How to study
Studying at Laurea is full of opportunities. You can study online, on campus, at a work place, in projects big and small, through creating a business of your own and by going on an international exchange abroad.
Learning by Developing
At Laurea you will learn through research, reflection and development activities carried out together with teachers, other students and workplace actors. You will build up your knowledge base, practise skills, develop creative problem-solving techniques and acquire competence needed in your professional field by taking part in development projects. Laurea engages in close interaction with employers, and you will thus establish contacts with working life while still a student. This operating method typical of Laurea is called Learning by Developing (LbD).
LbD is present in all types of studies. The cornerstone of this operation model is that you are not only engaged in analyzing theoretical problems but are constantly seeking for solutions for real -life situations arising from the working life. At Laurea, we have a hands-on approach!
LbD in a nutshell
- You learn through research, reflection, and development in collaboration with teachers, students, and professionals from the working life.
- you build a knowledge base through academic studies.
- You practice skills in real-life contexts.
- You develop creative problem-solving approaches.
- You aquire the necessary expertise in their field by participating in a diverse range of development projects.
- You establish professional connections during your studies, as active interaction with the working life is integral to your education.
Different ways to study
Studies at Laurea include elements that are essential for your future career; the amount of each is for you to decide according to your aspirations:
Online studies are included in all study programmes, amount varying from less in daytime studies and more in blended learning to nearly all in online study programmes. Online studies consist of independent study, teamwork and online guidance. Blended learning and online study programmes require students to be self-directed.
The purpose of the placement is to support the development of your professional identity. Work placements are a mandatory part of each study programme, as they provide you guided instruction to the most important practical aspects of work in your field and let you apply your skills and knowledge in practice.
Thus, placement is one of the most important parts of your studies as it will open the doors into the world of work. The length, objectives, content and organisation of the placement vary in different degree programmes. You will receive further information on the placement when you have started your studies. Placement can be carried out in Finland or abroad. Placement can be completed either as a full-time or as a part-time work.
Project work is included in all study programmes. Projects vary from smaller ones that are part of a study unit to larger ones carried out for individual companies or as part of a large-scale international project. Depending on your field of study, you may complete several study modules in projects. Research is part of project work and prepares you to do your thesis at the final stage of your studies.
Optional ways of acquiring competence
At Laurea, competence that can be included in your degree can be acquired in several flexible ways.
You can progress in your studies:
- by participating in course implementations
- by making use of your prior learning (Recognition of prior studies and Demonstration of competence)
- by making use of competence you acquire at work during your studies (Work-based learning)
- by acquiring competence in voluntary work, an RDI project or through Laureamko student activities.
Accreditation and recognition of prior learning
Existing competence that corresponds to your degree’s learning outcomes can be included in the degree through recognition and accreditation of your prior learning . The starting point is competence-based thinking: what matters is your competence itself, not how and where you acquired it. The procedures for the recognition and accreditation of prior learning at Laurea are Recognition of prior studies and Demonstration of competence.
In the Recognition of prior studies procedure, your previous higher education studies can be recognised based on a certificate or a transcript of records as part of your degree, either by substitution or inclusion.
Substitution comes into question when your prior learning in another educational institution (university or university of applied sciences) corresponds to the learning outcomes and level of the core competence studies in your degree programme. Inclusion, on the other hand, means that the studies completed elsewhere are incorporated in the complementary competence studies of your degree.
As regards learning you have completed abroad before your studies, be prepared to demonstrate their comparability with the Finnish/European education system (ECTS) in terms of their content, scope and higher education level. If required, submit an official translation (English) of the certificates.
The Demonstration of competence procedure allows you to demonstrate competence included in your degree's learning outcomes you have obtain in other ways, regardless of where, how and when you acquired it. For example, you may have acquired competence at work or in on-the-job training, NGO activities or hobbies.
This competence can be verified in different ways. The method of demonstration will be agreed on with you individually, or it may have already been specified, depending on your degree programme or study unit. The key to this process is that you recognise and verbalise your own competence in concrete terms and that your competence is comparable to your curriculum's learning outcomes and the level required for your degree.
You can also acquire the competence required for completing your degree through working. Work-based learning during studies promotes your professional development and speeds up the progress of your studies and completion of your degree. In other words, work-based learning is an alternative way of studying, and it means that you acquire the competence described in your curriculum by doing your tasks at work or by participating in other activities that generate competence in line with your degree programme.
Work-based learning starts from your personal development needs. Get acquainted with your curriculum and consider what kind of competence it contains that you could gain and develop in your work. Consider your career goals and talk to your employer about the possibility of agreeing on job enrichment, which means making your job description more versatile. In other words, you can purposefully start developing your competence in your preferred direction.
