Language and communication studies
All bachelor’s degrees include mandatory language and communication studies. On this page you'll find information about completing them.
All bachelor’s degrees completed at Uniarts Helsinki include mandatory language and communication studies. On language courses, students focus on developing their language skills and expanding their vocabulary in their personal professional field and artistic discipline by talking, writing and listening to the language.
Communication studies help students improve their formal writing and oral communication skills. These studies give students tools needed to communicate their own artistic activities and thinking to others and to participate in discussions in the arts sector.
Language and communication studies in bachelor’s degrees
Students are expected to complete their language studies during their first or second year of studies. If you have gained language skills through previous studies, look into the possibility of credit transfer right in the beginning of your bachelor’s studies.
The language in which you have received your school education defines what language and communication studies you must complete. If you have studied Finnish or Swedish as a first language in comprehensive school and/or general upper secondary school, you have received your school education in Finnish or Swedish.
When you have received your school education in some other language than Finnish or Swedish (international students)
Language and communication studies for a bachelor’s degree (language of education: some other language than Finnish/Swedish):
- Introduction to Finnish, Finnish 1, 4 cr
- Foreign language, e.g. English*, 5 cr
- communication studies, in accordance with your curriculum, 1–5 cr.
* If you have received your school education in English, you are required to complete e.g. Finnish, German or Italian introduction courses at Uniarts Helsinki as foreign language studies instead of English for your degree.
When your language of education is Finnish or Swedish
Language and communication studies for a bachelor’s degree (language of education: Finnish/Swedish):
- Studies in the second official language in Finland, Swedish or Finnish, 3 cr
- Foreign language, e.g. English, 5 cr
- communication studies in the language of school education, in accordance with your curriculum, 2–5 cr.
Foreign language studies
Foreign language studies must correspond to level CEFR B2. At Uniarts Helsinki, studies of suitable level are offered only in English, but you can choose to complete foreign language studies also in Spanish, Italian, French, German or Russian at some other university (cf. JOO studies and KiVANET).
Preparatory study units
If you do not have upper secondary school level proficiency in English (and Swedish if mandatory in your degree), you must first participate in preparatory studies that are offered each academic year. In preparatory study units, students study the everyday vocabulary and basic grammar rules of the language required for participating in standard language courses.
Language proficiency tests
At Uniarts Helsinki, students can receive credits for studies in English, German and Italian and in the official languages of Finland (Finnish and Swedish) by completing a language proficiency test. The language proficiency test for English (and Swedish) consists of a portfolio that the student compiles independently and an oral test. The language proficiency test for Finnish, German and Italian consists of a written and oral examination. If you do not pass the language proficiency test, you must participate in the actual course. Language proficiency tests cannot be retaken.
Portfolios for English and Swedish consist of the following:
- assessment/testing of the student’s language proficiency level
- written assignments that relate to the student’s studies, field of arts and professional field
- oral test.
Credit transfer of language and communication studies
You can apply for substitution of language and communication studies by submitting an online AHOT form that is available on the credit transfer site.
Students may substitute mandatory language and communication studies with their prior studies in accordance with the vice rector’s decision. Credits for the studies are transferred in full, regardless of minor differences in the scope of the studies.
Studies that a student has completed over 10 years ago cannot substitute language and communication studies unless the student proves their language skills in a language proficiency test. Language tests or studies completed at private language schools or at other similar institutions are not acceptable substitutions.
Prior learning that can substitute foreign language studies (in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Russian):
- prior foreign language studies at a higher education institution (CEFR-level B2)
- foreign language studies completed at a university (minimum scope: 25 cr)
- a degree completed in a foreign language at a higher education institution
- grades laudatur and eximia in level A English test in the Finnish Matriculation Examination or International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma (substitutes 2 credits for English language studies).
Beginners’ courses in Italian and German can be substituted with general upper secondary school studies of adequate scope or participation in the Italian/German language test of the Finnish matriculation examination.
Prior learning that can substitute communication studies:
- studies in oral and/or written communication completed at another higher education institution in Finland
- a written thesis project for studies at a higher education institution (substitutes studies in written communication).
Prior learning that can substitute studies in the second national language, Finnish or Swedish (for those who have received their school education in Finnish or Swedish):
- prior studies in the second national language completed at a higher education institution (CEFR-level B1)
- core studies (25 cr) or intermediate studies (35 cr) in the second national language completed at a university
- a degree completed in the second national language at a higher education institution.
Exemption from Finnish or Swedish as a second national language
The requirement of demonstrating one’s proficiency in Finnish or Swedish as a second national language (for those who have received their school education in Finnish or Swedish) does not apply to the following students:
- Students who have not previously completed studies in Finnish or Swedish as a second national language, e.g. students who have completed their comprehensive school or general upper secondary school education in Åland.
- Students who have been exempted from studies in Finnish or Swedish as a second national language already on previous levels of education.
- Students whose language of education is some other language than Finnish/Swedish and students who have received their education abroad.
- Students who have some other special reason that prevents their language studies (a certificate must be attached to the application).
You can apply for an exemption from studies in Finnish or Swedish as a second national language by contacting your home academy’s head of academic affairs (if your language of school education was Finnish or Swedish, excluding students from Sweden): application form. A student who has been exempted from these studies must substitute the credits by completing studies in the second national language in question on a level that is suitable for the student or by completing studies in some other language, as decided by the academy.
Please remember, however, that language proficiency in Finnish or Swedish is required of personnel in public bodies in Finland, which means that in practice, it is often a requirement for being selected for a permanent public-service employment relationship. A student who has been exempted from studies in Finnish or Swedish as a second national language is not able to use their degree to demonstrate their proficiency in the second national language that is required of central government staff in bilingual public organisations.
Optional language studies
Uniarts Helsinki offers beginners’ courses in Italian, German and Finnish, for example. Optional studies may also entail online language courses offered by Uniarts Helsinki or the KiVANET network.
Duo language studies give students the opportunity to learn the basics of an entirely new language or to activate their existing language skills together with another Uniarts Helsinki student. The idea is that students teach each other their own first language or some other language that they know well. Each pair of students plans their studies independently as a duo.
If you have questions about language proficiency tests or substitutions, for example, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Language lecturers provide guidance on course-related questions.