Exchange studies differs in Bachelor-level and Master-level

Studying as an exchange student differs on bachelor and master level. It is good for you to prepare yourself for different ways of studying so you know what to expect.

Exchange studies: Bachelor-level

Studying at bachelor level is full-time. Depending on the courses a student has chosen and their timetables, the student will usually have contact lessons on a daily basis. Even during contact free days students usually need to do independent work/studying in order to complete courses successfully. At JAMK working in groups is also a very common mode of study. Therefore, exchange students on bachelor level need to be prepared to study full-time. There is no specific exam period at JAMK, instead you will usually have exams at the end of each course.

Exchange studies: Master-level

Studying at master level is usually part-time. Other students in the groups are mostly adults who study alongside their work, which is why contact lessons are designed from that perspective into tight and concise packages. This means that at the beginning of a course students take part in contact lessons that might be arranged during late afternoon/evening hours even for 8 consecutive hours. After that the students continue working independently on assignments provided by the teacher. At JAMK working in groups is also a very common mode of study, so some of the assignments might be done in groups as well. All in all, exchange students applying and arriving to study in the master level programmes should be prepared for self-directed and independent learning/studying outside the classrooms. Most likely you will not have many exams, but you will have a lot of writing to do.


Exchange and double degree students are served and guided throughout the exchange period by JAMK's International Services. From applying to arrival, studying and leaving for home, International Services and the Academic Advisors of the Schools support JAMK's exchange students. International Services gives general guidance concerning the different stages of and administrates the documents related to exchange. The Academic Advisors give School-specific guidance related to the studies. They also help exchange students to complete their study plans, i.e. help the students choose the courses they will complete during their exchange. Both International Services and Academic Advisors help with any difficulties the student might face during the exchange.

Further information: incoming(at)

Courses and Assessment

Upon applying the student draws up a preliminary study plan i.e. Learning Agreement. Information on courses offered for exchange students can be found here.

After the exchange period has begun the study plan often undergoes some changes and the Learning Agreement is updated by filling in the Changes to the original Learning Agreement.

The competence attained during a course is assessed in relation to the learning outcomes for the course. The assessment is carried out based on the criteria and the scale specified in the course description. The scale may range from zero to five:

  • 5 (Excellent)
  • 4 (Very Good)
  • 3 (Good)
  • 2 (Satisfactory)
  • 1 (Sufficient)
  • 0 (Fail)

or a course is passed without a grade (H).

A Course is assessed as Fail (0) if a student fails to reach the minimum outcomes for course completion. The same grading scale is applied to retakes.

JAMK uses the ECTS credit system, which means that the courses and study modules are credited according to the amount of work they require to attain the requested objectives. 

About distribution of grades:

In the Finnish grading system each student is graded on their individual performance, not in relation to the performance of others. There is no rule or expectation for how many students in a course can receive which grade, i.e. no grading curve is used.

The Finnish system is used also at JAMK University of Applied Sciences, where the grading scale is not a proportionate scale. Since the ECTS grading scale is based on an expectancy of the distribution of different grades, the two grading scales are not fully comparable.

Read more about assessment criteria and course assessment in the study guide.


ECTS in Brief

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) is a European system for the transfer and accumulation of study credits and grades. The system has been used for over ten years.

The purpose of reforming the system has been to create a uniform European higher education area. The ECTS increases the competiveness and attractiveness of European higher education, as compared to other continents, and facilitates student mobility and the comparison of the curricula of different higher education institutions. The starting point for the ECTS is the student workload needed to achieve the learning outcomes of a degree programme.

Please, see further information on the ECTS website of the European Commission.


Student Workload

Student workload in full-time study is 1600 hours per academic year, corresponding to 60 ECTS credits. If the annual hours are allocated to 40 weeks, the workload of each week is 40 hours. Respectively, the total workload of a semester is 800 hours of student work (30 ECTS credits). One ECTS credit is equivalent to about 27 hours of student work. This can consist of contact lessons, online learning, group work, independent study, preparation for exams, exams, etc.

Enrolling for Courses and Course Schedules

Enrolling for courses

Exchange students enrol for courses online after the exchange period at JAMK has begun. Course enrolments are done according to the study plan outlined in the student’s Learning Agreement.

If a student arrives to JAMK after the semester has already begun and the enrolment period in Peppi is already closed, the student should contact the Academic Advisor of the School to agree about completing the course enrolments.

Students at the School of Health and Social Studies and others doing practical training at JAMK do not usually need to do any course enrolments. However, course enrolments are needed if they have chosen courses in addition to the practical training in their study plan i.e. Learning Agreement. In this case the students should contact the Academic Advisor of the School to agree about the course enrolments.

Students must be present in the first contact lesson of each course. If a student has a valid reason for absence, they must personally contact the teacher of the course before the first contact lesson. In online courses, students must inform the teacher about participation within two weeks. If a student has enrolled for a course or has chosen one in the Learning Agreement/Changes to the Original Learning Agreement, but does not show up or contact the teacher, the course is assessed as failed.

Course schedules

Each student creates their own study path by choosing the courses they prefer, so JAMK cannot give any ready-made course schedule to exchange students at the beginning of the semester. Students can check course timetables and search for course implementations in the Timetable engine. Instructions for using the timetable engine can be found in JAMK's open access guidance materials. When students enrol for courses after the exchange period has begun, they should check and make sure that their course schedules do not overlap.

Further information about the timetable engine and course schedules will be shared during the orientation.


There are no separate exam periods at JAMK. The course examination takes place during the semester, at the end of the course (agreed upon with the course lecturer usually during the first lessons).