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

Mining Technology and Mineral Processing, Master of Science (Technology), 120 ECTS Credits

Profile of the Degree: 

The degree programme produces engineers specialised in mining technology or mineral processing. During the fourth and fifth study years of the Master of Science in Technology degree programme, the student will acquire abilities in challenging design, research and development tasks of the mining field and also a strong foundation and eligibility for further doctoral studies.

Student choose their major line of study (specialization) for the Master's degree from two options:

1. Mining technology
2. Mineral processing

Mining technology as part of the technical sciences is a wide field including resource assessment, geotechnique, excavation methods, analysis of production capacity, mining machinery, remote control techniques, drilling, hauling and transportation methods, mine ventilation, back filling, safety, financial planning, etc. The expertise obtained from mining technology studies can be utilized not only in designing, constructing and operating metal mines, but also in other extractive industry, such as dimension stone and construction material production.

Mineral processing (beneficiation) refers to a number of interrelated procedures and phenomena that are involved in industrial processes employed to extract the valuable minerals from their ores. There is a large variety of methods used in mineral separation, including crushing, grinding, mechanical separation techniques, froth flotation, and gravity-driven, magnetic, electrostatic and chemical separation methods. Oulu Mining Schools hosts the first university-based continuously operating, automated concentrator plant (minipilot), which offers a modern research and teaching facility in mineral processing.

Courses Required for the Degree: 

Master level students have to produce a Master’s thesis (30 credits) based on their own field or laboratory research data and carry out studies in mining technology and mineral processing equivalent to at least 60 credits. The total of advanced-level studies should reach 60 credits. In addition, they should do at least 30 credits of other (freely selected) complementary studies, which can include both intermediate and advanced level studies. The degree must include a period of practical training equivalent to 5 credits, which deepens the competence of the student in mining technology or mineral processing. In order to successfully complete the MSc (tech) thesis project, students have to show their ability to gain theoretical knowledge from previously published literature on the research topic, apply essential research methods to carry out the research and make relevant conclusions based on the obtained results.

For further information, see the course structure diagram.

Learning Outcomes: 

By the time of graduation, students:

  • have developed effective oral and written communication skills of both technical and non-technical issues related to the mining field.
  • are able to evaluate critically the scientific theories and development of the mineral processing field.
  • are able to transfer their technical knowledge to other domains and to take advantage of their soft skills to integrate a team or present a high-level project.
  • have broad understanding of geological and mineralogical factors in mining and mineral processing, ensuring seamless collaboration with mine geologists.
  • are able to work independently as specialists or project leaders in their field in industry or research institutes.
  • understand the non-technical aspects of the mining activities, including environmental, socio-economic, and regulatory impacts and constraints.
  • recognize the need for life-long learning and have a solid educational foundation for carrying out further doctoral studies.

Graduates specialised in mining technology:

  • demonstrate the ability to outline and conduct experimental work on mining technology, analyze and interpret the results and draw inferences for making decisions on an operating system.
  • show competence in designing and executing safe and effective surface and underground mining operations.
  • are familiar with the machinery employed excavations and ore and waste rock transportation in surface and underground mines.
  • have a good insight into evaluating the technical and economic feasibility of a mining project.
  • are proficient in managing, processing and analysing spatio-temporal data using relevant computer systems.
  • are able to manage the environmental impacts of industrial and mining activities according to current regulations and to rehabilitate former industrial and mining sites. 

Graduates specialised in mineral processing:

  • are able to conduct simulation and optimization of mineral processing systems and quantify the uncertainty related to their modeling and predictions.
  • have a good insight into evaluating the technical and economic feasibility of a mining project.
  • are familiar with the technical equipment used in mineral processing and demonstrate the ability to outline and conduct experimental work on mineral processing, analyze and interpret the results and draw inferences for making decisions on an operating system.
  • are able to identify, utilize and develop the required methods of mineral separation for different ore types and understand mineralogical constraints on mineral beneficiation.
Arrangements for Recognition of Prior Learning: 

The recognition of the prior learning will take place after choosing the specialization. If the student will already have University or other degree, and if he/she would like to utilize his/her earlier studies, he/she has to contact the staff of the faculty.

Relevant Master’s level courses in the mining field that were previously passed in other universities /institutions of higher education can be used to gain credits in the programme.

Please note that University of Oulu has defined the main principles followed by everyone. See the following links (in Finnish, equivalent pages in English are under construction): (article 27)

Modes of Study and Teaching: 

Students study full-time, which means that the whole degree programme (120 credits) can be completed in two years. 1 ECTS credit is estimated as 27 hours of studies, and during one study year, 60 credits is recommendable amount of studies. This equals to a work load of 1600 hours per year. Studies are tried to be planned in such a way that the work load is evenly distributed (ca. 30 ECTS/semester). The studies are carried out as contact teaching, comprising lectures, seminars, and field and laboratory courses. Credits can also be obtained from practical training in industry done usually as summer work.

Language of Instruction: 

Teaching is mainly in Finnish. Some courses may be given in English.

Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading: 

A Personal Study Plan (PSP) is compiled for each student, considering student’s prior learning and work experience. All obligatory courses and a sufficient number of optional courses must be passed before gaining the degree. In some courses, there are compulsory attendance (languages, reading circles). Lectures are free of attendance but, however, it is strongly recommended that the students participates lectures actively. Courses are composed of lecture courses, seminars, field and laboratory courses. The study units are primarily completed by attending examinations and they are assessed by the person responsible for the study unit. The assessment is often based on the grades of final or mid-term exams. Grading scale is normally 1–5. In some cases the scale “passed/failed” is used. In determining the final grade for a study module, a credit-weighted average is utilized. Study unit descriptions give more exact information on the assessment of each study unit. The Master’s thesis shall be written as the final work in the degree. The grade of the Master’s thesis shall not be considered when determining the average rate of the advanced-level 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),

Further information about grading in each course is in the Study guide. See also (in Finnish): Koulutuksen johtosääntö pykälä 17

Occupational Profiles of Graduates: 

After completing their M.Sc. (tech) degree, programme graduates can work in extractive industries and research institutes as specialists of mining technology or mineral processing. The employed persons work as researchers or project managers and other leaders with duties being related to research, design or production. Besides technical jobs in extractive industry, graduated engineers can work in other industrial jobs related to production management, product development, or marketing.

Access to Further Studies: 

The student is justified to continue to the PhD studies if the M.Sc. (tech) degree has been completed with good grades (at least 60% of maximum grade, or 3/5, in both taught studies and the Master’s thesis). Detailed instructions are found on the web pages of the University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS):

Graduation Requirements and Final Project: 

To obtain the MSc (tech) degree in the programme, a student must complete the required studies and Master's thesis and, as defined in the Act (424/2003) section 6, subsection 1, pass a written maturity test/language proficiency test in the language in which he/she has been educated (Finnish or Swedish), if this test has not been done earlier at the BSc level. He/she has also to show sufficient proficiency in at least one foreign language, which enables them to follow the development of their scientific field and act under international circumstances. In addition, a Degree Certificate Request form has to be completed before the MSc (tech) Degree Certificate can officially be granted.

Qualification Requirements and Regulations: 

The degree of Master of Science (tech) is a higher university degree, which provides capability for application of scientific knowledge and methods and qualifications for independent and responsible work. An MSc (tech) degree in engineering gives access to doctoral studies and a variety of positions in the field.

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.

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: Master of Science (Technology)
Duration of Studies: 
2 years
ECTS Credits: 
Language of Instruction: 
Location of Instruction: 
kari.knuutila (at)


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