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

Nursing Science, Bachelor of Health Sciences, 180 ECTS Credits

Profile of the Degree: 

The degree programmes in Nursing Science, in Health Management Science, and Teacher Education Programme in Health Sciences lead first to the degree of Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc), comprising 180 ECTS credits, and further to the degree of Master of Health Sciences (MHSc), comprising 120 ECTS credits. The studies are multidisciplinary in the degree programme of Bachelor of Health Sciences, so that the curriculum of the three different degree programs (Nursing Sciences, Health Management Sciences, Teacher Education Programme in Health Sciences) is identical to all undergraduate health science students irrespective of the chosen specialization. The postgraduate studies for the degree of Master of Health Sciences (MHSc) are differentiated according to the chosen specialization. Students selected to the degree programme in Nursing Science have nursing science as their major subject. The students do their Bachelor thesis in their field of specialization.

The Degree Programme prepares for independent action as a health care expert in planning, research, development, teaching and leadership in social and health care (in case a Bachelor in Health Sciences is seen as sufficient for these tasks). The Degree Programme also prepares the students for keeping up-to-date with the development of one’s field and for the applying of scientific knowledge and methods in one’s profession.

Additionally, the students may adjust their studies according to their personal objectives by the choice of minor subjects and optional studies. These include national or international studies in various fields of science according to the Personal Study Plan (PSP) of each student. Furthermore, the undergraduate degree (BHSc) provides the educational qualifications for studying for a postgraduate degree (MHSc) and for continued learning. The employment rate among health science graduates has been good.

The undergraduate education consists of a wide range of scientific, theoretical and methodological studies in health sciences grounded in the expertise of professional working communities. The learning objectives have a special focus on generic skills, which refer to professional skills, and on learning the fundamentals of health sciences from many perspectives.

Collaborative learning is at the centre of study. The studies require working within expert communities in the studied fields, consisting of students, teachers, researches, and professional representatives. This calls for student preparedness both for independent work and for cooperation in groups. The learning is to be accomplished in accordance with the Personal Study Plan (PSP) of each student, which is drawn in collaboration with one’s personal tutor. The education is supported by versatile teaching and evaluation methods.

Courses Required for the Degree: 

The Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) comprises 180 ECTS credits. The studies are multidisciplinary, in other words, they are identical for all health science students (Nursing Science, Health Management Science, Teacher Education Programme in Health Sciences) irrespective of the chosen specialization.

The Bachelor of Health Sciences includes areas of competence in development in academic expertise, language and communication skills, health sciences, scientific practice and research skills, and also a minor subject and optional studies.

GENERAL STUDIES 25 ECTS cr:

Development in Academic Expertise 6 ECTS cr

Language and Communication Skills 19 ECTS cr

BASIC STUDIES 25 ECTS cr and INTERMEDIATE STUDIES 45 ECST cr:

Health Sciences 60 ECTS cr

Scientific Practices and Research Skills 10 ECTS cr

MINOR SUBJECT 25 ECTS cr

OPTIONAL STUDIES 60 ECTS cr

The more exact description of the degree and course structure is provided in the structural diagram of the studies.

The implementation of teaching is in accordance with the decision by University of Oulu (KN 17.9.2014) regarding four teaching periods during the time period 31.8.2015-13.5.2016. Additionally there is a period for examinations and for catching up 16.5-27.5.2016. Furthermore, it is possible to take a part of the courses during the summer term. A separate announcement is made of the courses offered during the summer term by the end of February.

Learning Outcomes: 

The undergraduate education in health sciences includes a wide range of scientific, theoretical and methodology studies, and studies grounded in expertise of professional working communities. The learning outcomes of Degree Programme correspond to the aims of the Finnish Government Decree on University Degrees (794/2004).

