Bachelor's Degree Programme in Early Childhood Teacher Education

No intake in 2023 and 2024!

The Bachelor’s Degree Programme in Early Childhood Teacher Education aims at educating education experts in early childhood, which, in the Finnish context, comprises education, teaching and care to support every child’s wellbeing, balanced development, and learning.

The programme consists of studies in educational science, practical training and studies that provide pedagogical skills required for positions in early childhood education and pre-school education in different domains including arts, crafts and physical education. The student may choose optional and minor studies that deepen his/her knowledge in various subjects.

Programme in Brief

Programme structure

The 180-credit Bachelor’s Degree Programme in Early Childhood Teacher Education will be completed in three years.

Programme includes the following studies:

  • general studies
  • language and communication studies (including Finnish language)
  • basic and intermediate studies in educational science (including thesis)
  • vocational studies in early childhood education and pre-primary education
  • minor studies and/or optional studies in other subject
Academic excellence & experience

The Bachelor’s Degree Programme in Early Childhood Teacher Education provides student with the skills required for acting as early childhood and pre-school education teachers. Holder of the Bachelor of Arts (Education) degree is, most of all, pedagogical expert and teacher in the day care and early childhood education work.

Bachelor's thesis

The thesis for the Bachelor’s degree Bachelor’s thesis.

 The student:

  • searches for scientific literature, determines a meaningful research question and prepares a research plan
  • collects research data, analyses, and interpretes it

After completing the Bachelor’s thesis, the student masters basic skills of scientific thinking, writing, research assessment and scientific discourse. The thesis lays the foundations for investigative work as a teacher.

Supervised practice

Supervised practice periods offer student a work life learning experience in the Early Childhood Teacher Training and Education Day Care Centre at the University campus. The supervised practice can also be completed elsewhere. The practice periods introduce the student to the professional field and to the duties in the educational and teaching field before the completion of the studies.

Minor studies and other optional studies may be completed in other faculties of the University of Turku.

Career options

Job options

Holder of the Bachelor of Arts (Education) is, most of all, pedagogical expert and teacher in the day care and early childhood education work. The training provides qualifications to act in various expert positions that require early childhood education expertise.

Holder of the degree is qualified to act as early childhood teacher and pre-school education teacher in Finland (taking into account the required knowledge of languages).

Career in research

After completing the Bachelor’s Degree Programme in Early Childhood Teacher Education, students may apply for Master’s degree studies in educational sciences. After completing the Master of Arts (Education) students may pursue postgraduate studies for the Doctor of Philosophy (Education).

High-level research at the Faculty of Education is internationally well-known and has its scope on the whole life-span. The research done at the Faculty, forms the basis for teaching. The research is from the offset free and researcher originated. Research is conducted at the Department level. There are also national and international research centres which operate within the Faculty. The researcher centres are

  • ​Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning and Education (CELE)
  • Centre for Research on Learning and Instruction (CERLI)

The main themes of research at the Faculty of Education are learning, education policy and education systems and teaching and teacherhood.

Entry requirements

General admission requirements

Eligible applicants hold an upper secondary education certificate - the Finnish matriculation examination, the International Baccalaureate, the European Baccalaureate, Reifeprüfung/Die Deutsche Internationale Abiturprüfung or any other comparable upper secondary educational qualification which provides eligibility to University-level Bachelor’s studies in the country in question.

 Applicants who are in the final semester of their upper secondary education are also eligible to apply. The required secondary education studies have to be completed and the related enclosures sent to the Faculty of Education by 15 July 2022 at 15.00 (Finnish time). If the studies required are not completed by the application period deadline, applicants should enclose a statement from their home institution stating the expected date of graduation.

Language Requirements

Language requirements for Bachelor’s Degree Programmes.

Application period

The application period for studies starting in late August 2022 begins on the 5th and ends on the 19th of January 2022 at 15.00 (GMT +2).

University of Turku instructions on how and when to apply.

Admission Results and Appeals

Admissions results will be published 31 March 2022 on the application template Applicants will also receive a notice in writing. All applicants will be informed about the admission results. The programme will start if there are 15 eligible applicants.

If the applicant is dissatisfied with the result of the student selection, s/he may submit a written complaint to the faculty of Education within 14 days of the official publication of the results.

