Interested in Open University studies?
The Open University is for everyone. You can attend courses regardless of your background or age. You can take individual courses or complete an entire study module.
Please note, however, that some courses have prerequisites. These are mentioned in the course descriptions.
Studying at the Open University gives you opportunities to:
- learn more about studying at university level and about the fields of study available
- enhance your professional skills and the general skills needed in the workplace
- gain a scientific perspective on phenomena and matters of current interest
- aim for a degree by taking courses which may be counted toward a university degree later
- become a degree student through the Open University route
- expand your degree with a minor
Whom are open studies designed for?
At the Open University, you can complete entire modules (in technology, or in economics and business administration), individual courses (technology, arts, economics/business admin.) or language and communication studies.
If you can’t find a particular course from the Open University selection, check out Aalto University’s non-degree study options, especially if you have taken studies in the subject previously.
Course registration takes place through the Sisu system. You do not need an Aalto username to register on Sisu. Links to the registration page are available on every course description page. Payment of course fees occurs when registering. If you have a company credit, for example, you can make the payment at this stage. Employees may also pay and then seek compensation from their employer separately. Someone other than the participating student may also make the payment.
Please note: course participants must confirm their registration and prove their identity using the link in their registration receipt. Places on the course cannot be reserved in advance; places are given in the order of registration on a first-come-first-served basis.
Open University studies give opportunities to raise the professional skill level of your organisation’s members through courses, modules (economics and business administration, technology) and language and communication studies.
Course registration takes place through the Sisu system. Sisu does not requires an Aalto user account, and all course description pages have links for direct registration. Payment of course fees occurs when registering. A company or organisation credit card, for example, can be used to make payment at this stage, or employees may seek compensation from their employers separately.
Payment may also be made by someone other than the student. Please note: students must confirm their registration and prove their identity using the link in the registration confirmation they receive. Places on the course cannot be reserved in advance; places are given in the order of registration on a first-come-first-served basis.
Upper secondary students have many opportunities for getting to know Aalto, including:
- Taking basic courses to learn about the disciplines available at Aalto
- Taking language or communication studies
The Open University gives upper secondary and vocational students the chance to try out university studies in business, arts and technology. The courses provide a great opportunity to get an inside look at studying in an academic field, and they help with planning a future path of studies.
Studies completed at the Open University may entitle you to become a degree student at Aalto University. When you have completed the courses in the given Open University route, you may apply to study either economics and business administration or technology as an Aalto degree student. Please note: The School of Arts, Design and Architecture does not have an Open University route.
Please note that the Open university route is only available in Finnish and you can only apply to our Finnish programmes. If you do not speak Finnish, please read more about the University Pathway programme.
Open University studies provide a basis for applying to bachelor’s programmes only. Master’s programmes are unavailable at the Open University; to apply for them, follow the master’s level admissions procedure. For the master’s level, you need to apply to a specific degree programme. To do so, you should first familiarise yourself with the criteria for applying to the programme you want. All of the options available for applying to Aalto University programmes can be found at the study options link.
After acquainting yourself with the study options, you can decide whether you need extra competencies for applying to a degree programme. Then you can consider whether the Open University offers something that might be beneficial for your application.
The Open University enables:
- various study options, including completing an academic minor(s)
- options for completing studies across multiple disciplines
Open University for Aalto University degree students
During summer, some Open University studies are available free of charge to Aalto University degree students. At other times, the courses are paid courses for Aalto Students and for students of other educational institutions.
Open University course completions are entered into Sisu, so if you are an Aalto University degree student, any Open University studies you complete will be shown in Sisu in the same place as other course completions. If a course that you complete through the Open University is equivalent to one in your degree, you can include the course in your degree.
Open University for students of other higher education institutions
If you have completed courses at a higher education institution other than Aalto, approval of the courses is always decided by that institution. It’s worth checking ahead of time whether a Open University course would be suitable for your degree.
