Freshmen survival guide


The academic year is divided into two semesters; the semesters are divided into two quarters of eight weeks. No contact teaching (lectures, small groups, seminars) is offered during the last week of each Quarter, but there may be examinations, deadlines for written assignments, etc. The eighth week is not intended to be a week off! Most courses last two quarters.


The aim of the Basic Studies module is to introduce the student to the study of contemporary English in the areas of language proficiency, linguistics, literary analysis and cultural knowledge, and to provide a firm basis for on-going academic study in the subject.
All Basics courses are compulsory for every student. In addition to the courses included in the Basic Studies module, students are required to take Fonetiikan perusteet and Yleisen kielitieteen perusteet simultaneously with their Basic Studies in English.
There are approximately 20 hours of contact teaching per week; at least the same amount of time should be reserved for independent study (reading, home assignments, writing essays etc.). Attendance is obligatory in exercise groups and other small group teaching. Absences must be negotiated with the teacher in advance. Repeated absence will result in failing a course.
It is strongly recommended that as much as possible of the Basic Studies module is completed before any Intermediate Studies courses are taken.


Each course is categorised under a Study Module (Basic, Intermediate, Advanced) and each course is measured in study points (op). One study point equals ca. 26-27 hrs of work. When each course of a module is completed, students apply for a final grade. The final grade is calculated by multiplying the study points of a course with the course grade. An average is then calculated. In order to continue to the next study module, the student must get an average of 3 (2.50 rounds up to 3). When the study module is closed, the course grades can no longer be improved.


Before you can apply for your BA degree, you need to have completed the joint language courses totaling 10 credit points. Three of these courses are to be completed in the autumn term of your freshman year:

  • Johdatus kieliaineiden opintoihin (intensive course, 2op)
  • Fonetiikan perusteet (2op)
  • Yleisen kielitieteen perusteet (2op)

Later in your studies, you must complete two more joint courses:

  • Suomen kielen rakenne (2op)
  • Tulevaisuus pelissä, opintopolkujen johdantokurssi (2op)

The credits from these five courses do not count towards the Basic or Intermediate study modules, but are included in your BA degree as separate studies. Be sure to finish them all before applying for your BA degree.


The first degree to be completed is the Bachelor of Arts (180 op). This must include the Basic and Intermediate Studies of the major subject, at least one completed unit of a minor subject, the joint introductory courses mentioned above (10op) and the obligatory language studies (10 op). These consist of the spoken and written communication of Finnish and Swedish. Starting from Autumn 2016, the Finnish communication groups are combined and named Suomen kieli & viestintä (worth 5op). The rest of the study points consist of additional minor subject studies, preferably completed study units, and of other additional studies.


Students should register for most small groups. This is usually done through NettiOpsu, or in some cases by signing lists on the Department notice board. In the autumn semester of Basic Studies, English majors will be divided into small groups in advance; English minors can sign up for the small groups at the Department. The sign-up lists will be posted after the results from the minor entrance exam are available. The time will be announced later on the Department front page. You must always be present at the first meeting or you will lose your spot.
Signing up for the spring semester small groups should take place approx. in week 50 after the timetables for Quarters 3 and 4 have been published. More info will be posted on the Department's intranet fron page in December.
The size of most small classes varies between 10 and 20. Students do not need to sign up in advance for lecture courses in rooms such as the main building lecture halls, since everyone can get in.
Students are normally expected to attend all their classes regularly, and repeated absence may lead to failing the course. Specifically, if you need to be absent from any class more than twice in a semester, you are expected to obtain permission in advance from the teacher.

Students must hand in assignments by the relevant deadline. Completing assignments is a condition for passing the course.


There is, as a rule, no need to register separately for exams based on lecture courses; course retakes arranged on the Department's examination day are an exception.
Registrations for exams taken on Department examination dates are by default on NettiOpsu.


Students of the English Department can seek advice and support from various sources: student tutors introduce first-year students to the department and the university, and teaching staff are eager to help (N.B. all staff members have weekly office hours, during which students are welcome to meet them without making an appointment in advance). Both the Faculty of Humanities and the Student Union also provide advice to students. At the Department, each incoming student (major or minor) is assigned an academic advisor, a lecturer whose task is to keep in touch with his/her advisees during their first year at university, see that the students' studies proceed in a timely fashion and answer any question that they may have.
As a first-year student you will get to know your academic advisor at the very beginning of the autumn term. Each lecturer has approximately ten advisees, and each advisor's group usually gets together for the first time some time before the first teaching day. Please do not miss this first meeting! It is where you will learn all about how academic advising works and who your advisor is, as well as information about the first courses you will be taking, the structure and goals of the BA and MA degrees, how to get minor subjects, etc.


As a first year student, it is recommended that you get a minor subject as soon as possible. The BA degree must contain at least one completed Basic Studies unit of a minor subject.


Every student and staff member has a university e-mail address. It is obligatory for students to use their university e-mail addresses, which are added to the English Department's own mailing list, Through this mailing list students receive important information concerning the Department, such as lecture cancellations, additional courses by visiting lecturers or job opportunities.


Anglica is the student body organization of English students in the University of Turku. Once you get your university e-mail address join the Anglica mailing list so you can keep up with what is happening at the university. Visit for more information!