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International Professional Teacher Education

Field of studies

  • Professional Teacher Education
  • Teacher Education

Teaching language

  • English

Type of education

  • Professional Teacher Education Qualification

Academic level

  • Teacher's pedagogical qualification

Campus

  • Online

Teaching format

  • Online Learning

Share your skills and knowledge – Get a teacher’s qualification!

The International Professional Teacher Education programme is recommended for individuals from Finland and abroad, who wish to complete their professional teacher education in English. The programme in English gives the same teacher qualification as the programme in Finnish (Ammatillinen opettajankoulutus).

In this programme, the student will learn to guide the learning of different learners and use diverse learning environments in their teaching. They will also learn how to develop their skills in planning and conducting teaching, guidance methods, competence assessment, dialogical skills, working in networks and understanding different theories and concepts in education sciences.

This programme is conducted entirely online. The programme includes mandatory online lectures, group work and independent study. It also includes practical teacher training. The length of the programme is 10-13 months. Read more about the study methods on our website.

The teaching language of the programme is English. The applicant’s English language level must be IELTS 6/CEFR B2 or higher.

The intake is based on the admission criteria. Students will be ranked and selected based on their application scores regardless of their fields of education. For more information about the eligibility criteria, application process and admission criteria, please see the Admission Criteria.

Objectives

Professional teacher education gives you the skills to guide the learning of different students and to develop your own teaching field so that changes in working life and professions are taken into account.

The expertise of a professional teacher combines professional and pedagogical expertise into theoretical and practical teacher expertise in various learning environments. Planning, guidance, teaching and evaluation are emphasised in the competence of a professional teacher. The teacher must have sufficient theoretical knowledge of education sciences and competence development. The teacher is able to meet with different people, has digital capabilities, cooperation and network skills, and the ability to maintain and support his/her own and the community's well-being. In addition, the aim of the programme is to provide the teacher students with the knowledge and competencies to teach and work in international learning environments. 

Qualification provided by education

International Professional Teacher Education provides the pedagogical qualification for teaching your specific subject in Finland.

You can work as a teacher in vocational education and possibly in the universities of applied sciences. This programme can also be useful in different staff development tasks in companies and work communities.

Structure of studies

The teacher education curriculum comprises three modules, each containing specific courses. More information on the structure of studies is available on our website.

The detailed curriculum is also available on our website.

Career opportunities

International Professional Teacher Education is especially targeted at teachers in vocational institutions and universities of applied sciences as well as for persons aiming for these positions in Finland. The education leads to a formal pedagogical qualification which applies for teacher’s positions in other educational institutions as well. After completing the education, you’ll also have the skills and knowledge to act as human resource developer, consultant or self-employed trainer.

Eligibility criteria

Professional teacher education is targeted both at those intending to become teachers in Finland and those already working as teachers who have not completed pedagogical studies.

The eligibility is determined by the applicant’s existing degree and work experience. The reason for this is that professional teacher education is intended both for teachers of professional studies and for general subject teachers (studies that complement vocational skills). Different qualification requirements apply to these two groups of teachers. The major subject or orientation of the degree on which your application is based determines whether you belong to applicants seeking qualification as teachers of vocational subjects or to applicants seeking qualification as teachers of general subjects. In addition, the qualification requirements are not the same for teachers in different vocational fields. In some cases, eligibility is determined by whether or not the applicant is working as a professional teacher.

Anyone with the educational qualifications and work experience required for a teaching post at an institute of vocational education or a University of Applied Sciences can apply for a Professional Teacher Education programme (for more information, please see Universities of Applied Sciences Act 932/2014, section 25, English translation available through this link).

Work experience required for eligibility means professional, non-teaching work experience from the field of the degree on which the application is based (with the exception of applicants who have completed a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Education). The education on which the eligibility is based must be completed and the work experience must be acquired by the end of the application period. Practical training included in the degree will not be considered.

Teachers of vocational subjects teach vocational modules in programmes of education leading to a recognized vocational qualification at the upper secondary level of the Finnish education system. According to the regulations, the applicant must have

  • a relevant tertiary level degree completed in a university or University of Applied Sciences and
  • a minimum of three years’ work experience in a field corresponding to the content of his or her degree.

  • a relevant Bachelor’s degree completed in a University of Applied Sciences and
  • a minimum of five years’ professional work experience in a field corresponding to the content of his or her degree is required.

OR

  • a relevant Master’s degree completed in a university or University of Applied Sciences and
  • a minimum of three years’ works experience in the field corresponding to his or her degree.

