Starting your studies at Tampere Universities
Want to know what happens once you eventually get here? We have listed here the main things about how to get started successfully. Remember, also tutor students and your peers will be happy to help with everything even before you get here.
Studying in a Finnish university might differ quite a lot from what you are used to. Below we have collected information explaining some of the central issues and characteristics of studying at the university community.
Hierarchy in Finnish universities is usually very low and the relationships between students and teachers are very informal. Most teachers and other staff often invite you to call them by their first name. Teachers may also surprise you by asking about your private life and share your joys and sorrows quite openly. Finns respect privacy, so if you confide in them, your secret is safe.
The Finnish system of academic education gives students a lot of freedom in planning and scheduling their studies. This requires you to be good at scheduling. We trust you to progress successfully in your studies and take responsibility. This does not mean that you are on your own, as the academic and administrative staff are there to support you.
We encourage our students to participate actively in learning situations: ask questions and comment, state your case and argue your point of view. Active conversation doesn't come naturally to everyone, so remember to give room to other students' views as well.
Finns are very strict about cheating and fraud, and this is no different in universities. Our values are based on high ethics, openness and equality. We wish our students to adhere to good scientific practice and good artistic practices and we have guidelines for handling misconduct. If you cheat in exams or in written assignments, there is no room for negotiations. You are removed from the exam room immediately and your course is failed. The matter is never taken lightly and may result in a temporary dismissal.
Credits and grades
One Finnish credit is equivalent to one ECTS credit. ECTS is a credit system designed to make it easier for students to transfer credits within the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). For more information, please see the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS).
- 1 ECTS credit = about 27 hours of work
- 1 ECTS credit = 1 opintopiste, abbreviation: op (in Finnish)
ECTS credits reflect the course workload in relation to the workload of a full academic year, consisting of lectures, practical work, seminars, independent study (in a laboratory, library and at home), examinations and other assessment activities. In ECTS, 60 credits (1,600 hours) represent a full workload for one academic year (30 ECTS credits per semester).
Tampere Universities use a grading scale from 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest grade. Completed study units counted towards your Bachelor’s or Master’s degree may be assessed on a scale of pass / fail basis. If the completion of a study unit is approved, a grade is provided unless there is specific reason not to do so. Our scale corresponds to the ECTS scale as follows:
Tampere Universities grade
|5||A||Excellent, in Finnish erinomainen|
|4||B||Very good, in Finnish kiitettävä|
|3||C||Good, in Finnish hyvä|
|2||D||Satisfactory, in Finnish tyydyttävä|
|1||E||Sufficient, in Finnish välttävä|
Tampere University academic calendar
The academic year at Tampere University is divided into two semesters consisting of two periods each.
Autumn semester 2019 (19 Aug - 20 Dec)
- Welcome Week: 19 Aug - 23 Aug
- Teaching period I: 26 Aug - 13 Oct
- Teaching period II: 21 Oct - 20 Dec
Spring semester 2020 (2 Jan - 31 May)
- Teaching period III: 7 Jan - 23 Feb
- Teaching period IV: 2 Mar - 31 May
No classes or exams will be arranged on the following days:
- Independence Day on 6 December
- Christmas break on 23 December 2019 - 6 January 2020
- Easter break on 8 - 14 April 2020
- May Day on 1 May 2020
- Ascension Day on 21 May 2020
Facilities at the University
- Tampere University operates at three campuses in Tampere: City Centre Campus, Hervanta Campus, Kauppi Campus.
- Student restaurants at each campus serve lunch at a student price. Remember to show your student card.
- Tampere University Library operates in all three campuses. Tampere University library is an open academic library that offers numerous services, including short orientations in English at the beginning of both semesters. During the Welcome week, you will get useful information on the library services and electronic resources.
- IT Helpdesk operates at each campus
- Tampere University Language Centre is located in two campuses, City Centre campus and Hervanta campus
- SportUni provides high quality and versatile sport services for students and personnel of Tampere Universities. You can use three campuses’ services for just one affordable fee.
- Recycling Room is located at the City Centre Campus, Main Building, E Wing, room 105. Here you can find things that are still in good condition, such as dishes or cleaning equipment.
Check-list for New Degree Students at Tampere University
- Accept your study place
- Apply for residence permit if necessary
- Arrange health insurance and travel insurance
- Reserve accommodation
- Pay the Student Union membership fee (for University students)
- Register as present or absent (first year students may register absent only on statutory grounds)
- Familiarise yourself with the programme curriculum and teaching timetables for autumn 2019
- Take part of the Welcome Week
Tampere University students
Your studies at Tampere University start with the Welcome Week, organised during 19 – 24 August. The Welcome Week includes useful information on the content and planning of your studies, practical arrangements of studies at Tampere Universities, services available to students and activities offered by our many student clubs and associations. In addition to getting important information which will help you get started in your studies, during the Welcome Week you will also get to meet your student group for the first time as well as start to get to know your teachers. The Welcome Week is mandatory for all new degree students.
