Studies at University of Oulu 2015-2016

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 (tech) in Mechanical Engineering

Profile of the Degree: 

The Master of Science (technology) degree in Mechanical Engineering provides extensive knowledge for solving theoretical as well as practically relevant tasks involving machines and structures. For the graduate M.Sc. to be able to quickly adapt to expertise requiring tasks, the degree includes alternative study modules. Teaching is based on the most current knowledge which sets the foundation for continuous learning and development throughout the graduate’s career. The study modules correspond to the demands of domestic and international businesses.

Courses Required for the Degree: 

During master’s level studies, the student completes the module for the option and the supplementary module selected at bachelor’s level, the special module and the diploma thesis. In addition the student must complete either the advanced module for his/her option or a supplementary module comprising freely selected, intermediate-level courses. The supplementary module can include studies offered by the University of Oulu or another Finnish or foreign university. The planning of the supplementary/advanced module is done in advance with the study advisor. The students must apply for approval for their advanced and supplementary modules according to the faculty's instructions.

The Master’s degree must include at least 60 ECTS credits of advanced studies, including the Diploma thesis (master’s thesis). If different modules include the same courses, the student must select additional studies from the advanced module or his/her own supplementary/ advanced module to make up for the overlapping courses. The total extent of the master's degree is 120 ECTS credits (Diploma thesis included).

Further information: See course structure diagram

Learning Outcomes: 

During the Master of Science education the studies are mostly from within the module selected by the student. These consist of intermediate- and advanced studies as well as complementing studies to provide versatile skills.

Motor Vehicle and Heavy Equipment Technology graduates know the basics of vehicle mechanics, -legislation, -structural systems and combustion technology. They are capable of analyzing vehicle and equipment related structural system solutions using modern calculus- and designing tools as well as evaluating the appropriateness of various motor alternatives. They also can evaluate the environmental impact of vehicles throughout their lifecycle. In addition to being familiar with the most relevant legislation regarding motor vehicles the graduate is capable of critical analysis of scientific findings and able to apply them in design and development work.

Machine design graduates are able to specify design criteria of existing products or products being developed. They know the tools of today’s technology and can think up and produce solutions systematically. They can dimension and analyze various solution alternatives using modern calculus- and designing tools as well as have sufficient knowledge of material selection criteria and production methods. They can evaluate the environmental impact of their design throughout its lifecycle. The graduates are also familiar with intellectual property rights to the extent that they can seek protection and avoid infringements.

Materials Engineering graduates have knowledge of metal production, heat treatment and joining methods as well as the effect of process parameters on microstructure and properties. They can also take into account the demands imposed by various loads and operating conditions when selecting metals for specific applications. In addition the graduates are familiar with most important properties and selection criteria of other structural materials like plastics, ceramics and composites.

The Mechatronics and Machine Diagnostics module allows specializing in mechatronics or machine diagnostics. Mechatronics graduates can recognize and describe control principles as well as common actuator and sensor solutions of modern, polytechnical machines. The graduates can evaluate the suitability of various electronic control systems for machine control and select an appropriate system. They can use the most relevant design tools used in mechatronics. They can dimension actuators used in mechatronical systems and select appropriate sensors for the task. In addition, they can analyze subassemblies of complex machines and measure the performance of systems.

Machine Diagnostics graduates can explain validly the objectives of machine diagnostics considering production efficiency, reliability, safety, and environmental issues of an industrial plant. They can identify the relation between machine condition and product output quality. They can use the terms and concepts of the field as well as present the most relevant strategies and organizing methods. The graduates are aware of the role of diagnostics in maintenance and can diversely use measuring and analyzing methods to prevent machine damage. Using these methods they are able to recognize common problems and evaluate the stage of development as well as suggest the needed action to rectify the issues. They can utilize essential standards in the field and take into account the design requirements of maintenance. These measures ensure safe use of industrial- and power plants while lowering their lifecycle cost and ensuring environmentally responsible running of the plant.

The Structural Engineering and Construction Technology module allows specializing in structural engineering or construction technology. Structural Engineering graduates can analyze, design and dimension various wood, concrete, steel or ferroconcrete structures. After acquiring practical experience they can apply qualification for designing the most demanding structures defined in legislation.

