Basics

Don’t know how to kick-off your university studies? Having trouble finding that great website where you could search courses by teaching period?
Here you can get to know the basics of studying in Aalto BIZ and refresh your memory about the degree requirements and available study services.  More information about studies is available on the Into platform of Aalto University.
Planning studies

Degree requirements

Bachelor’s degree

The Aalto BIZ bachelor program in the main campus consists of 180 credits of common core and methodological studies, specialization and minor studies, language studies and elective studies. The official language of the program is Finnish but many courses are taught in English.

During the first year the focus of the program is on common core studies after which first year students are required to choose a specialization area from seven options: Accounting, Information & Service Management (ISM), Economics, Finance, Management, Marketing and Corporate Law. The area of specialization will make up approximately one third of Bachelor’s degree studies and define the area on which the Bachelor’s thesis is written. After the first year, students begin their specialization and minor studies and continue with the methodological, language and elective studies. Bachelor’s thesis and maturity test, which are both required to graduate as a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Business Administration, are often written during the third year of studies. The degree requirements in more depth you can find here. 

Bachelor studies in the International Business Bachelor program in Mikkeli campus differentiate from the studies in the main campus substantially. Besides Into, more information about studies in Mikkeli you can find from Probba’s website. 

Master’s degree

All Bachelor’s degree students are directly admitted also to study the Master’s degree in Aalto BIZ. However, you have to finish your Bachelor’s degree to have the official right to study for the Master’s degree and eventually graduate as the Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration. You can study Master’s level courses already before graduating as a Bachelor but the official admission for the Master’s program of your choosing takes place after graduating as a Bachelor.

There are 11 different Master’s programs: Accounting, Creative Sustainability, Economics, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, Finance, Global Management, Information and Service Management, International Design Business Management,  Management and International Business, Marketing and Corporate Law. The official language of the programs is English, except in Corporate Law which is taught in Finnish. Many choose to deepen their knowledge in their Bachelor’s specialization area, but it is not uncommon to switch to an entirely new specialization area.

Master’s degree is worth 120 ECTS and comprises advanced specialization studies, minor and elective studies and the Master’s thesis. Master’s thesis follows the same principles of academic writing as the Bachelor’s thesis, but it is notably broader. More information about Master’s programs you can find on Into by choosing the program you are interested in.

Building your own study plan

Studies in Aalto BIZ offer great freedom to build your study plan according to your own interests and timetables. The recommendation is to take 60 ects per year and as there are five study periods in a year (+ summer) the recommendation is to take approximately 12 ects in a period. However, that is a recommendation and you are free to choose to study less or more during a year but keep in mind the effect on your study grant. You are also responsible for your own study progress and fulfilling all the degree requirements needed to graduate in the restricted study time of 7 years.

Degree requirements act as the guideline in building your own study plan and it might be wise to get back to them from time to time. Choosing the specialization areas for both the Bachelor’s degree and the Master’s degree also guides in planning your studies but you are able to change your specialization area if needed. Besides the specialization you can choose minors which can be for example exchange, studies from other specialization area or even from a different school or university.

As all the first year students study the same common core courses there is no great need for personalized planning until the second year. In the beginning of the second year you are required to do a personalized study plan HOPS which has to be accepted by a study coordinator. HOPS includes the selection of courses you are going to study for your degree but it can and should be altered if changes are needed. After planning your studies the natural next step is to enrol to courses which is possible starting from 28 days before and ends 7 days before the the start of the teaching period.

Studying

Studying methods

Studying methods used and required during studies vary between courses and teachers. In addition to lectures, most courses include assignments, teaching in small groups or exercise sessions. Teamwork and case presentations are both also common ways to learn and work.  Learning material is often available on the MyCourses course platform but the course book or articles you might need to find online, from the library or from a store. Some courses are online courses in which all the learning material is online and some courses only have an exam based on a book. Overall,  most courses end in an exam, but in many courses the exam isn’t the only point of evaluation – cases and assignments may have a huge weight on your final grade as well. The grade scale in all the courses is from 1 (weak) to 5 (excellent).

There are multiple possible studying methods but you don’t have to wait and see how the course plays out. Each course has a course syllabus which contains all the important information about the course including the studying methods and dates, expected learning outcomes and grading. You can view the course syllabus beforehand to have more information about the course and review it if in doubt about something in the course practicalities.

Course syllabus also contains the exam dates. You don’t have to enrol to the first exam but if you need to attend the second or third exam, you need to enrol to the exam at latest 7 days before the exam. The grades from the course should be available at latest 4 weeks after the exam or last assignment. In case you feel the grading is somehow unfair, you can appeal against the decision first to the course teacher and if needed to the Aalto University Academic Appeals Board.

Giving feedback

Aalto BIZ and KY are continuously striving to improve studies and study services. Aalto has multiple feedback systems in place and to keep on getting better the feedback is essential. After each course you will receive an email link to the course feedback form and it’s important to always answer the form. The feedback is anonymous as the course teacher can’t connect the feedback to your student information. You should also rate the course in KY’s unofficial Fringe Study Guide to share your opinions with fellow students.

In addition, you will receive an official feedback form both after finishing your Bachelor’s and Master’s degree and answering these forms is important to know the development points in the studies and to track the progress. Aalto uses questionnaires also to get information about other issues such as student wellbeing (AllWell? questionnaire).

Besides these feedback channels, you have multiple other ways to give feedback and make an impact. During the course you can discuss directly with the course teacher and improve already your own course experience. In addition, you can give feedback for example to the Learning Services and even the dean organizes several pop-up café events in which you can talk directly with the dean.

However, sometimes you might have feedback which is easier to say to other students, even anonymously. Our role in KY is to act as the voice of the students. That’s why you can always rely on us to pass your feedback on and take action. You can find some help to your study-related issues and more information on our role in the Help? page.  

Bachelor’s thesis

What? A scientific thesis worth 10 ECTS (+ 2 ECTS from the seminar) focusing on an interesting topic in your specialization area.

When? Towards the end of your bachelor’s studies, normally during the third year.

How? Enrol to a thesis seminar, choose a topic and your approach (literature review, own research etc) and write. You will get support and feedback for the thesis process from the seminar and your thesis instructor.

TIP! It’s a good idea to have a topic in mind before attending the seminar!

Master’s thesis

What? A scientific thesis worth 30 ECTS (+ 6 ECTS from the seminar) focusing on an interesting topic in your program.

When? Towards the end of your master’s studies, normally during the fifth year.

How? Enrol to a thesis seminar, choose a topic and your approach (basic approach, scientific approach or applied approach) and write. You will get support and feedback for the thesis process from the seminar and your thesis instructor.

TIP! You can get some of the credits already before completing the thesis!

Useful services for planning your studies:

For building your personalized study plan:

For choosing the courses

Useful services for studying:

For course enrollments, grades and course syllabus

For course material, deliverables and other issues during the course

General services for studying

  • Aaltomail – Mail and changing the Aalto password 
    • You use the same Aalto credentials everywhere, make sure they don’t expire!
  • Learning Center eData – Aalto licences (e.g. e-books, dictionaries and statistics)
    • Did you know that Aalto has a license for Helsingin Sanomat?
  • Learning Center Library services – library services
  • Aalto Finna – easy access to databases