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Studying languages

University and TAMK

TAMK

Language and communications studies at TAMK

Versatile professional language and communications skills and the ability to face different cultures are more and more important professional skills in the globalising working life. Due to this, all higher education studies include language and communications studies, foreign-language educational material, and international student exchanges. You may also complete your practical training in an international environment.

Table of contents

1. Bachelor's degrees

2. Master's degrees

3. Elective language studies

4. Preparatory language studies

5. Cross-institutional and cross-campus studies

6. CampusOnline

7. Credit transfer for prior language studies

8. Exemption from language studies

9. Retake examinations

10. Final thesis

11. Support for learning

12. International affairs

13. News, links and publications

 

1. Bachelor's degrees

The language and communications skill requirements for bachelor's degrees comply with the European language policy. According to it, every European should have a knowledge of at least two European languages in addition to their own mother tongue. The Finnish degree programmes include language studies in Finnish, English and Swedish. The language studies of English degree programmes diverge from the Finnish degree programmes to some extent.

In bachelor's degrees, the language studies in English are at the level B2.1 – B2.2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), and the studies in Swedish at the level B1.1 – B1.2.

The Government Decree on Universities of Applied Sciences defines the official national degree objectives. You are required to demonstrate that you have attained through studies included in your university of applied sciences degree or otherwise:
1) such proficiency in Finnish and Swedish as is by law (6.6.2003/424) required of state officials functioning in a position requiring a higher education in a bilingual office and that is necessary for practising the profession and for professional development and
2) such degree programme based oral and written proficiency in one or two foreign languages as is necessary for practising the profession and for professional development.

The first requirement means that in a position requiring a higher education degree, you have to have an excellent proficiency in the language of the population majority in the official district (usually Finnish) and a minimum of satisfactory proficiency in the other official language (usually Swedish). Excellent language proficiency is demonstrated with a maturity test in connection with the studies.

A separate statement on the oral and written proficiency in the second official language is included in the degree certificate.

In bachelor's degrees, the proficiency level of language studies is based on the Government Decree and level 6 of the national framework of reference for languages: possesses independent communicative competence in one national and a minimum of one foreign language.

TAMK supports the students' language studies by offering preparatory courses in English and Swedish if needed.

The extent of language and communications studies varies depending on the degree programme. Depending on the degree programme, the studies include one or two foreign languages. The most commonly studied first foreign language is English and second foreign language German. Finnish as a foreign language can be the first foreign language for degree students whose mother tongue is not Finnish.

 

2. Master's degrees

The language proficiency requirements for master's degrees are determined by level 7 of the national framework of reference for languages:

Is capable of demanding oral and written international communication in the field and with those not familiar with the field in the second national and a minimum of one foreign language. This is equivalent to the level C1 of the European Framework of Reference for Languages in English and the level B2 in Swedish. In bachelor's degrees, the language studies in English are at the level B2.1 – B2.2, and the studies in Swedish at the level B1.1 – B1.2.  

 

3. Elective language studies

Elective language studies are offered according to the language programme annually confirmed by the university of applied sciences. You can include elective language studies of 5-15 credits into the degree depending on the degree programme.

If you participate in an international exchange programme in a language area for which language studies are not provided in the university of applied sciences, International Services support your language studies financially.

In addition to elective courses offered by TAMK, supplementary courses of open higher education and the Summer University of Tampere can be included in the elective language studies, as well as courses found through Tampere University Service for Cross-Institutional Studies and CampusOnline.fi portals.

