The Information Studies degree program at the University of Oulu was founded in 1988. It is within the Department of Finnish, Information Studies and Logopedics in the Faculty of Humanities. The degree program aims to educate information professionals and librarians for public, research and other types of libraries and information services in industry, experts of information management and retrieval for public and private sectors. The degree program also provides a foundation for those whose interest lies in scientific research.

The Degrees Awarded

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) (180 credits)
  • Master of Arts (MA) (BA+120 credits)

Research Degrees

  • Licentiate in Philosophy in Information Studies
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Information Studies (PhD)

Main areas of Information Studies:

  1. Information needs of society, organisations and individuals and ways of acquiring information,
  2. Producing and conveying information and culture,
  3. Organising, storing and retrieving information; all of which aim at information management,
  4. Activity and history of organisations within information services.

Selection of students for the BA and MA Programmes

The annual intake is 15 major subject students leading first to the BA and then to the MA degrees. One additional place is reserved for a Saami-speaking student.

From 20 to 25 students are selected with Information Studies as a minor subject. They are advised to complete the basic and intermediate studies because less is not generally recognised by Finnish employers.

Potential employers include municipal, research and other types of libraries, research institutes, private enterprises, educational establishments, civil service departments, and organizations alike. Employment prospects have been good.

Students from abroad are most welcome as students under agreements of co-operation (NORDPLUS, SOCRATES/ERASMUS). Short term visiting students do not need to know Finnish, but foreign students who want to take degree level examinations must demonstrate fluency in Finnish language when they apply. More details about entry procedures are available from Terttu Kortelainen or Kari Kaskela (Chief Administrative Officer, tel. +358 8 553 3233, e-mail: kari.kaskela[at]

Tuition is mainly in Finnish. Active participation in lectures is important but only seminars and exercises are compulsory. Lectures can be substituted with summaries, essays and home exams.

Structure of the Bachelor of Arts (BA) programme

  1. Studies in foreign languages, communication and methodology 25 credits
  2. Studies in major subject, basic and intermediate studies 70 credits (a Bachelor's thesis included)
  3. Studies in minor subject 85 credts

Structure of the Master of Arts (MA) programme

  1. Studies in major subject, advanced studies 80 credits (a Master´s thesis included)
  2. Studies in minor subject 40 credits

Further information:

Information studies curriculum

Basic Degrees
Bachelor of Arts (BA) (180 credits) The degree consists of compulsory studies, which are mostly basic and intermediate studies. The degree includes a BA Thesis.
Master of Arts (MA) (120 credits) The degree consists of studies in the major subject. The degree includes a MA Thesis (40 credits or 30 credits) and studies in minor subjects.

Research Degrees
Licentiate in Philosophy in Information Studies. Credits in major and minor subjects plus a Licentiate in Philosophy Thesis.
Doctor of Philosophy in Information Studies. Credits in major and minor subjects (not required if Licentiate in Philosophy is completed) plus a Doctor of Philosophy Thesis.

I Basic Studies (APPROBATUR) 25 credits
694550P Introduction to Information Studies 6 cr
694586P Information Storage and Representation 5 cr
694587P Information Seeking and Retrieval I 3 cr
694588P Management and Leadership 4 cr
694589P Information Behaviour 3 cr
694551P Information in Society 4 cr

II Intermediate (CUM LAUDE APPROBATUR) 45 credits
694591A Information Seeking and Retrieval II 3 cr
694592A Information Production and Collections 5 cr
694593A Information Literacy and Digital Libraries 5 cr
694594A Information and Interaction in Knowledge-based Organizations 3 cr
694595A Information Resources and Evaluation 5 cr
694557A Practical Training 8 cr

Elective Courses 6 credits

694596A Theory of Classification and Its Applications 3 cr
694564A Information Legislation and Ethics 3 cr
694566A Childrens Librarianship 3 cr
694567A Music Librarianship 3 cr
694597A What is Science Communication? 3 cr
694568A Other Variable Topic 1 2-3 cr
694569A Other Variable Topic 2 2-3 cr

Research Methods and a Bachelor’s  Thesis 10 credits

694570A Research Methods I 2 cr
694571A  Bachelor’s Seminar 6 cr
694572A Bachelor’s Thesis 2 cr
694573A The "Maturity" Exam (kypsyysnäyte)

III Advanced Studies (LAUDATUR) and a Master´s Thesis 80 credits

Research Trends in Information Studies, one of following:

694603S Knowledge Management 6 cr
694604S Research on Scientific Communication 6 cr
694605S Library, Information and Documentation Philosophy and Theory 6 cr
694606S Variable Area of Information Studies 6 cr

Literature Exams 16 credits

694607S Research in Information Behaviour 8 cr
694608S Research in Information and Knowledge Management 8 cr
694609S Research in Information Seeking and Retrieval 8 cr
694610S Research in the Production, Communication and Evaluation of Information. 8 cr
694611S Research in Information Storage 8 cr
694580S Research Methods II 8 cr
694581S Master’s Seminar  10 cr
694582S Master’s Thesis 40 cr
694583S Thesis for Secondary Subject Students 20 cr
694584S The "Maturity" Exam (kypsyysnäyte)

Research and Doctoral Studies

Information Studies, as a field of Humanities and Social Sciences, is related to Communication Studies. The primary research interest in Information Studies focuses on factors related to the dissemination of information between its producers and users. Recently, the scope of research has also focused on the factors enabling the creation of knowledge. Besides Communication Studies, the relevant closely related disciplinary fields of Information Studies are Information Processing Sciences and Business and Management Studies. 

The Degree Programme for Information Studies at the University of Oulu conducts basic, applied and contractual research that is nationally and internationally recognized. The research efforts within Information Studies are multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary by nature. Within the University of Oulu, Information Studies has established strong ties in research collaboration with Medical Science, Public Health as well as with Information Systems research besides various fields of Technical Sciences.

Information Studies at the University of Oulu is one among the seven Centres of Excellence in Research nominated on the basis of the outcomes of the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in 2007. The goal of the research efforts in Information Studies is an internationally recognised position in the selected focus areas.

Last updated: 27.10.2016