Right to study
Degrees in the University of the Arts Helsinki, duration of studies and applying extension for the study time. Changing, losing, or renouncing of the right to study. Continued right to study after graduation.
In the University of the Arts Helsinki, the right to study for a Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree can only be acquired on the basis of student admissions. The right to study is granted for a specific degree or degrees in a study programme, a Master’s degree programme or in a main subject.
The University of the Arts Helsinki has a two-cycle degree system. First, the students complete an undergraduate degree, the Bachelor’s degree, and after that continue/apply for the right to complete a graduate degree, the Master’s degree. New students are selected for both degree programmes. If a student has earned the right to study for both the Bachelor’s and the Master’s degree, he/she has to complete the Bachelor’s degree before he/she can begin the Master’s-level studies.
A student is, at any given time, entitled to only one right to pursue a degree at the University of the Arts. When a student accepts a new right to pursue a degree at the University of the Arts Helsinki, he/she forfeits any prior right to study at the University. For a special reason, the rector may grant an exception to the rule of one study right.
Degrees in the University of the Arts Helsinki
The University of the Arts Helsinki offers two basic level degrees: the Bachelor’s degree and the Master’s degree. The University of the Arts Helsinki post-graduate degrees are the licentiate’s degree and the Doctor’s degree.
Changing the right to study
A degree student is, at any given time, entitled to only one right to pursue a degree at Uniarts Helsinki. Students who change their right to study will lose their old study right at Uniarts Helsinki after accepting the new study right. On specific grounds, the rector may grant an exception to the rule of one study right.
Students can apply for a change in their right to study within the academy or between different academies. Changing the subject area internally within the Academy of Fine Arts is a simpler process and has its own guidelines.
If the student is already completing master-level studies in the degree programme, it is no longer possible to apply for a change of their right to study for bachelor-level studies. In other words, change of their right to study must occur before the student graduates as a bachelor, or as a master’s student if the student changes to a different master’s degree programme.
The new right to study will be valid from the beginning of the academic term that follows the decision.
Change of degree programme
If the student’s target degree stays the same, the term used is change of degree programme.
If the student applies to pursue a different target degree at a different academy or within a different field of study at the same academy, the term used is internal transfer.
A student’s acceptance of a new study right will be recorded in the national Studyinfo portal. Students who accept a study right through a transfer will lose their potential first-time applicant status in accordance with section 36B(1) in the Universities Act.
Change of study right within the same degree programme (from bachelor to master-level)
In addition, students may apply for a change of study right within their degree programme (from bachelor to master-level studies in the 5-year or 5.5-year programme). The academies provide more detailed instructions on how students apply for a change in their right to study.
Losing the old study right
If a student changes their right to study from the bachelor’s stage of a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree to a three-year bachelor’s degree programme, they also lose the right to study leading to a master’s degree included in the old right to study.
If a student completing bachelor-level studies has completed a university degree or a sufficient amount of studies outside Uniarts Helsinki that qualify the student to pursue master’s studies according to the academy’s admission criteria, it is possible to apply for a change of study right to pursue master’s studies directly. Subsequently, the student will lose the previous right to study towards a bachelor’s degree.
The academies define the requirements for who is eligible to apply in the admission criteria for their bachelor’s and master’s programmes. The same eligibility criteria apply to those seeking to change their right to study, but the applicants will be reviewed as their own separate groups. The heads of admissions can, if they so choose, exempt the groups from participation in some parts of the entrance examination. The academies make the decisions on students’ new study rights.
If the bachelor’s degree of a student applying for a change of the right to study is unfinished at Uniarts Helsinki and the change of the right to study is accepted conditionally, the fixed term for completing the degree in question is on the last day before the new right to study, contrary to the selection criteria for bachelor’s and master’s education.
The number of transfer students is not included in the intake quota defined by the board.
Applying for a change of study right
Students can apply for a change of degree programme by filling in Uniarts Helsinki’s own online form within the application period for bachelor’s and master’s programmes.