Having obtained the degree of Bachelor of Health Sciences the students are able:

to explain the foundations of health science in the changing and multicultural environment of health care and to observe and interpret the development of health care and health sciences;

to use scientific and critical thinking, technology and scientific methods, and approaches creatively in obtaining, producing and evaluating relevant research data;

to apply gained knowledge critically and creatively in professional situations and problem solving;

to work as an expert in one’s own field in multidisciplinary settings of social welfare and health care services in a cooperative manner;

to make independent decisions and act independently according to the ethical principles of health sciences;

to take responsibility for the development and evaluation of own, other individuals’ and groups’ competences;

to have competence in communicating in one’s mother tongue, in one additional official language spoken in Finland and in at least one foreign language;

to further qualify for a postgraduate degree and continued learning.

Arrangements for Recognition of Prior Learning: 

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) follows the main principles as defined by the University of Oulu. According to regulations of the University of Oulu, paragraph  Accreditation of studies taken elsewhere and recognition of prior learning (§ 27), the principles concerning accrediting studies taken in other Finnish and foreign universities and other educational institutions are stipulated in the curriculum or other regulations, unless they have not been stipulated elsewhere. The decision for accreditation of studies by individual students is made by the head of the degree programme Professor Helvi Kyngäs. http://www.oulu.fi/english/studying/supporting-your-studies/recognition-prior-learning-rpl

Studies to be credited from a vocational college, university of applied science or Master’s degree in health care from a university of applied sciences, other universities requires separate application procedure. Forms of acceptance can be found in web-pages of Oulu University: http://www.oulu.fi/dokumentit/RPL_1A.pdf

Application to have credits accepted has to be submitted to the teacher responsible for the study unit and further dealt with by the chairperson of the Degree Programme. The decisions on credit transfer for language and communication Studies are made through the Languages and Communication Extension School.

Studies to be credited towards Bachelor’s Degree in Health Sciences

Development in Academic Expertise:

350043Y Professional Cooperation and Innovation 2 ECTS cr

The course is accepted based on prior qualification in health care from vocational college diploma and in health care from university of applied sciences.

Language and Communication Skills:

900008Y Oral Communication 3 ECTS cr

The course is accepted based on prior qualification in health care from vocational college diploma and in health care from university of applied sciences.

Health Sciences

The basic studies in Health Sciences 25 ECTS cr are accepted based on prior qualification in health care from university of applied sciences or other universities if the whole study module was previously completed. The study module may be also accepted on the basis of prior qualification in health care from vocational college diploma by completing a general subject test.

Optional Studies

The optional studies 60 ECTS cr towards Bachelor’s Degree in Health Sciences are accepted based on prior qualification in health care from vocational college diploma and in health care from university of applied sciences.

Modes of Study and Teaching: 

The studies consist primarily of full-time study. The average time students devote to studies per week is 40 hours, which may consist of 20 hours of teaching and 20 hours of independent work, for example. The extent of studies is indicated using ECTS credits, which illustrate the amount of time required to achieve good quality learning. One ECTS credit equals 27 study hours. The annual input of work by students totals 1,600 hours, corresponding to 60 ECTS credits. The degree programme Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) may also be completed within 1.5 years of full-time study by prior qualification in health care from an Institute of Health Care or from a University of Applied Sciences qualifying for admission to the present degree programme.

The education consists of multidimensional teaching methods including contact teaching, lectures, web-based learning, cooperative and communal learning, diverse learning tasks, and individual and group supervision. The education also includes blocks of independent study and various cooperative projects linked with professional settings. The teaching of the study units includes various methods planned and adjusted towards different life situations of individual students such as for those students who have to travel from long distances. 

The structure and progress of the studies has been designed so that the multidisciplinary studies would create a comprehensive picture of health care in offering a wide range of content and methods. The studies accumulate and are divided evenly so that the study load would not grow to be too much for the students. 

Furthermore, when planning the studies, an attempt has been made to support the students’ social networking, their getting to know other students and their engaging in groups. Social networking and the creation of an open atmosphere between staff and students is seen as important. International relations, persons studying in international programmes and exchange students have been taken into consideration by providing teaching and supervision in English when needed. Students are encouraged to develop their English skills in scientific communication. 