You can request an official transcript of records of the studies you have completed. Higher education institutions often require course descriptions of completed courses before they can transfer credits for them towards a degree. In most cases, it is usually enough if you find the course description for the course in question. If you don’t have it, go to the page for past course descriptions and check under the relevant term and year.
As Open University education is not covered by the flexible study-right agreement (JOO), you register for Aalto’s Open University courses by following the normal registration practice.
You can take studies according to what interests you. There is a wide variety of courses and themes, so you can choose what suits you best. When you explore the Open University, you may find:
- a new hobby (for example, a new language or a communication course)
- new experiences, friendships and a more well-rounded education
- learning for all ages!
Quick guide to studying at the Open University
Read here how your studies at the Open University will proceed, from choosing your course to receiving your final grade.
I have never studied at the Open University, but I would like to. What do I do?
The Aalto University Open University is open to everyone regardless of age and educational background. First off, think about your own goals. Do you want to take individual courses, complete a study module, or eventually become a degree student at Aalto University through the Open University route?
Then check out our quick guide.
I applied to Aalto University through the joint application procedure, but wasn’t admitted. How can I further my studies with the Open University?
Open University studies allow you to earn various parts of a university degree. You may take individual courses or complete study modules in different subjects.
Credits for open university studies may be transferred to a university degree at a later time. The decision on the credit transfer is made by the institution that grants the degrees.
For example, the field of business allows you to take courses included in the Fundamentals of Business Knowledge module, which is taken most often by degree Aalto School of Business students in their first year of studies. You can take the courses in any order you wish. You can also take language courses or other courses you would like to include in your future degree. All credits for business courses you have taken at the Aalto University Open University may be transferred to your Bachelor or Master of Science (Economics and Business Administration) if you later gain admission to the Aalto University School of Business as a degree student.
Also, those who have pursued studies in the field of technology at the Open University have the possibility to be admitted into an Aalto University degree programme in technology without an entrance examination and regardless of their educational background, provided they meet the requirements.
Please note that the programme is not available in English. If you speak English, you might be interested in the Pathway programme.
If you need personal advice about studies, you can book an appointment with one of our student advisors ([email protected])
Where can I find information on Open University courses?
For the most up-to-date information on the courses offered each term, please see our course list.
Do lectures have a minimum attendance requirement?
Basic courses do not necessarily require attendance. However, some courses (such as most language courses) do require regular class attendance or allow very few missed classes. Courses that are based on in-class assignments naturally require attendance; also exercise sessions related to some courses may be compulsory. To make sure you know the requirements, you should always attend the first lecture of any course.
The courses of the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture usually require an 80% attendance rate.
Where can I get advice about studies?
You can call us during our telephone service hours or email us at avoin(at)aalto.fi.
Can I study alongside work?
Yes you can. Open University courses are usually organised in the evening (or on weekends), so you can easily attend classes after the workday. Course places in the spring and autumn are also offered to degree students at the Aalto University schools on weekdays between the hours of 8.00 and 20.00.
Are Open University students eligible for student discounts?
Since studying at the Open University is considered part-time studying, our students are not eligible for the state-paid financial aid for students (study grant aid or student loans) or for any discounts or benefits given to full-time students.
Can I study at Open University without losing my unemployment allowance or labour market subsidy?
Studying while unemployed and receiving is possible under certain conditions. You must first agree on the matter with the employment office (TE services; Job Market Finland). For more information, see https://tyomarkkinatori.fi/en
Can I get an adult education allowance for Open University studies?
Adult education allowance is financial support granted to employees or entrepreneurs for professional development studies. It is possible to receive this allowance for Open University studies. For details and to see if you meet the eligibility criteria, see https://www.aikuiskoulutustuki.fi/en/
I have a disability or health condition restricting my ability to study. What should I do?
I live outside Finland. Can I still study at the Open University?
The courses are unrestricted with regard to countries or nationalities. Anyone may register for Open University courses.
Please confirm first that the course you want can be completed entirely online. Some online courses have an examination that must be taken on campus. Course textbooks may also be difficult to find outside of Finland.
Open University contact details
Click here for contact details for Open University services and personnel.