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 curriculum structure and timimg plan, study modules and courses are described in detail, along with the recommended course sequence and key learning outcomes.

Curriculun structure

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 degree programmes and curriculum structures can be found from Peppi Study Guide.

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 

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 Peppi Study Guide. Get familiar also with assessment criteria and grading scale for courses.

Language of instruction and language of learning

University of Oulu Education Regulations 18 § regulates: "The language of teaching and research in the University is Finnish. Using some other language than Finnish in teaching, research and study attainments is stipulated in the curriculum of a degree programme. A student has a right to use Finnish language for their study attainment that will be assessed, excluding language studies, even when the language of instruction is other than Finnish."

The language of learning is the language in which you complete a course or other study component (for example, the language in which you write your answers to exam questions). The language of learning may be different than the language of instruction or your own native language. The WebOodi’s course catalogue includes information on the language of instruction for each course and study module. The nature of the degree programme or course (such as a foreign language) may require that you complete a course in a certain language. Similarly, if you are enrolled in an English-language degree programme, you will complete the majority of your courses in English. In other cases, however, you have the right to complete your courses in Finnish and to receive the questions and instructions of written examinations and other course requirements in Finnish in accordance with your indicated preference.

Last updated: 26.2.2021