The qualification requirements for teaching personnel in Finland are stipulated in the Decree No. 986/1998 and the amendment to the previous degree, Decree No. 865/2005. According to the Decree, the subject teachers in comprehensive schools (grades 7-9, age groups 14-16) and upper-secondary schools (grades 10-12, age groups 16-18) must have taken:
- Master’s level University degree
- sufficient and right kind of university studies in their future teaching subject(s), either as part of their University degree or separately, and;
- Pedagogical Studies for (Subject) Teachers.
At the University of Helsinki, the 60-credit programmes for Pedagogical Studies for (Subject) Teachers are offered in English, Finnish, and Swedish.
The programme in English is called STEP (Subject Teacher Education Programme in English) and it is available to:
- those who have already taken a Master level degree at a Finnish University or abroad. The degrees taken outside Finland must be recognised by the National Agency for Education.The applicants must also have a certificate provided by the National Agency for Education or a Finnish university that he/she has taken sufficient and relevant studies in the subject(s) they are going to teach at schools. This certificate is called an Equivalency Certificate, "opetettavan aineen vastaavuustodistus" in Finnish. It is sufficient for the programme admission to have only one teaching subject of 60 credits for a qualification for the comprehensive school.
- some degree students at the Faculties of Arts and Science at the University of Helsinki.
STEP covers the pedagogical studies for the following school subjects in the comprehensive and upper-secondary schools in Finland:
English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Swedish (as domestic or foreign language), Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics. It is not possible to apply to STEP in other school subjects.
The Programme in Pedagogical Studies in Finnish cover practically all school subjects. In addition, in Finnish there is also a separate Programme in Pedagogy for Adult Education Teachers. More information on these Programmes is offered in Finnish only.
The Programme organised in Swedish cover school subjects in comprehensive and upper-secondary schools but not adult education. More information is available in Swedish only.
The application period for all the programmes is 9 February -5 March 2021. You can find more information on the selection criteria and application procedure, and application form on the Studyinfo pages which is a public, national database for educational programmes in Finland.
More information on the STEP Programme and pedagogical studies:
Instructions for students: Would you like to become a subject teacher?