Studying at Contemporary History

It is possible to study in English at the Department of Philosophy, Contemporary History and Political Science. While most Contemporary History degree requirements and lecture courses offered are by default in Finnish, special arrangements will be made if necessary. A student aspiring to study in English should contact the department staff.

Teaching is available in English through the European Studies and East Asian Studies programs. There may also be other lecture courses or guest lectures given in English each year.

In addition, the University offers a variety of Master's Degree Programs in English, some of which may also be of interest for Contemporary History students - for example the Baltic Sea Region Studies program in the Faculty of Humanities.

Courses in Contemporary history in English

Opiskelua poliittisessa historiassa

Studying Contemporary History FAQ

I have a question to which I can’t find an answer here, who should I contact and ask?

If the FAQ can’t answer your question and it is relevant to your studies at the department of contemporary history, there are some people within the department you should contact first depending on the nature of the question.
Maiju Wuokko is in charge of the exchange student system and the students themselves.

Outi Luova runs the East Asian Studies Program.

They can be contacted with questions through e-mails, phone or by coming to the department during office hours. The FAQ aims to be as thorough and flexible as possible, so maybe your question will be included here later!

Check also the International website of the University to comprehensive information about studying in Finland in general and other issues not specifically dealt with in the department - if after this your questions are still left unanswered, we urge you to contact your tutor or other academic advisors assigned to you during your stay and seek their advice.

How can I come and study Contemporary History at the University of Turku?

Exchange students come to the University of Turku through an exchange programme such as ERASMUS, NORDPLUS, ISEP, a CIMO scholarship or a bilateral agreement between the home institution and the University of Turku. Exchange student application forms can be ordered from the International Office of the University, and are also available through their website during the application period.

When ordering application forms, please remember to specify that you are applying through a formal exchange agreement. Please view the application instructions and advice for preparing your ECTS learning agreement. Remember to include the enclosures: the transcript of records and the ECTS learning agreements to all the Universities in which you plan to take courses here in Turku! The application deadline is 31.5. for the autumn term and the academic year; and 1.11. for the spring term.

Where can I find suitable courses for my ECTS learning agreement?

The faculty of social sciences offers non-degree programs taught in English and suitable for exchange students: History and Politics of European Integration, East Asian Studies, and Finnish-Nordic Society and Culture.

In addition, there are other courses available in English in the faculty and in the University as a whole. As a common rule, the official language in the University of Turku is Finnish. Thus, a majority of courses are offered only in Finnish. For non-degree programs outside the faculty, read the non-degree program here. Furthermore, information about master's degree and post-graduate studies can be found here concerning the department and here concerning the entire university.

The students are encouraged to also check the course offerings of the Swedish speaking university Åbo Akademi​.

How can I fit contemporary history into my education? Are there any requirements that need to taken care of?

For detailed information about the requirements for studying contemporary history, please consult the Degree Requirements. Program coordinators for History and Politics of European Integration and East Asian Studies can answer question regarding the programs, if they are left unanswered.

What are the studying methods here? Are there any differences to the generally used methods in the university?

We have created some guides regarding studying practices at the department of contemporary history that can be located on the sidebar to your left , for example a guide on writing essays and about exam practises. Additional information about practices in the University can be found on some of the Useful Links found on the right sidebar, but as a rule they should only complement – not override – the department’s own practices. If some questions are still left unanswered, you can consult the department staff for clarification (see FAQ question #1).

Structure of Degrees in Contemporary History

Bachelor's Degree

The lower academic degree corresponds to the Anglo-American Bachelor's Degree and is called kandidaatin tutkinto. Contemporary History students who gain this degree become Bachelors of Social Sciences (in Finnish Valtiotieteen kandidaatti).The degree takes about three years of full-time study and consists of 180 credits (opintopiste). One credit is defined as approximately 26,7 hours of work, and the amount of credits received for any course is determined based on the estimated amount of work required of the student to attain the objectives of the specific course. One (1) Finnish credit corresponds to one (1) ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credit.

