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.

International Master's Programmes

MSc in Information Processing Science, IMP

Profile of the Degree: 

University level studies in Information Processing Science will provide expertise and an excellent foundation for working in any facility where information technology is being developed and applied.  Within the IT industry, international experts are in high demand.  Studying at the University of Oulu's Department of Information Processing Science offers good employment and career opportunities in the IT industry in high positions.  Information processing studies focus on information systems, software, and applications.  Minor and/or optional studies may be taken to gain deeper understanding in advanced areas of expertise in one's desired direction. 

The Department of Information Processing Science has a strong tradition of cooperation with companies in the information industry as well as with international colleges and universities.  Studies are completed with attention to the labour market, meaning that training and project work must be completed in addition to a Master's thesis.  In order to meet modern business needs, they are often set up in collaboration with local firms.  This serves the students, many of which have been primarily students, get practical experience in the field with real work task.  Project work and Master's theses may also be conducted with international projects and research groups. 

Software, Systems and Services Development in the Global Environment (GS3D) is a two-year full-time Master’s degree programme. The GS3D programme includes 95 credits (ECTS) of compulsory courses and at least 25 credits (ECTS) of optional studies. Optional courses can be chosen from pre-provided pool optional courses. GS3D programme is based on relevant international standards (ACM and IEEE). During GS3D, students can head to the future, with a professional profile, specialized using   Master's thesis, work experience, optional studies, and possible minor studies.

Courses Required for the Degree: 

Courses required for the degree:

  • Compulsory Studies - 95 ECTS credits
  • Optional Studies - 25 ECTS credits

Compulsory master's studies include intermediate subject courses which will deepen into more advanced studies.  It is the advanced courses which will form the core of the Master's programme, as they tackle the deeper aspects of the topics introduced in the earlier courses.  Studies will have a basis in research and a significant portion of time will be used for the preparation of the thesis.  Its purpose is to develop a student's readiness for the independent acquisition of scientific knowledge, Identifying problems, analysing them, and forming a solution to them.  Optional studies include either courses of information processing science or minor studies in other sciences. The courses range from 1 to 7 ECTS credits composing a wholeness of 25 ECTS credits.

Further information: See course structure diagram


Learning Outcomes: 

By completing the Master's level studies in Information Processing Science a student can act as an independent expert in a goal-oriented project and is able to professionally manage such a project. The student masters typical research methods and can select the most appropriate research and data collection methods for a specific research problem. Students can develop the working methods and practices of their subject area by using a scientific approach and can communicate them clearly and fairly. After finishing Master's level studies in the GS3D programme a student can also:

  • Apply existing and produce new IS and SE knowledge for an organisation or software company's needs;
  • Analyse and evaluate human activities in IT use cases, work practice and organisational functioning using conceptual means, as well as present the results of the analysis using suitable descriptive methods;
  • Analyse and evaluate software solutions and processes from the perspective of software architecture, design patterns, established capability and maturity models;
  • Evaluate the impact of the development of information technology to organisational functioning;
  • Evaluate the impact of the development of information security to organisational functioning;
  • Design IT solutions that solve identified problems and improve the efficiency of organisational practices;
  • Design and construct software that satisfies specified functional and quality requirements;
  • Act efficiently in global and distributed software projects or the open source community;
  • Set targets to self-steer and work towards those goals;
  • Communicate clearly and analytically using techniques derived from scientific practice.
Arrangements for Recognition of Prior Learning: 

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process, which is done to ease the transition from previous education and training.  It allows students to determine differences in educational approaches and recognize specialities 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 (120 credits) in two years. Courses are conducted primarily in the form of classroom teaching. Some of the courses also include practical/job training.

Teaching in the Department of Information Processing Science is conducted in four academic periods per year. Periods' start and end dates can be found in the department's study guide. For each period, detailed course descriptions can be found, which include details regarding teaching methods and techniques.

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 will complete subject studies, advanced studies and electives chosen based on the GS3D curriculum. As a rule, courses are carried out by passing an examination and an evaluation of each student's performance is conducted by the instructor responsible for the course. Ratings are often based on exam results from finals and/or midterms. However, other assessment methods may be used, such as portfolios, continuous assessment, seminar reports, essays, written reports, etc. The course descriptions for each offering will provide more details regarding how individual courses are conducted.

Study performance will be evaluated using a numeric scale in the form of an integer from 0 to 5 or else graded simply as a Pass/Fail. A numerical grade of 0 represents a rejection of the study performance and failure. A grade point average for the degree is calculated based on credits earned and course weights. 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: 

Nowadays, software and systems development is increasingly done in international business environment with frequent cross-border projects.  Information systems and/or software engineering skills, including a multi-cultural tool kit are required of its labour force.  International and language skills, for information systems and software industry experts and project leaders, are a growing need.

Information Processing Science graduates have an excellent employment record.  Work orientation is already part of the learning process.  In terms of employment, graduates are generally found in the ICT sector companies, service and industrial companies, and educational organizations.  In recent years, a number of graduates have also begun to work for their own companies as entrepreneurs. Typical Information Processing Science graduates have titles such as IT manager, project manager, software engineer, interface designer, usability expert, global software business expert, technician, IT consultant, IT expert, and researcher.

Access to Further Studies: 

According to University of Oulu regulations 16 § the right to study for a licentiate or doctoral degree is awarded to persons that have completed a Master's degree in Information Processing Science or those who have completed an equivalent foreign or domestic degree. 

New doctoral students applying for UniOGS, from 1st August, 2011 onward, must follow the graduate school application process.  The University of Oulu graduate school's guidelines, regulations, and practices can be found on the UniOGS website.

Graduation Requirements: 

A Master's student in the Department of Information Processing Science must complete 120 credits in accordance with the curriculum, which will include compulsory major subject studies, optional electives, and written evidence of maturity. Advanced studies will comprise at least 60 of the credits earned. Major studies will include a written thesis. A more detailed study plan will be provided by the Department of Information Processing 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.

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, or medicine.  The Information Processing Science Master's degree instead prepares one to enter IT industry expert and management positions. 







Basic information

Level of the Degree: 
Master's Degree
Duration of Studies: 
2 years
ECTS Credits: 
Language of Instruction: 
Graduate Profiles: 
IT Manager
Project Manager
Software Engineer
Interface Designer
IT Expert
Location of Instruction: 
+358 (0)294 481980
seppo.pahnila (at)


Applying Information: 
The degree programme is applied for through