The list below shows all the elective language and communication courses taught in English this year (courses taught in other languages can be found in the Finnish version of this page):

Name Code Teacher Timing Notes
Basics of Finnish N-KV598F-3053 ? Spring 2020  
Basics of Finnish N-KV598F-3054 Hakala, Ella Spring 2020  
Basics of Finnish N-KV598F-3055 Korpela, Kaisa Spring 2020  
Basics of Finnish N-KV598F-3056 Hakala, Ella Autumn 2020  
Basics of Finnish N-KV598F-3058 Korpela, Kaisa Autumn 2020  
Cross-cultural Communication and Global Employability N-00DH77-3005 Abruquah, Emmanuel Autumn 2020  
Each One Teach One NV00CD10-3020 Abruquah, Emmanuel; Annala, Henri Spring 2020  
Each One Teach One NV00CD10-3017 Abruquah, Emmanuel; Annala, Henri Autumn 2020  
English Grammar and Writing N-KV574-3016 Leikomaa, Marianna Spring 2020  
English Grammar and Writing N-KV574-3017 Leikomaa, Marianna Spring 2020  
English Grammar and Writing N-KV574-3018 Tuohimäki, Petri Spring 2020  
English Speaking and Listening NV00CR09-3011 Annala, Henri; Leikomaa, Marianna Spring 2020  
English Speaking and Listening NV00CR09-3012 Annala, Henri; Leikomaa, Marianna Autumn 2020  
German Course at the Level A2 N-KV585S1-3005 Myllymäki, Sari Spring 2020 Also open UAS
School Visits for Foreign Students NN00CM99-3014 Annala, Henri Spring 2020  
School Visits for Foreign Students NN00CM99-3015 Annala, Henri Autumn 2020  

 

4. Preparatory language studies

Every year, TAMK arranges preparatory “bridging” courses in English and Swedish for students whose skill level in one or both of these languages is lower than the level required to start the compulsory language courses for their particular degree programme. The aim is thus to bridge the gap between the student’s current level and the target level. For Swedish, the target skill level is A2–B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR); for English, B1.2–B2.1 on the CEFR. Preparatory language courses belong to elective studies.

The list below shows the preparatory language courses offered this year. Online courses are grouped separately. Preparatory language courses are aimed at all students regardless of their field. Please note that the teaching language in all preparatory courses is mostly Finnish. Please note that all courses listed here are preparatory courses regardless of the name, also online courses.

Name Code Teacher Timing Notes
Preparation studies, English VENGVAL-8-3030 Raimovaara, Riitta Spring 2020  
Preparation studies, English VENGVAL-8-3031 Järveläinen, Kaarina Spring 2020  
Preparation studies, English VENGVAL-8-3029 Raimovaara, Riitta Autumn 2020  
Preparation Studies, Swedish VRUOTVAL-8-3036 Järveläinen, Kaarina Spring 2020  
Preparation Studies, Swedish VRUOTVAL-8-3040 Kerttula, Anne Spring 2020  
Preparation Studies, Swedish VRUOTVAL-8-3039 Salmi, Maija Autumn 2020  
Preparation Studies, Swedish VRUOTVAL-8-3041 Raimovaara, Riitta Autumn 2020  
PREPARATORY ONLINE COURSES:
Name Code Teacher Timing Notes
Basic English Grammar N-KV572-3048 Leikomaa, Marianna Spring 2020 Also open UAS
Basic English Grammar N-KV572-3055 Leikomaa, Marianna Spring 2020 Also open UAS
Basic English Grammar N-KV572-3057 Tillander, Kristiina Spring 2020 Also open UAS
Basic English Grammar N-KV572-3049 Leikomaa, Marianna Autumn 2020 Also open UAS
Basic English Grammar N-KV572-3056 Leikomaa, Marianna Autumn 2020 Also open UAS
Basic English Grammar N-KV572-3058 Leikomaa, Marianna Autumn 2020 Also open UAS
Basic English Grammar N-KV572-3059 Tillander, Kristiina Autumn 2020 Also open UAS
Basic Swedish Grammar N-KV603-3015 Raimovaara, Riitta Spring 2020 Also open UAS
Nätsvenska – Online Prep Course in Swedish NV00CP35-3013 Hanska, Sari; Kerttula, Anne; Mäkelä, Reijo; Sallila, Joni Spring 2020  
Nätsvenska – Online Prep Course in Swedish NV00CP35-3015 Mäkelä, Reijo Summer 2020  
Nätsvenska – Online Prep Course in Swedish NV00CP35-3014 Hanska, Sari; Kallinen, Katri; Kerttula, Anne; Sallila, Joni Autumn 2020  

 

5. Cross-institutional and cross-campus studies

Tampere University and Tampere University of Applied Sciences form together the Tampere Universities community, which offers TAMK degree and exchange students an opportunity to take courses from Tampere University. See the cross-institutional course offer here: Service for Cross-institutional Studies.