The admitted students have to notify on the application template by 15 July 2022 by 15.00 Finnish time if s/he will 1) accept the study place, or 2) not accept the study place. If the Faculty of Education hasn’t received the student’s notification by 10 July 2020 at 15.00 Finnish time s/he will forfeit the right to enrol in the degree programme.

Application evaluation


A maximum of 20 students are admitted to the programme.

Admission Procedure

The admission process comprises two stages

  1. An assessment of the application documents (motivation letter and secondary education certification), and selection of the applicants to be invited to the entrance examination.
  2. a) The entrance examination is an online interview in English, based on materials sent to the applicants. The interview invitations will be sent by e-mail. If the applicant is not reached for the interview, the application will not be processed further.
    b) Scoring of the Secondary education certification. Scoring is based on the grades in English, in mathematics, and in the language of education in the secondary education degree.

Motivation letter

The motivation letter is included in the application template portal. The length of the motivation letter is maximum 4000 characters, including spaces. The applicant is expected to address all three themes indicated below:

  1. Describe your reasons for applying for the programme.
  2. Describe and evaluate your suitability for early childhood education teacher (profession)
  3. Describe your expectations for this international programme, which is based on the Finnish early education system.

 The motivation letter is scored from 0 to 15 points, max. 5 points for each of the themes. To be eligible for selection to the programme the applicant must gain at least 6 points from the motivation letter.

Invitation to the entrance examination interview

Maximum forty (40) applicants are invited to the entrance examination interview on the basis of the motivation letter scoring and the eligibility criteria.

Applicants will be invited to the interview by email 24.2.2020 at the latest. The applicants shall observe the instructions and deadlines given in the invitation.

The interview is based on the following criteria: shown motivation in the field of early childhood education, interaction skills and clarity and depth of academic argumentation.

The interview is partly based on a scientific article that is provided to the applicants together with the invitation.

The interview is scored from 0 to 20 points. To be eligible for selection to the programme the applicant must gain at least 7 points from the interview.

Secondary education certification

Secondary education certification is scored (0 to 6 points) based on the grades in English, in mathematics, and in the language of education in the secondary education degree.

Final Admission

The final admission to the programme is based on the scores and criteria of the motivation letter, secondary education certification and interview. If two or more applicants score the same number of points, their order shall be determined on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. interview
  2. secondary education certification
  3. points earned from the motivation letter.


The eligible applicants’ applications will be scored as follows:

  • Motivation letter 0-15 points
  • Secondary education certificate 0-6 points
  • Interview 0-20 points
Health requirements

Restrictions on student admission

In order to promote patient and client safety as well as the safety of minors, certain restrictions are applied to student admission.

Such restrictions will pertain to the following fields:

  • Universities of applied sciences: humanities and education, social services, health and sports, and marine technology.
  • Universities: medicine, dentistry, art education, logopaedics, psychology, pharmacy, social work, teacher education.

Admission to the above fields requires that the applicants’ state of health and ability to function allow them to complete practical tasks and training related to studies. Limitations related to health or the ability to function are not an impediment to admission if their effects can be eliminated through reasonable measures such as special arrangements.

In any case, the purpose is not to unnecessarily hinder the access to education of disabled persons or persons suffering from physical or mental limitations. Restrictions on student admission will be applied only in cases where it is evident that the applicant cannot participate in the education due to his or her state of health or ability to function.

Check for field-specific restrictions, if any, set by each higher education institution. Further information is also available from the institutions’ admissions services [Universities of Applied Sciences] [Universities]

As a prior cancellation of the right to study may be an impediment to admission, applicants must inform the higher education institution of such decisions already at the application stage.

Drug tests during studies and a criminal records extract

In certain limited cases, students may be obligated to present a drug test certificate. This primarily concerns situations where testing is necessary to ascertain a student’s ability to function, provided that certain additional conditions specified in detail by law are met.

Students admitted to a higher education institution in 2012 or later may be requested to provide a criminal records extract for the assessment of their ability to study. Such an extract may be requested only from students whose studies include practical training or other activities involving work with minors.

The extract will be requested before the beginning of the practical training or other activity. To ensure the safety of minors, it is necessary to ascertain that the student about to begin practical training has no criminal record of certain serious crimes (sex offence, murder, aggravated assault and battery, aggravated burglary and robbery and narcotics offence).