandidaatti (MMK)

Matemaattisten tieteiden kandiohjelma
Matemaattis-luonnontieteellinen tiedekunta / Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta
Luonnontieteiden kandidaatti (LuK)

Matematiikan, fysiikan ja kemian opettajan kandiohjelma
Matemaattis-luonnontieteellinen tiedekunta
Luonnontieteiden kandidaatti (LuK)

Metsätieteiden kandiohjelma
Maatalous-metsätieteellinen tiedekunta
Maatalous-metsätieteiden kandidaatti (MMK)

Molekyylibiotieteiden kandiohjelma
Bio- ja ympäristötieteellinen tiedekunta / Maatalous-metsätieteellinen tiedekunta
Luonnontieteiden kandidaatti (LuK)

Oikeusnotaarin koulutusohjelma
Oikeustieteellinen tiedekunta
Oikeusnotaarin tutkinto (ON)

Politiikan ja viestinnän kandiohjelma
Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta
Valtiotieteiden kandidaatti (VTK)

Psykologian kandiohjelma
Lääketieteellinen tiedekunta
Psykologian kandidaatti (PsK)

Sosiaalitieteiden kandiohjelma
Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta
Valtiotieteiden kandidaatti (VTK)

Taiteiden tutkimuksen kandiohjelma
Humanistinen tiedekunta
Humanististen tieteiden kandidaatti (HuK)

Taloustieteen kandiohjelma
Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta
Valtiotieteiden kandidaatti (VTK)

Teologian ja uskonnontutkimuksen kandiohjelma
Teologinen tiedekunta
Teologian kandidaatti (TK)

Tietojenkäsittelytieteen kandiohjelma
Matemaattis-luonnontieteellinen tiedekunta
Luonnontieteiden kandidaatti (LuK)

Yhteiskunnan ja kulttuurin muutoksen ja kehityksen kandiohjelma
Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta
Valtiotieteiden kandidaatti (VTK)

Ympäristö- ja elintarviketalouden kandiohjelma
Maatalous-metsätieteellinen tiedekunta
Maatalous-metsätieteiden kandidaatti (MMK) / Elintarviketieteiden kandidaatti (ETK)

Ympäristötieteiden kandiohjelma
Bio- ja ympäristötieteellinen tiedekunta / Maatalous-metsätieteellinen tiedekunta
Luonnontieteiden kandidaatti (LuK)


The new Master's Degrees as of August 2017:

    Alkeishiukkasfysiikan ja astrofysikaalisten tieteiden maisteriohjelma (Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences)
    Alue- ja kulttuurintutkimuksen maisteriohjelma
    Datatieteen maisteriohjelma (Data Science)
    Digitaalisen lingvistiikan maisteriohjelma (Digital Linguistics Diversity in the Digital Age)
    Ekologian ja evoluutiobiologian maisteriohjelma (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)
    Elintarvikealan liiketoiminnan ja kulutuksen maisteriohjelma
    Elintarviketieteiden maisteriohjelma (Food Sciences)
    Eläinlääketieteen lisensiaatin koulutusohjelma
    Elämäntieteiden informatiikan maisteriohjelma (Life Science Informatics)
    Englannin kielen maisteriohjelma (English Studies)
    Euroopan ja pohjoismaiden tutkimuksen maisteriohjelma (European and Nordic Studies)
    Filosofian maisteriohjelma (Philosophy)
    Genetiikan ja molekulaaristen biotieteiden maisteriohjelma (Genetics and Molecular Biosciences)
    Geologian ja geofysiikan maisteriohjelma (Geology and Geophysics)
    Globaalin politiikan ja kommunikaation maisteriohjelma (Global Politics and Communication)
    Hammaslääketieteen koulutusohjelma
    Historian maisteriohjelma
    Ihmisen ravitsemuksen ja ruokakäyttäytymisen maisteriohjelma (Human Nutrition and Food Behaviour)
    Ilmakehätieteiden maisteriohjelma (Atmospheric Sciences)
    Kansainvälisen liikejuridiikan maisteriohjelma (International Business Law)
    Kasvibiologian maisteriohjelma (Plant Biology)
    Kaupunkitutkimuksen ja suunnittelun maisteriohjelma (Urban Studies and Planning)
    Kemian ja molekyylitieteiden maisteriohjelma (Chemistry and Molecular Sciences)
    Kielten maisteriohjelma
    Kirjallisuuden maisteriohjelma
    Kulttuurienvälisen viestinnän maisteriohjelma (Intercultural Encounters and Diversities)
    Kulttuuriperinnön ja kulttuurien tulkintojen maisteriohjelma
    Kääntämisen ja tulkkauksen maisteriohjelma
    Logopedian maisteriohjelma
    Lääketieteen koulutusohjelma
    Maantieteen maisteriohjelma (Geography)
    Maatalous-, ympäristö- ja luonnonvaraekonomian maisteriohjelma (Agricultural, Environmental and Resource Economics)
    Maataloustieteiden maisteriohjelma (Agricultural Sciences)
    Magisterprogrammet i kultur och kommunikation
    Magisterprogrammet i Samhällsvetenskaper
    Matematiikan ja tilastotieteen maisteriohjelma (Mathematics and Statistics)
    Matematiikan, fysiikan ja kemian opettajan maisteriohjelma
    Materiaalitutkimuksen maisteriohjelma (Materials Research)
    Metsätieteiden ja biotalouden maisteriohjelma (Forest Sciences and Bioeconomy)
    Mikrobitieteiden ja biotekniikan maisteriohjelma (Microbial Sciences and Biotechnology)
    Neurotieteen maisteriohjelma (Neuroscience)
    Nyky-yhteiskunnan tutkimuksen maisteriohjelma (Contemporary Societies)
    Oikeustieteen maisterin koulutusohjelma
    Pohjoismaisten kielten maisteriohjelma
    Politiikan ja viestinnän maisteriohjelma
    Proviisorin koulutusohjelma
    Psykologian maisteriohjelma
    Sosiaalitieteiden maisteriohjelma
    Sukupuolentutkimuksen maisteriohjelma
    Suomen kielen ja suomalais-ugrilaisten kielten ja kulttuurien maisteriohjelma
    Taiteiden tutkimuksen maisteriohjelma
    Taloustieteen maisteriohjelma (Economics)
    Teologian ja uskonnontutkimuksen maisteriohjelma
    Teoreettisten ja laskennallisten menetelmien maisteriohjelma (Theoretical Calculation Methods)
    Tietojenkäsittelytieteen maisteriohjelma (Computer Science)
    Translationaalisen lääketieteen maisteriohjelma (Translational Medicine)
    Venäjän tutkimuksen maisteriohjelma (Russian Studies)
    Yhteiskunnallisen muutoksen maisteriohjelma
    Ympäristömuutoksen ja globaalin kestävyyden maisteriohjelma (Environmental Change and Global Sustainability)