 

6. CampusOnline

CampusOnline offers you the selection of online courses by more than twenty Finnish universities of applied sciences. You can select courses from another university of applied sciences free of charge and include these studies in your degree. CampusOnline makes it possible for you to study courses 100% online: simply enrol on courses provided by different universities of applied sciences and complete courses conveniently regardless of time and place – wherever best suits you. See the course selection here: CampusOnline. Enrolment on TAMK courses in the selection is done the usual way through Pakki, and on courses provided by other universities of applied sciences through the form on the CampusOnline website.

 

7. Credit transfer for prior language studies

The university of applied sciences can allow credit transfer for language studies completed in Finnish or foreign higher education institutions. You may also apply for recognition of competence acquired elsewhere regardless of where and how the competence has been acquired. TAMK can allow direct credit transfer for language studies completed in Finnish or foreign higher education institutions within the previous ten years. If the earlier language studies related to a different professional field, the student will need to do some additional learning assignments related to the current professional field of study. The additional assignments are done in line with Finnish Legislation (e.g. Government Statute on Universities of Applied Sciences (2014/1129) and Act on Knowledge of Languages Required of Personnel in Public Bodies (424/2003). To get credit transfer for earlier studies, students must submit the application together with the language study certificate(s) to the teacher of the course concerned before the course begins using the HyväHOT system.

Under the so-called Recognition and Validation of Prior Learning (RVPL) system, students also have the right to apply for recognition of competence acquired elsewhere regardless of where and how the competence has been acquired. To get RVPL credit, the student demonstrates that he/she has acquired the knowledge and skills outlined in the descriptions of the courses covered in the application. The language competence may be demonstrated by, for example, creating a portfolio of work, writing a learning diary, completing an oral and/or written assignment, taking an oral and/or written exam. The language teacher concerned specifies the form which the language demonstration should take. Students should submit the application to the teacher of the course concerned before the course begins using the HyväHOT system.

Further information on credit transfer and recognition of prior learning can be found in TAMK Degree Regulations (20 §).

Credit transfer (prior studies or prior competence) – HyväHOT

Credit transfer for formal learning

1. The credit transfer system applies to all language and communication studies required for any degree programme at TAMK.

2. For students starting a master’s degree at TAMK, Finnish and Swedish language and communication studies included in a previous bachelor’s degree in an equivalent or related professional field can be accredited in full.

3. If a student has demonstrated the required level of language competence for the TAMK degree programme on which he/she is enrolled by completing language and communication studies of the same level (according to the European Framework of Reference for Languages) and with equivalent learning outcomes in an equivalent or related professional field in another higher education institution in Finland (or abroad – see point 5 below), language credit can be registered in full for the current degree programme, regardless of minor differences in extent.

4. If a student has completed language and communication studies in a Finnish higher education institution in a different professional field of study from the one which he/she is currently studying at TAMK, and in these earlier studies has demonstrated a level of competence required for the current degree, the student is recommended to cover possible gaps in his/her professional language and communication competence by completing additional field-specific language studies. The grade(s) originally awarded by the previous higher education institution will be accepted by TAMK without change. The same policies on field-specific communication competence and grading also apply to the domestic languages – Finnish and Swedish.

5. If a student has demonstrated the required level of language competence for the TAMK degree programme on which he/she is enrolled by completing language and communication studies of the same level (according to the European Framework of Reference for Languages) and with equivalent learning outcomes in an equivalent or related professional field in a foreign higher education institution, language credit can be registered in full for the current degree programme, regardless of minor differences in extent.

