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Higher education studies for general upper secondary school students

Students of the city's general upper secondary schools have a great opportunity to learn more about higher education and complete courses offered by universities and universities of applied sciences while still attending general upper secondary school.
Photo: Jussi Hellsten

Registering for courses by higher education institutions

Visit higher education institutions’ websites to see what courses are available. Find out the following information about a course:

  • content
  • scope (1 credit = 27 hours of work)
  • method of completion
  • schedule.

If necessary, talk about the course with your guidance counsellor.
To register for courses, go to the higher education institutions’ websites.

Completed courses

  • Once you complete a course, the completion is recorded in the higher education institution’s study records. You can access your completed studies in the My Studyinfo service. The service also allows you to share information about a completed course directly with your guidance counsellor, for example. You can also order a separate certificate about a course you have completed.
  • It is usually possible to incorporate these studies into your future studies at a higher education institution.
  • You can also incorporate the studies into your general upper secondary education. Please contact the guidance counsellor at your school for more information.

Courses by higher education institutions

Students of the city's general upper secondary schools can take some courses offered by the Open University free of charge. They can choose from hundreds of courses available in different subjects.

We recommend that general upper secondary school students take introductory courses or courses indicated with the ♦ symbol, which are well-suited for general upper secondary school students. 

Open University semesters

  • autumn semester: September–December
  • spring semester: January–May
  • summer semester: May–August


  • You can sign up independently for courses available free of charge.
  • For courses subject to a fee, you must register through the guidance counsellor at your school.
  • Registration opens 45 days before the start of the course.

See the Open University courses offered by the University of Helsinki in the autumn.

You can browse the courses under the following headings:

  • tutustumiskurssit (introductory courses, only in Finnish) 
  • open online courses or MOOCs 
  • Open University studies by degree programme
  • Open University studies by theme

Aalto University offers courses such as the following free of charge:

  • social media phenomena course
  • Starting Up entrepreneurship course
  • programming and other IT courses online.

For more detailed information about the courses and registration, visit the Aalto University Junior website.


The Finnish institute of Technology (FITech) offers free-of-charge university studies from all universities in Finland that specialise in technology. For example, beginner’s level courses are also well-suited for general upper secondary school students. Read more about the courses available and register on the FITech website.


Haaga-Helia offers free-of-charge courses for general upper secondary school students in subjects such as

  • business
  • circular economy
  • service design
  • languages (German, French, Swedish and English).

Register for courses onthe Haaga-Helia website. Registration opens in August. Read more about the courses available on the Haaga-Helia website (in Finnish) .


Laurea offers online courses that give you a peek at what it is like to study at a university of applied sciences. The courses are free of charge for upper secondary level students. You can complete courses at your own pace, regardless of time and place. Register for courses on the Laurea website.

In the autumn, there are studies available in subjects such as

  • paediatrics
  • entrepreneurship
  • safety and security leadership
  • beauty care and cosmetics.

Website for Laurea’s sneak peek courses (in Finnish) .



Metropolia’s free-of-charge courses for general upper secondary school students include courses such as

  • several IT and communications technology courses online (on different programming languages, among other things)
  • introductory course on business studies at a university of applied sciences
  • course on experiences gained of live music.

Register for courses on the Metropolia website (In Finnish)

Metropolia also organises the following course for students of the City of Helsinki’s general upper secondary schools:

Creating a mobile app for smartphones 12 January – 17 February 2022

The purpose of the course is for students to independently build a browser-based game app for smartphones. The course does not require prior programming experience. The teacher of the course is Lecturer Matti Peltoniemi from Metropolia. The course takes place in the premises of Helsinki Upper Secondary School of Visual Arts (Torkkelinkatu 6) and Metropolia’s Karamalmi Campus (Karaportti 2) in Espoo. Register for courses on  Wilma. Registration opens in August.

For more information, please visit Metropolia’s ‘Creating a mobile app for smartphones’ course page (in Finnish)


DIAK’s orientation courses for general upper secondary school students in the autumn:

  • Prevention of infections and aseptic technique (includes information required to complete a Hygiene Passport, among other things)
  • Insights into young people’s wellbeing
  • Communication and interpretation

Read more about the courses available and register on the DIAK website (in Finnish) . Course registration opens in August–September.