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

BSc in Information Processing Science

Profile of the Degree: 

University level studies in Information Processing Science provide an excellent foundation and the expertise to work in any facility where information technology is being developed and applied.  The ICT sector is rapidly internationalising and continues to develop strongly, creating a high demand for experts. To that end, studying in the Department of Information Processing Science at the University of Oulu provides excellent employment and career opportunities to high positions within the ICT industry. Education in Information Processing Science is focused on information systems, software and advanced areas of expertise, and applications. At the same time, it advances the development of important general work skills such as project work, written and oral communication, teamwork, critical thinking, and problem solving.  

The department of Information Processing Science has a strong tradition and great experience cooperating with information industry companies in the field.  In keeping studies oriented toward working life, by the time a student has completed their studies, they have also done training and project work, often in cooperation with local companies and organizations. This serves students by giving them an opportunity to receive concrete training and experience in field tasks and real world situations. 

Students first complete a 180-credit Bachelor of Science and then a 120-credit Master of Science degree. In the Bachelor's degree, 155 credits are mandatory courses common to all students. As a part of the compulsory studies, 25 of the credits will be spent in establishing a professional profile of each student's interests, gained through the completion of basic studies in a minor subject. Recommended minor studies include subjects such as statistics, mathematics, engineering, management, and economics.  Minor subjects may also be completed at other universities. A Bachelor's degree provides the basic skills for professional activities in the ICT industry.

Courses Required for the Degree: 

Required studies for the Bachelor's degree (180 credits in total):

  • General Studies, including language and communications 13 credits
  • Basic Studies 44 credits
  • Intermediate Studies 98 credits
  • Minor Studies, at least 25 credits.

Basic studies promote the comprehensive nature of education and provide learning, scientific activity and the functions of occupation, in terms of common core knowledge and skills. Basic Studies are mainly Information Processing Science subject studies, but they also include some depth into the learning environment and the interactions between Information Processing Science and business. 

Intermediate studies form the central part of the programme. From these courses, students learn about key concepts, theories and methods in Information Processing Science, as well as potential applications. 

General studies are included in the degree, for example study orientation, language courses, and a few others. The mandatory studies are aimed at guiding new students at the beginning of their university studies (This includes small group guidance sessions). For compulsory language studies in foreign language, both oral and written parts must be passed from the same language. More information pertaining to language studies can be found on the Language Centre's web page.

Minor subjects provide additional training to support a student's major subject and provide additional capacity to work.

Learning Outcomes: 

After completing a Bachelor of Science students are able to:

  • analyse and evaluate a variety of information systems and software engineering implementation and deployment methods, techniques, and tools, as well as choose the most suitable for a given task
  • apply Information Processing Science concepts, methods, and techniques in the construction of information systems and software projects
  • plan and carry out small scale information systems and software projects
  • create a written study using scientific research methods
  • communicate, both orally and in writing, while taking the target audience into account.
Arrangements for Recognition of Prior Learning: 

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a complex process, which is done to ease the transition from previous education and training. It allows students to determine differences in educational approaches and recognize specialties when transitioning. As such, an evaluation of each student's prior learning is included as part of the curriculum and personal study plan (PSP) preparation process. In the Department of Information Processing Science, the process of creating study plans is steered by an academic advisor.

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 in the Department of Information Processing Science are full time, equivalent to 60 credits per year. This means that 1600 hours of student work are needed per year. With this full-time schedule, a student can complete the whole degree (180 credits) in three years. Courses are conducted primarily in the form of classroom teaching. Some of the courses also include job training.

Everything is based on independent study. Although instruction is given during the lectures and exercises, the student's motivation and their own contributions are the main conditions of success.  During studies, the social skills important to working life are those most emphasised. A course by course content and teaching method can be found in the course descriptions.

Education in the Department of Information Processing Science is carried out in four teaching periods per academic year.  The start and end dates for each period can be found in the department's study guide. Course offerings, content, and teaching methods for each period can be seen in more detail in the department's academic timetable.

Language of Instruction: 


Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading: 

Studies for the degree can be completed by following the basic course outline.  This means that students studying in the curriculum will have general studies, basic studies, intermediate studies, and elective minor studies. As a rule, courses are completed by passing an examination and evaluated by the course instructor. Grades are often determined based on final and/or midterm exams results. However other assessment methods may be used, such as portfolios, continuous assessment, seminars, essays, written reports, etc.  The requirements for course completion are listed in more detail in the course descriptions for each offering.

Grades are awarded using a numerical scale from 0-5 in the form of integers or on a pass/fail evaluation. A numeric grade of zero represents a failure to pass the course. A grade point average for performance in the programme is calculated taking course weight into account. 

In accordance with University Regulations (794/2004) 6 § Finnish and Swedish language proficiency assessments are provided separately.

Occupational Profiles of Graduates: 

Information Processing Science graduates have a good employment opportunities. Orientation towards working life is already a part of the programme. In terms of employment, graduates are generally found in ICT sector companies, service and industrial companies, public sector and educational organizations. A Bachelor's degree prepares students for basic tasks in the ICT industry. To match what is typically found in the industry, the programme prepares for tasks such as programming, information systems and software engineering, maintenance, as well as support functions.

Access to Further Studies: 

A Bachelor's degree prepares students for Master's degree studies.


Graduation Requirements: 

Students seeking a Bachelor of Science degree must complete courses totalling 180 credits in accordance with their study plans. Mandatory subjects must include both basic and intermediate studies totalling 145 credits. Major studies include a 7 credit Bachelor's thesis and a written maturity test.  In addition, studies must include at least 25 credits in a minor subject.  Language and communications studies should have a scope of 10 credits.  More details regarding study requirements and performance can be found in the Information Processing Science's curricula. 

A student seeking a lower or higher academic degree must include in their course of studies or otherwise prove to have acquired:

  1. Finnish and Swedish language skills, as required for civil servants by the Language Act (424/2003) 6 §, subsection 1, bilingual authority is required of state personnel who interact with the public in the field;  additionally,
  2. Language skills in at least one foreign language, enabling students to monitor their field by following developments in an international environment.

The provisions of subsection 1 do not apply to students who have received their education in a language other than Finnish or Swedish or students who have been educated abroad. The language skills of such students will be determined by the university.

The university may exempt a student from the provisions of subsection 1's language proficiency requirements, in whole or in part, should extenuating circumstances exist.

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.

A degree from the Department of Information Processing Science is a general degree. As such, the degree does not provide a certification to any given profession as would, for example, a degree in education, law, medicine, etc.  The degree provides sufficient language skills to accommodate section 6 of the Language Act.

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 481980
seppo.pahnila (at)


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.