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

Primary Teacher Education, Bachelor of Arts (Education), 180 ECTS Credits

Profile of the Degree: 

The degree of Bachelor of Arts (Education) in the primary teacher education programme offers basic competences for the prospective educational professional and provides the basis for the Master’s studies. The degree provides the basic prerequisites for the internalisation of a problem-based and analytical philosophy of teaching and education. The degree is oriented towards primary teacher education, so the programme focuses on the special issues related to the teaching and education of pupils studying in grades 0-6 of basic education. The values underlying the degree centre on research as its foundation, practical familiarity, active citizenship, ethical and aesthetic sensitivity and capacity for pedagogical and didactic thinking and action. The education also aims at offering the prospective primary teachers practical competences to direct mutual interaction among a group of pupils to establish a safe working culture in the classroom community that accepts dissimilarity and promotes collaboration. The students who orient to creative arts know how to design, implement and evaluate art and craft education in basic education. Technology oriented students adopt ways to teach and make research that are based on a mastery of technological literacy.

Courses Required for the Degree: 

The Bachelor of Arts (Education) degree in Primary Teacher Education comprises orientation studies (6 ECTS credits), language and communication studies (9 ECTS credits), basic and intermediate studies in education  (70 ECTS credits), multidisciplinary studies in subjects taught in basic education (63 ECTS credits), minor subject studies (25 ECTS credits) and optional studies/programme specific studies (7 ECTS credits).

The timing of studies can be found in the course structure diagrams.

Learning Outcomes: 
  • Student is capable of discussing the nature of pedagogical action and the applicability of the pedagogical theory.
  • Student is able to discuss the assessment and evaluation of learning and recognizes learning as a life-long process.
  • Student can explicate his/her understanding of the subject knowledge of various subjects to the pupils.
  • Student can examine the special educational needs of pupils.
  • Student is able to adapt his/her behavior and action in different educational and teaching situations.
  • Student shows responsibility, empathy and tact in educational situations.
  • Student is able to participate in planning and evaluation tasks in education.
  • Student can analyse interaction from the perspective of safety and caring.
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 student studies full-time, corresponding to 60 ECTS credits per year. This equals to 1600 hours of student workload per year. The full degree (180 ECTS credits) can be completed in three years, studying full-time. The studies are carried out as contact teaching, but a part of the courses can be completed as e-learning. Studies also include practice periods.

Language of Instruction: 

The degree can be completed in Finnish.

Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading: 

Examination regulations, assessment: The degree-related studies can be completed based on the curriculum. This means that the student studies the advanced studies and elective studies the curriculum contains, in accordance with the curriculum. The study units are primarily completed by attending examinations and with written assignments and they are assessed by the person responsible for the study unit. The assessment is often based on the grades of final exams and term papers. Also other assessment criteria are used. Study unit descriptions give more exact information on the assessment of study units. A Candidate’s (Bachelor’s) thesis shall be written as the final work in the degree. A Personal Study Plan (PSP) is compiled for each student individually, considering the student’s prior learning and work experience.

Grading: (Koulutuksen johtosääntö pykälä 17: 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. In numerical scale zero stands for fail.

In determining the final grade for a study module, a credit-weighted average is utilized. 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: 

The degree of Bachelor of Arts (Education) offers opportunities to function in expert tasks in education and teaching in educational organisations. The degree does not, however, qualify the student as a primary teacher. As s/he has been admitted to a programme that leads to qualification as primary teacher, s/he will continue to study for a Master’s degree.

Access to Further Studies: 

Bachelor’s degree entitles access to Master’s degree studies.

Graduation Requirements and Final Project: 

To graduate as Bachelor, the student must complete studies with a scope of 180 ECTS credits as determined in the curriculum. The thesis studies of the Bachelor’s degree include a maturity test on the topic of the thesis.

The graduate shall also show that s/he has achieved skills in Finnish and Swedish as defined in section 6 (1) of the Act (424/2003) and skills in one foreign language such as stipulated in section 6 (2) of the Government Decree on University Degrees (2004/794). The requirement for language skills in Finnish and Swedish does not apply to students who have received their school education in a language other than Finnish or Swedish or to students who have received their school education abroad. Language skills required from such students are determined by the university. For a special reason, the university can exempt a student from the language skill requirements stipulated in subsection 1.

The student shall also apply the faculty for confirmation of the degree by submitting a degree confirmation 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.

The Bachelor’s degree qualifies the student to complete a Master’s degree. 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: 
3 years
ECTS Credits: 
Language of Instruction: 
Location of Instruction: 
+358 (0)294 483698
minna.saaskilahti (at)


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