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 Physics (Synchrotron Radiation Based Science and Accelerator Physics), IMP

Profile of the Degree: 

The degree programme in Synchrotron Radiation Based Science and Accelerator Physics (SR) is composed of compulsory and optional major subject studies in physics and optional minor subject studies. The studies consist of lectures, exercise problems, laboratory exercises, research projects and independent studying. Already during the M.Sc. studies, the student may participate in the work of research groups and international projects. Active students may contribute to articles written for international journals and take part in conferences. This speeds up the integration of the students to the international scientific community and opens doors to a successful career.

The Electron spectroscopy group teaching the core subjects of the master programme has high international standing and carries out both experimental and computational/theoretical research in the field of this programme. The equipment of the group is of high quality, consisting of excitation sources and spectrometers allowing for versatile spectroscopic studies in the home laboratory. The skills obtained in Oulu can be readily applied at international synchrotron radiation laboratories carrying similar equipment in their experimental end stations. The students learn how to apply modern experimental and computational methods of characterizing the structure of matter, and the methods can be applied to many different fields of science.

Courses Required for the Degree: 

The international SR master programme provides M.Sc. degree in atomic, molecular and material physics consisting of at least 80 credits of advanced studies in physics and optional studies, with the complete degree consisting of 120 credits. For students whose background is other than physics (for example engineering or bio sciences), it is possible to take additional physics courses prior to the compulsory courses belonging to the master programme. These courses are not part of the M.Sc. degree.

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

Learning Outcomes: 

After the completion of the M.Sc. degree in physics, the student is able to (in addition to the requirements for the B.Sc. Degree)

  • explain the concepts of synchrotron radiation based spectroscopy using basic physical principles
  • design and complete small-scale spectroscopic experiments
  • analyze spectroscopic data using mathematical and computational methods
  • communicate her/his expertise and results both in writing and orally, using the concepts of physics.

A M.Sc. graduate has a profound knowledge of atomic, molecular and material physics and adequate knowledge of the other fields of physics and the minor subjects relating to physics. She/he has a scientific way of thinking and solving problems. She/he is able to search for information and draw up reports. She/he is capable of evaluating information with a critical approach.

Arrangements for Recognition of Prior Learning: 

Courses of a degree programme in physics 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 credits) can be completed in two years by studying full-time. The lectures, exercise sessions, exercise days 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 Master of Science degree can be completed in Finnish or English. The lectures and exercises for advanced courses are given in Finnish or English, depending on the teacher and students. Exams can be taken in either Finnish or English. The textbooks are in English.

Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading: 

The student completes the required major subject studies and the optional studies according to the curriculum. 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 in either Finnish or 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 physicist holding a M.Sc. degree can find employment in Finland or abroad in e.g. basic research, applied research, industry, education, public administration or publication.

Access to Further Studies: 

A M.Sc. degree in physics and the minor subjects included in the degree lay a firm basis for doctoral studies in the field of physics chosen by the student.

More information: University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS)

Graduation Requirements: 

A M.Sc. degree consists of major and minor subject studies included in the curriculum. The compulsory part of the degree programme includes the pre-determined courses that depend on the specialization subject. In addition, the student must choose a certain amount of optional studies in physics. A master’s thesis of 35 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.

A M.Sc. degree holder is qualified to work e.g. as an expert in research institutes. She/he is also qualified to complete a post-graduate degree aiming at a position as a researcher or specialist. Such degrees include the Licentiate of Philosophy (Ph.Lic.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees and e.g. the medical physicist degree.

Basic information

Level of the Degree: 
Master's Degree
Duration of Studies: 
2 years
ECTS Credits: 
Language of Instruction: 
Location of Instruction: 
+358 (0)294 481324
marko.huttula (at)


Applying Information: 
The degree programme is applied for through