If a student has completed courses other than language studies abroad, the credit earned cannot automatically be accepted as fulfilling the language study requirements for the degree programme at TAMK. The credit cannot, therefore, be transferred as such. However, if the course(s) included a clearly recognisable language and communication component, and if the learning outcomes match those specified for the foreign language studies of the degree programme at TAMK, an appropriate amount of credit may be transferred as partial compensation for required language studies at TAMK.

6. The head of the degree programme at TAMK makes the decision on credit transfer for formal learning, after taking into consideration the opinions of the language and communication teachers concerned.

Recognition and validation of language and communication competence acquired non-formally and informally

1. Under certain conditions, language and communication proficiency requirements specified for degrees at TAMK can be fulfilled by a so-called demonstration of acquired competence.

2. Students who have non-formally or informally acquired language and communication competence equivalent to the requirements stipulated in the curriculum for the degree concerned, have the possibility to get credit by demonstrating their competence. To do this, the student must analyse his/her existing competence, comparing it in scope, content, and level with the objectives laid out in the curriculum for the target course(s). The demonstration of acquired competence given by the student has to be sufficient, reliable and up-to-date.

3. Language and communication competence can be demonstrated in many different ways; examples are written examinations, language portfolios, learning diaries, learning assignments, essays, interviews, lectures, or a combination of these or other samples of written or oral performance.

 

8. Exemption from language studies

The director of education can grant exemption from all or some language proficiency requirements for a specific reason, such as a dyslexia diagnosis, or if you have completed your school education in some other language than Finnish or Swedish or have completed your school education abroad. You have to complete an equivalent amount of other agreed studies (TAMK Degree Regulations §23).

Application for exemption from language proficiency requirements

 

9. Retake examinations

Students who fail a language course or who wish to improve their grade for a particular course, can normally take part in one of the retake examination sessions organised by TAMK Languages and Communication. The date on which an exam can be retaken is shown in the implementation specifications for each course. Students must enroll on retake examinations through Exams in Pakki at least ten days before the examination (please see the guide on retake examinations).

This year, exams for language courses can be retaken as shown below (autumn exams announced later):

Date Time Place
30.1.2020 16:30-19:30 D1-04
19.3.2020 16:30-19:30 D1-04
16.4.2020 16:30-19:30 D1-04
28.5.2020 16:30-19:30 D1-04

 

10. Final thesis

Every degree programme at TAMK includes the requirement to write a final thesis. The thesis is an independent, self-contained learning project. For the bachelor’s degree programmes, the thesis is worth 15 credits (ECTS cr.), except for the midwifery and nursing degree programmes, where the thesis is 20 credits in scope. The master’s thesis is worth 30 cr. The grade for the thesis is shown separately on the diploma which the student receives on graduation.

The whole process of carrying out a thesis project varies somewhat from one degree programme to another. Students may be required to take part in some contact teaching and seminars, in addition to receiving some personal guidance from a thesis supervisor. The major part of the work, however, is always done independently by the student. Most theses are produced by individual students, but pair work and even group work is possible in some cases, if the scope of the task is large enough. Working methods and requirements are specified in more detail in the regulations for each degree programme.

The thesis topic must be related to the student’s degree programme or field of specialisation. It should help the student to develop into a professional in his/her chosen area of expertise. Thus, the thesis should be closely linked to the needs of working life and should aim to develop in some way the practices, knowledge or skill-base of the professional field which the student intends to enter. Ideally, the thesis is commissioned by a body outside TAMK. Topics are often found during the student’s practical training placement, or in connection with a research, development and innovation (RD&I) project run by TAMK.

The learning goals of the thesis process include developing the student’s ability to search for and access information from different sources, critically analyse and select the information most relevant for the particular purpose, solve problems, draw conclusions, build a logical argument, analyse and develop work practices, and communicate clearly both orally and in writing. The thesis process gives the student opportunities to deepen his/her special expertise and to create contacts with professionals working in the field of interest.

