Studying at the Open University
Taking studies at the Open University
Course registration for open university courses is done at Sisu. The link to Sisu can be found in the course description. Please follow the instructions given in the course description.
- You can activate your Aalto username 24 hours after registering for a course. You will need your username to access the course’s MyCourses learning environment. You will receive instructions from Aalto’s IT Services by email when the activation is possible.Usernames should be activated at https://salasana.aalto.fi/ or, alternatively, you can visit an IT Service Desk.
- After the activation of your username, you will use multifactor authentication. Aalto systems like MyCourses cannot be accessed from outside the Aalto network except by multifactor authentication. Instructions for using multifactor authentication
- Log in to MyCourses by entering your Aalto username and password. Make sure when logging in to choose the ‘log in as Aalto user’ option, not the HAKA identification option. From MyCourses you will usually find detailed instructions from the teacher about how to complete the course, the course material and any examinations. Please note that all courses do not use MyCourses. Detailed information about course contents, schedules, teaching locations and possibly available virtual learning environments can also be found from the course description.
- If problems arise, you can contact the course teacher or Open University’s student services at [email protected] .
Course descriptions generally tell whether attendance at lectures is compulsory. If you are unsure, contact the course teacher. In language courses and other small group teaching, attendance at the first lecture is compulsory in order to ensure your participation and so not give your place to a student on the waiting list. If you must be absent during the first meeting of the course, inform the course teacher ahead of time.
If you have to leave in the middle of a compulsory lecture due to illness, for example, inform the teacher directly and arrange make-up assignments if necessary.
Information about the learning materials used in a course is usually given on MyCourses or else the information is given by the teacher separately. As an Open University student, you may borrow course textbooks from the Aalto University library (Learning Centre). Please note that number of course textbooks available is limited, so reserve or check out your books in good time.
You may also search for books at a Helsinki Metropolitan Area library or at higher education institution libraries.
If your course has course examinations, you usually do not need to register in order to take the first one. However, always follow the specific exam instructions you receive for the course you are in.
In independent study, book examinations are paid and your examination fee payment covers only one exam sitting.
If you are retaking an exam, register for it no later than a week before the exam date. For detailed instructions on examination practices and registration, see the: Open University examination guidelines
Course completions and grading
Courses that you complete (also called ‘study attainments’) are evaluated on a scale of 0 to 5 or on pass/fail basis. In the number scale, 0 represents a fail, 1 is the lowest passing grade and 5 is the highest grade. Information about the course grading scale is provide in the course description.
Teachers must submit their grades for a course no later than four weeks after the students’ last day to complete the course (e.g. the deadline for taking an exam or turning in an assignment). Please review information on your course completion within two weeks after the course results have come out. If you notice errors in the information, contact the course teacher immediately.
Transcript of records
The grades of completed courses are registered in Sisu, the student information system. In Sisu, you can inspect your course completions and print a copy of the digitally authenticated transcript. The information on your completed studies is transferred to KOSKI, a My Studyinfo service. You can log in to KOSKI using your bank ID.
You can also request a paper transcript from the Open University office. In that case, indicate the language version (Finnish/Swedish/English), the number of copies you need, and the postal address for mailing.
Instructions for downloading a digitally authenticated transcript
Appealing against a grading decision
Students have the right to obtain information on a course’s assessment criteria and on how the criteria were applied to their own performance in completing the course (i.e. to their own study attainment). This information is obtained from the course teacher.
If you are dissatisfied with your course grade, you can seek a rectification from the teacher. The appeal against the grade shall be filed within 14 days of the date the student could receive information on the assessment results and on how the assessment criteria was applied to the student’s own attainment.
For detailed instructions, see: Academic appeals
A survey soliciting course feedback is sent out by email generally a week before the last teaching session. The feedback link can be used for about three weeks; see the email for the exact deadline.
Your name and identity cannot be identified from your response. However, the system will indicate that you have responded.
Support for studies
The Open University has many kinds of support available. For more information, see below. You can contact Open University staff at [email protected] if necessary.
