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 (Tech) in Wireless Communications Engineering, IMP

Profile of the Degree: 

Over 25 years of groundbreaking research and cooperation with international telecommunication companies in Oulu region, like Nokia, has been the foundation for the programme development in wireless communication engineering (WCE). This programme offers relevant skills and core knowledge of the latest methods, tools and technologies related to the design on wireless communications networks.

Courses cover the subjects on advanced wireless communication systems, communication and computer networks, signal processing, radio channel modelling, radio and antenna engineering, information theory, coding methods, electronics and software design, multimedia systems, and computer engineering.

Courses are lectured by renowned professors in the field of wireless communications. Up-to-date research known-how created in the world-class research institute, Centre for Wireless Communications (CWC), is transferred into the competence potential for WCE students.

As a graduate of WCE programme a student will get foundational background in a growing, dynamic field of wireless communications including networking, systems, algorithms and new technologies. The skills gained in the WCE programme offer a solid academic training that answers to the demands of wireless communications industry globally. It also entitles a student to pursue a doctoral degree, e.g., in DCE department’s international doctoral study programme and University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS).

Courses Required for the Degree: 

Studies of wireless communications engineering consist of basic and advanced modules that are obligatory. Besides that a WCE student can choose optional courses from the optional module. In addition, obligatory advanced practical training and written master’s thesis are mandatory parts of WCE studies. Details of course structure are defined as follows:

Basic Module (subject studies)

Basic module gives all the basic knowledge on digital communications engineering. It contains the sufficient background in information theory, coding, optimization, as well as in wireless systems, communications networks, and radio engineering. After completing this preparation module, the student is, for example, able to

  • design modern wireless communications systems and networks
  • design future mobile communications systems, including network exchanges, base stations and mobile handsets
  • design air-interface modules in detail at a physical algorithm level of OSI model
  • design transceiver’s radio frequency electronics and digital signal processing parts
  • perform system simulations at radio frequency, communication link, and network levels

Advanced module (advanced studies)

Advanced module on wireless communications engineering extends the skills learned in the basic module. It gives more information on communications networks, radio channels, design of radio systems, and antennas. After completing advanced module, the student is even more capable, for example, in

  • designing modern wideband wireless communications systems (e.g., spread spectrum, CDMA, OFDM, UWB, cognitive radios, etc.)
  • designing radio networks and protocols
  • DSP design of transceiver algorithms
  • RF system design and radio link budget analysis of an air-interface
  • designing intelligent antennas for base stations and handsets

Optional Module (elective studies)

Optional module is constructed from a list of optional courses by a student's choice. Depending on student’s choice, this optional module makes it possible to widen student’s expertise into the fields of practical analog and digital electronics design, multimedia system design, as well as practical computer and software engineering. It is also possible to include up to 4 ECTS credits of Finnish language studies into this module. Finnish language studies are recommended, since they will help student to integrate into the Finnish society during studies and after graduation.

Advanced practical training (internship)

WCE programme also include an obligatory training period of 2 months, which is typically performed in electronics, communications, or network operator companies. It is also possible to do it in a research group at the university, or at some other research units. It is recommended to perform the training period during the summer time after the first study year. Every student is responsible for finding the employer for the training period by him/herself. In the case a student is not able to find training position in electronics industry, WCE programme will help to find training opportunity in a research group at the university. It is also possible to employ student’s prior work experience obtained after B.Sc. degree, in order to fulfil advanced practical training requirement of WCE programme.

Learning Outcomes: 

The aim of the WCE study programme is to educate networking, signal processing, radio technology and communications system specialists with good knowledge of relevant theories, and capacity to theoretical post graduate studies as well.

Due to the comprehensive job description of a communications engineer, students learn to understand and to design not only communications equipments like mobile phones and base stations with necessary algorithms, but also whole communications systems at network level. Typical work tasks include design of communications signals, and system analysis taking in account features of antennas and radio channels as well as network-level phenomena.

In most cases the work is project oriented and that is why the insight in product development process and social and presentation skills play a significant role.

After graduating a WCE student is able to

  • use the basic methods of the information theory and data compression systems to calculate capacity limits and evaluate the realization of the planning before starting the phases of detailed system planning and optimization, and prototype construction and testing
  • analyze system performance of various modulation methods in the case of AWGN and fading channels, as well as performing computer simulations with the aid of CAD tools
  • design coding methods, and choose performance and capacity improving diversity, equalization and MIMO antenna methods based on performance analysis
  • design antennas and impedance matching circuits, low-noise radio frequency amplifiers with proper gain using radio and microwave frequency components like microstrips, mixing circuits, power splitters/combiners and small-signal amplifiers
  • define system parameters for physical link and network layers in order to facilitate mobility control, and adaptive and dynamic resource management and allocation of wireless networks
  • use the methods of DSP and statistical signal processing for designing receiver algorithms, like linear and non-linear filters, equalizers, synchronizing algorithms, interference cancelling algorithms and multi-user detectors.
Arrangements for Recognition of Prior Learning: 

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 of 120 ECTS credits can be completed in two years studying full-time. Full-time studying corresponds to approximately 60 ECTS credits per year. This equals to 1600 hours of student’s workload per year.

