Normative duration of studies

If your study right started on or after 1 August 2005, restrictions apply to the duration of studies according to the following rules. No restrictions apply to study rights granted before 1 August 2005.

You can check the start and end dates of your own study right in WebOodi under ‘Personal details’.

Normative duration of studies

  • Bachelor’s degree: three academic years
  • Master’s degree: two academic years (an exception to this is the degree of Master of Psychology, which is two and a half academic years)
  • Licentiate of Medicine: six academic years
  • Licentiate of Dentistry: five and a half academic years

A student admitted to study for both a lower and upper university degree has the right to complete the degree in a time exceeding the aggregate normative duration of study by a maximum of two years (5 + 2 years, except for the degree of Master of Psychology, 5.5 + 2 years).

A student admitted to study for the degree of Licentiate of Medicine or for the Licentiate of Dentistry has the right to complete the degree in a time exceeding the aggregate normative duration of study by a maximum of two years (Licentiate of Medicine 6 + 2 years and Licentiate of Dentistry 5.5 + 2 years).

A student admitted to study for only the lower university degree has the right to complete the degree in a time exceeding the aggregate normative duration of study by a maximum of one year (3 + 1 years).

A student admitted to study for only the upper university degree has the right to complete the degree in a time exceeding the aggregate normative duration of study by a maximum of two years (2 + 2 years, except for the degree of Master of Psychology, 2.5 + 2 years).

After graduation, a student can receive a student loan deduction in taxation if he or she has completed a university degree within the aggregate normative duration of study. Read more on Kela’s web site: Student loan tax deduction.

Time included in the duration of studies

You can see the duration of your study time in WebOodi by clicking Other functions -> Study plan; it is updated based on the registration information. When the normative duration of studies is about to expire, you will be sent an email notification regarding this.

Time excluded from the duration of studies

  • Registering as being present, or normal studies
  • Other absence (not based on legislation) that exceeds four academic terms. With regard to study rights which started on or after 1 August 2015, this absence right has been shortened to two academic terms.
  • Those academic terms that the student fails to register at all, in other words neglects the obligation to register.

The time for which a student has registered as absent at the university based on a statutory reason for absence, or some other absence lasting no more than two academic terms (no more than four academic terms for study rights that started before 1 August 2015) will not be excluded from the duration of studies. More about these in the paragraphs below.

Extending the duration of studies due to reasons referred to in the Universities Act

What does statutory absence mean?

As provided in the Universities Act (Section 41), absences due to a service under the Conscription Act, the Non-Military Service Act or the Women’s Voluntary Military Service Act, or to maternity, paternity or parental leave are excluded from the normative duration of studies. These are referred to as statutory absences or reasons for absence.

NOTE! Statutory absences are recorded in the student register by Student and Learning Services on the basis of a document delivered by the student.

Statutory absence that started before 1 August 2016

If the statutory absence started before 1 August 2016, the duration of studies will be extended on the basis of a statutory reason for absence in accordance with the duration of the time spent in military or non-military service or on maternity, paternity or parental leave regardless of the number of academic terms with which the period of absence overlaps and whether the student has registered as present or absent at the university.

For each five (5)-month absence, an extension of one academic term is granted. If the absence lasts less than five months, an extension of one academic term is granted. If the absence lasts five to ten months, an extension of two academic terms is granted; if the absence lasts 10–15 months, an extension of three academic terms is granted, etc.

Statutory absence that started on or after 1 August 2016

WebOodi’s recording methods and calculation rules for statutory absences that extend the duration of studies will be changed as of 1 August 2016. The reason for the change is to treat students of different universities equally.

The practice will be changed so that for statutory absences that started on or after 1 August 2016, the duration of studies will automatically be extended only if the student has registered as absent for the academic term in question and the statutory reason for absence has been recorded in the student register based on a document delivered by the student. In addition, as of 1 August 2016, the extension will be calculated separately for each academic term. If the statutory reason for absence applies to several academic terms, the student may use their discretion when deciding whether to register as absent for all of the academic terms or only some of the academic terms that overlap with the statutory absence. The duration of studies will only be extended for the part of the academic terms for which the student has registered as absent at the university.

Registration as absent at the university is only possible during the registration periods. If the student has registered as present and the statutory reason for absence arises after the registration period has ended, the registration as present will not be changed to registration as absent, but the statutory reason for absence will be recorded in the student register and the student can later use it as basis for applying for an extension to the study right.

Extending the duration of studies based on another reason for absence

Other absences lasting no more than two academic terms, for the duration of which the student has registered as absent at the university, are not included in the duration of studies (with study rights that started before 1 August 2015, this absence right is at most four academic terms). All other times, except periods of statutory absence (absence due to service under the Conscription Act, the Non-Military Service Act or the Women’s Voluntary Military Service Act, or to maternity, paternity or parental leave), are considered as other absences.
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The normative duration of studies for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, the duration of the right to study and granting an extension to the duration of studies are enacted in Sections 40-43 of the Universities Act.