At the University of Oulu, the research is focused on sociolinguistics, especially the research of Northern Baltic-Finnic minority languages and Northern Finnish spoken language, as well as the research of learner language, interaction and cognitive semantics. The Northern perspective is emphasised in the selection of research data and topics. The aim of Finnish studies is to train multidisciplinary language professionals, particularly for the needs of Northern Finland. The department is committed to continuous, student-centred development of instruction. The study of Finnish language, or Fennistics, is a humanistic science concerned with teaching and researching the usage, structure, different forms of variation and development of language. Studies of Finnish language in the Faculty of Humanities are intended for students who either are native speakers of Finnish or have near-native competence in Finnish. The department does not offer language courses in Finnish, but rather the curriculum includes different linguistic approaches to the Finnish language. Students holding a BA degree from a foreign university with Finnish as their major subject can apply to the MA programme. Study guidance is provided by Professor Jari Sivonen.