All course studies are carried out as contact teaching conducted by professors and teaching assistants. Contact teaching consist of lectures, class-exercises, home-exercises, seminars and laboratory exercise works using measurement laboratory equipments and computer simulation software tools. Lectures and exercises are typically arranged between 8.00-16.00 on Mondays-Tuesdays, and 8.00-12.00 on Fridays. Exams are typically arranged on Fridays between 14.00-17.00.

Language of Instruction: 

WCE master’s program in implemented fully in English.

Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading: 

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 basic studies, advanced studies and elective studies, in accordance the curriculum. The assessment is based on the grades of final or mid-term exams depending on course. Also other assessment criteria can be used, including exercise work reports, micro exams (continuous assessment), seminar presentations, etc. Study guide gives more exact information on the assessment methods for each course. Master’s thesis shall be written as the final work in the degree. It is supervised by a department’s professor. A Personal Study Plan PSP is compiled for each student, considering student’s prior learning and work experience.

Exams: Typically three final exams are arranged per study year. Instructors of some courses may also arrange extra summer exams but these are not a general practice (in such cases 4 exams/year). Some lectures may also arrange mid-term exams, but it is not a general practice. It is required to register for all exams. Registration instructions, examination regulations and practices, calendar of exams and other instructions are described in www.oulu.fi/til/opiskelu/tenttilista.

Grading: (University of Oulu Rules of Procedure, article 17) A numerical scale 0-5 in whole numbers, or verbal grading “Pass” or “Fail” is used in assessing a completed course. Grade of diploma thesis is also determined with the scale 0-5. In numerical scale zero stands for fail, and 1 =  satisfactory, 2 = highly satisfactory, 3 = good, 4 = very good, 5 = excellent.

In determining the final grade for a study module, a credit-weighted average may be utilized. The grade of diploma thesis shall not be considered when determining the average of studies. 

Occupational Profiles of Graduates: 

A M.Sc. graduate form the WCE programme is typically aiming towards work opportunities in telecommunication and electronics industy, network operators, research laboratories, scientific universities, and universities of applied sciences. Also establishing a private company is a noteworthy and rewarding option. Job describtions are typically dealing with research, product development, industrial production, or demanding expert and management positions in various branches of modern society. Typically job profile in wireless communication area also possess a strong feature of internationality and connections with expert colleaques worldwide.

Access to Further Studies: 

Master of Science (Technology) degree in Wireless Communications Engineering qualifies for scientific post-graduate studies. Students obtaining very good grades in WCE programme are qualified for studies of Doctor of Technology degree in University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS). An application and an accepted research and study plan is required in order to get selected into UniOGS.

More information: University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS)

Graduation Requirements: 

To be awarded a master's degree, a student must complete the required studies and master's thesis, write a maturity essay demonstrating language proficiency in the language in which the student has been educated (Finnish or Swedish). Finnish student shall demonstrate the satisfactory level of proficiency in Finnish and Swedish required in the Act (424/2003) section 6 subsection 1. This rule is not applied for international master’s students. The student is also required to demonstrate demonstrate the level of proficiency in at least one foreign language needed to follow developments in the field of study and to operate in an international environment. The language of  language proficiency test of WCE students is English. The diploma for the degree of Master of Science (Technology) is awarded on request by filling in required forms, and issued by the Education Dean of the Faculty.

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.

M.Sc. degree in wireless communications does not give qualification for a certain profession, like medical doctors, teachers, architects. Instead, a degree gives facilities to serve in various engineering and expert positions in industy, research laboratories, universities, and to serve as civil servant in state and municipial administration. An entrepreneur is also an option for a gifted graduate in order to make profit through risk taking and initiative.

The degree provides language proficiency required of personnel in public bodies in Finland, in accordance with the Government Act on University Degrees 794/2004, Language Proficiency Section 6: Language proficiency

Basic information

Level of the Degree: 
Master's Degree
Duration of Studies: 
2 years
ECTS Credits: 
120
Language of Instruction: 
English
Graduate Profiles: 
Engineering and Expert Positions in Industrial Production, Research Laboratories or Universities
Location of Instruction: 

Applying

Applying Information: 
The degree programme is applied for through University Admissions Finland.