Teachers of general subjects teach common core modules in programmes of education leading to a recognized vocational qualification at the upper secondary level of the Finnish education system. The requirement for general subject teachers in vocational education is in most cases a relevant Master’s degree. Professional work experience from the field corresponding to the degree is not required.

In the student selection process to Professional Teacher Education, applicants who have studied one of the following subjects as the major subject in their Master’s degree can be considered teachers of general subjects:

  • languages
  • philosophy, psychology, theology
  • literature
  • culture research
  • statistics, mathematics, physics, chemistry
  • political science, law
  • health education.

In some cases, a relevant tertiary level degree other than a Master’s degree may grant eligibility to apply for Professional Teacher Education (for example, a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, completed either in a university or in a University of Applied Sciences).

Applicants from the fields of dance or circus may enter a tertiary level degree or three years of relevant studies as the degree on which the application is based. They also are required to have artistic or other professional experience from the field. In the application process to Professional Teacher Education, three years of professional work experience in the field is considered to correspond to this requirement.

In some cases, qualifications other than a relevant tertiary level degree may grant eligibility if the applicant is employed as a teacher of vocational subjects in Finland at an officially recognized programme of vocational study in vocational education during the application period to Professional Teacher Education.

In these cases, further clarification is required of the educational institution on a separate form (Further clarification by the educational institution), in addition to the certificate copies, for the evaluation of the applicant’s eligibility. If the teacher of vocational subjects applies without a degree from a university or University of Applied Sciences, they must have a minimum of five years’ professional work experience in a field corresponding in content to the teaching duties assigned to them.

The requirement for an applicable Master’s level university degree or applicable degree from a University of Applied Sciences cannot be disregarded in cases where the applicant is applying with a degree from the field of Social services and health.

A decision by the Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI) or the Finnish Ministry of Education on the recognition of the level of the degree as equivalent to a tertiary level degree completed in Finland must be attached to the application in the following cases:

  • You have completed the degree on which your eligiblity is based outside the Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland).
  • You have completed your tertiary level degree outside Finland in a nother Nordic country and
  • (SISENNETTY) the degree belongs to the field of social services, health and welfare, and/or
  • (SISENNETTY) based on the degree, you are seeking qualification as a so-called general subject teacher, and/or
  • (SISENNETTY) the degree is less than three years in scope, and/or
  • (SISENNETTY) you are not a citizen of any of the Nord countries.

EDUFI is responsible for decisions regarding the eligiblity conferred by foreign qualifications for positions, which in Finland require specific education or a university or university of applied siences degree of a certain level (Act 1385/2015). A certain level of education is required for example for teaching positions.

Without a decision on recognition, the application will not be considered. The avarage processing time for applications is three months. Notice that the decision on recognition is subject to a charge. Please see the details from the website of the Finnish National Agency for Education.

More information about the recognition and international comparability of qualifications by the Finnish Agency for Education (EDUFI).

For more information about the eligibility, please see the Eligibility Criteria at Studyinfo:

Admission Criteria

The selection procedure is based on national selection criteria agreed on and used by all Finland’s five Professional Teacher Education institutions. There is no entrance examination.

Please acquaint yourself with the admission criteria and other essential information at Opintopolku or from the documents under Criteria in the admission point scoring system.

Applicants are admitted to the programme in the rank order of their total admission points within each admission group. Admission groups are based on fields of education (programme in Finnish) and separate admission groups. The International Professional Teacher Education programme is a separate admission group and the final selection will be based solely on the applicants´ admission point scores.

Your application will be processed by the University of Applied Sciences, which you have entered as your first preference on your application. First, your eligibility will be checked. Matters which affect your eligibility will not be considered under the admission point scoring system. If you are found eligible, your application will be evaluated based on the admission point scoring system. Points are awarded in every Professional Teacher Education institution according to the admission criteria of 2024 agreed on by the institutions. Education completed and teaching experience acquired by the end of the application period, that is by 18 January 2024, can be considered. The number of study places in 2024 is 20 for the International Professional Teacher Education programme.

Admission points for 2024:

Other completed degrees

Degrees completed in addition to the degree required for eligibility; max. 2 degrees.

Completed degreesAdmission points
No other degrees0 points
1 competed degree4 points
2 completed degrees8 points
Basi studies in educational sciences
Basic studies in educational sciencesAdmission points
Not completed0 points
Completed10 points
Further education

Studies completed since 1 January 2015 can be considered; each individual course of education has to be at least 1 ECTS, 1 competence point, 0,5 credit units or 27 hours in scope.

