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 Protein Science and Biotechnology

Profile of the Degree: 

The degree programme has been planned around the early integration of MSc students into research groups and the use by individual students of the most modern equipment. By the end of the MSc students will have spent up to 9 months in research groups working on cutting edge science. Many of the graduates from this MSc have included extended periods in world leading research groups outside Oulu as part of the degree. The degree programme also offers flexibility to allow students to specialize in aspects of protein science and biotechnology which they believe will most benefit their future career, including courses from the chemistry and process engineering departments, while at the same time having timetables which allow completion of the degree within two years.

The degree builds on the strength of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Oulu to offer a world class MSc programme. The department has repeatedly been awarded a national excellence in teaching award, it has dynamic well funded research and excellent state of the art infrastructure. The strength in protein science in the department has been systematically developed by the recruitment of experts from Finland and abroad. The working language of the department is English and all courses are taught in English.

Already five alumni of our groups are professors around the world, while others are assistant professors or group leaders in academia and industry.

Studying is free and public (Universities Act 558/2009 8§).

Courses Required for the Degree: 

The course structure diagram shows the degree structure of each semester (autumn, “1”, and spring, “2”, semester). The required study modules with their credits are detailed in the diagram. After the diagram, there is the list of study units with their credits. However, students can take more studies (ECTS’s) than the required 120 ECTS if they wish to.

Learning Outcomes: 

Upon successful completion  of Master´s degree in Protein science and biotechnology the student is able to:

  • apply advanced knowledge in biochemistry
  • apply scientific knowledge and methods to topical tasks and to undertake scientific research with supervision
  • analyze information and data and their setting within a theoretical network accompanied by critical analysis and assessment
  • integrate the subject area as a coherent whole
  • communicate with good language skills  for national and international tasks
  • demonstrate transferable and cognitive skills, including the ability to communicate effectively and critically about science using a variety of approaches
  • apply further knowledge, including the abilities to conceive, design and implement independent research
  • demonstrate capability for scientific postgraduate work.
Arrangements for Recognition of Prior Learning: 

If a student has earlier studies at a university, university of applied sciences or other academy and if they want to utilize them in the degree they are asked to contact the departmental amanuensis.

The recognition of prior learning follows the main principles as defined by the University of Oulu.

More information: Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

University of Oulu Education Regulations gives information on recognition of prior learning in article 27.

Modes of Study: 

By full time studies it is possible to complete the courses within two years. Most of the lecture courses for the MSc degree will be performed during the first year. Each course will be given once a year. Obligatory and recommended optional courses will be timed avoiding timetable clashes. Studies include an orientation of 12-20 ECTS where the student performs up to four week periods of research work or other biochemical work in two or three placements according to their interests. Students are allowed to start the experimental work for their Pro Gradu (six months) after at least 30 ECTS of Master studies have been completed. Generally, the experimental work will be started during the 1st summer or the 2nd autumn. Writing the Pro Gradu thesis and taking the degree will occur during 2nd spring.

Language of Instruction: 

Teaching is in English.

Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading: 

Part of the theoretical courses will be assessed by exams but in most courses continuous assessment (reports, oral presentation, seminar, home work or article analysis) also counts toward the final mark. Laboratory periods are not graded numerically. As a diploma work student will write a Pro Gradu Thesis based on the 6 month experimental work undertaken for the Pro Gradu.

Grading scale is normally numerical 0–5 (the lowest passing grade is 1).  Some courses are graded verbally pass/fail.

In determining final grade for Master´s degree in biochemistry a credit-weighted average of numerically graded courses is utilized. The grade of Pro Gradu thesis will not be included in this.

Occupational Profiles of Graduates: 

Master's degree in Biochemistry qualifies for research work at universities and other research organizations, as well as for research, development, analysis, quality control and marketing duties in drug, food and biotech industries. Biochemists are found also in patent, communication, education, administration and hospital laboratory fields.


Access to Further Studies: 

The Master´s degree (MSc) completed with good grades (3/5) qualifies the student to complete a Doctoral degree.

More information: University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS)


Graduation Requirements: 

For the MSc degree the following studies are required:

3 ECTS Language and Communication Studies (obligatory)
74 ECTS Advanced Studies (obligatory)
43 ECTS Optional  Studies (general, basic, intermediate or advanced studies)

In total: 120 ECTS

When studies towards the MSc degree are completed the student must apply for a Masters´s Degree certificate from the Faculty of Science.

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 Master's degree (MSc) completed with good grades (3/5) qualifies the student to complete a Doctoral degree.

Basic information

Level of the Degree: 
Master's Degree
Duration of Studies: 
2 years
ECTS Credits: 
Language of Instruction: 
Graduate Profiles: 
Research and Development Biochemist
Product Manager
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.