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Swedish language requirements

Swedish language requirements

Åbo Akademi University is a Swedish-language university and the majority of our programmes are taught in Swedish. Therefore it is important that all applicants to our programmes taught in Swedish have a good knowledge of Swedish already prior to admission.

The information and deadlines below apply to the National Joint Application Round for programmes in Swedish.

If you are applying to a programme taught in English, please see the information about language requirements in English language.

If you apply to our Master’s programmes in foreign languages and literature, i.e. Finnish, French, German, Russian and English, you will be assessed on the basis of your previous studies of that language. For more detailed information see the programme that you are interested in.

However, studying at the regular Master’s level in English or a foreign language always requires the approval of the department in question. If admitted you will be required to learn some Swedish in order to be able to complete the degree. Knowledge of Swedish will always increase the number of available minor subjects, optional courses and language courses.

Applying on the basis of your knowledge of the Swedish language

With a good knowledge of Swedish you can apply to all programmes and subjects except the International Master’s Programmes taught in English.

There are several ways to prove sufficent knowledge of Swedish:

1. Finnish matriculation examination

The most common way to prove sufficient knowledge of Swedish is through the Finnish matricultation examination. The Finnish matricualtion examination offers three different language tests:

  • The mother tounge test in Swedish. This test is usually taken by those who have Swedish as their mother tounge and/or have completed the Finnish upper secondary school in Swedish.
  • The tests in the second national language (Swedish). This test is usually taken by those who have Finnish as their mother tounge and/or have completed the Finnish upper secondary school in Finnish or Sami. The test is either taken at advanced syllabus level or intermediate syllabus level.
  • The test in Swedish as a second language. This test is usually taken by those who have another mother tounge than Swedish, Finnish or Sami but have completed the Finnish upper secondary school in Swedish.

If you do not fulfill the Swedish language requirements via the Finnish matriculation examination grades as seen below, you need to prove sufficient knowledge of Swedish in another way. See the headlines below for more information.

Results for this springs Finnish matriculation examination

The results from the tests in this springs Finnish matriculation examination need to be available electronically at the latest 18.5.2021 at 15.00 (Helsinki time) in order to be considered in the admisison on the basis of matriculation examination grades.

Finnish matriculation examination completed before 1990

The grades from the Finnish matriculation examination is available electronically from 1990 and onwards. If you have completed your Finnish matriculation examination before 1990 you need to upload your degree certificate to your application, or send a certified copy to us before deadline.

1.1 The mother tounge test in Swedish

You fulfill the Swedish language requirments if you have taken the mother tounge test in Swedish in the Finnish matriculation examination and gotten the grade Approbatur (A) or higher.

1.2 The tests in the second national language, Swedish

If you have completed the Finnish matriculation examination in Finnish and taken the mother tounge test in Finnish, you need to have writtenhave written Swedish as the second national language in order to fulfill the language requirments via the Finnish matriculation examination. The grades needed to fulfill the Swedish language requirments vary by subject. You can find out the grade needed from the table below.

Subject Advanced syllabus level
Intermediate syllabus level
Faculty of Arts, Psychology and Theology
Eximia cum laude approbatur (E) Laudatur (L)
Faculty of Education and Welfare studies

  • Utbildningslinjen för klasslärare
  • Utbildningslinjen för lärare inom småbarnspedagogik
  • Utbildningslinjen för socialvetenskaper
  • Utbildningslinjen för speciallärare
Eximia cum laude approbatur (E) Laudatur (L)
Faculty of Education and Welfare studies

  • Utbildningslinjen för hälsovetenskaper
  • Utbildningslinjen för pedagogiskt ledarskap och utvecklingsarbete
  • Utbildningslinjen för slöjdvetenskap och hushållsvetenskap
  • Utbildningslinjen för klasslärare, inriktning språkbad
  • Utbildningslinjen för lärare inom småbarnspedagogik, inriktning språkbad
Cum laude approbatur (C) Magna cum laude approbatur (M)
Faculty of Social Sciences, Business and Economics Eximia cum laude approbatur (E) Laudatur (L)
Faculty of Science and Engineering Magna cum laude approbatur (M) Eximia cum laude approbatur (E)
    • Utbildningslinjen för farmaci
Eximia cum laude approbatur (E) Laudatur (L)

1.3 The test in Swedish as a second language

You fulfill the Swedish language requirments if you have taken the test in Swedish as a second language in the Finnish matriculation examination and gotten the grade Approbatur (A) or higher.