Master's Degree and Postgraduate studies

The more advanced Master's Degree is called maisterin tutkinto. This degree consists of a minimum of 120 credits, and it usually takes a further two years to complete after the lower degree. Graduates become Masters of Social Sciences, or Valtiotieteen maisteri. Postgraduate studies consist of two degrees, the voluntary Licentiate (lisensiaatin tutkinto) and the Doctor's Degree (tohtorin tutkinto).

Contemporary History studies are divided into three sections: Basic Studies, Intermediate Studies and Advanced Studies.

Basic Studies

The extent of the Basic Studies is 25 credits, and this section is usually completed during the first year of studying. The goal of these studies is to achieve a basic knowledge and a general impression of the discipline, and the structure of this section is the same for all students. Themes covered in Basic Studies include an introduction to historical research, different approaches to world history, political ideologies and recent Finnish history (starting from the 19th century).

Intermediate Studies

Intermediate Studies of Contemporary History go deeper into the discipline and the methodology of the discipline. In Intermediate Studies students can choose the topics they want to focus on, and responsibility for planning one’s studies passes more and more to the student. Many students choose to complete a part of this section of their studies abroad in foreign universities.
Completion of Intermediate Studies (together with the required minor, language and general studies) leads to the Bachelor’s Degree.

Advanced studies

Advanced studies of Contemporary History form the final stage of studies and concentrate on the students' ability to apply different research methods and analyze research findings themselves. The Master’s thesis (Pro Gradu) forms a central part of this section. Students choose their own topic and write a thesis of 60 to 100 pages. The backbone of Advanced Studies are three seminars during which students present papers that illustrate the advancement of their thesis and receive comments from the teacher and other participants of the seminar.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the main subject studies which comprise of at minimum 75 credits for the Bachelor’s Degree and a further 90 credits for the Master’s Degree, Contemporary History students are required to include a certain amount of other courses into their degrees. The Bachelor’s Degree consists of 180 credits, and the Master’s Degree of 120 credits, so main subject studies are only a part of the degrees.

More information about Degree Requirements

Contemporary History students need to include at least 6 credits of general studies in their degree. These studies are organized by the Faculty of Social Sciences, and they discuss themes such as the philosophy and ethics of science.

Language studies have become an increasingly important part of every academic degree. Contemporary History students are expected to include at least 15 credits of language studies in their degree, but most students complete more than the minimum requirement of language courses. Obligatory courses are Finnish Writing Skills, Finnish Communication Skills, Swedish and at least 6 credits worth of other languages. Popular language choices are among others English, French, German and Spanish. Students intending to write their thesis in English also have to take an obligatory Advanced Academic Writing course in English. Language courses are organized by the Language Centre of the University of Turku.

Students also have to include minor subject studies to their degree. The minimum requirement is to have complete Basic Studies (25 credits) from two minor subjects. There are no obligatory minor subjects and also no upper credit limits. In addition to these required minor studies, there are 34 credits in the Bachelor’s Degree and 30 credits in the Master’s Degree that students get to use freely. These credits can be obtained from additional studies in the major subject; by continuing a minor or minors into Intermediate Studies or taking on more minor subjects; by studying languages; or by a combination of these possibilities. In effect most students complete considerably more than the required 50 credits worth of minor studies.

The most popular minor subjects among Contemporary History students include other disciplines in the Faculty of Social Sciences such as Political Science and Economics, and disciplines in the Department of History in the Faculty of Humanities. Other popular minor choices are Media Studies, East Asian Studies, Law, Development Studies, Gender Studies and various languages.