For medical reasons, you can receive reasonable individual study arrangements to support you in your Open University studies. The medical reason may be dyslexia, a sensory impairment, a mental health condition or a learning difficulty. For more information on individual study arrangements, see:
Individual study arrangements at the Open University
Maths refresher (Matikkastartti)
The maths refresher (Matikkastartti) offers a review of the essential contents of high school mathematics and the course Differential and Integral Calculus 1. To take the maths refresher, go to the OpenLearning platform. First you need to create an account. After that you can access the maths refresher pages. The maths refresher is available in Finnish only.Form for creating a new account (OpenLearning)
Mathematics tutoring lab (laskutupa)
Aalto University has a room where students can get help for their math courses. The ‘laskutupa’ is located in Y190c (Otakaari 1, Espoo). It is possible to join the lab remotely as well, but help is mainly obtained by visiting the lab physically. The tutoring lab has university assistants who help students with their assignments. The tutoring lab is designed mainly for students in basic mathematics courses, but students in other math courses are also welcome to attend. See the opening hours and details about the mathematics tutoring lab at:
Need help planning your studies? Are you thinking about what to study next at Open University? You can book at time to get study advice by emailing [email protected] . Include in your message a brief description of what you would like to discuss. This study advising service is only for Open University study options. For help on questions about applying to become a degree student, contact Aalto University Admission Services: [email protected] .
Open University study advising is available by phone or by visiting Otaniemi campus at a prearranged time.
Nyyti ry is an association for promoting the mental health and ability to study of students. Through Nyyti, students can take part in various kinds of event, courses and peer support groups. Check out what Nyyti does at the Nyyti webpage:
Here is a list of commonly used Open University terms and their definitions.
A study package completed after basic studies. Intermediate studies are bachelor's level studies.
A study unit covering one subject. The scope of a course is given in credits. A course may include independent study and/or different forms of teaching.
Courses usually have their own workspaces in MyCourses, an online learning environment where you can find courses material, learning assignments and exercises. Your details will be transferred into the MyCourses workspace 24 hours after you get your Aalto University account. To start using the course page, you must log in using your Aalto username and the two-factor authentication login method.
A set of several courses, for example, an academic minor. A study module may be a part of a degree or a component that is completed separately. The Open University gives you the opportunity to complete different kinds of minors.
Minors at Open University
The authorisation to complete a course or courses. Your right to study at the Open University is valid for a fixed period. When your right to study ends, so do your permissions (username and password) to use Aalto University systems.
Credit (abbreviated cr): The basic unit for measuring the workload of studies. Used to denote the scope of a course completion. One credit corresponds to approx. 27 hours of work. In practice, the amount of work needed to complete one credit may vary greatly depending on e.g. the student’s aptitude and previous learning.
The first study package that serves as the foundation for intermediate studies. Basic studies are bachelor's level studies.
The university’s information system containing data on students and studies. Sisu gives you information about studies and your completed courses. Sisu is also where you register for studies. In Sisu, you can also print out a copy of your transcript (record of completed studies).
A study package completed after subject studies. Advanced studies are master's level studies.
Examination: a test or a similar study attainment that the student performs usually at the end of course and in conditions monitored by the university. Teachers provide students with details about any examinations in their courses. KT is commonly used as an abbreviation for course exam.
Re-examination: A course may offer one or two possibilities to resit an examination. Retake exams are also mentioned in the course description.
Midterm exam A test occurring usually halfway through a course on the material in the first half or at the end of a course on the material in the second half. Teachers provide students with details about any interval examinations in their courses.
You can find more information about studying at Aalto Open University through the links below.
With your Aalto user ID you can log in to Aalto’s information systems and learning environments, and use the internal services of the university.
Open University students are entitled to receive reasonable, individual study arrangements due to an impairment restricting his/her ability to study or other health condition.
Open University exam halls are located in the Undergraduate Centre Building (Kandidaattikeskus), street address: Otakaari 1, Espoo. You can enter the exam hall 30 minutes after the official commencement of the exam at the latest. You can leave the exam earliest 35 minutes after the official commencement of the exam. Please note that changes to halls are possible.
Find out where you can find the results of your Open University courses and exams and how you can order certificates and transcripts of records of your studies at the Open University.
Open University contact details
Click here for contact details for Open University services and personnel.