Unemployment benefit and part-time studying

Studies which do not prevent you from applying for work and working full-time are considered part-time studies. When assessing the part-time nature of your studies, the content of the studies is not essential, but instead, the amount of work they require.

You may receive unemployment benefit during your part-time studies if you are otherwise eligible for the benefits. During your part-time studies, you must be ready to seek for and accept full-time work.

Conditions of studying part-time

Studies that are not considered to be part-time when:

  • the aim is to complete a Bachelor's or Master's degree
  • the aim is complete vocational upper secondary qualification or module, preparatory training for vocational education or training or preparatory training for work and independent living
  • studying a general upper secondary education where the scope of studies is at least 75 courses (general upper secondary education organised in a boarding school is always considered as full-time studies)
  • studies that contain at least 22 courses per academic year, organised for those over the compulsory school age in accordance with the Basic Education Act.

Studies are considered part-time when the scope of the studies is

  • less than 5 credits / 3 credit units / 4,5 competence points per study month
  • at most 25 weekly lessons in case the scope is not defined by credits, credit units or competence points.

The assessment will be based on the curriculum or the personal competence development plan (HOKS). The TE Office will assess whether your studies are considered part-time or if they are preventing you from accepting work.

Studies may also be considered part-time if you have been working regularly during your studies or are self-employed.

How to apply

If you are planning to study whilst being a customer of the TE Office, please contact your TE Office well in advance before the studies begin.

When required, the TE Office will examine the scope of your studies by sending you a clarification request, or in some other way. The TE Office will always form a statement of the nature of your studies and send it to the party paying the benefit, i.e. the Social Insurance Institution (Kela) or an unemployment fund.

However, you are not required to notify about lesser recreational studies, such as foreign language courses at an adult education centre.

In the future, part-time studies can also fulfil the activity requirement. Please notify the TE Office if you wish to fulfil the activity requirement with your part-time studies.

Instructions for customers in local government pilots on employment 

If you are a customer of a local government pilot on employment, notify your municipality of residence of all studies, including part-time studies, before starting them.  

Jobseekers’ services during the local government pilots