Studying Methods

Lecture Courses

Lectures are an important part of Finnish academic life. A typical lecture course consists of 24 hours of lectures and ends in a written exam based on the lectures. These courses are usually worth 2-4 credits. For some courses, the mode of assessment is a learning diary  instead of an exam. In the Basic Studies of Contemporary History there are several compulsory lecture courses for all students, while in Intermediate Studies lecture courses change from year to year and are often given by guest lecturers on varying topics. These lecture courses are optional for students.

Exam Categories

The exams in the department of Contemporary History can be classified into four different exam categories (NB: in Finnish tradition, oral exams are rare) Each exam has its responsible teacher and he/she should be contacted if the need be. In case of problems more difficult to solve, contact the department staff (e.g. University Lecturer Tiina Lintunen):

1. Normal book exams – Arranged as electronic exams.  For the book exams, students read the set books (usually two to four books per exam, totaling about 1000 pages) and sign up for the exam on the Exam electornic service. Please follow the link for more information about the electronic exam and locations of the e-exam rooms.

In the exam students are required to answer questions about the books they read. Book exams can usually be replaced by writing essays. Essay topics need to be agreed on in advance with the teacher responsible for the particular exam. Writing essays is generally encouraged, and it is a great way to practice academic writing.

2. Lecture exams held after courses – Held after courses on the dates announced by the course teacher responsible.

3. Overdue exams – Held at the end of semesters – the dates are decided in advance by the department staff. You can take lecture exams (this being the third or fourth occasion) but cannot take book exams on the overdue exams.

4. Summer exams – The summer exams are arranged as electronic exams.Summer exams are mostly like normal book exams. However, the ​exams can be booked at the summer months (starting from 1th June ja ending 31th August). Occassionally the students must also do special arrangements (such as selecting the exam books) with the teacher long before the exam, usually in May. The results of the summer exams will be published in September.

You can give feedback right after the exam to the lecturer by email. You can give feedback for example about the exam arrangements or the set of books you read for the exam. You can also ask about your own answers and grade.

Registering for an exam
You can register into book exams via the Electronic Exam Service.
The procedures for registering to lecture exams are always announced during the lecture course. As a rule, registration for lecture exam is not obligatory beforehand. There are three separate exams hold for each lecture course, one of which can be held on the overdue exam date.

Overdue exams must be registered even though they are lecture exams, this mainly has to do with the staff needing to know the number of participants. Registration can be done online, usually a week before the exam.
Registration for summer exams is done with the above-mentioned methods.

The Examination
Book exams are held in specific electronic exam rooms. Check the locations from the e-exam service​.

The place for lecture exams are always reported separately. They are usually arranged in the same lecture halls and at the same time as the course has been held. In general, the lecture exams last for two hours.

Overdue exams are usually held at​ Publicum lecture halls. They last for two hours.

Arrangements of the summer exams are descibed above.

Exam results
Exam results must be published online at the Nettiopsu three weeks after the exam, at the latest.


Seminars are courses focusing on writing the theses. There's a seminar in Intermediate Studies for the Bachelor's thesis, and three seminars in Advanced Studies for the Master’s thesis. Seminars are taught by the Professors and Senior Research Fellow of the Department, and they are designed to guide and help students working on their theses. In the seminar meetings students present papers that illustrate the advancement of their thesis, and they receive comments from the teacher and other participants of the seminar. Each seminar lasts for one term, so students are given one term to write their Bachelor's thesis and three terms to write their Master’s thesis, although for the latter the timeframe is flexible.

Guide for writing essays

1. An essay is an independent text answering a certain question. The question can be descriptive (through which evolutions did Finland enter the European Union? What are the characteristics of Tocqueville’s thought on democracy?)) or more analytical (a comparison of Swedish and Finnish neutrality during the Cold War). Ideally the question will a bit of both, using description in order to support an analytical argument.

2. The theme of an essay must be agreed upon with the essay’s examiner beforehand. Essays are most of the time linked to a course, or to a precise subject, The examiner has all authority to decide whether or not the subject of the essay corresponds to the scope of the course or the theme developed.

