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Communication Studies


Communication and interaction skills are highly necessary to us all, especially in working life. Versatile language skills are important in today’s international work environment. The purpose of teaching languages at Kajaani University of Applied Sciences is to provide students with the language and communication skills needed in specialist posts within ever increasingly international business and working life. In universities of applied sciences the starting level of English is B2 as set out in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (Table 1 below).

Communication teaching focuses on the students’ interactive abilities to cross linguistic and cultural boundaries and their own professional development. At Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, it is possible to engage in compulsory and optional periods of language study. The languages offered include Finnish, Swedish, English, German, Russian, French, Spanish, Italian and Mandarin Chinese.

Maturity Test

In Finnish universities of applied sciences, towards the end of their studies, students must complete a maturity test based on their thesis topics. Foreign students write the test in English and Finnish students, in Finnish. The assessment of students’ written communication is based on the maturity test. The treatment of subject content in the test, as well as language, also influences assessment. The scale of assessment is pass/fail.


Foreign students

Finnish for Foreigners and Finnish for Exchange Students

Degree students accomplish studies in the Finnish language worth 12 – 15 credits for the first two years of study. The number of credits awarded differs in each field of study. Exchange students are entitled to select 2-10 credits of Finnish language studies. During the Finnish for Foreigners courses, students familiarise themselves with the Finnish language and way of life. The objective of these studies is to provide students with a sufficient level of spoken and written Finnish for them to communicate and interact in everyday working life.


Finnish students

Communication studies emphasise both spoken and written presentation skills. Finnish is taught in all fields of education, also in degrees delivered in English. Language studies are regulated by the Polytechnic Decree (352/03) and Kajaani University of Applied Sciences Degree Regulations. In the decree it is stated as follows:

The students must achieve

  • a level of Finnish and Swedish which, according to the Law on Language Proficiency Required of the Personnel of Public Organisations, is demanded in public office positions requiring a university degree in a bilingual region of public office, and needed for practicing a profession and enabling professional development.
  • the level of proficiency in writing and speaking one or two foreign languages needed for practicing a profession and enabling professional development. (Polytechnic Decree 352/03)


The more detailed version of the law in Finnish click here.


The degree certificate records the language of education, the language of the maturity test, a mention of the foreign language requirement set out in the Polytechnic Decree, and an assessment of the student’s spoken and written Swedish. The scale of assessment is Good (grades 5 and 4) or Satisfactory (grades 3 – 1). Spoken and written Swedish skills are assessed separately during the compulsory Swedish courses in addition to the course assessment (0-5). 

All language studies completed by the student are listed in the transcript of academic records, an appendix to the degree certificate. The language proficiency of Finnish students studying in degrees delivered in English is provided in an English translation.

The second official language of Finland (Swedish) is included in compulsory language studies. A Swedish language proficiency test is organised for students who are then directed to complete a preparatory course in the language if necessary. The preparatory Swedish course reviews basic grammar structures and expands general vocabulary. In universities of applied sciences the starting level of Swedish is B1 as set out in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (Table 1).


Table 1. Common European Framework of Reference for Languages





Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express him/herself spontaneously, very uently and precisely, differentiating ner shades of meaning even in more complex situations. 


Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. Can express him/herself uently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language exibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices. 





Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her eld of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of uency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.


Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briey give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.





Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.


Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

Source: Council of Europe. Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (CEFR). http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/linguistic/Cadre1_en.asp Read: 10.12.2014




Other instructions

You will find more information on the following topics from the Academic Year Guide, Intranet and Peppi (peppi.kamk.fi) to which you can gain access using your user ID and password:

  • contents of language and communication courses
  • accreditation of courses based on previously accomplished studies