The Master's Degree Changes of 2018

Master Degree changes: fall semester 2018

Study plans

All subjects' study plans for the master's degree are as of the academic year 2018-2019 been divided into compulsory courses and elective courses. The compulsory courses are offered every year and have the same learning goals in both Helsinki and Vaasa. The elective courses may vary year by year. For many subjects, this will not cause many changes compared to the previous study plan. The new study plans were published during the spring semester 2018.

Course credits

Beginning from 1.8.2018 almost all master level courses comprise of either 10 or 5 credits. A voluntary internship on master’s level comprises of 5 or 10 elective credits. From 1.8.2019 the seminar course will be 5 credits. In case a student, due to the structural changes, would fall short of a few credits in his/her major, a supplementary literature course consisting of 2 or 3 credits can be offered when the student is at the end of his/her studies. Visit a study counsellor at the Office of Study Affairs who can check if you may take the supplementary literature couse.

Combination of old and new study plans

Students, who have followed and meet the requirements of an old study plan in their major, can still graduate according to it. Students who need to combine studies from an old and a new study plan are advised to prioritise compulsory courses in the new study plan. In addition, by taking elective courses, they should make sure that they have at least 60 credits on advanced level in their major and at least 30 credits in studies that can be approved as programme/major specific (see the picture of the structure below) and thus attain at least 90 credits in their major. All previously conducted studies that were included in previous study plans can be included as electives in the new plan. Students are welcome and recommended to go through their studies with a study counsellor well before graduation.

Re-taking exams and courses from 2017-18

If you have already completed a course worth 8 credits in a previous study plan, and the course as of August 2018 is worth 5 credits, you may not re-take the course or write an exam in that course. A course that has been removed from the syllabus cannot be re-taken.


The advanced internship on MSc level demands 8 weeks of work to attain 5 credits and 16 weeks of work for 10 credits. You can no longer attain 8 credits for the advanced internship on MSc level. All internship reports submitted after September 1st 2018 are connected to the 5 or 10 credit internship course and must fullfil the "new" requirements for examination. Contact your examiner or the study counsellors. 

Global competence and seminar courses

A new course, Global Competence 5 credits (consists of courses 9995 and 9996), is part of the compulsory studies within the major for students starting their master studies fall 2018 or later, and all students that complete the seminar worth 5 cr. Students that finish the seminar worth 12 credits before the fall of 2019 are not required to take the Global Competence courses 9995 and 9996, but the courses can however be a part of the elective programme specific studies (they can be included in the 90 credits).

Weighting of course grades

The double weighting of master level courses in comparison to bachelor courses and courses in language and business communication have ceased at Hanken. Other universities in Finland do not have a system of weighting course grades differently depending on the level of the course when calculating the grade point average (GPA). All courses held after 1 August 2018, have the same weight meaning that master courses will no more affect the average grade more than bachelor level courses. Students, who wish to graduate 1.10.2018, or later, can when they apply for their degree certificate choose to keep the weight 2 on all their advanced level courses (completed before 1.8.2018), or to change the weight to 1 for all courses.

Below you can see an example of a transcript with an advanced course with the weight 2. The advanced course Management Information Systems affects the average a bit more than the other courses in Information Systems Sciences. The student, whose transcript this is, can when applying for his/her degree certificate decide whether he/she wants to keep all advanced level courses with the weight 2 or to change them all to weight 1. In this specific case, the student could keep the weight 2 for all advanced level courses, since a good grade in an advanced course affects the weighted average positively.infosyst_weight_2.jpg

Compulsory language studies

The amount of compulsory language credits in the master's degree has decreased from 6 credits to 5 credits. This means that the number of elective courses in the master’s degree increases from 24 to 25 credits. If a major/specialisation/track has defined a study plan with 90 credits, there is thereby possible to fit a minor into the master's degree. Note that some study plans are defined as larger than 90 credits (which usually is the case regarding master's degree specialisations offered in English), and then there is no space for a minor subject (a minor has to be at least 25 cr). All master's degree students have to complete at least 90 cr within their major/specialisation/track, and ultimately attain at least 120 cr.