Top five reasons to study Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Oulu

I know choosing a good degree programme that provides full coverage of the study domain is hard. It becomes even harder when you want to study abroad. So, if you are considering Computer Science and Engineering for your master’s studies, here are the top five reasons (in my opinion) that make the programme at the University of Oulu stand out from the rest.
A corner of a library
One of the reading areas at Pegasus library of the University of Oulu

Interesting courses and the flexibility of the programme

As a child, I was always curious about how computers work. That was what eventually led me to pursue a career as a software engineer. After being in the industry for a while, I wanted to explore a different dimension of computer science, particularly Artificial Intelligence. Last year, thus began my search for a master’s programme related to AI. Finally, the University of Oulu won, and today I’m going to tell you why this programme is worth choosing.

The Computer Science Engineering programme at the University of Oulu was undoubtedly among the best options with a set of good course offerings and many other benefits.

The Computer Science and Engineering programme at the University of Oulu has four main specializations; Artificial Intelligence, Applied Computing, Computer Engineering, and Cyber Security. Cyber Security specialization was recently added to the programme.

All four tracks have a set of compulsory and optional courses where you have to complete 120 ECTS. I, of course, chose the Artificial Intelligence (AI) specialization because my research interest lies in the AI in healthcare domain and medical imaging. The interesting thing is that your selection does not limit you from doing courses from the other three tracks. Also, you can do research that falls under a different specialization, or which contains roots from multiple specializations.

Therefore, I can confidently say that the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) programme is highly flexible for the student's needs. Additionally, you will receive invaluable support and guidance from the teaching staff throughout your studies.

There’s more! Evaluation of the courses in the programmes will happen differently for each course. Most of the courses have continuous evaluations, and some contain end exams that contribute to 50% or less of the total grade. It will keep you focused on your studies throughout the course and take off the massive stress otherwise you’d have due to bulky end exams.

Mandatory summer internship

At the end of the first year, we have to complete a mandatory two months summer internship. For this, you can either work at a company, or you can join one of the research groups here at the university. This mandatory internship is a great opportunity to apply what you learned in the first year to a real-life situation. And you can have an understanding of how the IT industry functions in Finland or expand your research interests by working with inspiring research fellows at the university.

Studies are closely related to industry needs, and students are well-employed already during their studies.

Tellus is a working space for all students, staff, and university partners.

Research opportunities

Oulu is a city of technology that heavily uses technology for their day-to-day work. The local community is also very tech-savvy! Therefore, the University of Oulu has become a leading-edge research environment in the world.

The main research groups contributing to the Computer Science and Engineering programme are; the Center for Machine Vision & Signal Analysis (CMVS), the Center for Ubiquitous Computing (UBICOMP), and Biomimetics and Intelligent Systems (BISG). These research groups are intensively working on a wide scope of research themes such as Machine Vision, Biomedical Engineering, Ubiquitous Computing, Human-Computer Interaction, Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), Robotics, Information Security, etc.

The university gives students an exciting opportunity to work with distinguished professors and researchers in computer science from all around the world. Also, the research groups work in close collaboration with Oulu-based global ICT companies and many emerging startups.

Scholarships and low tuition expenses

Covering your costs while studying can be a hurdle, especially if you are an international student. So, wouldn’t it be nice if you can have a way to cover at least a part of the tuition fee?

In the CSE programme, students get a partial scholarship (around 70%) to cover their tuition fee, and the scholarship will continue to the next year if they achieve 60 ECTS in their first year. Also, compared to many other popular destinations for higher studies, the University of Oulu has a low tuition fee rate for most of the degree programmes. In my point of view, this is a great opportunity to take a well-structured degree programme at a reputed university for a reasonable fee.

Facilities for students

There are many supporting services provided by the university for students. All new students get a student tutor (Kummi) from the university, from whom they can get help to get their studies started.

Kummi will help you in answering the questions regarding studying at the university and verification of your educational certificates. He/she will even take the responsibility to hand over your apartment key and guide you to the apartment when you arrive in Oulu. Also, there is a tutor teacher with whom you can discuss your study plans and evaluate the progress of your studies. You can read more on support services here.

Laptop vendors. There are multiple laptop vendors located inside the Linnanmaa campus.

The university offers library facilities where you have plenty of quiet spaces to either study alone or with your study group. Apart from that, there are many student societies and clubs where you can share your knowledge, and make new friends. Also, there are sporting services if you are into sports.

What’s more, if you forgot to bring your laptop, you can even borrow a laptop from the laptop vendors at the university for free. Isn’t it amazing?!

As per my experience, the University of Oulu has already proven that it is a great place to start my dream journey of becoming a proficient computer scientist.

I hope that the shared thoughts from my experience so far will help you to imagine university life here, at the edge of the arctic circle.

Thank you for reading, and I wish you all the best!

About the author

Kalpani Ranasinghe is from Sri Lanka and currently studying Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Oulu. Her passion is to contribute significantly to research in Artificial Intelligence. Also, she loves to explore the surroundings and meet new people.