Sum of completed creditsAdmission points
Less than 1 ECTS0 points
1 to 3 ECTS0,5 points
4 to 7 ECTS1 point
8 to 11 ECTS1,5 points
12 to 15 ECTS2 points
16 to 19 ECTS2,5 points
20 to 23 ECTS3 points
24 to 27 ECTS3,5 points
28 ECTS or more4 points
Teaching experience from official educational institutions

Part-time teaching can be converted into full-time teaching. 64 hours of part-time teachings = 1 month.

Experience in monthsAdmission points
Less than 2 months0 points
2 to 5 months1 point
Over 5 to 10 months2 points
Over 10 to 15 months3 points
Over 15 to 20 months4 points
Over 20 months5 points
Teaching experience from vocational education since 1 January 2022

At least five months of teaching experience from a vocational upper secondary school and/or a University of Applied Sciences.

Experience in monthsAdmission points
Less than 5 months or no teaching experience from vocational upper secondary schools and/or University of Applied Sciences since 1 January 20220 points
At least 5 months of teaching experience from vocational upper secondary schools and/or University of Applied Sciences since 1 January 202210 points

In the student selection process to Professional Teacher Education, the fields of education follow the national classification of education 2016 by Statistics Finland where applicable. The national classification of education 2016 is based on UNESCO’s International Standard Classification of Education 2011 (ISCED 2011). The fields of education and specific teaching areas are used in the selection process when determining the applicant’s eligibility.

The applicant’s allocation to an admission group is determined on the basis of the degree on which the eligibility is based. Student selection is carried out in rank order from admission groups based on the fields of education and from separate admission groups.

International Professional Teacher Education programme is separate admission group and the final selection will be based solely on the applicants´ admission point scores.

Education

Education science

Humanities

Religion and theology
History, archaeology and culture research
Philosophy and ethics
Languages, sign language and interpreting
Literature and linguistics
Youth work and civic activities

Arts

Audio-visual techniques and media production
Fashion, interior and industrial design
Fine arts
Handicrafts
Music and performing arts
Other arts

Social sciences and journalism

Economics
Political sciences, civics and administration
Psychology
Sociology
Journalism and reporting
Library, information and archival studies

Business and law

Business
Law

Natural sciences

Biological and related sciences
Environmental sciences
Natural environments and wildlife
Chemistry
Earth sciences
Physics
Mathematics
Statistics

Information and communication technologies (ICT)

Computer science
ICT technologies (engineering)

Engineering, manufacturing and construction

Chemical engineering and processes
Environmental protection technology
Electricity, energy, mechanical and process engineering
Electronics and automation
Mechanics and metal trades
Motor vehicles, ships and aircraft
Food processing
Materials (glass, paper, plastic and wood)
Textiles (clothes, footwear and leather)
Architecture and town planning
Building, civil engineering and property maintenance
Knowledge management and industrial management

Agriculture, forestry, fisheries and veterinary

Crop and livestock production and animal care
Horticulture
Forestry
Fisheries
Veterinary
Other agriculture, forestry, fisheries and veterinary areas

Social services, health and welfare

Care of the elderly and of the disabled Childcare and youth services
Social work and counselling
Dental care
Medicine
Nursing and midwifery
Medical diagnostic and treatment technology
Therapy and rehabilitation
Pharmacy
Health science

Services

Domestic and cleaning services
Hair and beauty services
Hotel, restaurant and catering
Sports
Travel and tourism
Other services

Security and transport

Military and defence
Protection of persons and property
Transport services

For more information, please see the Admission Criteria at Studyinfo:

More information about applying

Fill out the online application at Opintopolku.fi. The application form is only available during the application period.

The applicants must verify their qualifications and matters that affect the selection process with certificates.

Please note that when you fill in the application form, you need details from your degree, training and work certificates. Therefore, it is good to familiarise yourself with the admission point system before you fill in the application.

A decision by the Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI) or the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture on the recognition of the level of the degree as equivalent to a tertiary-level degree completed in Finland must be attached to the application in the following cases:

  • You have completed the degree on which your eligibility is based outside the Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland).
  • You have completed your tertiary level degree outside Finland in another Nordic country and
    • the degree belongs to the field of social services and health, and/or
    • based on the degree, you are seeking qualification as a so-called general subject teacher, and/or
    • the degree is less than three years in scope, and/or
    • you are not a citizen of any of the Nordic countries.

