Path Studies in Degree Programmes

An alternative route when you are pursuing a degree

As a path student, you will study a specific study programme for one academic year, which means that you study the first year of your degree programme according to the curriculum. As a path student, you can study at the same pace as the other degree students in the group. The scope of studies in lower degrees is 50 credits, and in higher degrees 15 credits and they are typically completed within one academic year. Path studies enable graduation just as quickly as by starting directly in degree studies.

You can complete path studies even if you do not yet have the basic education required for university studies. 

Be bold and find your path!

To whom?

Path studies are for you when:

  • You are pursuing a degree program.
  • You want to make the most of a gap year.
  • You are ready to study intensively for a year.
  • You want to study in the same group for the entire year.
  • You are pursuing entry through an open pathway.
  • You plan to continue your degree program from the second year next year.

Apply for path studies 15. – 28.7.

Enrolment for the path studies opens 15.7.2024 at 9.00 and closes 28.07.2024 at 23.59.


Study places are filled in the order of registration.

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For issues and inquiries, contact

Path to a Degree

After completing 50 credits of degree-specific studies as part of your path studies, you can apply for the right to be a degree student in a separate application for the Open UAS. In this case, you apply for a student on the basis of the Open UAS studies you have completed. In most programmes, 50 credits can be completed during the first year.

Competences required for Path Studies

Path studies can however require some competences, if they are necessary for the success of the studies. You are responsible for ensuring that you have the necessary study skills to complete your studies at the UAS and that you are able to progress with the rest of the group. It is particularly important that you have a good command of the language of the programme.

Good written and oral Finnish language skills (at least the intermediate level of the General Language Certificate, level 4, see the descriptions of the skills) are required to complete the studies. For English-language programmes, a good command of English is essential. Students must be able to follow lessons easily and produce essay answers and reports on the subjects studied. No additional instruction is available for language proficiency.

Also Master's programmes have places for path students

The basic education requirement is an equivalent bachelor’s degree in the field of education in question. If you are planning to apply for a degree programme, please note that you must have at least two years of professional experience in the sector after completing your degree before applying for a degree programme. In Masters’ degree programmes, in order to be eligible to apply for the right to study for a degree, you must have completed 15 credits of open, programme-specific studies. In practice, however, the first year’s studies are usually completed in full.

There are only a few path study places (usually 2-3) per course, so you should register quickly to ensure a place on the course you want.

Path Studying

Path studies are carried out together with degree students, usually following the curriculum of the programme. The actual learning does not differ from degree studies. The path student is a member of the group in the same way as a degree student and can participate in all theoretical teaching. Only traineeships are not yet possible in the Open UAS. It is possible to plan other studies during the traineeship (e.g. optional studies). The path student will receive a study ID which will allow access to the VAMK’s IT systems. Library services are also available for everyone.

As path studies do not lead directly to a degree, there are some differences compared to degree studies:

  • If you are unemployed, contact the Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office) in advance to find out your eligibility for studies and benefits during your studies. It is possible to draw up a personal open study plan for a student that meets the criteria for unemployment benefit (number of credits to be completed).
  • Path students do not receive any study, travel or meal allowances from Kela.
  • Path students do not need to provide any diplomas from their previous studies to the school. These will only be checked after you have been accepted as a degree student.
  • As it is not possible to do a traineeship in the Health Care and Social Services sector during the open studies, the path student does not have to submit the vaccination information requested at the beginning of the studies to the school. They will only be submitted during the diploma phase.
  • In the Open University of Applied Sciences, credit for previous studies is not granted, but only in the degree studies. However, it is possible to take previous studies and knowledge into account when drawing up the personal study plan and when selecting courses and within modules, as determined by the responsible teacher. For a degree, you must apply and be selected as a degree student in either a joint or separate application.
  • Your studies at the Open University of Applied Sciences will count as part of your degree studies if you continue your studies in the same field at VAMK.
Starting your studies

For spring path studies, teaching starts as follows:

About a week before the beginning of the studies, students who have been allocated a path place will receive an email with information relevant to the start of their studies (including the time and place of the course start, links and instructions to the work schedules and learning environments, and instructions on how to obtain a student ID). You will start your studies with a common orientation session, where you will receive useful information about practical learning.

Tuition fees and cancellation policy

The cost is €300/year. The fee can be paid in 1-2 instalments. If for any reason you are unable to attend, please let us know as soon as possible. It is absolutely essential to cancel in advance so that a place can be allocated to a possible reserve. You can cancel your registration free of charge before the start of the course by sending an email to Cancellations notified at a later date will be charged at half the annual fee. Payment of the tuition fee is a prerequisite for participation in the course and for retaining the right to study.