Note! Those who write the test in Swedish as a second language have a different motehr tounge than Swedish, Finnish or Sami.

2. EB-, IB- or Rp- / DIA-degrees

2.1. EB-degree

If you have completed your EB-degree in 2021:

In order to fulfill the Swedish language requirements you need to have completed the following:

  • Swedish language L1: grade 5,00 or higer
  • Swedish language L2: grade 7,00 or higher

If you have completed your EB-degree in 2020 or before 2020:

In order to fulfill the Swedish language requirements you need to have completed the following:

  • Swedish language L1: grade 4,00 or higer
  • Swedish language L2: grade 7,00 or higer

If you do not fulfill the Swedish language requirements via your EB-degree grades you need to prove sufficient knowledge in Swedish in another way, e.g. by school education language.

For instructions on the deadline to submit your enclosures, see our page on applying with an IB-, EB- or Rp-/DIA-degree. 

2.2. IB-degree

Applicants with an IB-degree can prove sufficent knowledge of Swedish the following ways:

  • Language A, Swedish as mother tounge grade 2 or higer
  • Language B, Swedish, grade 5 or higer
  • If you have an IB-degree from before 2013 you need A1-Swedish with grade 2 or higer, or A2-Swedish with grade 5 or higher.

If you do not fulfill the Swedish language requirements via your IB-degree grades you need to prove sufficient knowledge in Swedish in another way, e.g. by school education language.

For instructions on the deadline to submit your enclosures, see our page on applying with an IB-, EB- or Rp-/DIA-degree. 

2.3. Rp- / DIA-degree

If you have completed an Rp-degree in Finland and in connection to that taken the Finnish matriculation examination test in Swedish (mother tounge test in Swedish, Swedish as the second national language or Swedish as a second language) you follow the same instructions as others. See 1. Finnish matriculation examination above.

If you do not fulfill the Swedish language requirements via your Rp-/DIA-degree grades you need to prove sufficient knowledge in Swedish in another way, e.g. by school education language.

For instructions on the deadline to submit your enclosures, see our page on applying with an IB-, EB- or Rp-/DIA-degree. 

3. School education language

If you have completed your secondary education in Swedish in Finland you meet the language requirements. You can prove your level of Swedish language by submitting your school leaving certificate from upper secondary school or your graduation certificate from basic school. On the certificate you must have passed Swedish as mother tongue. For example if you have a vocational degree from Finland you must submit also a graduation certificate from basic education (grade 9) in order to meet the language requirement. This also applies if you have not passed the mother tongue test in Swedish in your matriculation examinations.

  • If you have completed an IB-, EB- or Rf-examination in Finland you must also send in a copy of your graduation certificate fro basic school. This is not required if you have written Swedish as an A-language (in your IB or EB) or if you have taken a test in Swedish in the Finnish matriculation examinations as expleined in section 1.
  • If you have completed a high school degree within the Nordic countries (in Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Faroese or Islandic) you must send in this certificate in order to meet the language requirements.

3.1. Comprehensive school, basic education year 1-9

You fulfill the Swedish langugage requirements if you have studied Swedish as your mother tounge during comprehensive school, grades 1-9.

To prove sufficent knowledge of Swedish, submit your degree certificate from comprehensive school with your application.

3.2. Vocational education

If you have completed vocational education, you fulfill the Swedish language requirements if your degree certificate states Swedish as your mother tounge. If the level of your studies in Swedish cannot be clearly determined from your degree certificate, you need to prove sufficent knowledge of Swedish in another way.

3.3. Upper secondary education abroad or in English

If you have completed upper secondary education abroad, you need to prove sufficent knowledge of Swedish by submitting your degree certificate from comprehensive school (grades 1-9). Your degree certificate need to clearly state that you completed your mother tounge studies in Swedish. If you cannot prove sufficent knowledge in Swedish by submitting your degree certificate from comprehensive school, you need to prove that you fulfill the language requirements according to options 4-6.

