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Finland Universities and Schools that Accept HND Certificates, Second Class and 3rd Class for Masters Degree Programs

Finland is home to many world-class universities and schools, and is consistently ranked as one of the best countries in the world for education. This makes it an excellent choice for students looking to pursue a master’s degree.

In this article, we’ll explore the eligibility criteria of earning a master’s degree in Finland, and highlight some of the top universities and schools that accept HND certificates and other qualifications for admission. We’ll also discuss the application process and what you need to know to be admitted for master’s degree in Finland.

Eligibility Criteria and Application Process for HND Holders and Others  

Here, we break down what you need to know and the steps to follow:

  • Educational Background Check: Most Finnish universities require an evaluation of your previous academic qualifications to determine equivalency with the Finnish education system. For HND holders, universities will assess if your HND is equivalent to a Finnish Bachelor’s degree. Similarly, for those with second or third-class degrees, universities evaluate the degree’s compatibility with their program requirements.
  • Demonstration of Proficiency in English: Since many master’s programs in Finland are taught in English, demonstrating proficiency in the English language is crucial. Accepted tests include TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examinations. The specific score requirements vary by program and university.
  • Completion of Program-Specific Prerequisites: Some master’s programs may have specific prerequisites in terms of coursework or knowledge areas. Review the program details carefully to ensure you meet these prerequisites or can complete them before enrollment.
  •  Submission of a Motivation Letter: A well-crafted motivation letter that outlines your academic and professional background, reasons for choosing the program, and your career aspirations can significantly bolster your application, especially if your academic grades are on the lower end.

By carefully preparing your application and ensuring you meet the eligibility criteria, you can increase your chances of being admitted to a master’s program in Finland, even with an HND certificate or a second or third-class degree. Remember to research each university and program thoroughly to tailor your application accordingly.

Finland Universities that Accept HND Certificates, Second Class and 3rd Class for Masters Degree

Below is a list of Finnish universities that are known to accept such qualifications for their master’s degree programs. It’s important to note that specific requirements may vary across different programs and faculties, so it’s advisable to check the details on the university’s official website or contact their admissions office for the most accurate information.

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1) University of Helsinki

As one of the leading universities in Finland, the University of Helsinki offers a wide array of international master’s programs. The university has a history of considering applicants with diverse academic backgrounds, focusing on the overall strength of the application, including work experience and motivation.

2) Aalto University

Known for its strong emphasis on innovation and design, Aalto University provides several master’s programs in fields such as technology, business, and arts. Applicants with HND certificates or lower-class degrees may be admitted based on a comprehensive review of their academic and professional achievements.

3) University of Turku

The University of Turku is another institution that values diversity in its student body and offers a range of master’s programs taught in English. They evaluate applicants on a case-by-case basis, looking at academic credentials, work experience, and other relevant skills.

4) Tampere University

With a focus on technology and social sciences, Tampere University offers a supportive environment for students from various academic backgrounds. They assess the equivalence of foreign qualifications with Finnish standards, considering the entirety of the applicant’s profile.

5) University of Oulu

The University of Oulu is recognized for its research and academic excellence, especially in the fields of science and engineering. It considers applicants with different types of qualifications, provided they meet the specific requirements of the chosen master’s program.

This list is not exhaustive, and the landscape of higher education is always evolving. Potential applicants should conduct thorough research and directly engage with universities for the most current information and guidance on the admissions process.

Finland Schools that Accept HND Certificates, Second Class and 3rd Class for Masters Degree Programs

While the focus is often on universities, numerous specialized schools in Finland also provide excellent opportunities for students with HND certificates, second class, and third-class degrees to pursue master’s degree programs. These institutions, known for their practical approach and industry connections, offer programs that are tailored to equip students with the skills needed in their respective fields. Below, we outline some notable schools that welcome students from diverse academic backgrounds.

1) Helsinki School of Business (HELBUS)

HELBUS stands out for its international business programs at the master’s level. Known for its flexible admission criteria, HELBUS considers applicants with HND certificates and lower-class degrees, especially those who can demonstrate significant professional growth or potential.

2) Metropolia University of Applied Sciences

With a wide range of English-taught master’s programs in areas such as engineering, IT, health care, and business, Metropolia is committed to providing education that bridges the gap between academia and the professional world. The school looks beyond traditional academic performance metrics, valuing practical experience and motivation.

3) Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences

Specializing in business, information technology, and hospitality management, Haaga-Helia focuses on providing a hands-on learning experience that prepares students for real-world challenges. Applicants with various academic backgrounds, including HND holders and those with second or third-class degrees, are encouraged to apply, provided they meet the program-specific requirements.

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4) Laurea University of Applied Sciences

Laurea offers a range of master’s programs in the fields of service innovation, health care, and social services, among others. The university adopts a learner-centered approach, valuing the diverse experiences and academic backgrounds of its applicants, including those with HND certificates and lower-class degrees.

5) Arcada University of Applied Sciences

Arcada is known for its dynamic and international study environment, offering programs in business administration, media, health and welfare, and technology. The school assesses applicants based on a holistic review process, considering academic qualifications, professional experience, and personal motivation.

Each of these schools has its unique strengths and areas of specialization, making them attractive options for students seeking to advance their education and career prospects in Finland. As admission requirements can vary significantly between programs, prospective students are advised to thoroughly review the specific criteria and prepare their application materials accordingly to enhance their chances of admission.

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Can I apply for Masters with my HND certificate?

While it is possible to apply for a master’s degree with a Higher National Diploma (HND) certificate, the requirements and acceptance of this type of qualification can vary depending on the country and the university. Some countries may require a bachelor’s degree in order to be accepted into a master’s program, while others may consider a HND as an equivalent qualification.

What do you need for a masters degree in Finland?

To apply for a master’s degree in Finland, there are a few key requirements. First, you will need to have completed a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited institution. In addition, most programs will require you to have a certain grade point average (GPA), as well as TOEFL or IELTS scores to demonstrate your English language proficiency.

Does Sweden university accept HND for Masters?

Generally speaking, universities in Sweden do accept Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) as a valid qualification for entry into their master’s degree programs. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, not all universities and programs will accept HNDs, so it is important to check with the specific university or program you are interested in to see if they accept HNDs as a valid qualification. 

Can I do Masters abroad with second class lower?

It is definitely possible to pursue a master’s degree abroad with a second class lower (2:2) degree. Many universities around the world offer opportunities for students who have a 2:2 degree from an accredited university. Some universities may have specific requirements, such as a certain grade point average (GPA) or English language proficiency test scores.

Can I do Masters in Germany with second class lower?

While it may be possible to pursue a master’s degree in Germany with a second class lower (2:2) degree, it is important to keep in mind that admission to graduate programs in Germany is highly competitive. Many universities require a GPA of 3.0 or higher for admission to their master’s programs. 


In conclusion, there are many universities and schools in Finland that accept HND certificates, second class, and third class degrees for entry into master’s degree programs. This is great news for those looking to further their education, but may not have had the opportunity to complete a traditional bachelor’s degree. Additionally, Finland is home to some of the best universities in the world, making it an excellent choice for those looking to pursue a master’s degree. With this in mind, students should consider all the options available to them and make the best decision for their future.

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