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

MSc (tech) in Environmental Engineering

Profile of the Degree: 

In the fourth and fifth study year aiming towards a master of science in technology degree, the student will acquire abilities in demanding design, research and development tasks of the field and also a strong basis and eligibility for further doctoral studies. After completing master's-level studies the students will know biological, chemical, physical and mechanical processes and methods and techniques for design and development. In addition, the students will be familiar with special characteristics of their own specialization area.

The student chooses a major subject, so called study option, and a specific line of study within, for the master's degree. The studies mainly consist of advanced-level courses in the area of the chosen study option:

The degree programme in environmental engineering has three study options:

  1. Water and Geoenvironmental Engineering (Vesi- ja geoympäristötekniikka)
  2. Industrial Environmental Engineering and Biotechnology (Teollisuuden ympäristö- ja biotekniikka)
  3. Sustainable Energy (Kestävä energia)
Course Structure Diagram and Courses Required for the Degree: 

The MSc (technology) degree in Environmental Engineering consists of a basic module (approx. 30 ECTS), an advanced/supplementary module (approx. 30 ECTS), a supplementary module (approx. 30 ECTS) and the Diploma Thesis (30 ECTS).

Further information: See course structure diagram

Learning Outcomes: 

During master's degree studies, the student has a lot of freedom to choose courses and his/her knowhow is built through these personal choices.

Study option of Water and Geoenvironmental Engineering: A master of science in technology graduated from the water and geoenvironmental engineering option, has expertise in the processes of the natural water and substance cycles, and can apply those to environments changed by humans. The graduate is able to calculate the movements of surface and groundwater, understands the main issues in water protection and can take these into account in water supply projects, and is familiar with the principles of water regulation and can estimate the environmental effects of regulation. The graduate is able to plan, design and size soil draining for different situations. He/she can take into account flood control and prevention and dam safety issues in environmental projects, and he/she is able to design and size municipal and industry water resources and waste management solutions and improve those to reduce environmental loads. In addition, the graduate knows how to restore polluted lands and how such a project is managed. Specific attention is paid to the prevention and restoration of environmental damage and environmental impact assessment. The northern conditions are emphasised in education and research, so the graduate is able to take the effects, among other things, of frost and winter on, e.g., soil draining plans and waste dump foundation constructions.

The Water and Geoenvironmental Engineering study option is focused on the restoration and use of water systems, water resources and groundwater engineering, water and wastewater treatment and restoration of polluted lands and the phenomena taking place in the soil and ground. Specialization in areas of water system design, water resources management or geoenvironmental engineering can be furthered through optional studies.

Study option of Industrial Environmental Engineering and Biotechnology: The option offers the next two specific lines of study:

1) Industrial Environmental Engineering: Within this line of study, the student will learn how to design of environmentally friendly processes in industry. The process design approach, process analysis and estimation, and environmental engineering issues, are emphasised. A master of science in technology graduate with a specialization in industrial environmental engineering is familiar with the different phases, information sources, and performance methodology of a typical design process. Awareness about safety and environmental issues and cost and feasibility evaluations of processes are essential. Graduates will potentially have one or more of the following areas as their specific field of knowhow: the use of catalysts in environmental engineering, closed cycles, environmentally friendly raw materials, production methods and products, or life cycle assessment.

2) Bioprocess Engineering: After completing the bioprocess engineering studies, the student knows and understands the specific requirements of biotechnological processes, and also, microbiology and biochemistry, environmental and process engineering. The student can apply and combine what he/she has learned previously during the bachelor level and other master-level courses to biotechnological processes.

Study option of Sustainable Energy: A student, who has completed the sustainable energy studies, has skills in reducing the environmental load caused by energy production and delivery, in production of renewable energy and usage of other CO2-neutral energy resources, as well as in the control methods of energy efficiency in industry, traffic and building. In addition, the student learns to work in multidisciplinary, multicultural and international working environment.

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 master's degree studies (120 ECTS credits) can be completed in two years, each year corresponding to 60 ECTS credits. This equals 1600 hours of student workload per year. The studies are mostly carried out as face-to-face teaching. Studies also include an on-the-job learning period.

Language of Instruction: 

Finnish is the language in which the degree can be completed.

Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading: 

The degree-related studies can be completed based on the curriculum. Assessment methods and criteria for the studies: Study unit descriptions give more exact information on the assessment of study units. Master’s thesis and the maturity test 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 and work experience.

Grading: a numerical scale 0-5 in whole numbers or verbal grading Pass or Fail is used in assessing a completed course.

In determining the final grade for a study module, a credit-weighted average is utilized. The grades of Master’s 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: 

In the master's degree phase, the degree programme in environmental engineering offers majors (study options) educating students for tasks, for example, in the following professional fields:

  1. Planning, design, usage, maintenance, research tasks and tasks for water resource projects, water resources management and geoenvironmental engineering (Water and Geoenvironmental Engineering)
  2. Water, air, and soil protection and waste management for industry, especially process industry (Industrial Environmental Engineering)
  3. Design, research, development and education tasks in the field of biotechnology (Bioprocess Engineering)

A master of science in technology graduated from the degree programme in environmental engineering can work in the food industry, biotechnological industry, chemical industry, pulp and paper industry, mining industry, metallurgical industry, as a supplier, in planning, design or consultation agencies or educational and research organisations or public administration, for state, municipalities, towns or cities. He/she can work in planning and design, research, development, educational and administrative tasks and as a private entrepreneur in his/her area of expertise.

Access to Further Studies: 

A Master of Science in Technology graduate from the degree programme in environmental engineering has good ability to continue to doctoral studies.

Graduation Requirements: 

To be awarded a master's degree, a student must complete the required studies and master's thesis, write a maturity essay demonstrating language proficiency in the language in which the student has been educated (Finnish or Swedish). The student shall demonstrate the satisfactory level of proficiency in Finnish and Swedish required in the Act (424/2003) section 6 subsection 1. Student who has already demonstrated his/her language proficiency for a lower university degree (Bachelor) does not need to demonstrate it again for a master´s degree. The diploma for the degree of Master of Science (Technology/Architecture) is awarded on request and issued by the Education Dean of the Faculty.

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.

An MSc (tech) degree in engineering gives access to doctoral studies and a variety of positions in the field. Students can influence their degree through their preferred selections and best suited training positions.

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: 
(Chemical) Process Designer
Environmental Engineer
Development Manager
Production Manager
Location of Instruction: 
+358 (0)294 482438
jukka.hiltunen (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.