Applicants must submit any advance assignments and certificates required for admissions when applying. If required by the academy, they should also submit a motivational letter, preliminary individual study plan for the new degree programme and a statement of the head of the current degree programme concerning the application. These documents must be submitted by the required deadline.
Absence during the first study year
Students who have changed their right to study may register as non-attending during their first year of studies only if the academy has granted them the right to postpone the start of their studies. The right to absence must be applied for in writing on or before the date announced annually by the academy.
Duration of the study time
The start date of studies does not change when students change their study right. Instead, the time that the student has already used is counted in the maximum duration of studies. Students who change their study right will be credited for all their applicable prior studies as extensively as possible.
If the student is admitted to pursue master-level studies based on a bachelor’s degree completed at another university, the master’s degree must be completed in a period of time equal to the normative duration of a master’s degree but not longer.
One study right provision at Uniarts Helsinki and applying for a special permission
According to the degree regulations at Uniarts Helsinki (§ 17), a degree student at Uniarts Helsinki is, at any given time, entitled to only one right to pursue a degree. Students who change their right to study will lose their old study right at Uniarts Helsinki after accepting the new study right. On specific grounds, the rector may grant an exception to the rule of one study right.
Students can apply for a possible simultaneous right to study towards another degree by filling in an application form via the Study info portal (bachelor’s and master’s degrees). The application for the special permission and the necessary documents must also be submitted by the end of the deadline. If the rector grants the applicant the special permission to apply for the right to pursue a second degree simultaneously, the applicant’s application follows the same procedure as applications of anyone else who is applying to a university.
In principle, the applying of a special permission is recommended only in cases where the student’s current degree will be completed during the upcoming academic term at the latest and when they will no longer have a valid study right in the degree programme in question after the graduation. In this case, the student can begin full-time studies in the new degree programme immediately when the potential new study right enters into force.
The right must be applied for by a written free-form application. The application must include grounds for the right to pursue a second degree simultaneously, a plan for the completion of the first degree (personal study plan, i.e. PSP) and a preliminary schedule for completing the new degree. The application must be submitted to the admissions office in connection with submitting an application for the second degree via the Study info portal.
When preparing the decision on the special permission, a representative of the applicant’s current degree programme is asked to give a statement on a possible time frame needed for the student’s graduation from the degree programme in question.
If the rector does not grant the special permission, in principle, it is considered that the applicant’s study right changes. This means that the applicant will lose the previous right to study if the application for a study right in the new degree programme is accepted. In this case, the application will be moved from Study info portal to a list of students seeking to change their right to study internally.
Loss of study right
If a student fails to enrol at the University during the enrolment period, he/she forfeits the right to study. If the student wishes to continue his/her studies later, the student must submit a written application to the Academy for the right to be re-admitted as a student. The student who is re-admitted will be charged a re-enrolment fee of 35 euros. Read more about the re-enrolment.
A student’s right to study ends at the end of the term during which the student has completed his/her degree.
The student loses his/her right to study after the expiry of the study period enacted by Section 41 of the Universities Act, if the student does not apply for or is not granted an extension (Universities Act, Section 43). The decisions concerning a limited study period are made by the Dean of the Academy (University of the Arts Helsinki Rules and Regulations, Section 19).
Duration of studies
The duration of studies is limited for all students who have been granted a right to study on 1 August 2005 or thereafter. The limitation of the duration of studies is stated in the Universities Act 558/2009, sections 40–43. The Universities Act applies to all Finnish universities. A student who has not completed his/her studies within the time appointed or within the extension granted, as well as a student who has not been granted an extension for completing his/her studies, loses his/her right to study.
Students must complete their degree within a certain normative time that has been set for their specific degree. In principle, personal study plans are compiled for the normative duration of studies, and the degree programmes ensure that teaching has been planned and organised in a way that makes it possible for students to complete their degree in the normative time. In principle, tuition fee waivers are awarded only during the normative duration of studies. Statutory additional time can be used if a student does not otherwise manage to graduate within the normative duration of studies.