EDUFI is responsible for decisions regarding the eligibility conferred by foreign qualifications for positions, which in Finland require specific education or a university or University of Applied Sciences degree of a certain level (Act 1385/2015). A certain level of education is required for example for teaching positions.

Without the decision on recognition, the application will not be considered. The average processing time for applications is three months. Notice that the decision on recognition is subject to a charge. Please see the details of costs from the website of the Finnish National Agency for Education.

The teaching language of the programme is English. Your English language level must be B2 (CEFR) or IELTS 6 or higher. You can self-evaluate your language proficiency using the European Language Level Self Assessment Grid or through the Finnbrit site.

The results of the student selection process will be published on 27 March 2024 at the earliest in the My Studyinfo service at www.opintopolku.fi. Applicants will also be notified of the results by email. When you log in to My Studyinfo service, you need Finnish online banking credentials, a mobile certificate or a microchip identity card.

Each student who is offered a study place must confirm the study place by the due date by using the My Studyinfo service. When you log in to My Studyinfo service, you need Finnish online banking credentials, a mobile certificate or a microchip identity card. If you are unable to confirm the study place in the service, you must confirm the study place in writing (for example by email) by the deadline. If this is not done, the offer of a study place will automatically be withdrawn.

All eligible applicants who have not been offered a study place in either of the programmes which they entered in the application form, will be placed on a waiting list for both programmes. Supplementary selections will take place if vacancies arise due to approved candidates rejecting the offer of a study place. If a study place becomes available, the Professional Teacher Education institution will contact the applicant at the top of the waiting list.

Applicants of the International Professional Teacher Education programme 2018-2023
YearNumber of applicants
201845
201962
202068
2021114
2022114
2023137
A score threshold for admission in 2018-2023
YearScore threshold
20188 points
201910 points
20208 points
202112 points
202213 points
202318 points

The application period takes place annually in January. You can order a reminder to your email when the next application period starts.

Structure of studies

The teacher education curriculum consists of three modules and the courses included in them: 

• Human being as a learner 4 credits (basic studies in educational science) 

• Learning as a phenomenon 4 credits (basic studies in educational science) 

• Learning community and relational competence in the teacher’s work 5 credits 

• Planning of teaching 5 credits 

• Competence-based education and assessment 5 credits 

• Personalisation and support of learning 5 credits 

• Teacher’s expertise in education and learning 5 credits 

• Practical teaching training in an educational institution 10 credits 

• Optional studies 5 credits 

• Education as a social task 4 credits (basic studies in educational science) 

• The teacher as the creator of the future 5 credits 

• Vocational education and the world of work 3 credits 

The curriculum is available through the link below. Do note, that the 2024-2025 curriculum is found under the academic year of 2023-2024 as the 13-month online programme begins in Spring 2024.

Study methods

For more information about the study practical matters and online meeting dates, please see the Student Pages.

International Professional Teacher Education is an online programme. Professional teacher education can be completed alongside work. Full-time studying is also possible with the help of a personal study plan.

In order to study online, the student must have a computer equipped with a camera, a headset and a microphone combination, preferably a fixed internet connection and master user rights to the computer or the employer’s IT support. All groups also have online meetings. The camera connection is important in online learning. Online meetings are held in a secure Zoom environment. The learning environment is Moodle.

Study group of 2024-2025

International Professional Teacher Education online programme 10-13 months (separate admission group)
  • The programme is recommended for individuals from Finland and abroad, who wish to complete their professional teacher education in English. The programme in English gives the same teacher qualification as the programme in Finnish.
  • Students will be ranked and selected based on their application scores regardless of their fields of education.
  • The aim of this programme is to provide the teacher students with the knowledge and competencies to teach and work in international learning environments. An additional goal is to develop teacher students’ capacity to guide culturally diverse student groups.
  • The teaching language of the programme is English. The applicant’s English language level must be IELTS 6/CEFR B2 plus.
  • Studying in an online programme requires an active internet connection, good IT skills and sufficient technical equipment.
  • The programme includes online meetings (approximately 16–20 days). Online meetings start at 9.00 am and end at 4.00 pm. (Finnish time).
  • The programme includes lectures, group work and independent study. It also includes practical teacher training. Learning together is an essential part of the studies.
  • The studies begin as follows:
    • For students who have not previously completed Basic Studies in Educational Sciences, the studies will start on May 2-3, 2024. The first meetings will be held online from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm (Finnish time). The duration of the studies is 13 months, and the scope is 60 ECTS credits. Students will have to study during the summer too.
    • For students who have previously completed Basic Studies in Educational Sciences, the studies will start on August 13, 2024. The first meeting will be held online from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm (Finnish time). The duration of the studies is 10 months, and the scope is 48 ECTS credits.
    • See the full list of online meeting dates on the Student Pages. The programme ends on the 6th of June 2025.

