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Study right and duration of studies

The duration of studies for bachelor and master degrees is limited.

The Universities Act establishes targeted study times for bachelor and master degrees. The targeted study times apply to degree students whose right to complete a degree program commenced on the 1.8.2005 or later.

The study time is calculated from the term you have accepted your study place.

Remember to register either as present or as absent every academic year or term. If you fail to do so, you lose study time. If you make changes in your registration during the term, the status of the entire term is decided by your status on the last day of the term. Please note that in the case you have earned study credits during an ongoing term you cannot change your status from present to absent.

Targeted study times

The targeted study times are the following:

  • Lower university degree (bachelor’s degree): Three academic years (6 terms). You have the right to complete a degree during a time that is maximum one year longer than the targeted study time, that is four academic years (8 terms).
  • Lower and higher university degree (bachelor’s degree and master’s degree): The combined targeted study time is five academic years (10 terms). The exception is our programme in psychology (five and a half academic years, 11 terms). You have the right to complete a degree within a time that is maximum two years longer than the targeted time, that is seven academic years (14 terms), the exception being our programme in psychology where the time is seven and a half academic years (15 terms).
  • Higher university degree (master’s degree): Two academic years (4 terms). You have the right to complete a degree during a time that is maximum two years longer than the targeted time, that is four academic years (8 terms). The exception is the master’s degree in psychology (two and a half academic years, 9 terms).

 

The following are not included in your time to complete a degree:

  • Lawful absence: Absence because of service in accordance with the Conscription Act (1438/2007), Non-Military Service Act (1446/2007), or Act on Women’s Voluntary Military Service (194/1995), or maternity, paternity or parental leave.
  • If you have begun your studies prior to 1.8.2015: Other absence during maximum two academic years (four terms) during which you have registered as absent. The terms of absence do not need to be subsequent.
  • If you have begun your studies 1.8.2015 or later: Other absence during maximum one academic year (two terms) during which you have registered as absent. The terms of absence do not need to be subsequent.

If during your studies you register as absent during a longer period than mentioned above, it will be counted into your time to complete a degree, that is, you are exhausting the terms available for your studies.

 

When the study time is finished?

Extension of the study time

When the study time is finishing you can apply for an extension of the study time if you during the studies have been absent for a lawful reason, but have not submitted certificates of this.

The application for an extension of the study time is done at the Student Service Desk by handing in a certificate proving the lawful absence. You do not need to fill in a specific form.

Lawful absence: Absence because of service in accordance with the Conscription Act (1438/2007), Non-Military Service Act (1446/2007), or Act on Women’s Voluntary Military Service (194/1995), or maternity, paternity or parental leave.

  • Submit the certificate proving the lawful absence in conjunction with registering as absent. This way your study time will be automatically extended with the amount of terms you register as absent.
  • If you did not submit your certificate in conjunction with the registration you can apply for an extension of the study time even later. The application is submitted to the Student Service Desk and a certificate proving service in accordance with the Conscription Act (1438/2007), or maternity, paternity or parental leave is attached to the application. If you for example have been registered as present during the time you have been on parental leave you still have the right to extend your study time.
  • Please note that childcare leave does not give you a right to lawful absence.

Applying for extension

The universities act (558/2009) reads as follows:

The university grants an extension to the duration of studies on application to a student who has not finished his or her studies within the time period referred to in section 41 provided that the student presents a goal-oriented and feasible plan for completing the studies. In the plan, the student must detail the studies to be completed and the timetable for completing the degree.

The duration of studies is extended if it is possible for the student, in consideration of the number and scope of completed and valid studies as well as the lacking studies and any prior decisions on extending their duration, to complete his or her studies in a reasonable period of time. When granting as extension to the duration of studies, the university shall consider the life situation of the student.

If the study time is finished and cannot be extended the way stated above, you can apply for extension to the duration of studies to finish your studies.

Apply for extension to the duration of studies only when you have a real possibility and motivation to finish your studies. This means you do not need to apply for extension to the duration of studies immediately when your study right is finished.

The faculty can upon request grant you extension to the duration of studies to finish your studies. You need to write a plan for the finishing of the studies.

The rector has taken a decision on the principles for granting extension to the duration of studies (only in Swedish).

If you have been granted extension to the duration of studies, but not registered as present or as absent the term when your right to study was finished, you need to make a request for re-entry into the student register. You cannot continue your studies before this is completed.

The application can be done online in the e-form or submitted to the Faculty Office.

Online application

Application for extension to the duration of studies (PDF)

If you want to make sure that your application is processed on time for the autumn term, please fill out and submit the application with an attached copy of the study plan, by the latest on the 15.6.2018.

Extension to the duration of studies

Extension to the duration of studies is always granted for a specific period that can be minimum one term. The life situation of the student is taken into account when granting extension to the duration of studies. Among others the following situations are taken into account:

  • own sickness or a difficult life situation
  • civic commitment during the studies
  • participation in international student exchange and internships
  • systematic sports training on a professional level
  • possibly other especially compelling reasons

The decision is taken by the dean of the faculty.

The student needs to create a targeted and viable plan for the finishing of the studies, taking into consideration the current life situation. The faculty has an obligation to offer the student adequate guidance in order to create the plan.

In the plan the student needs to specify which studies are missing according to the degree requirements and present a timetable for concluding them. The plan for concluding the studies needs to be made so that it for a full-time student includes at least 45 credits per academic year (or what is left in order to receive the degree). When assessing whether or not the plan is viable, it is taken into consideration how the studies were progressing before the student applied for extension to the duration of studies for the first time. If the plan requires for example that the study pace during the extension to the duration of studies becomes considerably higher than before, the student needs to account for the possibilities to complete the studies.

When the plan is created the regulations on when the studies will be out-dated need to be considered. The student will be informed about the regulations and about replacing out-dated studies, even in cases when the student has registered as absent or discontinued the studies.

If the student has study right for both lower and higher university degree and the lower university degree has not been completed within the targeted study time stipulated by the Finnish University Act, the plan should first and foremost be focused on completing the lower university degree, i.e. the bachelor’s degree.

If the student has fulfilled all the studies required for a degree, he or she is granted extension to the duration of studies only to obtain the degree certificate.

The aim with granting extension to the duration of studies is that the degree is completed. Therefore only the courses that can be included in the degree are taken into account when the application for extension to the duration of studies is processed.

A potential negative decision on the application for extension to the duration of studies is given in writing and with an explanatory statement. The student may request a reassessment and instructions are included in the decision. If the decision is negative even after the reassessment, it is possible to make an appeal to the administrative court of Turku. You can also submit a new application for extension to the duration of studies.

 

Updated 11.3.2019