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

MSc in Physical Chemistry

Profile of the Degree: 

Teaching consists of a compulsory course Chemical Legislation in Finland, and elective advanced chemistry and other elective studies.

Master’s Degree in chemistry has a European quality certificate, Euromaster label®. The Degree gives qualification to keep up development in the field and improve him/herself. The graduates have also access to postgraduate studies.

Physical chemistry forms the theoretical background to understand the chemical phenomena, starting from the laws of physics. The properties of molecules can nowadays be understood by means of theoretical chemistry. Thermodynamics, mobility of molecules, intermolecular interactions and reaction kinetics are essential in chemistry. Teaching gives the students rather broad theoretical background and tools to understand various methods in chemical research and analytics. Understanding of molecular properties, and hence of materials, is given. The most important approaches are thermodynamics, kinetics and theoretical chemistry. The competence in physical chemistry finds applications in all the fields of chemistry, including process engineering, biochemistry and medicine. In the research, we are focused in organometallic chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, catalysis and themes of sustainable development, including biodegradable materials.

Courses Required for the Degree: 

The Master of Science (MSc) is taken after the Bachelor of Science degree (BSc).  The studies for the Degree of MSc are 120 ECTS credits and they can be completed in two years.

At the beginning of the master's studies the student chooses a major subject in chemistry. The majors are Inorganic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Structural Chemistry. The major can be selected after his/her own interest.

The master's studies consist of the compulsory advanced major studies, optional advanced studies, and optional studies, which can be advanced studies in chemistry or studies offered by the other degree programmes. The student can take optional advanced studies freely after his/her own interest in his/her own major or other majors in chemistry.

The structure and required courses for the degree of MSc are described in the course structure diagram.

Learning Outcomes: 

The graduate:

  • can  independently search, interpret and absorb chemistry-related scientific knowledge and take responsibility for his/her own professional development,
  • can independently apply adopted, chemistry-related advanced knowledge to solve a scientific problem or to produce new knowledge in chemistry or chemistry-related environment,
  • can critically handle chemistry-related data and draw conclusions based on it,
  • can clearly present and give reasons for results to a specialist and non-specialist audience
  • has eligibility to work as a chemist in industry or public sector or in chemistry-related tasks.
Arrangements for Recognition of Prior Learning: 

Recognition of prior learning is a part of the curriculum and preparation of PSP (Personal Study Plan), when effects of prior learning to tuition arrangement and study time are estimated.

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 full degree (120 credits) can be completed in two years studying full-time (60 credits per year equals to 1600 hours of student workload per year). The studies are carried out as contact teaching but a part of the courses can be completed as book-examinations. The studies consist of contact teaching and learning tasks, laboratory research, literature survey, seminars and final examination.

Language of Instruction: 

Finnish, on demand English. Course books are international and recognised text-books in English. Examinations and tutoring on demand in English.

Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading: 

Studies consist of lectures, various problems, reports, laboratory exercises as well as seminar presentations.  The student studies according to curriculum: general, advanced and elective studies. A Personal Study Plan PSP is compiled for each student, considering student’s prior learning and work experience.

Assessment methods and criteria for the studies: The degree-related studies can be completed based on the curriculum. This means that the student studies the general studies, advanced studies and elective studies the curriculum contains. The study units are primarily completed by attending examinations and they are assessed by the person responsible for the study unit. The assessment is often based on the grades of final or mid-term exams. Also other assessment criteria are used, including laboratory reports, poster preparation and presentation, seminal presentations etc. Study unit descriptions give more exact information on the assessment of study units.

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. The grades of Master’s Theses shall not be considered when determining the average of advanced studies.

Occupational Profiles of Graduates: 

Master’s Degree in chemistry provides chemist’s eligibility. The graduate can work independently as chemist in chemical or chemistry-related industry or public sector.

Access to Further Studies: 

The graduate has access to postgraduate studies in accordance with the confirmed curricula.

Graduation Requirements: 

In addition to lecture courses other graduation-related requirements that the program contains are minor and major research project, Master’s thesis, final examination, maturity test/ language proficiency test (Finnish language),  (shall attain the language skills in Swedish and Finnish defined in the Act (424/2003) section 6, subsection 1). The Degree Certificate is given on request.

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 graduates have chemist’s eligibility to work in research or other laboratory, public sector and commercial field. The degree provides language proficiency required of personnel in public bodies in accordance with the Government Decree on University Degrees 794/2004, Language Proficiency Section 6

The graduate can have access to postgraduate studies (Phil lic. or Ph.D.) in accordance with the confirmed curricula.

Basic information

Level of the Degree: 
Master's Degree
Duration of Studies: 
2 years
ECTS Credits: 
Language of Instruction: 
Graduate Profiles: 
Location of Instruction: 
+358 (0)294 481632
marja.lajunen (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. Read more detailed information about admission requirements and applying from The Applicant’s Guide 2013.