This programme has been created in collaboration by South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, Xamk, and Karelia University of Applied Sciences.

Both Universities of Applied Sciences have been audited by the National Education Evaluation Centre, FINEEC (Karvi), and have received the quality label. This means that they meet both national criteria and European quality assurance standards for higher education institutions.

Xamk’s 4 campuses are located in the Southern Savonia and Kymenlaakso regions and Karelia is located in Joensuu, North Karelia. For more information about Karelia UAS, please visit https://www.karelia.fi/en/front-page/.


Full time studies

  • location: Mikkeli, Finland
  • extent of studies: 60 ECTS/ 1 academic year
  • tuition fee: €9 700

Entry requirements

  • applicant has applied in the joint application to study in an IT programme and was qualified to enter the programme, but did not receive a study place. The selected student has paid the tuition fee by the deadline specified in the letter of acceptance.

Mode of study

  • full-time studies
  • studies are delivered between 1st September 2024 and 31st May 2025
  • non-degree program, degree students benefits do not apply

Why choose the foundation year

During the studies of the foundation year, you will increase your proficiency, build the necessary skillset and gain an in-depth understanding of the core subjects of the IT sector to excel in your future degree studies.

The programme consists of a full academic year’s worth of courses provided by the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences. After the foundation year, you have the opportunity to transfer straight for the second year of studies in a degree programme in the field of IT at Xamk or Karelia UAS, and the ECTS credits from the foundation year will be transferred towards your degree. This means that your study time will not be longer than if you would have started your studies within the degree student group.

During the programme, you will learn what studying in a Finnish University of Applied Sciences is like, gain credit points for your future degree studies and get to familiarize yourself with living in Finland. All this helps you to smoothly transition to a full-time degree student after the foundation year.

The regular degree scholarships do not apply to the foundation year, but we want to reward the top students from the group (to be eligible for the award, the student must meet the direct transfer criteria). The top students will receive 25% and 50% refund of the paid tuition fee after they have finished the foundation year and been accepted to continue in a degree program at Xamk or Karelia UAS. Best students have the priority to choose the programme they want to continue their studies in.

If you don’t meet the required criteria, we promise to assist you in finding the best possible opportunity for you to continue your studies in Finland.


  • Bachelor of Engineering, Information Technology (B.Eng.), Xamk, Mikkeli campus
  • Bachelor of Engineering, Game Technology (B.Eng.), Xamk, Kotka campus
  • Bachelor of Engineering, Information and Communication Technology (B.Eng.), Karelia UAS, Joensuu campus

Programme contents

Common studies, 22 ECTS

Professional / Academic English, 5 ECTS

Communication skills and teamwork, 5 ECTS

Career planning, professional growth, 2 ECTS

Finnish 1, 5 ECTS

Finnish 2, 5 ECTS

Professional studies, 30 ECTS

Basics of programming, 5 ECTS

Object oriented programming, 5 ECTS

Math for engineers / Calculus, 5 ECTS

IT infrastructure and networks, 5 ECTS

Data management / data analysis, 5 ECTS

Data security / basics of cyber security, 5 ECTS

Co-creation project in IT, 10 ECTS

A group-based learning activity where students are asked to generate an idea and develop the implementation process for launching a product based on it.

* Please, note that the program curriculum may change in order to meet the students’ needs the best.

Advancing to degree studies

The students who have successfully finished the foundation year programme will be eligible to transfer to a bachelor’s degree in the field of IT at Xamk or Karelia UAS.

The conditions to enter the bachelor’s degree studies are:

  • 60 ECTS obtained from the foundation year
  • Grade point average of at least a “3.5” (in a scale from 1-5).
  • Paid tuition fee per academic year. Degree students are entitled to scholarships. (The current scheme at Xamk offers a 20% tuition fee discount based on study progress for the academic year 2024-2025).

Commonly asked questions

Q. Is this a degree leading program?
A. No, however, the students who successfully accomplish the studies will be offered a study place in one of three degree programs in English in Xamk and Karelia UAS. Please, note that since the Foundation year does not lead to a degree itself, some of the degree students’ benefits do not apply here, e.g. Kela supported lunch discount, YTHS medical on-campus services, international mobility opportunities etc. However, those will be available once you transfer to degree studies upon completion of this program.

Q. Am I entitled for a scholarship?
A. The top students will receive a reward of 25% to 50% of the paid tuition fee upon the completion of the program

Q. Can I apply for another degree program in other UAS?
A. Absolutely, and we will provide additional guidance on this when the program has commenced. The program is designed to enhance the students knowledge in the main field-related subjects, which will help them pass the entrance exams to other UAS better.

Q. Where am I going to study?
A. The program will be delivered in our campus in Mikkeli in our biggest and the most populated campus. The students of this program will have access to the same services and facilities as other degree students, like study advisory services, sports, labs, etc.

Q. Why is tuition fee smaller than regular degree tuition fee?
A. With this program we are giving good students a second chance to enroll in their dream studies, and we calculated the fee to be relevant to what degree students would pay otherwise. Moreover, the best students will get a significant reward for their academic progress that will make the final fee even lower than in degree studies.

Q. Are there support services for international non-degree students?
A. Certainly! We aim at providing all our students with sufficient advisory and integration services to help them become a part of the local community.

Q. What if I pay the tuition fee now and later get accepted to a degree program. Am I eligible for a refund?
A. Yes, we will refund the paid tuition fee in total if a student gets accepted to a degree leading education program in Finland before end of May 2024. Students are also eligible for a full refund in case they change their mind and submit the refund application within 14 days after the tuition fee payment or if their residence permit application was refused.

Q. What if I do not complete the whole program?
A. Although we will ensure the students are provided with support to complete all the courses, it is still a chance some students may struggle with certain courses. In case if some courses are not completed, students will still receive ECTS for the completed courses, and these will remain valid in their personal study register.


Grigory Budin, Senior Education Export Specialist, Team leader






Santeri Koivisto, Head of International relations and Education export


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