Studies at University of Oulu 2013-2014

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 English Philology

Profile of the Degree: 

A degree in English Philology offers the student a solid command of English and an understanding of the languages and cultures of the Anglophone world. The curriculum in English Philology includes not only language skills courses, but also a range of courses in applied linguistics, literature and culture.

During the first couple of years, students concentrate on improving their practical language skills and understanding of the structure of the language. As the studies progress from the Bachelor’s level to the Master’s level, students move towards more theoretical courses and research; more options also become available, allowing students to concentrate on topics that they find particularly interesting. Residence in an Anglophone country is also a crucial part of the studies.

A degree in English Philology can lead to a variety of professions. In addition to the minor subjects that the student chooses, work practice during the studies and the personal contacts made in the professional world are often crucial in obtaining a job after graduation. Many graduates find work in IT companies (technical writing, client documentation), or as translators, journalists, researchers, planning officers, educators and administrators.

Courses Required for the Degree: 

Bachelor's degree: Major subject English Philology (180 ECTS credits)

A Bachelor's degree includes the following studies: 1) the Language and Communication studies (20 ECTS credits), 2) the Basic Studies (25 ECTS credits) and the Intermediate Studies (45 ECTS credits) in English Philology, 3) the Basic Studies in at least one minor subject (25 ECTS credits), and 4) any other studies according to the student’s personal preferences (65 ECTS credits).
NB! The scope of the Intermediate studies in a minor subject is 35 credits.

Further information: see the Course Structure Diagram.

Learning Outcomes: 

The Basic Studies module in English Philology provides a four-fold overview of the field, comprising: (1) a series of courses designed both to improve practical language skills and to strengthen theoretical knowledge of the structures of English, (2) a foundation in applied linguistics, (3) an introduction to literature in English, and (4) a grounding in the basics of British or North American culture. These courses also familiarise students with the main modes of teaching and learning encountered in the university: lectures, seminars, tutorials, examinations and writing assignments.

The teaching programme is planned so that students with English Philology as their main subject can comfortably complete the 25-point Basic Studies within one academic year and yet find time to accumulate other essential course credits from other courses, such as compulsory general studies courses, and even subsidiary subject courses.

The Intermediate Studies module in English Philology is designed with two goals in mind. First, by virtue of its combination of compulsory and elective courses, it extends students' understanding of the key areas of English Philology while allowing at the same time some room for the development of personal interests. Second, through its training in the basic skills of research methodology and presentation, it leads students majoring in English Philology to the Candidate's Seminar and Thesis. And this in turn allows them – when all the other requirements have been fulfilled – to complete the Candidate's Degree (the BA degree).

After completing their Bachelor's degree, students

  • will know the fundamentals of their major and minor subjects, and are able to follow and interpret developments in their major subject and assess their significance with regards to society.
  • will have the fundamental skills to work within their field of study.
  • are able to independently improve their academic skills and take responsibility for their own work.
  • are able to apply scholarly methods in interpreting, drawing conclusions and reporting information.
  • are able to apply their communication skills according to the conventions within the field of their study when disseminating information.
  • are able, in addition to their mother tongue, to communicate in either Finnish or Swedish and in at least one foreign language.  (Different requirements apply for degree students who are not Finnish citizens)
  • will have the necessary knowledge and skills for studies leading to the Master's degree in their major subject, and for continuing education, and have the general qualifications for studies leading to a Master's degree (even in the minor subjects in which they have completed the Intermediate Studies).
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 expected to be pursued fulltime. The average input needed for the studies of one academic year is 1600 working hours, which is equivalent to 60 ECTS credits. Studying fulltime, it should be possible to complete the entire degree (180 ECTS credits) in three years. The studies are primarily carried out as contact teaching, but some of the courses can be completed by independent learning (e.g. so-called book examinations or essays) or by distance learning. The alternative methods are explained in the various descriptions of the study units.

Language of Instruction: 

The language of instruction in the major subject is English. Other languages of instruction depend on the minor subjects a student includes in his or her 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: 

Employment prospects for students graduating with a degree in English Philology have been highly favourable for a number of years. The overwhelming majority of graduates have found employment in the fields of either teaching or information technology, and it is clear that the near future will see an increase in the demand for fully-qualified teachers of English. But beyond these two career paths the growing importance of English in the global community means that job opportunities for graduates in English Philology are widening all the time within a large number of other spheres, including publishing, the media, translation, business, tourism and the leisure industry.

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 (180 ECTS credits) must include the Basic Studies (25 ECTS credits) and Intermediate Studies (45 ECTS credits) of a student’s major subject, a total of 70 ECTS credits. The Intermediate Studies include a Candidate’s (Bachelor’s) Thesis and a so-called maturity test (0 ECTS) will be administered on the basis of the thesis.

The degree must also contain the Basic Studies (25 ECTS credits) in at least one minor subject. The combination of the rest of the courses or minor subjects is determined by the major subject or the student’s personal preferences. The scope of the Intermediate Studies in a minor subject is 35 ECTS credits as no Candidate’s thesis is required.

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 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 programme (see the Course Structure Diagram and the Courses Required for a Degree).

The study packages included in a 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 an official graduation ceremony. The ceremony is usually held once a month, apart from in July and August. Students should register for the graduation ceremony by filling in a form and submitting it to the Faculty Student Affairs office. The forms, as well as detailed information on graduation ceremony dates and closing dates for applications, can be found on the following 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: 


Applying Information: 
The degree is part of a five-year degree programme which is applied for through the joint application system at Read more detailed information about admission requirements and applying from The Applicant’s Guide 2013.