All students of University of Oulu may become exchange students if they so wish and to take a part of their courses (e.g. free choice studies, practice) in an institution of higher education abroad. The time period for studies as an exchange student is 3-12 months and a student may become an exchange student when they have finished one year of studies at University of Oulu. The student and the coordinator for international affairs made a decision together regarding the time period for studies as an exchange student and for an individual study plan. In case the student is doing the practice unit of their studies as an exchange student, the student first agrees about this with the teacher responsible for the practice unit and with the person responsible for international affairs. After this the student is in contact with the student centre in order to apply for the place of practice and in order to apply for needed funding. 

Language of Instruction: 

Teaching in Finnish. If necessary, teaching can be in English.

Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading: 

The studies included in the degree programme Bachelor of Health Sciences can be completed in accordance with the curriculum. This means that students complete the studies in the following areas of competence included in the curriculum: development in academic expertise, language and communication skills, health sciences, scientific practice and research skills, and also a minor subject and optional studies.

Study paths of each student can differ widely due to previous education of students recognized as credit. All study units are designed following the structure requirements of the course structure diagram. When planning the curriculum, factors affecting the study load caused by each study unit have been considered. These include time, resources, the content of the taught subject and the chosen teaching methods. The design of the studies is based on students’ pursuit of profound learning in the degree programme Bachelor of Health Sciences in which case more time is required for learning than the mere minimum sufficient to pass the courses.

In the section University of Oulu Education Regulations Evaluation of Credits (§15), it is said that the purpose of evaluating study attainments is to monitor the progress of the student’s education and to gather information on the student’s learning process and learning results. The assessment of credits is based on the learning objectives that have been defined in the curricula and on the evaluation criteria of each study unit. The numerical or verbal assessment of credits is made on the basis of the assessment criteria. It is the duty of the instructor making the evaluation to give the student information on the evaluation criteria and learning methods and goals of each study unit in advance.

Study units are assessed according to multidimensional evaluation methods including self-assessment and pair-assessment, examinations, written assignments, essays, learning diaries, designing of portfolios and participation in project work. Assessment is often based on grades obtained from final or mid-term examinations and graded by the person in charge of the course. A more detailed account of course completion can be found in the description of courses. The final assignment for a Bachelor’s degree is the Bachelor thesis.

A Personal Study Plan (PSP) is drawn for each student, taking into account prior studies and work experience.

Grading: (Education regulations, section 17): ”A numerical scale 0-5 (whole numbers) or oral assessment (pass/fail) is used in grading. On a numerical scale, zero equals rejection.

According to the law of Government Decree on University Degrees (794/2004), paragraph Language Proficiency (§6), there is a requirement of Finnish and Swedish language evaluation distinctly. 

Occupational Profiles of Graduates: 

Those who have obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Sciences (BHSc) qualify for various positions in social welfare and public health care. These include such positions in planning, research, development, teaching and management for which a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Sciences is considered sufficient. After the Bachelor’s Degree students can continue postgraduate university studies aiming at a Master’s Degree in Health Science (MHSc).

Access to Further Studies: 

The Bachelor’s Degree (BHSc) qualifies the student to complete a Master’s Degree (MHSc).

Graduation Requirements and Final Project: 

Bachelor of Health Sciences is an undergraduate university degree comprising 180 ECTS credits. Requirements for the degree include preliminary and advanced studies in the major subject and a Bachelor thesis with a written maturity test. The student must also complete language studies and other studies indicated in the study plan.

In order to gain a degree certificate the student has to supply an application to the office of the faculty according to instructions given by the faculty.

The provisions of the Government Decree on University Degrees (794/2004), Act on the Knowledge of Languages Required of Personnel in Public Bodies (424/2003) and Decree on the Demonstration of the Finnish and Swedish Language Proficiency in State Administration (481/2003) apply to language requirements pertaining to the degree of Bachelor of Health Sciences.

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.

The Bachelor’s degree (BHSc) qualifies the student to complete a Master’s degree (MHSc). The language proficiency requirements of the degree qualify the student for employment in the civil service according to the section on language proficiency, 6 §.

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: 
Bachelor's Degree
Duration of Studies: 
1,5 - 3 years
ECTS Credits: 
180
Language of Instruction: 
Finnish
Location of Instruction: 

Applying

Applying Information: 
The degree is part of a five-year degree programme which is applied for through the joint application system. The language of instruction in the degree programme is Finnish.