Opportunities for elective courses – experiences of an Education student

At the University of Oulu, you will be given a study guide to know which courses you should take each semester. The course structure is designed and organized in a pedagogical manner so that you can achieve your academic outcomes during the study period.
Forest landscape

Elective studies

There are plenty of learning opportunities from minor courses, also known as optional courses or elective courses, that the university brings you. You can utilize this advantage to make your degree closer to what you wish to learn.

Elective courses make your degree look more like you.

How to take part in elective courses?

Firstly, you should check the minor studies that are recommended in your degree. There you can see suggestions for elective courses.

Another way to find appropriate courses is to go to Peppi and use keywords in the search box. After that, you can contact the teacher responsible to make sure that the course is for you.

There are also chances from invitation emails that are sent from course designers at the beginning of each period or before summer school starts. If you are included in the email list, that means these courses are aligned with your studies. Do consider these very good opportunities!

What did I learn from elective courses?

During my first year in the Learning, Education and Technology programme, I took part in several elective courses which are not included in our initial study guide. Thanks to that, I got to discover new concepts in the educational field, meet new teachers, teaching styles and new friends. I really appreciate all these takeaways.

For instance, I had chances to familiarize myself with the definition of a child in the course Child, Education and Culture; with the dilemmas of an educator in Ethical and Political Issues in Education; art-based pedagogies to heal eco-anxiety in Introduction to Environmental Education, and so on.

A project I conducted in the optional course of Introduction to Environmental Education. It is inspired by the concept of art-based pedagogies to heal eco-anxiety that I learned from the course.

Moreover, I collected many high-quality materials such as books and articles. I can save these references for my future research or practices.

Additionally, taking elective courses expands my observation on teaching styles. Studying with lecturers from different programmes makes me realize that teachers are very diverse in the ways they lecture. Some teachers usually conduct fruitful discussions, while some would like to invite guest lecturers from other universities and other countries to our meetings to give us a lot of food for thought. Some prefer making inspiring presentations and some like to organize hands-on activities rather than just verbal tasks. It is a joyful journey to study in this diversity.

This is a poster that I did in the course Child, Education and Culture, which describes me as a child based on ideologies we learned in the course.

Finally, from elective courses I made new friends. We got to know each other through group tasks. This strengthens my network and opens many possibilities for my future career.

You can read more about minor studies here. Your teacher tutor or Academic Affairs staff are always willing to help if you have any concerns or doubts about this. I hope you make the most out of your studies! :)

About the author

Ha Pham is pursuing her master’s degree in Learning, Education and Technology. She is an ambitious educator who is interested in the research topic of self-regulated learning in challenging situations. Her plan in the near future is to get an intermediate Finnish certificate.