Your workplace can be in the private or public sector, in NGO activity or voluntary work. Your learning environment can also be your own company, a business idea that you are developing or a project that is under way at Laurea. You can complete both compulsory and elective studies through work-based learning if the tasks support the degree programme's learning outcomes.
If you work while studying, you also have an opportunity for work-based learning: acquiring a foundation of knowledge to support your working tasks and putting it into practice as you perform the agreed working tasks.
Work-based learning is an alternative study method. To utilize this operational model, you should have personal self-initiative and take up the matter yourself at Laurea. You can ask more from your tutor teacher.
So how and what should I learn?
It is possible in work-based learning to learn the knowledge and skills required at work in a versatile and comprehensive manner. You acquire foundation of knowledge as support for your working tasks, which you can quickly put into practice as you perform the agreed working tasks.
The tasks agreed for your work-based learning are entered into your Learning contract in order to identify and obtain recognition for the competence you have acquired. The demonstrations are based on the goals of the curriculum.
Work-based learning proceeds on the basis of your own development needs. It is advisable in arranging your tasks to consider your own career path. You can try with your employer to arrange job enrichment, i.e. a job role that has more versatility and range than before. You can therefore embark on consciously developing yourself with regard to your own competence in the manner you prefer.
How is my competence assessed?
Learning and competence should be made visible – so it can also be evaluated by another person. A portfolio, for example, serves as a demonstration technique. The evaluation occurs by documenting your own learning and competence, adding up the total number of working tasks, and qualitatively assessing your own competence. In addition to self-evaluation, the evaluations and feedback from your supervisor, a close colleague and your teacher are applied.
How do I arrange work-based learning?
To arrange work-based learning, proceed as follows:
- Acquaint yourself with the curriculum and think about which competences are included that you could develop at work.
- Have an initial conversation about the working tasks at your workplace and the targets of work-based learning.
- Arrange a preliminary discussion to assess, together with the teacher responsible for the module or a study unit, the possibilities for work-based learning. The person in charge of the module or study unit will guide you in the preparation of the Learning contract.
- Plan the development of your competence by filling in the Learning contract.
- Arrange a discussion with the representative or teacher in charge of the module, during which you confirm the Learning contract and prepare the evaluation form.
- Start your studies in accordance with the Learning contract and document your competence.
If you don't know how to get started with the process, you can ask assistance from your tutor lecturer.
Competence obtained via work-based learning is recognized as part of the degree programme. The performance items accumulate credits that entitle the student to a study grant.
For more information, contact the head of student affairs or your tutor teacher.
Entrepreneurship and innovations are strongly supported at Laurea. You can work on your own business idea or link your studies to developing an existing business, and get support from e.g. development environments, pre-incubators, growth company programmes and competitions, networking events, international entrepreneurship camps, or the Laurea Entrepreneurship Society (LaureaES).
Internationality comes naturally when studying at Laurea. Besides studying together with students from varied cultural backgrounds, you may apply to study or train abroad, study languages or include international elements in your thesis. Laurea has a network of over 200 exchange destinations over the world.
Writing a thesis is part of the final stages of studies. In degree programmes leading to a Bachelor’s degree, the thesis comprises 15 credits; in a programme for a Master's degree it comprises 30 credits.
In a thesis a student can demonstrate capabilities for applying knowledge and skills from his or her field in practical expert tasks. The goal is for the student to know how to develop business activities through research and to produce new solutions as products, models of action, and working culture.
You can select the topic for your work yourself according to your own area of interest. Ready topics are offered both by companies as well as Laurea's development projects.
Laurea's theses are public documents. It is possible to read theses in the Theseus database. The theses also give a good impression of our students' expertise.
We have seven different Bachelor's Programmes and three Master's programmes. Find out which one of them suits you best and apply!
Read more about degree programmes offered in English
Bachelor's Programmes in Finnish
We offer Bachelor's Degree programmes in Finnish. Each programme offers some study units in English, so exchange students may also find suitable studies from these programmes.
Read more about Finnish Bachelor's programmes
Student union Laureamko
As a member of Laureamko you’ll get all student benefits in Finland. These benefits are accessible via the Laureamko student card.
Examples of student projects
Students developed the Yliopiston Apteekki online shop and loyalty programme
Yliopiston Apteekki got new ideas and support for identified development targets from the Laurea student service design project.
Students developed new circular economy concepts in 3UAS-project
During this spring’s 3UAS Circular Economy for Sustainable Growth learning lane students got to develop new circular economy service concepts for K-Rauta.