Language studies

Language and communication skills courses at Arcada are provided by lecturers in The Arcada Language Unit. We provide courses in the obligatory languages – Swedish, Finnish and English. Through co-operation with Hanken External link the Swedish School of Economics, we can also offer courses in Spanish, German, French and Russian.

In addition, the Language Unit also assesses students' knowledge of the domestic languages and the results are stated in their degree certificates in accordance with section 6 of the Act on the Knowledge of Languages Required of Personnel in Public Bodies (424/2003).

Common language studies

All students in the Swedish language study programmes shall earn five credits in Swedish, Finnish, and English respectively. In the English language programmes, those students who have a domestic language as their school language shall likewise earn 5 credits in Swedish, Finnish, and English, respectively. Students in the English language programmes who have received their schooling abroad or in another language shall earn 10 credits in Swedish and 5 credits in English within the framework of common language studies.

In addition to the common language courses, a number of programmes stipulate additional language studies as part of their degree requirements. These language courses are tailored to meet the requirements of the specific degree programme and are usually offered at a later stage of the programme.

Languages as extension studies

Irrespective of the study programme, students can choose language courses as extension studies. An extension studies package encompasses at least 15 credits (the main rule is that all 15 credits are earned in the same language and not as a combination of, e.g. 3 x 5 credits in language courses for beginners). Language courses in general are taught in Swedish, but international students are also welcome and receive support in English if needed. Beginner's courses in Swedish and Finnish are taught in English.

If you have no former knowledge of Finnish, we encourage you to choose at least15 credits in Finnish for beginners in order to facilitate contact with the labour market. Arcada arranges its own support courses which are aimed to help you improve your Finnish.

Kivanet External link and Unitandem External linkare two networks for language studies at universities in Finland.

It is possible to complete language studies through other organisers or universities as well. To get language studies credited at Arcada, you might need to do a level test at Arcada. You can contact the head of the language unit if you find an interesting course that you want to include in your studies.


A student in the Swedish language programmes at Arcada who has received his/her education in Åland or in a country other than Finland may apply to be exempted from courses in Finnish. The exemption concerns the attainment requirements for courses in Finnish, not the credits that should be earned in Finnish courses that form part of the compulsory language requirements of the study programme. The exemption shall be noted in the degree certificate. It is important that the student is aware that the requirements for officially certified language competence are then not fulfilled.

The head of the language unit grant exemptions from the proficiency requirement in Finnish for students who have received their school education in Åland or abroad, or for students who have had a customized curriculum in previous language studies. Apply for an exemption through this form External link. In other cases, the principal has the authority to grant any dispensation from language studies. Always initiate a discussion with the head of the language unit.