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 Physics (Subject Teacher Education)

Profile of the Degree: 

The degree programme Physics (subject teacher education) comprises compulsory major subject studies in physics and studies in a secondary teaching subject, which can be e.g. mathematics, chemistry or information technology. The degree must also include pedagogical studies of 60 ECTS credits (KTK - Pedagogical Studies for Teachers). Part of the pedagogical studies and minor subject studies are already included to the Bachelor's degree.

Another field in physics (biophysics, geophysics, theoretical physics and astronomy) can also be the major subject, but in that case supplementary studies are needed for the teaching subjects. Pedagogical studies are also compulsory.

The studies consist of lectures, exercise problems, laboratory exercises, research projects and independent studying.

Courses Required for the Degree: 

The course structure diagram (attachment) shows the degree structure (ST) of each semester (autumn and spring semester) and the required study modules with their credits.

Learning Outcomes: 

A M.Sc. graduate from the degree programme in physics has a profound knowledge of physics and an adequate knowledge of the supporting minor subjects. She/he has a scientific way of thinking and solving problems. She/he is able to search for information and draw up reports, using the concepts of physics. She/he is capable of evaluating information with a critical approach. A subject teacher graduate knows how to utilize different teaching methods and is familiar with different ways of learning. She/he also has a basic knowledge of the development of the scientific way of thinking and world view. She/he knows how to apply the existing knowledge of physics and how to carry out wide learning entities, research projects and laboratory demonstrations for teaching purposes. The student also can evaluate how effective the teaching methods are  and how well the learning goals have been obtained.

The learning outcomes of pedagogical studies in the subject teacher education:  KTK - Pedagogical Studies for Teachers

Arrangements for Recognition of Prior Learning: 

The main principle for the recognition of prior learning in the degree programme is recognizing official learning. Courses of the degree programme can be substituted by prior courses of the same level and approximately the same contents. The student must deliver a document and a course description of any previously completed course to the department.

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: 

A M.Sc. degree (120 ECTS credits) can be completed in two years by full-time study. The lectures, exercise sessions and laboratory exercises are organized on weekdays within the university building. The teaching mostly takes place at the university, but some courses may include home exercises and/or home exams. The studies naturally include a substantial amount of independent work.

Language of Instruction: 

The advanced studies in physics can be completed in Finnish or English. The lectures and exercises are given in Finnish or English.

Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading: 

The student completes the required major subject studies and the optional studies according to the curriculum of degree programme in physics. The courses are mainly completed by taking an exam, and they are assessed by the person in charge of the course.

The assessment is often based on the grades of the end or final exams. Other assessment methods are also used, including home exams, laboratory reports etc. The details on the completion of the courses can be found in the description of each course in WebOodi.

The courses are graded either by a numerical scale ranging from 0 to 5 or by the grades pass/fail. The grading system in use is notified in the course description. The grade in each study module is calculated as the credit-weighted average of the course grades.

To complete the M.Sc. degree, a master’s thesis must be written either in Finnish or in English. The thesis is graded separately in the diploma. The grade awarded to the thesis is not taken into account when calculating the grade in the major subject.

Occupational Profiles of Graduates: 

A graduate from the degree programme qualifies as a teacher of physics and can find employment in the schools of Finland/Europe at different educational levels.

Access to Further Studies: 

A subject teacher graduate has the possibility to supplement her/his studies to correspond to a physics researcher’s M.Sc. degree and consequently become entitled to continue on to a doctoral degree.

Graduation Requirements: 

A M.Sc. degree consists of major subject, minor subject and pedagogical studies included in the curriculum. A master’s thesis of 20 ECTS credits is required to complete the degree. The student must write a summary of the thesis, which also serves as the maturity test for the M.Sc. degree. The degree is granted on 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 pedagogical studies included in the degree qualify the student as a teacher in comprehensive and upper secondary schools and other educational establishments. A M.Sc. degree holder qualifies as a teacher in e.g. upper secondary schools in at least two subjects e.g. physics and mathematics, physics and chemistry or physics and information technology. In addition, the language proficiency requirements of the degree qualify a M.Sc. graduate for employment in the civil service according to the section on language proficiency, 6 §.


Basic information

Level of the Degree: 
Master's Degree
Duration of Studies: 
2 years
ECTS Credits: 
Language of Instruction: 
Graduate Profiles: 
Physics Teacher
Location of Instruction: 
+358 (0)294 481283
kari.kaila (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.