3. When writing an essay, a reference and quotation system  should be used and remain coherent throughout the all text. Various systems exist: the main point here is that the same system be used through the entire text. For additional information, please see the "Technicalities" section of this guide.

4. The number of pages in relation to study credits is not fixed. As a rule of thumb, however, 12-15 pages of text earns about four ECTS credits (in Finnish: opintopiste). For those courses that involve teaching as well, and not only an essay, the minimum length required may be less. Basic line spacing is 1,5 and the font size 12 pt. Tinkering with page settings is not advised, as it will just annoy the examiner for no tangible gain.

Again, the essay must always be agreed upon with its respective examiner. Negotiations are best made during office hours, but can also be arranged by phone or email. Upon negotiating the essay’s theme, the student ought to have examined the topic and references independently and preferably be ready to voice out their own suggestions. By this means you can influence the choice of theme and references. Moreover, suggesting that you have not preplanned anything for the essay in terms of viewpoints or possible arguments would certainly leave the examiner unimpressed. Making suggestions by email is possible and much encouraged.

While writing the essay, it is quite possible for the theme's emphasis to change. If it changes drastically, however, you have to re-negotiate the theme with the examiner.

In case you want feedback about the essay’s content, you should consult your examiner during their office hours, arranging the meeting beforehand. Some examiners are willing to give feedback by email.

The number of referenced books and standards of writing are partly determined by the scope of the essay in terms of ECTS credits and whether it concerns basic, intermediate or advanced studies. If the problematique of the essay so requires, additional and/or superseding references can be agreed upon.

It serves the purpose of independent study when a theme is agreed upon first, and only after that the problematique is formed upon reading the material, in a manner similar to theses’ writing. The benefit of this method is the student’s self-reliant search for books and articles clarifying his problematique. The arrangement of a strict problematique is also possible, if the work evaluation allows such a method. The student can also consult the examiner ex tempore for suggestions concerning books and problematiques.

The method usually selected is that students tend to have preliminary thoughts on a problematique and some references, which are then further discussed during office hours. Ideally the essay’s theme is constructed between the interests of the student, the general theme of the course, and the suggestions of the examiner.
An essay or an exam?
Compared to other fields of science, history has always maintained as a strict principle that research must be presented in standard language. Historians are unlike scholars of systematic social sciences and not errantly drawn to developing and using jargon. This establishes a good yet binding basis for using essays as a means for study attainment.

Contemporary history has always utilized essay writing. Regardless, since the 1990s the emphasis on essays in degree requirements has been considerably increased as obligatory essays have become a new element in the requirements. Thus, focusing on essay writing is heavily encouraged.

Essays have greater demands than exams of the same level, both in terms of content and form. A common mis-assumption is that a student could cope with less effort doing an essay rather than reading the study material. Writing an essay should not be considered a shortcut in any event, as the reality is quite the opposite.

Essays can compensate exam requirements ranging from two to six ECTS credits. Thus, we can classify essays as covering 2, 4, or 6 ECTS credits. More is naturally required from essays of 6 credits than 2, but the same ground rules and requirements apply regardless of the essay’s scope.

It’s beneficial for students to use the essay option. By writing essays you will learn the skills required when writing and researching independently. What’s more, constructing various kinds of memoranda, summaries and disquisitions is a useful skill in employment.
The differences between essays and exams
1. The topic/title of an essay can usually be decided by the writer.

2. An essay's scope is usually wider than that of an exam question, that should be answered to in about two hours.

3. The writer of an essay is usually more enthusiastic and interested in its topic than an exam taker.

4. Writing an essay involves a personal/contemplating approach. Unfortunately, exam answers usually feature an undertone of rote learning (reading by a technical routine)

5. An essay has and is required to have better language and style than an exam answer.
Viewpoints and observations
To a certain extent, an essay is synonymous to a viewpoint and an approach. Its goal is to open a unique viewpoint to a certain topic. Exclusion usually drops out historical backgrounds and gets to the main point. The creating of syntheses and bridges, the putting forward of your own opinions (argumented and constructed on facts) are all encouraged as parts of the intellectual and creative process of the essay. Creativity and opinions are encouraged in the frame of intellectual and scientific debate: instead of presenting opinions, the students are encouraged to present hypotheses, constructed on knowledge and bringing something to the reader beyond the student’s judgment on an issue.