Construction Technology graduates can plan and guide construction processes, plan infrastructure projects and take advantage of modern technology and automation in the processes of constructing buildings and bridges as well as laying solid groundwork. Students can diversify their degree by selecting complementary modules from other branches of science.

Engineering Mechanics graduates are familiar with the engineering mechanics concepts and theories commonly used in mechanical engineering to the extent that they can apply them in practical design tasks. They can apply various analytical, numerical and experimental methods for solving problems and are able to use modern calculus tools and programs in the process. They can operate as an expert in their field within project groups but also have the ability for independent work and keeping up to date in their field.

Industrial Engineering and Management graduates can analyze and evaluate management related observations and events in various organizations. They are able to design and develop production and have the basic skills of managing it. In addition, they can improve productivity and quality as well as solve challenging problems in innovation and production activity.

Production Technology graduates are able to explain planning- and manufacturing systems including assisting functions. They master machine shop- and electronics production technologies and methods and can implement them in production automation. In addition, they are able to evaluate the cost-effectiveness and performance of various machine tool configurations and consequently select effective production solutions.

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 and Teaching: 

The studies are full-time, corresponding to 60 credits per year. This equals to 1600 hours of student workload per year. The full degree (120 credits) can be completed in two years, studying full-time. The studies are carried out as contact teaching. The studies also include an on-the-job learning period.

Language of Instruction: 

Teaching is in Finnish.

Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading: 

The degree-related studies can be completed based on the curriculum.

Assessment methods and criteria for the studies: Study unit descriptions give more exact information on the assessment of study units. Master’s thesis and the maturity test shall be written as the final work in the degree. A Personal Study Plan PSP is compiled for each student, considering student’s prior learning and work experience.

Grading: a numerical scale 0-5 in whole numbers or verbal grading Pass or Fail is used in assessing a completed course. In determining the final grade for a study module, a credit-weighted average is utilized. The grades of Master’s Theses shall not be considered when determining the average of advanced studies. 

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: 

During the Master’s education the studies consist of module specific intermediate and advanced studies and complementing studies that promote versatile skills.

The Motor Vehicle and Heavy Equipment Technology module specializes in the design, development and construction technologies of heavy transport- and heavy-duty vehicles. Graduates are employed in many jobs, from demanding heavy equipment development to various state authority positions. They may complement their expertise from the fields of engineering mechanics, mechatronics or industrial engineering and management.

The Machine Design module includes advanced courses regarding general machine design (from brainstorming to development into a marketable product) or paper and pulp machine construction technology and maintenance. Both course directions provide education in machine design, product development and research activity. The module enables including machine automation, mechatronics, robotics and information technology applications. In addition, industrial engineering and management can diversify the studies. Graduates have quickly found specialist positions in research, product development, production, maintenance and marketing. The versatile education provided by machine design offers a good foundation to the mechanical engineering field as a whole which in turn enables advancing to demanding managerial positions.

The main subjects in the Materials Engineering module are general theory of metals and materials (physical metallurgy), materials research and metal forming. The great impact of materials technology can be seen especially in the metal industry, though also in many other fields of technology and society. Advanced materials with specific properties enable new possibilities and solutions to various applications, in the process also changing product design and production technology. Information technology, simulations and new research methods based on electron optics enhance materials development. The education objective of a materials engineer is to develop into a specialist of production, properties and application of various materials, especially metals, and who can work in diverse development, quality control, application or research tasks commonly found in metal processing companies, machine shops, electronics industry or research centers.

The Mechatronics and Machine Diagnostics module allows specializing in mechatronics or machine diagnostics. Mechatronics aims for educating mechanical engineers that have sufficient basic knowledge also of electronics and information technology. By utilizing these fields in machine design can their functions be automated or even completely new types of machines built. Well developed machine automation is an integral factor when aiming for increasingly flexible and productive use. Mechatronics integrates “intelligence” into machines. Students are familiarized with designing mechatronical products so they can operate in this field which requires rapid development. Mechatronics has had a role in the strongly developed electronics industry in the Oulu region.