A more detailed description of the thesis process, including instructions about the form and structure of the written report, is provided in Intra, on a page titled Thesis at TAMK. The forms which have to be filled in at different stages of the process can be found from the same chapter. It would also be useful to study the Thesis Report Guide and the Thesis Template. In addition, the Style Guide for Tampere Universities includes plenty of useful information.

Some degree programmes at TAMK run courses and workshops dealing with the thesis process for their own students.

The English language abstract

TAMK theses always include abstracts in Finnish and in English (or another foreign language). The structure of the English abstract is the same as for the Finnish one, but the English version can be shorter than the Finnish – approximately 150-200 words in length. Both versions should cover similar content. The abstract is a concise, self-contained summary in English of the thesis report. It must be understandable in its own terms, without reference to the report itself. The abstract appears in the report on the page following the Finnish version; all the same information shown in the page headings for the Finnish version appears in English above the English version. At the bottom of the page, the same key words and expressions appear in translation.

Tampereen ammattikorkeakoulu

Tampere University of Applied Sciences

Degree Programme in …

Option of …

Where there is a difference in spelling or vocabulary between British and American English, British English should be used (e.g. BrE organisation vs. AmE organization). In the title, the main words (nouns, main verbs, adjectives) should begin with a capital letter.

Waste Management Plan for the Hospitality Trade Fair in 2009

Promoting Young People’s Emotional Wellbeing in Secondary Education

Where structure is concerned, the abstract should follow the following pattern:

1) Introduction: Objective, Purpose

2) Approach/ Methodology: data collection and data analysis

3) Results/ Findings

4) Discussion/ Conclusions

The language of abstracts

Abstracts are written in so-called “plain English”. The language must be neutral and impersonal in style, concise, and clear. It is best to write the abstract directly in English rather than translate the Finnish version; word-for-word translations often sound clumsy, over-complex and contrived. Over-long sentences should also be avoided; they are not reader-friendly and often need to be read more than once in order to be fully understood.

Use of tenses

The imperfect (past) tense is used for the main body of the abstract, but for presenting conclusions and making generalisations, the present tense is preferred.

1) Objective of the thesis (imperfect)

The objective of this study was to gather information about…

The purpose of this thesis was to collect information on…

2) Approach/ Methodology (imperfect or present)

This study was carried out as a project.

The data were collected from 17 paediatric patients and 29 parents.

The data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.

The theoretical section explores…

The empirical part consists of…

3) Results/ Findings (imperfect or present)

The respondents stated that…

The majority of participants believed that…

These results suggest that …

4) Discussion/ Conclusions (present)

The findings indicate that…

Further research is required to…

Furthermore, preventive measures should be adopted to reduce all types of abuse…

To help prevent obesity, strategies are needed to decrease adolescents’ sedentary leisure time…

Accuracy

Abstracts are written in an impersonal style. The use of the passive voice is thus very common, because it allows personal references (I, me, mine, etc.) to be avoided.

More attention has been paid to…

The data were gathered by conducting a survey among customers…

The data were analysed by applying…

Different methods were compared…

In order to keep the style formal, abbreviations are avoided: doesn’t = does not; didn’t = did not, etc.

There is no comma before the word that in sentences such as:

The results show that the respondents were satisfied with the service of company X.

To show possession, an apostrophe and s (so-called s-genitive) are used with people; so-called of-genitive is used with things or ideas:

The customers’ opinions gave interesting information for the new menu of the restaurant.

More information about writing an abstract in English:

Quick Help for Writing an Abstract

 

11. Support for learning

TAMK is fully committed to developing the physical, psychological and social accessibility of teaching and learning so that every individual, regardless of their special characteristics, can pursue a programme of study on an equal footing with everybody else.

Special study arrangements and Learning Support Voucher

Studies do not always go as planned. If students know or suspect that they have some difficulty that hinders learning or some other related need for special need, they should contact their teacher tutor or study counsellor. They will give guidance and advice for example about obtaining an expert report and applying for a Learning Support Voucher.