Bachelor of Arts (Dance) and Bachelor of Arts (Art and Design) degree: Target duration 3 years + 1 additional year
Bachelor + Master of Arts (Art and Design) or Arts (Theatre and Drama) degree: Target duration 5 years + 2 additional years
Bachelor + Master of Fine Arts or Music degree: Target duration 5.5 years + 2 additional years
Master of Fine Arts, Arts (Art and Design), Arts (Dance) or Arts (Theatre and Drama) degree: Target duration 2 years + 2 additional years
Master of Music degree: Target duration 2.5 years + 2 additional years
In addition to the above-listed years of attendance, students can register as non-attending for a maximum of 1 years (= 2 academic terms, which do not have to be consecutive) without shortening their maximum duration of studies. After this, registrations for non-attendance use up students’ maximum duration of studies, unless the absence is due to a so-called statutory reason. The maximum time period of non-attendance for those who have begun their studies before 1 August 2015 is 2 years.
The duration of studies does not include absence due to a service under the Conscription Act, the Non-Military Service Act or the Women’s Voluntary Military Service Act, or due to a leave taken in connection with the birth or adoption of one’s child. As of 1 August 2016, these statutory grounds extend the student’s right to study only if the student registers as non-attending.
If you fail to register, please note that the time during which you have not registered as attending or non-attending is taken into account when counting the duration of your studies.
Applying extension for the study time
The Academies’ academic affairs departments monitor the study periods accordant with the Universities Act and send letters to students whose study periods are coming to an end at the end of the term (31 July or 31 December).The letters are sent well before the end of the term in order for the students to either prepare or, if necessary, apply for an extension and seek student counselling before the end of their right to study period.
How to apply
A student applying for extension must present a target-oriented and feasible plan for the completion of studies, and the application must also include grounds for the delay of the studies and, if necessary, accounts and certificates pertaining to the reasons of the delay (e.g., a medical certificate). The feasibility of the plan will be assessed while considering the student’s current situation and with regard to his/her study programme. More information on how to devise an individual study plan is available at the academic affairs services of the Academies. It is also advisable for the student to discuss his/her progress in his/her current study programme/main subject before handing in the application. At the same time, the student can make sure that his/her study attainment information and credit transfers in the record of credits are correct and also make sure that none of the credits (e.g., thesis plan) are outdated.
Minimum and maximum extension
The study period can be extended by a minimum of one term and by a maximum of two academic years. The duration of studies shall be extended if, on the basis of the submitted plan, the Professor and Dean consider it possible for the student to complete his/her studies in a reasonable time. Special reasons in favour of granting an extension may be illness during the course of the studies or other difficult life situations beyond the student’s control. A second extension can be granted to the student if he/she has shown progress in his/her studies during the first extension. If the student has not been able to complete his/her studies during two periods of extension, the argument for granting a third extension must be very strong (illness, difficult life situation, etc.).
Apply for extension only for the time period when you can actively complete studies. If a student is granted extension, it cannot be postponed for a later time period, and registering as a non-attending student during the extension does not lengthen an already-granted extension.
Losing your right to study
A student who has not completed his/her studies within the extensions granted, or who has not been granted an extension for completing his/her studies, loses his/her right to study. If the student wishes to continue his/her studies later, the student must submit a written application to the Academy for the right to be re-admitted as a student. The student who is re-admitted will be charged a re-enrolment fee of 35 euros.
Renouncement of right to study
The student has a right to renounce his/her right to study. The reason for renouncement of right to study can be, for instance, the need to change the field of study to suit the student better, or that, for some reason or another, the student’s life situation has changed in such a way that completion of a degree is no longer his/her goal. Notice of renouncement is to be given to the University in writing and to be delivered to the academic affairs services of the relevant Academy. Notice of renouncement of right to study is binding and cannot be altered after it has been submitted.If the student wishes to resume his/her studies later, he/she must reapply to the University for admission and participate in the normal entrance examination.
Continued right to study
Uniarts Helsinki has begun granting alumni who have graduated after 1 August 2020 a continued right to study, which gives them the opportunity to complement their studies free of charge at Uniarts Helsinki’s Open University. The right to study will be valid during the academic term in which the student graduates and for the following two years.