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Studies at University of Oulu

The University of Oulu offers study opportunities with a solid academic foundation ranging from 5-6 year degree programmes and master’s programmes to doctoral training. There are also several possibilities such as open university studies, executive training and continuing education for developing and maintaining skills and competencies.

In addition to a variety of student exchange programmes, international master’s degree programmes in English are offered in six fields of study, making the university an international study environment.

5-6 Year Degree Programmes

MSc in Geophysics

Profile of the Degree: 

The degree programme comprises compulsory and optional major subject studies in geophysics and minor subject studies. The studies consist of lectures, exercise problems, exercises in geophysical field measurements, laboratory exercises, research projects and independent studying. The present focus areas lithospheric geophysics, applied geophysics and computational geophysics in the research and teaching compose nationwide and globally a distinctive whole both in a basic research and applied research. The students can choose their field of specialization between the solid earth geophysics and the environmental geophysics. One aim in the education of geophysicists is to take into account particularly the growing needs for the quality and amount of geophysicists in the mining and mineral area, which is a future growth industry. Already during the M.Sc. studies, the student may participate in the work of research groups and international projects.

Courses Required for the Degree: 

An M.Sc. degree consists of at least 80 credits of advanced studies in geophysics and optional studies, with the complete degree consisting of 120 credits.

The course structure diagram (attachment) shows the M.Sc. degree structure of each semester (autumn and spring semester) and the required study modules with their credits.

Learning Outcomes: 

After the completion of the M.Sc. degree in geophysics, the student is able to (in addition to the requirements for the B.Sc. degree)

  • apply the existing information and create novel information in geophysics
  • design and complete small-scale scientific projects in geophysics
  • analyze the phenomena of geophysics using mathematical and computational methods
  • communicate her/his expertise and results both in writing and orally, using the concepts of geophysics.

A M.Sc. graduate has a profound knowledge of geophysics and adequate knowledge of physics and other minor subjects relating to studies. She/he has a scientific way of thinking and solving problems. She/he is able to search for information and draw up reports. She/he is capable of evaluating information with a critical approach.

Arrangements for Recognition of Prior Learning: 

The main principle for the recognition of prior learning in the degree programme is recognizing official learning. Courses of the degree programme in physics can be substituted by prior courses of the same level and approximately the same contents. The student must deliver a document and a course description of any previously completed course to the department.

The recognition of prior learning follows the main principles as defined by the University of Oulu.

More information: Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)


Modes of Study: 

An M.Sc. degree (120 ECTS credits) can be completed in two years by studying full-time. The lectures, exercise sessions, exercise days and laboratory exercises are organized on weekdays within the university building. There are also included exercises of field surveying in geophysics. The teaching mostly takes place at the university, but some courses may include home exercises and/or home exams. The studies naturally include a substantial amount of independent work.

Language of Instruction: 

The Master of Science degree can be completed in Finnish or English. The lectures and exercises for advanced courses are given in Finnish or English, depending on the teacher and students. Exams can be taken in either Finnish or English. Nearly all of the textbooks are in English.

Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading: 

The student completes the required major subject studies and the optional studies according to the curriculum of degree programme in geophysics. The courses are mainly completed by taking an exam, and they are assessed by the person in charge of the course.

The assessment is often based on the grades of the end or final exams. Other assessment methods are also used, including home exams, laboratory reports etc. The details on the completion of the courses can be found in the description of each course in WebOodi.

The courses are graded either by a numerical scale ranging from 0 to 5 or by the grades pass/fail. The grading system in use is notified in the course description. The grade in each study module is calculated as the credit-weighted average of the course grades.

To complete the M.Sc. degree, a master’s thesis must be written either in Finnish or in English. The thesis is graded separately in the diploma. The grade awarded to the thesis is not taken into account when calculating the grade in the major subject.

Occupational Profiles of Graduates: 

A geophysicist holding a M.Sc. degree can find employment in Finland or abroad in e.g. basic research, applied research, industry, geophysical services companies, education, public administration or publication. Employment opportunities are good for geophysicists.

Access to Further Studies: 

A M.Sc. degree in geophysics and the minor subjects included in the degree lay a firm basis for doctoral studies.

More information: University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS)

Graduation Requirements: 

A M.Sc. degree consists of major and minor subject studies included in the curriculum. A master’s thesis of 35 ECTS credits is required to complete the degree. The student must write a summary of the thesis, which also serves as the maturity test for the M.Sc. degree. The degree is granted on application.

Qualification Requirements and Regulations: 

All education in the University of Oulu is based on the principles of the joint European credit transfer system (ECTS) which facilitates the transparency of education and the recognition of degrees at an international level. All degrees awarded from the University of Oulu are recognised by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.

A M.Sc. degree holder is qualified to work e.g. as an expert in research institutes and in geophysical observatories. She/he is also qualified to complete a post-graduate degree aiming at a position as a researcher or specialist. Such degrees include the Licentiate of Philosophy (Ph.Lic.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees.

The language proficiency requirements of the degree qualify the student for employment in the civil service according to the section on language proficiency, 6 §.

Government Decree on University Degrees 794/2004, Language Proficiency Section 6: Language proficiency

Basic information

Level of the Degree: 
Master's Degree
Duration of Studies: 
2 years
ECTS Credits: 
Language of Instruction: 
Graduate Profiles: 
Location of Instruction: 
+358 (0)294 481403
pertti.kaikkonen (at)


Applying Information: 
The degree is part of a five-year degree programme which is applied for through the joint application system. The language of instruction in the degree programme is Finnish.