TAMK has introduced a Learning Support Voucher system, which enables students to get the special help that they may need in order to make progress in their studies. Students who think they need such help must first obtain a report to that effect from an expert (dyslexia report, doctor’s or public health nurse’s report). Once this report has been obtained, the student applies for a Learning Support Voucher by completing an electronic form which can be found in the TAMK Intranet. The printed and signed form, together with a copy of the expert report, is sent to the student’s own counsellor. If the application is accepted, the Learning Support Voucher entitles the student to use up to 20 hours of learning support per academic year; the student requests support from whichever teachers or counsellors he/she thinks can be of most help. The Learning Support Voucher cannot be used by open UAS students or exchange students.

The need for temporary or long-term special study arrangements may be caused by a number of different factors, including the following:
– dyslexia
– other reading disorders
– various neurological problems, such as AS, ADD/ADHD, Tourette’s syndrome
– mental health problems
– sight and hearing-related disabilities
– physical disabilities

The Learning Support Voucher can be used for example for the following special arrangements:
– tailored guidance on planning and organising the studies and time management
– extra teaching or guidance
– extra time to do an exam or complete other graded assignments
– a quiet room to sit an exam
– individualised flexible learning tasks and/or schedules
– use of technical aids or devices
– special consideration in the evaluation procedure (in the case of learning disabilities)
– extra guidance on writing a Bachelor’s or Master’s thesis

Dyslexia and Learning Support Voucher

An up-to-date dyslexia report issued after primary school is always required for the Learning Support Voucher. The diagnostic test for dyslexia must be taken in one’s own mother tongue. At TAMK, it is only ossible to test degree students whose mother tongue is Finnish. The Learning Support Voucher is granted only to students who have moderate or severe dyslexia. If you believe you may be dyslexic but your native language is not Finnish, you should get a diagnosis in your home country, or another country which has the facilities to test you in your native language.

Who to contact

In matters regarding support for learning, always contact both your own language teacher and the responsible language teacher of your field of study.

More information:

Accessibility and special arrangements
Campus accessibility
Learning Support Voucher application (eLomake)

 

12. International affairs

Study and trainee exchange are excellent opportunities to get international and develop one's own cross-cultural competence during one's university studies. Studying and training abroad is mostly funded by TAMK, and every student is entitled to having support for 12 months of studying or training abroad. 

Exchange studies and language certificates

There is more than one way to get credit for your language skills. For example, if you are unable to take part in a compulsory language course at TAMK because you are participating in a study exchange abroad at the time, it is possible to compensate for the missed course by writing a report about your exchange experiences or by producing some other kind of material in the target language. The practice varies on different study programmes and the details are always decided on a case by case basis. So if you are applying for a study exchange, tell your language teachers in advance and discuss possible alternative ways of earning course credit.

At the same time, it would be a good idea to go through your Learning Agreement with the language teacher. Every student who participates in a study exchange makes a Learning Agreement prior to their departure with the international co-ordinator responsible for the study programme concerned. The Agreement shows all the courses which the student will take in the host institution. It is also worth discussing with a language teacher before you go abroad how you expect to develop your language skills during the exchange period, and how you might demonstrate and earn credit for such skills when you return to TAMK. In this way, you can organise your exchange studies so as to meet the TAMK accreditation criteria for language skills. More information in TAMK Degree Regulations (§ 21).

The host institutions normally require a certificate showing that the exchange students that they accept have sufficient skills in the language of the host country or the language of instruction. Your language teachers will provide statements about your language skills, but please make sure that you request these statements in plenty of time before you leave. Print out the TAMK language evaluation sheet and take it to your teacher to complete and sign.

You can also apply for a 150€ worth of support for studying the language of your exchange target country before heading abroad (not English or Swedish).

More information:

International TAMK
Instructions for student exchange
Instructions for trainee exchange

 

13. News, links and publications

TAMK Languages and Communication blog

International Business

Created:
25-02-2019
Updated:
26-05-2020