Essays are not required to exhaustingly analyze a certain topic in its entity, but instead to focus on presenting a single ’slice’ within its scope. Essays are suited for e.g. developing the problematique of a future thesis and playing with various kinds of research findings. Moreover, the mushrooming of so-called article theses is raising the significance of essays and essay writing skills.
Essays are generally required to feature both a comparative and an evaluative approach. There are several ways to discern the principal problematique of an essay.

Students commonly suggest essay topics that take the form of a book summary or the presentation of a publication. However, a mere summary cannot be considered to be an essay. This changes, if (1) the writer aims to analyze the book and compare it to other interpretations. Such an analyzing approach would require considerable knowledge that students do not usually have and obtaining it takes a considerable amount of time. The main idea here is that description is not sufficient: a problematique that structures the essay should be found.

For example, a student may choose a book about the developments of the EU as his basis. He notices that it discusses the birth of the predecessors of EU as a part of France’s politics with Germany. He finds this to be surprising, as he has learned from e.g. current affairs reviews and literature to dissect the birth of EU from the viewpoint of East-West-relations. He can discuss his interpretation of the book in an analysis from this point of view.

Another manner (2) is to base the essay on the problematique/viewpoint of a certain book or a part of it, and complement it with additional material.

For example, a student may choose as his basis a book on the phases of EU. He discovers that the origins of EU’s predecessors are involved in both French occupation problematique in Germany and French domestic policies in the beginning of the 1950s. He decides to complement the problematique at issue by acquainting himself with other material discussing these newly-found problematiques.

The third manner (3) is to decide on the comparative problematique and material beforehand.

For example, the problematique could be as follows: "Interpreting the works of Halle, LaFeber and Arbatov about the agents (causes) of the cold war".  To achieve good or excellent grading, merely summarizing the interpretations of the theories in each book is insufficient. A greater personal investment is required from the student. The aforementioned essay should choose a criteria of comparison based on the analysis of the material. The essay itself would demonstrate the main features, differences and similarities of the interpretations by comparing the books on the basis of the selected criteria. A completely successful essay is expected to fathom why the interpretations are as such and why they differ from one another.

Comparison between research and prose literature is also possible. A good essay topic could for example be "Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl and Lydia Kokkola’s Representing the Holocaust in Children’s Literature ".
The fourth manner (4) could be that the problematique arises e.g. from a topical discussion or news material and the student starts investigating the matter through literature and topical material.

For example, the problematique could be: "Ethnic cleansing and its utilization as a political tool in recent history", inspired by the case of former Yugoslavia.
Essays included in Advanced Studies
Negotiating essays related to Advanced Studies' courses takes place as early as possible after the beginning of the course.

A student working on an essay related to Advanced Studies should not spare their efforts, as the completed work can be utilized as a basis for more research on the subject.
Analysis in an essay
Processing must ascend coherently based on the analysis chosen. Essentially one can separate segments from an essay that are similar to the ones in a candidate’s thesis and other theses: introduction – processing – conclusion. This ought to be only a beneficent general guide, not an unbending norm.
Depending on the subject, a "shocking" or a straight-to-the-point introduction or a surprising quotation without a preface as an introduction can sometimes be suitable for effect. Likewise, the ending may function well without a clear conclusion.

