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

MA (education) in Intercultural Teacher Education

Profile of the Degree: 

The degree of Master of Arts (Education) focusing on intercultural teacher education deepens the student’s competence to function as an expert of education and teaching in educational organisations. The education gives the student a diversified competence in pedagogy, didactics and subject mastery to meet educational challenges in the future school. The studies offer ingredients for the construction of a student’s own pedagogical viewpoint and activity and guide the student to understand the social meaning of a primary teacher’s work.

ITE programme is a unique programme in Finland as it is the only English teacher education programme with the focus on education, globalization, diversity and ethics.

Course Structure Diagram and Courses Required for the Degree: 

The Master’s degree in intercultural teacher education comprises language and communication studies and orientation studies (5 ECTS credits), advanced studies in education (80 ECTS credits), minor subject studies (25 ECTS credits) and other studies (10 ECTS credits). The advanced studies in education (80 ECTS credits) include the Master’s thesis with a scope of 40 ECTS credits. The intercultural perspective is incorporated into all the studies in education.

The timing of studies can be found in the course structure diagram. For the course descriptions, see the Faculty of Education study guide.

Learning Outcomes: 

  • Student can discuss the need for continuous self development.

  • Student is able to take responsibility of his/her own actions and support the learners’ self-efficacy.

  • Student is capable of working in a multi-professional environment.

  • Student can analyse and explain the theoretical knowledge about education and teaching.

  • Student is able to recognize and evaluate creativity and innovativity in the field of education.

  • Student shows empathy and tact and can select and judge his/her own actions according to the situation.

  • Student is able to ponder and evaluate critically both own and others’ views.

  • Student is capable of explicating research in inquiry based teaching.

  • Student is able to participate in development and evaluation tasks in education.

  • Student is capable of knowledge generalization, is able to design and invent theoretical knowledge, and apply it to teaching.

  • Students are able to exercise socially responsible and ethically sustainable leadership in the field of intercultural, development and global education.

  • Students are able to conduct and utilize research creatively as a basis for teaching, learning, curriculum design and assessment in complex and diverse education environments in local and global contexts.

  • Students are able to examine the constantly changing nature of education and society, recognizing professional development as a collaborative process of lifelong  and lifewide 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: 

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 (120 ECTS credits) can be completed in two 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 also include practice periods.

Language of Instruction: 

The degree can be completed in English, but non-Finnish speakers may have to work independently in some courses.

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. Master’s thesis shall be written as the final work in the degree. A Personal Study Plan (PSP) is compiled for each student, considering student’s prior learning.

Grading: (Koulutuksen johtosääntö pykälä 17: University of Oulu Rules of Procedure, article 17): a numerical scale 0-5 in whole numbers or verbal grading Pass or Fail is used in assessing a completed course. When assessing doctoral dissertations and licentiate’s theses, verbal grading kiittäen hyväksytty (Approved with Distinction), hyväksytty (Approved) tai hylätty (Rejected) can be used. In numerical scale zero stands for fail.

In determining the final grade for a study module, a credit-weighted average is utilized. The grades of Pro Gradu Theses and Diploma Theses shall not be considered when determining the average of advanced studies.  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: 

The degree of Master of Arts (Education) in the ITE programme is part of the studies providing the qualification of primary teacher, so the education aims especially at work in the learning and educational environments of the basic education grades 0-6. It is possible in the education for the Master’s degree to take part in various experimental and research projects, so the degree also provides a basis for research work. The graduates can also find employment in various expert tasks in the field of education and teaching.

ITE enables students to develop the skills, competencies, and knowledges for professional educational tasks in national and international educational environments (e.g. teacher, project leader, coordinator, administrator, consultant, leader, researcher, etc.). Students major in educational sciences. The programme also includes various school subjects, internships in diverse environments (e.g. schools, NGOS, government agencies in Finland and internationally), and a study period abroad. Throughout the programme there is an emphasis on issues related to identity, cultural diversity, migration, ethics, international development and globalization. Graduates who speak Finnish fluently are qualified to teach in Finnish speaking schools.

Access to Further Studies: 

Graduate is eligible for doctoral studies.

Graduation Requirements: 

To graduate as Master, the student must complete studies with a scope of 120 ECTS credits as determined in the curriculum. The thesis studies of the Master’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, unless such skills were already shown in the Bachelor’s degree. 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 nor to students who have received their school edcuation abroad. Language skills required from such students are determined by the university. For a special reason, the university can exempt a student fully or partly 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.

The Master’s degree together with the Bachelor’s degree taken in the Intercultural Teacher Education Programme qualifies the student as a primary teacher in Finland. The Bachelor’s degree shall in that case include at least 60 ECTS credits of multidisciplinary studies in the subjects and cross-curricular themes taught in primary school, and the lower and higher degree together shall include at least 60 ECTS credits of pedagogical studies for teachers.

The qualification as primary teacher is stipulated in the Teaching Qualifications Decree (14.12.1998/986). Accordingly, a person is qualified to work as a primary teacher if s/he has completed the degree of Master of Arts (Education), at least 60 ECTS credits of multidisciplinary studies in subjects and cross-curricular themes taught in primary school or basic education, and at least 60 ECTS credits of pedagogical studies for teachers.

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: 
Master's Degree
Duration of Studies: 
2 years
ECTS Credits: 
Language of Instruction: 
Graduate profiles: 
Primary Teacher
Location of Instruction: 
+358 (0)294 483665
katri.jokikokko (at)


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