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, Major Subject German Philology (Subject Teacher Education)

Profile of the Degree: 

German Philology focuses on teaching and exploring linguistic and translinguistic (multimodal) texts, considering in comparison how they appear from the perspective of the cultures of Finland and German-speaking countries. Both linguistic (literary, factual and professional texts) and translinguistic (e.g. corporations, urban planning, public buildings) texts are considered as aspects of intercultural communication.

The degree program consists of studies in core focus areas such as, e.g., translation, literature, culture and intercultural communication. The studies also include language training that can be realized, for example, as exchange studies. Partner universities are located in Germany and Austria, amongst others. Studies completed abroad are fully transferable to the student’s degree program.

Within the economic life of Oulu as well as of Finland as a whole, there is an increasing interest in experts of the German language and of the culture of German-speaking areas. Because of the great significance of the German-speaking economic region for Finland's export market, there will inevitably be a need for experts and consultants with cultural expertise of the region, providing unique opportunities. In order to satisfy this need, courses in International Business Communication are included in the studies. Marketing, Tourism and Economics are highly suitable minor subjects. Pedagogical studies are compulsory for students aiming to become German teachers.

Course Structure Diagram and Courses Required for the Degree: 

Bachelor's degree: Major subject German Philology, German subject teacher education (180 ECTS credits)

A Bachelor's degree includes the Basic Studies (25 ECTS credits) and Intermediate Studies (45 ECTS credits) in the major subject, in total 70 ECTS credits. The degree contains also the Pedagogical Studies (25 ECTS credits). The scope and number of minor subjects is determined by the student’s personal preference. The scope of Intermediate Studies in a minor subject is 35 ECTS credits. The scope of language and communication studies is 25 ECTS credits.

Further information: see Course Structure Diagram.


Learning Outcomes: 

After having completed Basic Studies in German Philology, students have good skills in pronunciation, intonation and in the translation of easy texts. Students are be capable of analysing the content and structure of an easy popular science text. They know the basics of gathering data, the essential concepts of linguistics and literary studies and the history of culture and literature in the German speaking area. In addition, they are able to write propedeutic texts in German.
After having completed the Intermediate Studies in German Philology, students have improved their oral skills to a certain level and are capable of translating fairly demanding professional texts. They are able to follow lectures which are fairly demanding in content and thus able to participate in the teaching of German-speaking universities. In addition, they have the capacity to analyse fairly demanding scientific texts and to search for scientific background material independently. Students master the basics of scientific work: summarising, citing sources, quoting, analysing and interpreting. On a theoretical level, the aim is to improve the knowledge in linguistics, culture and literature. The students are also capable of writing a thesis, developing and formulating research questions and applying the concepts of linguistics and literary studies.

Learning outcomes: Pedagogical Studies

After having completed the Bachelor’s degree the student has

  • knowledge of the fundamentals of his/her major and minor subjects as well as prerequisite skills for following developments in the field.

  • the basic abilities and skills relevant to the labour market in the field.

  • competence to adopt new knowledge.

  • knowledge and skills needed for scientific thinking and the use of scientific methods.

  • the capacity for applying the acquired knowledge and skills to work.

  • adequate communication skills in Finnish, Swedish and one foreign language.

  • knowledge and skills needed for studies leading to the Master's degree and for continuous learning.


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: 

Studies are to be carried out fulltime. The average input needed for studies of one academic year is 1600 working hours, which is equivalent to 60 ECTS credits. Studying fulltime, the entire degree (180 ECTS credits) can be completed in three years. The studies are primarily carried out as contact teaching, but some of the courses can be completed by independent learning (book examinations, essays) or by distance learning. The alternative methods are explained in the study unit descriptions.

Language of Instruction: 

The language of instruction in the major subject is German. The language of instruction in pedagogical studies is Finnish. Other languages of instruction depend on the minor subjects the student includes in the degree.

Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading: 

The degree-related studies can be completed based on the curriculum. This means that the student studies the advanced studies and elective studies the curriculum contains, in accordance with the curriculum. The study units are primarily completed by attending examinations and with written assignments and they are assessed by the person responsible for the study unit. The assessment is often based on the grades of final exams and term papers. Also other assessment criteria are used. Study unit descriptions give more exact information on the assessment of study units. A Candidate’s (Bachelor’s) thesis shall be written as the final work in the degree. A Personal Study Plan (PSP) is compiled for each student individually, considering the student’s prior learning 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: 

After having completed also the Master’s degree, the graduates of German Philology (subject teacher education) work as teachers.

Graduates of German Philology have also many other and varied work prospects. Here are some examples:

  • professional in international trade

  • press officer, journalist

  • translator, interpreter

  • language and culture consultant

  • work in the European Union

Students aiming for a career in business can direct their studies towards international business communication and may include studies in, amongst others, Economics and Communication Studies (e.g. international business, management, marketing and logistics) in their degree.

Access to Further Studies: 

The Bachelor’s degree is required before the commencement of the Master’s level studies.

Graduation Requirements: 

A Bachelor's degree includes the Basic Studies (25 ECTS credits) and Intermediate Studies (45 ECTS credits) in the major subject, in total 70 ECTS credits. The Intermediate Studies include a Candidate’s (Bachelor’s) Thesis. A maturity test (0 ECTS) will be administered on the basis of the thesis.

The degree must also contain at least one minor subject, consisting of the Basic Studies (25 ECTS credits). The scope and number of minor subjects is determined by the student’s personal preference. The scope of Intermediate Studies in a minor subject is 35 ECTS credits. The Intermediate Studies in a minor subject do not require a Candidate’s thesis.

The scope of language and communication studies may vary according to the student's choice of minor subjects. Compulsory studies are: Written and Oral Communication Skills (5 ECTS), Second National Language (5 ECTS), and 5 ECTS of studies in a foreign language as well as the Orientation Course for New Students (0 ECTS). A student must also complete the language and communication studies determined by the major subject or degree program (see Course Structure Diagram and Courses Required for Degree).

The study packages included in the degree must be compiled in Oodi (the official student register). This is done by the person responsible for compiling studies in the subject in question. Diplomas are granted by the Dean of Education and distributed to the graduates in the official graduation ceremony. The ceremony is usually held once a month, apart from July and August. Students should register for the graduation ceremony by filling in a form and submitting it to the Faculty Student Affairs. The forms, as well as detailed information on graduation ceremony dates and closing dates for applications, can be found on the website

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.

The Bachelor’s degree (BA) qualifies the student to complete a Master’s degree (MA). The language proficiency requirements of the degree qualify the student for employment in the civil service according to the section on language proficiency, 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 483427
gerhard.schmitt (at)


Applying Information: 
The degree is part of a five-year degree programme which is applied for through the joint application system at