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.

Other Master's Programmes (2015-2016)

Computer Science and Engineering, Master of Science (Technology), 120 ECTS Credits

Profile of the Degree: 

The studies for the MSc degree in Computer Science and Engineering give students a comprehensive and deep foundation for specializing in different types of careers in the field of computer technology. The programme is based on the latest research excellence and prepares students to apply their skills in working life, and gives them tools for continuous learning as well.

The program aims to provide the skills and knowledge needed in research, product development, and production of computer-based devices and systems. Master of Science studies cover three options, which are Information Processing Engineering, Applied Computing, and Embedded Systems. Furthermore, advanced and supplementary modules are available. You can specialize based on your interest, for example, in intelligent systems and techniques like artificial intelligence and digital signal processing. Another possibility is to specialize in designing embedded systems for smart phones, mobile base stations, cars, wearable devices, for example; or you can decide to become a specialist who is familiar with new technologies such as ubiquitous and social computing, and is able to develop both software and hardware solutions to problems identified by users and companies.

Finnish master’s degree is highly recognized internationally, and it provides excellent basis to work abroad in companies or research institutes. The research in computer science and engineering at the University of Oulu has been acknowledged of its internationally high quality. You can also continue your studies after M.Sc. degree as a postgraduate student in one of the research groups and target a Ph.D. degree and researcher career.

Courses Required for the Degree: 

The degree studies (120 ECTS) comprise of one of the available modules of the option (40 ECTS), a related advanced module (30 ECTS), a supplementary module (20 ECTS) and the MSc thesis (30 ECTS). The students form the supplementary module themselves which can include another option’s core courses, forming a module of minor studies. The students must apply for approval for their advanced and supplementary modules with a form available at the student office and website.
The applications are approved and confirmed by degree programme representatives.  

MSc studies contain 3 ECTS of mandatory practical training (the Advanced Practical Training course) that should be included in the supplementary module. This module can also contain science and commercial studies to complement the degree. Generally, university courses above elementary studies are acceptable; that is, courses marked with ‘A’ and ‘S’ are acceptable but courses marked with ‘P’ are not. The total amount of language studies for combined bachelor and master level is limited to 18 ECTS. The content of the modules must be planned so that the coursework covers the minimum of 30 ECTS of advanced courses (S-marked) courses.

Degree program options educate specialized experts as follows:

The Information Processing Engineering option educates specialists with strong theoretical and practical know-how about digital information processing and analysis. The advanced studies can focus either on intelligent systems, signal processing, or biomedical information engineering.

The Applied Computing option educates specialists that use fundamental knowledge of computing in the real world, to solve real-world problems for real companies, special groups, and individuals. The advanced studies can focus either on the technology or the economy of  applied computing.

The Embedded Systems option educates experts with detailed knowledge of designing embedded systems and software. The advanced studies can focus on either the software or hardware of embedded systems.


Learning Outcomes: 

After performing the MSc studies in the degree programme, a student can in the field of computer science and engineering:

  • acquire and critically evaluate novel skills and knowledge
  • apply the acquired knowledge in a creative manner in research, development and management
  • work responsibly both independently and as a team member
  • communicate both viva voce and with written text in a clear and analytical manner
  • independently in his/her mother tongue, as well as in the second official language and at least in one foreign language, communicate to an international audience.

In addition, a student can, based on the selected option:

After completing the studies of the Information Processing Engineering option:

  • utilize the methods of digital image and video processing, statistical pattern matching, and computer graphics to solve practical problems
  • apply mathematical computing methods like optimisation algorithms to formally define and solve problems encountered in research and development
  • analyse and design digital signal processing systems and realize algorithms needed in such systems, for example on modern signal processors
  • realize applications to the Internet using a modern software architectural style.

