Assessment Criteria at the University of Oulu

1 Finnish credit system

All Finnish universities use the ECTS grading system (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System). One Finnish credit is equivalent to one ECTS credit and represents about 27 hours of effective work on the part of the student (total contact hours plus independent studying). Full-time study workload is 1600 hours per academic year (60 ECTS). That is to say 1 Finnish credit = 1 ECTS credit.

2 Criteria for assessment of credits

The criteria for the assessment of credits is defined by Education Regulations 17 §:

A numerical scale from 0 to 5 (in integers), or a verbal assessment with the grades pass and fail is used in the assessment of study attainments. In the assessment of doctoral and Licentiate theses, a verbal scale of excellent, pass or fail may also be used. In the numerical scale, a zero grade is equivalent to a fail. The principles according to which partial attainments are combined into an overall grade are defined in curricula or other stipulations. The calculation of a grade for a study module is based on the weighted average of the credit scores. The grades for Master’s theses and diploma theses are not taken into account when calculating the average grade for advanced-level studies. The required language proficiency in Swedish and Finnish, as stated in section 6 of the Decree on University Degrees (794/2004), are assessed according to separate stipulations.

3 Evaluation of study attainments

The evaluation of study attainments is defined by Education Regulations 15 §:

The purpose of evaluating study attainments is to monitor the progress of a student’s studies and to gather information on the student’s learning process and learning outcomes. The assessment of study attainments is based on the learning outcomes and assessment criteria defined in the curricula. The numerical or verbal assessment of study attainments is made on the basis of assessment criteria. It is the task of the instructor making the evaluation to give the student information in advance on the learning outcomes, assessment criteria and how credits are awarded for a study attainment.

4 Grading Scales

In following sections, the objects of the studies (course, study module and thesis) are defined. The Finnish and ECTS grading scales are explained and other grading scales used at the University of Oulu are presented.

4.1 Grading Scale for Courses

The basic unit of studies at the University of Oulu is the course. The course can be divided into course units. The course grade may consist of the grades of partial units completed separately. The course or its constituent can be completed in different ways, e.g. by passing an exam, writing essays, study journals, preparing seminar presentations, etc. These serve as the basis for assessing how well the student has reached the learning outcomes assigned for the course.

The grading scale for courses is from 0 to 5 (in integers), with a zero grade equalling a fail. The following scale represents the equivalent Finnish grades and European Credit Transfer System grades.


Finnish Grade

ECTS Grade


A  (excellent)


B   (very good)


C  (good)


D  (satisfactory)


E   (sufficient)

0 (fail)

FX, F (fail)

Furthermore, a pass/fail (Hyv/Hyl) scale as such may be used in course evaluation without grading to indicate that the student has or has not fulfilled the requirements set in the curriculum for the course. In assessing the second national language studies, the grades used are good, satisfactory and fail. Only course units with a passing grade are included in the student’s transcript of records. The grading scale for courses (XXXXXS) and course units (XXXXXS-01) may differ from the above-mentioned.

4.2 Grading Scale for Study Modules

Study modules consist of courses. Study modules are usually classified according to a theme or focus area. The grading scale for study modules is the same as for courses i.e. 0 to 5 (in integers). The overall grade of the module is the average grade of the units that constitute the study module. In the degree certificate, the following conversion is used in place of the numerical scale:

Finnish Grade

Definition in University of Oulu


EXCELLENT (In Finnish erinomainen)


VERY GOOD (kiitettävä)


GOOD (hyvä)


SATISFACTORY (tyydyttävä)


SUFFICIENT (välttävä)

Furthermore, verbal assessments of pass/fail (Hyv/Hyl) can be used in the assessment of study modules. Only passed course units are registered in the transcript of records.

Since 1 August 2008, the University has used a uniform procedure for calculating the grades of study modules, as well as the final grades for major or minor subjects: the grade is calculated based on units on the whole – depending on the Decree on University Degrees – as a weighted grade based on ECTS credits or Finnish credits. The grades for Master’s theses are not taken into account when calculating the weighted final grade for advanced studies. The overall grade for the study module, major or minor subject is based on the calculated average as follows:

Weighted average             Final grade

4.50 - 5.00                                     5

3.50 - 4.49                                     4

2.50 – 3.49                                     3

1.50 – 2.49                                     2

1.00 – 1.49                                     1

4.3 Grading Scale of the Theses

The final thesis is a written work that the student completes in order to demonstrate command of the necessary knowledge and skills. A Bachelor’s thesis is required in order to complete a lower university degree. A Master’s thesis is required in order to complete a higher university degree. The thesis is an independent study completed in the final phase of one’s major studies. Post-graduate studies require a licentiate thesis or a doctoral thesis.

The grading scale for final theses (Bachelor’s thesis and Master’s thesis) is the same as for courses: the numeric scale is 0 – 5 in integers, where a zero grade equals a fail. When grading final theses, verbal assessment pass (Hyv) or fail (Hyl) may also be used.

In grading licentiate theses, the grading scale 0 – 5 and pass with distinction (Khy), pass (Hyv) and fail (Hyl) are used.

In grading doctoral theses, the following grading scale is used: pass with distinction (Khy), pass (Hyv) and fail (Hyl).

5 Transcript of Records

By logging into WebOodi, students can see their studies, showing the courses and modules completed, as well as their grades and ECTS credits. All the passed courses with the final grades are included in the transcript of records.

An official digital transcript is available in WebOodi for University of Oulu students. The transcript in WebOodi is an official printable transcript of the University of Oulu. See more information here.

Open University students can order official transcripts of records by e-mail: avoin.yliopisto(at)

6 Diploma Supplement

The University of Oulu uses the Diploma Supplement developed in cooperation with the EU and the Ministry of Education. It is an English appendix to the degree certificate. University of Oulu students automatically receive a Diploma Supplement free of charge upon graduation. The supplement details the structure and scope of the degree, courses taken and an account of the Finnish educational system.

More information about Diploma Supplement is available at the European Commission’s website.

Last updated: 21.2.2019