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As a student at Tampere Universities

University and TAMK

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.

Study culture

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 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 schedule your work efficiently. We trust you to take responsibility and progress successfully in your studies. 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 University uses a grading scale from 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest grade. Completed course units counted towards your bachelor’s or master’s degree may be assessed on a scale of pass/fail basis (in Finnish: HYV/HYL). If the completion of a course 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 University

 ECTS Grade       Definition 
        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

Academic calendar 2020-21

The academic year at Tampere University is divided into two semesters consisting of two periods each.

Autumn semester 2020 (1 Aug - 20 Dec)

  • Welcome Week: 17 Aug - 20 Aug
  • Teaching period I:  24 Aug - 11 Oct
  • Teaching period II: 19 Oct - 6 Dec

Spring semester 2021 (4 Jan - 12 May)

  • Welcome Week: 4 Jan - 8 Jan
  • Teaching period III: 11 Jan - 28 Feb
  • Teaching period IV: 8 Mar - 12 May

No classes or exams will be arranged on the following days:

  • Independence Day, 6 December
  • Christmas break, 23 December 2020 - 10 January 2021
  • Easter break, 31 March - 6 April 2021
  • May Day, 1 May 2021
  • Ascension Day, 13 May 2021

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 on 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.

Exceptional study arrangements caused by COVID-19

During spring 2020, following national legislation and regulations given by Finnish authorities, all teaching was moved from on campus to online. Most courses, with only some exceptions requiring for example lab work, continued online throughout the spring semester. During autumn 2020, the University will gradually return to on campus teaching. However, during the first study period, most lecture courses will still be organised online. Practical arrangements will vary by proramme and course. Tampere University will continue to adhere to the instructions and guidelines provided by the public authorities in all arrangements.

The University support services have provided information and tips to support students' studies online during spring 2020. This information will also be useful for a new student preparing to start studies in autumn 2020. The IT services has provided practical instructions on distance learning. You may also read on distance learning study skills, information provided by the University study psychologists.