4. Åbo Akademi University’s and Hanken’s joint Swedish language test

Åbo Akademi University and the Hanken School of Economics arrange a joint Swedish language test. The test is arranged for applicants who can not meet the Swedish language requirements in any other ways.

The test in 2021 is arranged on April 17th, 10:00–12:30 in Turku, Vaasa and Helsinki. Applicants sign up for the test by choosing that option when filling out the joint application in studyinfo. Only those applying this spring can sign up for the language test.

Those who have signed up for the language test will receive further information during week 15.

Please note that those participating in the language test are subject to the same security measures as in the entrance exams later this spring. Please read the safety instructions as well as the frequently asked questions.

If you have completed the language test between 2011 and 2020 and have a passing grade the test result is valid also this year and you do not need to take the test this year. Tests completed in 2016 -> are valid for 5 years, older tests are valid for 10 years. Please note that the required score for eligibility might have changed since you passed the test and you must meet the current requirements.

The test has a maximum score of 200 points.The required grade in the language test is 135 except for applicants to technology and natural sciences where the required grade is 100 (exception pharmacy where the requirement is also 135 points).

Signing up to the test is done when applying through StudyInfo. If you need special arrangements during the test, please contact the admissions office by 7.4.2021. More information about special arrangements is available in Swedish.

For more information about the language test, please contact the Centre for Language and Communication at Åbo Akademi University at +358 2215 4365, weekdays between 9.00 – 12.00. Address: Centret för språk och kommunikation, Åbo Akademi, Fabriksgatan 2, 20500 Åbo or e-mail csk-kansli@abo.fi. Examples of the test can be found here.

5. Higher education studies

You can prove sufficent knowledge of Swedish with degree from a univeristy or univeristy of applied sciences, also studies from higer education institutions can be used to prove sufficent knowledge of Swedish. In order to fulfill the Swedish language requirements you need to meet one of the following criteria:

  • You have completed a degree at a higher education instiution where the language of teaching is Swedish
  • You completed your bachelor’s thesis (or equivalent) in Swedish.
  • You have passed a maturity test in Swedish
  • You have completed a degree in Swedish language or Nordic languages
  • You have completed a degree with at least 60 ECTS in Swedish language or Nordic Languages
  • You have received the grade “good” or higher in a a language test or language studies in Swedish, the test/studies need to be part of a completed degree at a higer education instituion.

If you complete your degree in spring 2021, or become eligible for the programme your applying to after the deadline to submit enclosures in studyinfo.fi, you need to submit an enclosure to your application detailing which studies you use to prove sufficent knowlege of Swedish. The enclosure can be supplemented with you degree certificate at a later time. More information on our enclosures page.

6. Language test or certificate

6.1. Language tests from other higer education institutions

If you have passed the Swedish language test at The Swedish School of So­cial Science, Hanken School of Economics or the language test fo studies at a university in Sweden (Tisus – Test in Swedish for university studies). The results form these tests are valid at Åbo Akademi University for the same period of time that they are valid at the instituion where you completed the test.

6.2. National language proficiency certificates

In the National language proficiency certificate: Swedish (fi. YKI: Opetushallituksen yleinen kielitutkinto) you need the following in order to fulfill the language requirements:

  • Level 4 or higher in all parts of the test (speaking and listening comprehension; writing and reading comprehension).
  • You can combine results from different test occasions in order to fulfill the requirements of  level 4 or higher in all parts of the test.

In the Civil service language proficiency certificate: Swedish (fi. VKT: Valtionhallinnon kielitutkinnot) completed after 31.12.2003 you need the following in order to fulfill the language requirements:

  • Oral skills (ability to speak the language): Goda kunskaper eller högre
  • Written skills ( ability to write förmåga att använda skråket i skrift): Goda kunskaper eller högre

Read more about National certificates of language proficiency (YKI) and  comparability between National language proficiency certificates and Civil service language proficiency certificates.

Updated 29.3.2021