After completing the studies of the Applied Computing option:

  • explain the scientific method, create a research plan, design and conduct experimental studies for computer science, write in academic style, and give presentations
  • realize applications to the Internet using a modern software architectural style
  • apply contemporary knowledge and methods in the design, implementation and evaluation of ubiquitous computing systems
  • explain the key principles of distributed systems, apply them in evaluating the major design paradigms used in implementing distributed systems, solve distributed systems related problems, and design and implement a small distributed system
  • implement mobile user interfaces, implement online social network applications, explain the fundamental concepts of context awareness and online communities
  • design, develop and test working software for real life problems and document the results of his/her work in a professional manner.

After completing the studies of the Embedded Systems option:

  •  analyse the operation of computer from the perspective of digital techniques
  •  analyse and compare different alternatives for dividing system functionality between hardware and software
  •  analyse the effect of different technologies on the functionality and life cycle of an embedded system
  • apply good design practices in designing and realizing devices, software and user interfaces for embedded systems
  • apply signal processing and pattern matching methods in embedded computing environments
  • apply the theory and components of electrical engineering in realizing embedded systems.


Arrangements for Recognition of Prior Learning: 

There are no specific practices for transferring previously achieved learning outcomes, the recognition of prior learning follows the main principles as defined by the University of Oulu.

More information: Recognition of prior Learning (RPL) in the University of Oulu


Modes of Study and Teaching: 

The student studies full-time, corresponding to 60 credits per year. This equals to 1,600 hours of student workload per year. The full degree (120 credits) can be completed in two years, studying full-time. Studies are organized as contact teaching during daytime; some courses contain web-based teaching. Contact teaching involves lectures and guides exercises. In addition, many courses include programming exercises and projects that are completed individually or in groups. Advanced practical training (3 credits) is included in the degree.

Lectures and exercises are typically organized on weekdays from 8 am to 4 pm, except on Fridays from 8 am to noon. Exams are typically organized on Fridays from 2 pm to 5 pm.


Language of Instruction: 

Finnish; Some courses are lectured/given in English as part of International Master's Programmes. Part of the Finnish courses can be studied in English as well.

Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading: 

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 completing project works. They both are assessed by the person responsible for the study unit. The assessment is based on the grades of final or mid-term exams or on the delivered project work material. Further information on examinations can be found from:

Also other assessment criteria are used, including micro exams (continuous assessment), work reports, etc. Study unit descriptions give more exact information on the assessment of study units. Master’s thesis 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 and verbal grading Pass or Fail are used in assessing completed courses. In the numerical scale, zero stands for fail. In determining the final grade for a study module, a credit-weighted average is utilized. The grades of Diploma Theses shall not be considered when determining the average of advanced studies.

Assessment Criteria at the University of Oulu can be found here.


Occupational Profiles of Graduates: 

The programme will provide the graduates with sufficient skills to work in a wide variety of positions offered by research institutes and companies mainly operating in the field of information and communications technology (ICT). The graduates are most likely to be employed in research and development related positions, but also management positions and entrepreneurship fit into the profile. The work is often international.

Access to Further Studies: 

The graduates are eligible to apply to doctoral programmes provided that other requirements for admission are satisfied. For example, the admission requirements for the University of Oulu Graduate School(UniOGS) can be found here.

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, however, need to demonstrate it again for a 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.

The graduates are qualified to practice many professions that require M.Sc. degree, and also to pursue the PhD degree in computer science and engineering. For some professions, there may be additional requirements such as the language proficiency required of personnel in public bodies in accordance with the Language Proficiency Section 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: 
Master's Degree
Duration of Studies: 
2 years
ECTS Credits: 
Language of Instruction: 
Graduate Profiles: 
Software Designer
Research Scientist
Technical Specialist
System Designer
Development Manager
Location of Instruction: 
+358 (0)294 482786
janne.heikkila (at)


Applying Information: 
The languages of instruction in the master’s programme are Finnish and English. Applicants have to both apply in Finnish and be able to study in Finnish. Applicants are asked to prove their Finnish language skills in the admissions process.
Application Period: 
December 15th 2014 – January 30th 2015 (15.00 UTC +2)