Studies at University of Oulu 2012-2013

The University of Oulu offers study opportunities with a solid academic foundation ranging from 5-6 year degree programmes and master’s programmes to doctoral training. There are also several possibilities such as open university studies, executive training and continuing education for developing and maintaining skills and competencies.

In addition to a variety of student exchange programmes, international master’s degree programmes in English are offered in six fields of study, making the university an international study environment.

5-6 Year Degree Programmes

BA (education) in Early Childhood Education

Profile of the Degree: 

Students pursuing studies for the Bachelor’s degree in the degree programme in early childhood education become pedagogical experts in the small child’s growth, development and learning. They promote the welfare of the child and family in the changing society. The general ethical principles of the Faculty guide and provide the basis for their professional identity. The education is based on research, and connected with the research being carried out in the Faculty, focusing on the research of childhood and teachership. The training guides the students to critical and creative thinking and approach to work. Doing things together and various forms of cooperation are an essential part in their studies. The student can build his own professional profile by choosing his/her minor subjects from the university’s plentiful offerings. The education is free and public.

Course Structure Diagram and Courses Required for the Degree: 

For the structure and timing of the studies, see the course structure diagram. For the course descriptions, see the Faculty of Education study guide.

Learning Outcomes: 

Having completed the studies included in the Bachelor’s degree, the student is a pedagogical expert of a small child’s growth, development and learning. The student identifies the social ties of education and knows how to function as an active citizen in issues related to early childhood education. The student has a strong professional competence and basic theoretical knowledge which make him/her capable of critical and creative thinking and action. The student knows how to act ethically, constructively and collaboratively in interaction with other actors. S/he knows how to use different pedagogical methods when working with children.

Arrangements for recognition of prior learning: 

The recognition of prior learning follows the main principles as defined by the University of Oulu.

More information: Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Modes of study: 

The student studies full-time, corresponding to 60 ECTS credits per year. This equals to 1600 hours of student workload per year. The full degree (180 ECTS credits) can be completed in three years, studying full-time. The studies are carried out as contact teaching, but a part of the courses can be completed as e-learning. Studies include also practice periods.

Language of Instruction: 

The degree can be completed in Finnish.

Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading: 

The student studies communication and orientation studies, basic studies, advanced studies as well as multidisciplinary studies and other optional studies according to the curriculum. The courses are assessed by the persons responsible for each course. Assessment is often based on the grades of the lecture and book exams related to the course. Other assessment methods are also used, such as active participation in teaching and written and other assignments. The course descriptions contain details of ways to complete each course. The degree is completed by writing the Bachelor’s thesis. Each student composes a personal study plan, taking into account previous studies and work experience.

Grading: (The University of Oulu Education Regulations 17§): a numerical scale 0-5 in whole numbers or verbal grading Pass or Fail is used in assessing a completed course. In numerical scale zero stands for fail.

In determining the final grade for a study module, a credit-weighted average is utilized. Separate provisions have been laid down for assessing the proficiency in Finnish and Swedish language required in accordance with the Government Decree on University Degrees (794/2004).

Occupational Profiles of Graduates: 

Most students who have completed the Bachelor’s degree are employed as kindergarten teachers and in the field of pre-primary education. In addition to the traditional public sector, an increasing number of jobs is also available within the sphere of private early childhood education. A holder of the Bachelor’s degree can also find in employment in tasks requiring expertise in early childhood education in organisations and companies.

Access to Further Studies: 

Bachelor’s degree entitles access to Master’s degree studies.

Graduation Requirements: 

To graduate as Bachelor, the student must complete studies with a scope of 180 ECTS credits as determined in the curriculum. The thesis studies of the Bachelor’s degree include a maturity test on the topic of the thesis.

The graduate shall also show that s/he has achieved skills in Finnish and Swedish as defined in section 6 (1) of the Act (424/2003) and skills in one foreign language such as stipulated in section 6 (2) of the Government Decree on University Degrees (2004/794). The requirement for language skills in Finnish and Swedish does not apply to students who have received their school education in a language other than Finnish or Swedish or to students who have received their school education abroad. Language skills required from such students are determined by the university. For a special reason, the university can exempt a student from the language skill requirements stipulated in subsection 1.

The student shall also apply the faculty for confirmation of the degree by submitting a degree confirmation application.

Qualification Requirements and Regulations: 

All education in the University of Oulu is based on the principles of the joint European credit transfer system (ECTS) which facilitates the transparency of education and the recognition of degrees at an international level. All degrees awarded from the University of Oulu are recognised by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.

In early childhood education, the Bachelor’s degree including the professional studies in early childhood education qualifies the student as kindergarten teacher (Act on the Qualification Requirements concerning Professional Staff in Social Services 2005/272 7 §). In terms of language skills, the degree makes the graduate eligible for government offices (Government Decree on University Degrees 2004/794, 6 §).

Government Decree on University Degrees 794/2004, Language Proficiency Section 6: Language proficiency

1. The student must demonstrate in studies included in education for a lower or higher University degree or otherwise that he/she has attained:

(1) proficiency in Finnish and Swedish which is required of civil servants in bilingual public agencies and organizations under Section 6(1) of the Act on the Knowledge of Languages Required of Personnel in Public Bodies (424/2003) and which is necessary for their field; and

(2) skills in at least one foreign language needed to follow developments in the field and to operate in an international environment.

2. The provisions of subsection 1 do not concern a student who has been educated in a language other than Finnish or Swedish or a student who has been educated abroad. The language proficiency of such students shall be determined by the university.

3. For special reasons, the university may either totally or partially exempt a student from the requisite language skills referred to in subsection 1.

Basic information

Level of the Degree: 
Bachelor's Degree
Duration of Studies: 
3 years
ECTS Credits: 
Language of Instruction: 
Location of Instruction: 
+358 (0)294 484211
eila.estola (at)


Applying Information: 
The degree is part of a five-year degree programme which is applied for through the joint application system at The main language of instruction in the degree programme is Finnish. Detailed information about admission requirements and applying is only available in Finnish.