National qualifications framework, Finland

The working group of the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture submitted in 2009 its proposal on the national qualifications framework and other learning. This work is part of the process which places Finnish qualifications in a European qualifications and learning framework.

The national framework builds largely on the European Qualifications Framework EFQ:

  • it has 8 levels
  • the learning required by Finnish qualifications (learning outcomes) are described as knowledge, skills and competences in accordance with the EFQ level descriptors.

Finnish higher education degrees find their place in the national framework in line with the notion of degree cycles established by the Bologna Process.

Level of national framework

Cycle of Bologna process

Finnish higher education degree



Degrees awarded by universities of applied sciences and Bachelor’s degrees awarded by universities



Master’s degrees awarded by universities of applied sciences and by universities



Scientific, artistic and professional postgraduate degrees (such as licentiate and doctoral degrees

First-cycle degrees are three-year Bachelor’s degrees (180 ECTS) awarded by universities and first degrees taking 3.5–4 years (210–240 ECTS) at universities of applied sciences. Second-cycle degrees are two-year university Master’s degrees (120 ECTS) and higher-level degrees taking 1–1.5 years at universities of applied sciences. Exceptions to the rule are the subjects of Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine, which have a degree system of their own.