In the introduction one can in a way cut straight to the subject matter or to the final stages of the essay. This method is certainly familiar from movies. Movies often start from an event which happens to be a portion from the middle or the end of the film. From there, the film moves back in time – for example through a character’s flashback – and not till the end it returns to the opening scene, which the viewer can now understand in the right manner and from the right perspective. Analysis can follow various kinds of ground rules as long as they are suitable for the problematique selected for the essay
Hallmarks of a good essay
1. Relevant and matter-of-fact

2. Quoting is done educatedly

3. Striving for overall objectivity (unless it has other conscious aspirations that are transparent enough for the reader to identify)

4. Well-structured (you should e.g. always divide the essay into chapters and include subtitles/headings)

5. Enthusiastic

6. Surprising by its manner of discussion and subject matter
Common errors
1. Missing a point of view/theme. The topic is suitable, but without a point of view or theme the essay is watered down. The text is fumbling here and there without a clear direction.

2. Not knowing your target audience!

3. Your language is hard to understand and/or plainly poor. Having and maintaining good academic writing skills is a necessity to create intelligible material.

4. A weak structure. You musn't lose the core of the essay. Recollect it on every chapter and support its message.

5. Inadequate and exiguous (too few) references.

6. Too much repetition. You are harping and lecturing about the same matter in many different ways or have taken the role of a "preacher".

7. Problems with using citations. The quotes you are using are too long or too few in number. Use them with discretion. Quotes have to demonstrate something extraordinary, for example a certain atmosphere  or dogmatism in language. Usually the best to manifest your ideas is by using your own words.

8. The essay is too long. Not using necessary cropping and trimming is at fault in this case. Use the so-called tip of the iceberg -technique by only showing the reader the pinnacle of your investigation and proving the extensive amount of knowledge underneath.

Questions regarding form and style are widely covered and available in literature. A good starting point is The MLA Citation Style guide which is considered essential for academic writers and a wide range of material based on it is found online through search engines.

Essays should contain subtitles/headings, but they do not need to be numbered. Apt subtitles are an efficient way to structure the presentation. Paragraph divisions must clearly denote the boundaries and relations between the matters and the different outlines and contexts.

Use footnotes sparingly. The source material must be made evident through a quotation method that should be coherent through the entire text. A bibliography must be  attached to the end of the essay.

The language used must be suitable for the academic text format, yet 'suitable' doesn't have to be synonymous to 'dull'. There are no strict norms for the essay's length. What is considered more important than width are the manner of investigation and the student's own personal effort. Once again, a good general reference for the essay's length is that an essay of 12-15 pages equals 4 ECTS credits.​