The Welcome Week schedules of both campuses have now been published in the Guidebook app. All new degree students have received an invitation to download the app by email. The full Welcome Week programmes are available in our Student's Guide.
After the Welcome Week, your orientation to studies at Tampere University will continue with introductory studies. The introductory studies, the title and content of which may vary slightly by programme, will include more detailed information on how to plan your studies, how to study and work efficiently at Tampere University, a closer look at library facilities as well as an introduction to career planning and working in Finland. For more detailed information on the specific content of your introductory studies, please see the study guide of your programme.
All degree programmes have a curriculum which includes information on the degree requirements and the courses which are included in the degree. In many programme curricula, there is also room for your own choices among given options according to your interests and professional goals. Thus, you will need to plan your studies carefully. This does not mean that you will need to face your choices alone. Tampere Universities offer various services and tools which are designed to help you with planning your studies and with any choices or challenges you may be facing.
Tampere University students
Your studies at Tampere University start with an orientation period which begins with the Welcome Week and continues during the introductory course included in your degree programme. You can find more details on the orientation to studies above. Studying at Tampere University may differ from your earlier study experiences even if you have a previous University degree. Your introductory studies aim at familiarising you with the study environment, supporting you in planning your studies and learning about the practices of studying at the university as well as providing you with a support framework which allows you to start your studies efficiently.
Personal study plan
At the start of your studies, you will make a detailed study plan for your degree studies at Tampere University. This plan is referred to as your personal study plan, PSP in short or HOPS in Finnish. The personal study plan is made either in an online tool or as a paper document, depending on which campus you study in. In the personal study plan, you will describe the studies needed to complete your degree, the order in which your studies will progress and the schedule for your studies. The personal study plan is planned on the basis of the curriculum and your personal goals. The plan is prepared so that it supports the smooth progress of your studies as well as your own well-being. You will make the plan together with a study coordinator or teacher tutor, who will also approve your study plan. Although you will plan your whole degree at the start of your studies, your personal study plan can and should be updated during your studies.
There are many forms of study guidance available to a new student at Tampere University.
When you arrive in Tampere, your student tutor is available to help you with practical matters as well as study-related questions. In many programmes, a teacher tutor will also provide guidance, starting from the very beginning of your studies and continuing throughout your studies. More information on tutoring is available below.
The study coordinator of your degree programme in the Faculty will contact you when you are admitted to the university and remain as your primary contact in any questions related to your degree before arrival and throughout your studies. For example, the study coordinator can help you with the recognition of previous studies. You can also talk to the study coordinator of your degree programme if you are facing any concerns or challenges during your studies.
In addition to the Faculty, general student counselling services are also available on all campuses. The student counsellor and study psychologist provide assistance if you feel you need to talk to someone about your studies and plans in general or work for example on your study or time management skills. The University career services are available to help you in questions related to the working life and career planning.
The degree requirements, courses and course contents of each programme are described in the study guide or curricula guide.
You can find the curricula and courses of the degree programmes offered at the Hervanta campus in the Hervanta campus study guide. The degree programmes in the fields of technology and architecture are taught at the Hervanta campus.
The curricula guides of the programmes offered at the city centre and Kauppi campuses include all other fields. Please note that these curricula guides include only the 2018-19 requirements; new 2019-20 curricula guides are forthcoming.
Tutoring is part of the initial study guidance offered at the Tampere University community. Student tutors are older students from previous cohorts who are trained to help new students on arrival and during the first year of studies. Their job is to help you in the practical matters of moving to Tampere and in settling into university life here. Your tutor may be able to meet you on arrival to Tampere and with finding your housing. During the first weeks, your student tutor can help with registrations and sign-ups and show you around campus. Your student tutor is often a student studying in the same field as you, making them the perfect expert to tell you about studying in your programme. They also provide a good contact to student associations, and organise many activities that will help you meet new people and find your place in the university community.
You will be assigned a student tutor during the summer and they will contact you by email. Your tutor will be working with a tutor pair or a group of tutors. There will usually be 5-15 other new students in your tutor group, all new students in your degree programme, making your tutor group an important source of peer support.
Your tutor group will be most active during the orientation phase but most tutor groups continue to meet throughout the first year of studies. Tutors are also available to answer questions throughout the academic year.