In Finnish schools, Ethics is taught to pupils who do not belong to any religious denomination or who are not provided teaching on their own religion.

As a subject, ethics is a multidisciplinary entity, based on philosophy as well as social and cultural sciences. Ethics considers humans as agents who create and renew their culture, experiencing and creating meanings through interaction with one another.

Worldviews, human practices and their meanings are the result of interaction between individuals, communities and cultural heritage. Ethics emphasizes the rational ability to study one’s own world and actively steer one’s own life.

In schools, the aim of teaching ethics is to provide the pupils with tools to help them grow into independent, tolerant, responsible and discerning members of the community. The teaching of ethics fosters the pupils’ growth into goods citizens in a democratic society, which, in a globalizing and rapidly changing world, requires the development of ethical thinking and actions, extensive knowledge and related skills, and increasing of one’s general knowledge of worldviews and cultures.

The teaching of ethics is guided by the idea that pupils can grow into free, equal and critical builders of a better world.

Studying the Basic and Intermediate Level (60 ECTS credits total) study packages provides students with the qualification to teach ethics in the Finnish school system.

Study guidance is provided by University Lecturer Erkki Urpilainen, tel +358 29 448 3305, erkki.urpilainen(at)

Last updated: 2.10.2019