Graduates who oriented in machine diagnostics have found demanding maintenance jobs in paper-, steel-, and process industries as well as power plants. In addition, they have found their way to machine shops, where they take care of demanding modernization-, product development-, and maintenance tasks. Some of these specialists are occupied in research dealing with diagnostics and operational reliability. Maintenance tasks also enable advancing to top level managerial positions.

The Structural Engineering and Construction Technology module allows specializing in structural engineering or construction technology. Structural engineering students are familiarized with analyzing, designing and dimensioning various structures such as buildings and bridges. Construction technology students specialize in building processes and technical questions regarding production. The studies also include repair construction, lifecycle planning and low energy consumption buildings. The Structural Engineering and Construction Technology module provides essential, versatile skills in the construction field. Teaching effectively utilizes the latest applications of information technology, numerical analysis and digital modeling. Graduates are typically employed in specialist and supervisory positions in engineering offices, construction companies, the construction material industry and organizations in the public sector.

The Engineering Mechanics module educates Masters of Science who can analyze the mechanical behavior of machines and structures analytically, numerically and experimentally. As a result of these analyses, we have safe, reliable, durable products that do not interfere with their surroundings. Statics and dynamics set the base for courses regarding strength of materials which in turn path the way for element methods and vibration mechanics. Engineering mechanics is needed in a host of tasks, e.g. medical instrumentation. Graduates use computers daily; the work can be research, product planning/development or damage analysis. A Master of Science in engineering mechanics is expert who collaborates with specialists from other fields.

Industrial Engineering and Management educates Masters of Science who, in addition to being familiar with technology, have good knowledge of economical, administrative and leadership questions that relate to industrial life and marketing.  Graduates are hired in positions that require knowledge of business economics and marketing. Jobs like these are in industry and industry’s interest groups as well as organizations of public administration. The Industrial Engineering and Management module offers the student an extensive picture of project activity, production- and business management as well as the supply chain and order management.

Main subjects in the Production Technology module are production technology, -automation and -management, as well as industrial engineering and management. Alternatively it is possible to specialize in production technology of electronics. Graduates have been employed as operating engineers, supervisors of technical production planning, production managers, factory managers in machine shops and other producing industry. In addition, they have found work as maintenance engineers and –managers in various industry sectors as well as many technical trade positions.

Access to Further Studies: 

A Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering is well prepared to continue with Doctoral studies.

Graduation Requirements and Final Project: 

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). The student shall demonstrate the satisfactory level of proficiency in Finnish and Swedish required in the Act (424/2003) section 6 subsection 1. A student who has already demonstrated his/her language proficiency for a lower university degree (Bachelor) does not need to demonstrate it again for the Master's degree. The diploma for the degree of Master of Science (Technology/Architecture) is awarded on request 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.

An MSc (tech) degree in engineering gives access to doctoral studies and a variety of positions in the field. Students can influence their degree through their preferred selections and best suited training positions.

Government Decree on University Degrees 794/2004, Language Proficiency Section 6: Language proficiency

1. The student must demonstrate in studies included in education for a lower or higher University degree or otherwise that he/she has attained:

(1) proficiency in Finnish and Swedish which is required of civil servants in bilingual public agencies and organizations under Section 6(1) of the Act on the Knowledge of Languages Required of Personnel in Public Bodies (424/2003) and which is necessary for their field; and

(2) skills in at least one foreign language needed to follow developments in the field and to operate in an international environment.

2. The provisions of subsection 1 do not concern a student who has been educated in a language other than Finnish or Swedish or a student who has been educated abroad. The language proficiency of such students shall be determined by the university.

3. For special reasons, the university may either totally or partially exempt a student from the requisite language skills referred to in subsection 1.

Basic information

Level of the Degree: 
Master's Degree
Duration of Studies: 
2 years
ECTS Credits: 
Language of Instruction: 
Graduate Profiles: 
Production Manager
R&D Manager
Production Engineer
Product Development Engineer
Location of Instruction: 
+358 (0)294 488064
arto.tolonen (at)


Applying Information: 
The degree is part of a five-year degree programme which is applied for through the joint application system at