Karelia University of Applied Sciences

Karelia University of Applied Sciences (Karelia UAS)

The Finnish polytechnic system was built during the 1990’s to create a non-university sector of higher education. The polytechnics were formed on the basis of post-secondary vocational institutions by raising their standards and by merging several institutions to create multi-field polytechnics. Pohjois-Karjalan ammattikorkeakoulu (North Karelia Polytechnic) was founded in 1992 among the first polytechnics in Finland. As of January 2006 until January 2013 the English name of Pohjois-Karjalan ammattikorkeakoulu was North Karelia University of Applied Sciences (NKUAS). At the same time most Finnish polytechnics changed their names to Universities of Applied Sciences based on a recommendation by the Rector’s Conference of Finnish Polytechnics. As of January 2013 the English name is Karelia University of Applied Sciences (Karelia UAS / Karelia-ammattikorkeakoulu in Finnish).

Education in universities of applied sciences offers a practical approach to higher education and emphasises close contacts with the business, industry and service sectors. The degrees are designed to have a strong professional emphasis.

Karelia University of Applied Sciences is situated in a region that provides attractive facilities for living, working and entrepreneurship. The region of North Karelia is renowned for a traditional and active cultural life, as well as unspoiled nature. Karelia University of Applied Sciences consists of central administration, joint services and five multisectoral and interdisciplinary centres. The centres are formed on the basis of the competence areas and needs of working life. In addition to education, the centres execute related research and development as well as continuing education. At present, there are about 4,000 students at Karelia UAS and the number of personnel is 400.


Centre for Business and Engineering
Wärtsilä Campus, address: Karjalankatu 3

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Degree Programmes in

  • Business Economics
  • Business Information Technology
  • Civil Engineering
  • Information Technology
  • International Business, in English
  • Mechanical and Production Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Master´s Programme in Knowledge and Competence Management in Technology

The Centre provides education in eight bachelor-level degree programmes and in one master-level programme. Number of students: 1400. The graduates of the Degree Programme in Technological Competence/ Knowledge Management are awarded with the title Master of Engineering, of the Degree Programme in Business Economics and of the Degree Programme in International Business with the title Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and of the engineering programmes with the title Bachelor of Engineering. The Degree Programme in Business Information Technology educates Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA) with a special focus on IT.


Centre for Social Services and Health Care
Tikkarinne Campus, address: Tikkarinne 9

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Degree Programmes in

  • Nursing
  • Physiotherapy
  • Social Welfare Work
  • Master´s Programme in Social and Health Care Development and Management

The Centre offers education in four bachelor-level and in one master-level programme. Number of students: 1100. The graduates of the Degree Programme in Nursing receive a degree title Bachelor of Health Care and Social Services, Registered Nurse or Bachelor of Health Care and Social Services, Public Health Nurse. The Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences grants Bachelor's Degrees in Health Care with the title of Biomedical Laboratory Scientist, the Degree Programme in Physiotherapy Bachelor's Degrees in Health Care with the title of Physiotherapist and the Degree Programme in Social Services the degree title of Bachelor of Social Services. In the second-cycle programme in Social and Health Care Development and Management, the degree awarded is Master of Health and Social Services, the accompanying title depending on the student's previous qualification.


Centre for Creative Industries
Sirkkala Campus, address: Sirkkalantie 12 A

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Degree Programmes in

  • Communication (Media), address: Länsikatu 15
  • Design (last intake 2012)
  • Design, in English (last intake 2012)
  • Music / Karjalantalo, address: Siltakatu 1
  • Tourism

The Centre provides education in four different degree programmes in bachelor level.  The Degree Programme in Music provides studies in folk music, rhythmic music qualifying as a musicin or a music teacher. The graduates of the Degree Programme in Communication (Media) receive a title of Bachelor of Culture and Arts. The Degree Programme in Tourism educates Bachelors of Hospitality Management. There is also the Degree Programme in Design and the graduates receive a title of Bachelor of Culture and Arts.

Centre for Bioeconomy

Sirkkala II Campus, Sirkkalantie 12

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Degree Programmes in

  • Forestry
  • Rural Industries
  • Environmental Technology
  • Master´s Programme in Environmental Technology

The Centre provides education in three bachelor-level programmes and in one master-level programme. Number of students: 500. The graduates of the Degree Programme in Rural Industries are awarded with a degree Bachelor of Natural Resources and those of the Degree Programme in Forestry and Environmental Technology with a degree Bachelor of Engineering. The master-level degree in Environmental Technology awards the title of Master of Engineering.


Structure of a Bachelor’s Degree

Structure of a Bachelor's Degree

At the Bachelor’s degrees the studies are divided into five main areas: basic studies, professional studies, optional studies, practical training and thesis. The extent of a Bachelor’s degree at universities of applied sciences is 210 – 270 ECTS credits and the completion of the degree takes 3.5 – 4.5 years.

The values that Karelia UAS follows in strategic decisions and daily action are: cooperating with the working life, impacting the region and advancing innovation. The operations are based on customer-orientation and interaction. Karelia UAS works efficiently and effectively in education, applied research and regional development for the success and well-being of its operational environment.

Karelia University of Applied Sciences is very active in the international arena. It participates e.g. in the Lifelong Learning Programme (Erasmus), NORDPLUS, FIRST and NORTH-SOUTH-SOUTH programmes and has many bilateral cooperation agreements outside programmes. The international activities aim to strengthen the professional and intercultural competences of students and staff, to provide an international aspect to curriculum development and to enhance the internationalisation of the region. Karelia University of Applied Sciences has about 100 partner institutions in 25 different countries. Every year about 120 students from the Karelia UAS are either studying or doing practical training abroad and about 100 international students are studying at Karelia UAS or doing practical training

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