Three reasons to study International Professional Teacher Education!

A good foundation to work as a Professional Teacher. Our graduates say that Professional Teacher Education has given them a very good foundation to work as Professional Teachers. Students have given the studies a score of 4,4 on a scale from 1 to 5. (Student feedback survey 2021-2022).

Positive learning atmosphere. Our students consider that the environment fosters a sense of community. Many of the prospective students apply to our programme based on alumni recommendations.

Guidance and support. We guide and support our students to reach their goals. According to EDUFI’s Vipunen statistics, we have had the best graduation figures in 2017-2022.

Frequently Asked Questions

From here you can find answers to frequently asked questions about the International Professional Teacher Education programme!


Anyone with the educational qualifications and work experience required for a teaching post at an institute of vocational education or a University of Applied Sciences can apply for a Professional Teacher Education programme.

General eligibility criteria are a relevant higher education degree from a university or University of Applied Sciences and a minimum of 3 or 5 years of work experience in a field corresponding to the degree. In some cases, there are no requirements for work experience. Please see the Admission Criteria for more information about the eligibility criteria.

Unfortunately, you are not eligible. The entry requirements regarding both education and work experience must be met by the end of the application period.

Required work experience depends on your degree from the university or the University of Applied Sciences.

If you have a degree from the University of Applied Sciences, you must have at least 3 years of professional experience in a related field.

If you have a university degree from the field of education, business, agriculture, forestry or engineering, you must have at least 3 years of professional experience in a related field.

If you have a Bachelor’s degree in the field of social services, health or welfare, you must have at least 5 years of relevant work experience. If you have a Master’s degree, you must have at least 3 years of work experience in a related field.

Work experience is not a requirement if you have a university degree in languages, philosophy, psychology, theology, literature, culture studies, statistics, mathematics, physics, chemistry, public health, political sciences, or law.

Please, get acquainted with the eligibility criteria. If you still have concerns about your eligibility, please contact us at opehaku@hamk.fi

The work experience does not have to be accumulated after graduation, and it does not need to be continuous. The duration of work experience is calculated on the basis of full-time employment, defined as 150 working hours per month. Short-term employment periods are added together so that 150 working hours equals one month. If the working hours are indicated by days instead, then 21 full workdays equals one month.

Work experience needs to be verified by certificates. CV is not a sufficient verification. The employment certificates must show the number of hours you have completed and the time periods during which you have worked. Please note that internships included in your degree program will not be considered.

Yes, you can. Prior teaching experience is not a requirement. You get additional points for teaching experience, but these points will only be part of the total score and the selection will be based on the total score.

Part-time teaching experience will be converted into a full-time teaching experience. 64 hours of part-time teaching equal to 1 month of ffull-timeteaching experience.

No, you don’t. Professional Teacher Education institutions will contact the applicant at the top of the waiting list.

The Teacher Education programme is funded by the Finnish Government and is thus free for students. Students are responsible for any travel, meals and learning material costs themselves.

The International Professional Teacher Education is an online programme. Students will not be able to get a visa to Finland for online studies.

You can attend the programme from any country you like. However note that the programme has a set schedule that is based on Finnish time zone. If you attend from another continent, you may have to wake up early or stay up late to attend the lectures.

Contact information

If you have questions and cannot find the answer on the website, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Ask about applying

Admission Services of
Professional Teacher Education

opehaku@hamk.fi

+358 50 4359858

ask about study matters

Student Services

aokk-opintotoimisto@hamk.fi

Graduate faster?

Are you already familiar with the field by previous higher education studies and have gained expertise through work? For students who are independent learners and have great studying skills, we offer opportunities alongside traditional studies that allow you to accelerate your study progress.

24 / 7 – Fast tract for studies

If you have competence that corresponds to the competence objectives of the courses, you can apply for the recognition of prior learning (RPL). This way, you don’t have to re-learn the same thing you already know and have the opportunity to progress your studies faster than the group programme. In professional teacher education studies, recognition of prior learning can be applied for either through credit transfer or skills demonstrations. Before starting the RPL process, discuss with your tutor teacher. More detailed information about the RPL process can be found on the Student page.

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