Learning Diary

​What is a learning diary?
A learning diary is a text that introduces the reader to the main arguments and other important points of a course, seminar or an individual lecture through your own remarks and interpretations. In other words, a learning diary reflects your own thought processes, and thus is the result of a "dialogue" between yourself as an active thinking subject and the new information that you encounter and process. You should relate this information to your preexisting knowledge and experiences as well as make connections between issues, relating things to each other and assimilating them into your own broader understanding of the topic in question.
What is a good learning diary made of?
A good learning diary cannot be composed only on the basis of the course materials and your own raw lecture notes. These are just the starting ingredients and backbone – to successfully turn them into a finished learning diary, you must seek out and present the main points and questions of the course that were of particular interest to you, and contextualize them. A learning diary can be understood as something that is a more free-form written assignment than an ordinary essay. In a learning diary, you can more freely choose what to focus on, and can build it up from your own interests – as long as you remember to justify and contextualize your choices!
Depending on the course, you might or might not be instructed to also use additional reading as source material for your learning diary. Usually, you are given reading suggestions during the course, and you should use both your own lecture notes, the lectures' presentations (if available) and the additional reading. You should also take into account what can be drawn from "general knowledge", such as popular opinion, general assumptions and mainstream interpretations. In a good learning diary, you are invited to challenge these often very powerful motives with arguments derived from academic texts and your own thought process.
 Why a learning diary?
When writing a learning diary, you can reflect your own process of absorbing and measuring information from a given course, and thus become more conscious of your process of learning. From your learning diary, the teacher will be able to see not only how the factual contents of a course have been understood by you, but also to see examples of what you have judged to be the most thought-provoking and/or important content of that course. In pedagogic terms, you are given the opportunity to closely examine some of the facts presented, to draw conclusions, and to develop your reasoning. In a regular essay, you need to be more careful, but in a learning diary you can even play with the form as long as you make sure that you stay academic enough and offer a decent amount of arguments, analysis and conclusions.
For some courses, you are required to write short texts, e.g. 1-3 pages, on the basis of each lecture given. For some courses, you are invited to leave to less detail or even ignore those sub-topics of a course that you found least interesting or thought-provoking. So pay attention to what the requirements are for each particular course!
Practical guidelines and tips for preparing a learning diary
1) It is strongly recommended to start writing the learning diary early. At least try to prepare for it by writing down notes already during the course, even though the actual deadline for the learning diary is usually up to 2–3 weeks after the course's last session.
2) When attending a course's lectures/sessions, remember to check if the course materials are accessible on-line. During the course, you should focus on writing notes and remarks about issues that provoke your thoughts – you can always check most of the facts later. Usually, the materials of a particular lecture are available only after it has been given, but in some cases they might also be available a few days in advance.
3) If you are writing a learning diary for a course that includes multiple themes/topics, remember to check is you are free to choose your focus or if you are required to write a short text on the basis of each individual lecture. You might be able to choose to a) write your learning diary about the topic of selected interesting lectures or b) write a "diary entry" on the basis of each lecturer that has been given or that you have attended. Also remember to check if the course has a minimum attendance requirement! As a rule of thumb, the narrower the topic, the more additional reading you need to do for your learning diary.
4) Always try to come up with a title for your learning diary, other than e.g. just a generic "Course name: Learning diary" (or equivalent). The title should reflect those argument(s) and/or conclusion(s) of your text that you judge are the most important and interesting.
5) Always try to include subtitles/headings in your text (even in a short learning diary!), and be sure to include an introduction chapter and a conclusions chapter (they should also be given non-generic subtitles!). If you find it very hard to write the introduction and conclusions, that usually is an indication of a need to work your thoughts a bit further.
6) Unlike for essays, footnotes are not necessary for learning diaries. An accurate list of sources is sufficient. However, even without footnotes, it must be clear when you are making references to your source material (Example: "In her lecture/book/article XXX, professor XXX takes a provocative approach to..."). You may use notes if you wish, but in that case please choose footnotes, not endnotes.
7) Always make sure that your original thought and your own arguments are included in a learning diary. If the text is composed almost completely of references and/or summaries, you can expect to have a low grade or even to fail your assignment.
8) Please pay attention to technical requirements: The paper size should always be A4, the font size is 12 pt, the font Times New Roman or other easy-to-read, standard-size font, and line spacing is 1.5 (not 2.0, for example!). Please use standard margins. The minimum length of an assignment means the minimum length of the text itself, including title, subtitles and possible footnotes and excluding a possible separate title page (the title can also be written at at the top of the first page), and the list of sources.
Any further questions? Please contact the teacher of your course (for courses in the European Studies Minor, please contact Maiju Wuokko).


The focus of Contemporary History is general education and therefore it does not prepare students for any exact profession. Scholarship and critical education, however, are important strengths in the modern labour markets and Contemporary History graduates have found employment in many important posts in both the public and private sectors.

Traditionally, degree students of Contemporary History have worked in the following fields after graduation:

  • Education: the school system, adult education, professional postgraduate education, education in institutions of higher education and special education
  • Journalism and Mass Communication: press, radio and television; various Communications posts in administration, businesses and organizations
  • Administration and Organizations: parties, labour organizations, civil organizations, regional organizations and unions
  • International Relations: Administration of foreign affairs, international relations of different organizations, foreign trade, development aid, international organizations.