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The Language Centre’s courses and language tests

The Language Centre’s courses and language tests

The Language Centre provides courses in language and communication that are compulsory for your degree. Below is a brief overview of the course offerings from which you can choose as well as the course levels. Detailed course descriptions can be found in the Language Centre’s study guide (Studiehandbok). NB – Course descriptions are primarily in Swedish.

National languages

When referring to levels of knowledge of languages, the following terms are used: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2. These terms are taken from the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages ​​(CEFR). Based on the CEFR scale, A1 is equivalent to the most elementary level of knowledge of a language and C2 to the most specialized level.

Finnish as the second national language

If Swedish was the language of instruction throughout your secondary education, you are required to earn five academic credits in Finnish. The Language Centre offers two options to obtain the compulsory level in Finnish required for a degree: a faculty-specific language test or attending a course. You may take the language test provided you have a good knowledge of Finnish. If you assess your skills in Finnish as being insufficient, you may choose to take the course instead.

A preparatory course is offered for those who need to practice their knowledge of Finnish. If you are unsure of your level, you can take a self-test upon beginning your studies at Åbo Akademi University. The test results will help guide you in your choice of studies in Finnish.

Swedish as the second national language

If Finnish was the language of instruction in your secondary education, you are required to earn five credits through the course Svenska som andra inhemska språk (Swedish as the second national language). Those having a very good knowledge of Swedish may earn the five credits upon passing an exemption examination that is arranged at the beginning of the course. Anyone wanting to study Swedish further may participate in an elective course at a higher level.

Swedish and Finnish as foreign languages

Exchange students, researchers and other international students at Åbo Akademi University have the opportunity to learn Swedish and Finnish by participating in the Language Centre’s courses in both languages. Courses in Swedish are offered from level 1 to level 4; courses in Finnish are offered at levels 1 and 2.

Foreign languages

At the Language Centre, we usually offer courses at four levels. Level 1 is the beginner level and level 4 is a specialized level where you learn to communicate professionally in the given foreign language. Level 4 studies in a foreign language are required to earn a degree. You can choose to take courses in foreign languages ​​at the Language Centre according to your needs, interests and opportunities. We provide the following courses:


As everyone in practice has a good knowledge of English, the Language Centre offers only two types of courses. The most common are level-4 English courses offered in many versions (i.e. faculty/department specific) each academic year and which are adapted to fit into the schedule of all bachelor-degree programmes. Those having a weaker knowledge of English can enrol in a preparatory course prior to taking the level-4 course.

French, German, Spanish

You can take courses in French, German, and Spanish at levels 1–4 depending on your previous knowledge of the given language. Any of these ​​can be the compulsory level-4 language included in your degree. Regarding German, you also have the opportunity to take courses with an emphasis on language used in a work/professional environment at levels 2 and 3. The range of courses is different in Turku and Vaasa.


The Language Centre provides Russian at levels 1–3. Upon completion of level 1, you will be able to manage simple everyday communication in a Russian-speaking environment. Upon completion of Russian level 3, you will possess an advanced knowledge of the language. The range of courses is different in Turku and Vaasa.


For certain degrees, studies in Latin are compulsory at the graduate level. The Language Centre offers Latin 1 and Latin 2. Since the teaching of Latin is based mainly on texts, it is possible to take the courses remotely. If you want to study Latin beyond the courses mentioned, you can contact the Faculty of Arts, Psychology and Theology. It may be possible for you to arrange such studies to be counted as part of your subsidiary subject.

Other languages

The Language Centre collaborates with universities in both Turku and Vaasa and as a student of Åbo Akademi University, it is possible for you to apply to participate in their language courses. NB – The level, name and scope of a course may differ from that used at Åbo Akademi University.

Academic writing

All undergraduate-degree studies include a compulsory course in academic writing offered in Swedish (i.e. Akademisk framställning) which includes studies in working life communication and academic writing. You will also receive feedback on the language of your bachelor’s thesis.

If you are studying for a master’s degree in economics, either a course in academic writing in Swedish or an equivalent course in English is included in your studies.

Updated 7.2.2023