University of Oulu, 2016




A curriculum refers to the planned course of study. Its purpose is to guide students and teachers on how instruction and studies should progress. In the curriculum, the degree structure, study modules and courses are described in detail, along with the recommended course sequence and key learning outcomes.

Degree structure

The Bologna Process aiming at creating a European Higher Education Area has led to a university degree reform in Finland. The new, two-cycle degree system was introduced on August 1, 2005. The first cycle is the lower academic degree, the Bachelor’s degree (180 ECTS credits/3 years) and the second cycle the higher academic degree, the Master’s degree (120 ECTS credits/2 years). The third cycle encompasses postgraduate studies leading to a postgraduate degree: Licentiate or Doctoral Degree.

The degree system in medicine and dentistry continue to have only one cycle. In medicine, students study directly for the postgraduate degree of licentiate, which is 360 ECTS credits in total, with a normative study time of six years. The degree in dentistry is also the licentiate degree, which is 330 ECTS credits and takes five and a half years.

The optional pre-doctoral postgraduate degree of licentiate can be completed in two years of full-time study after the Master’s degree.

The degrees their degree structures offered at the University of Oulu can be found from WebOodi course catalogues.

Learning outcomes

The curricula at the University of Oulu are competency-based. Learning outcomes are set at a threshold level which all students must meet in order to pass the course or the study module and proceed to the next level of studies. Learning outcomes have been devised so that they can be achieved upon the completion of a course or a degree.

Student workload and ECTS credit allocation 

As of 2005, all Finnish universities began using the ECTS grading system (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System). The number of ECTS credits is based on the amount of work required to achieve desired learning outcomes for a course or a study module. Today one ECTS credit corresponds to 27 h of work making the student workload in full-time study (60 ECTS credits) 1600 hours per academic year.

At the University of Oulu, the curricula are planned so that the overall study load 60 ECTS credits are evenly distributed into two terms (30 credits / term).


The basic structural unit of studies is a course. The scope of a course is stated in terms of ECTS credits. A course may contain different modes of study, such as lectures, small-group tutorials, exercise groups or e-learning.

Studies in a degree programme are usually classified as basic, subject/intermediate and advanced. A Bachelor’s degree consists of basic and intermediate studies in the major subject, including a Bachelor’s thesis, studies in one or more minor subjects, and language studies. For the Master’s degree, students must complete an advanced study module and prepare a Master’s thesis. Some degrees require compulsory practical training, for others, it is optional. Studies can be of different nature: compulsory (must be completed), alternative (student chooses from a set selection of courses a certain amount of studies), optional (student freely chooses studies for a certain amount of credits) or additional/extra (courses that are not required for the degree). You can find all the courses taught at the University of Oulu in WebOodi. Get familiar also with assessment criteria and grading scale for courses.

Last updated: 25.2.2020