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)

Primary Teacher Education, Master of Arts (Education), 120 ECTS Credits

Profile of the Degree: 

The degree of Master of Arts (Education) in primary teacher education deepens the student’s competence to function as an expert of education and teaching in educational organisations. The education gives the student a diversified competence in pedagogy, didactics and subject mastery to meet educational challenges in the future school. The studies offer ingredients for the construction of a personal pedagogical viewpoint and activity and guide the student to become conscious of the social significance of the primary teacher’s work. The studies familiarize the students with the special issues of guiding both child and adult groups and with the cooperation between home and school. The education also deepens the student’s notion of the child and his/her ability to analyse cultural and social assumptions related to childhood.

Courses Required for the Degree: 

The studies required for the degree of Master of Arts (Education) in Primary Teacher Education are comprised of advanced studies in education (60-62 ECTS credits) and, as minor subject studies, multidiscplinary studies in the subjects and cross-curricular themes taught in basic education (60 ECTS credits).

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

Learning Outcomes: 
  • Student is able to take responsibility for his/her actions and support the learners’ self-efficacy.
  • Student is capable of working in a multi-professional environment.
  • Student knows how to analyse and explain theoretical knowledge on education and teaching.
  • Student shows empathy, ethicalness and pedagogical tact and knows how to assess his/her actions in varying situations.
  • Student knows how to plan research-based teaching.
  • Student is able to participate in development and evaluation tasks in education.
  • Student is capable of knowledge generalization, is able to design and invent theoretical knowledge, and apply it to teaching.
  • Student knows how to analyse his/her conception of child and social and cultural assumptions of childhood.
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 (120 ECTS credits) can be completed in two years, studying full-time. The studies are carried out as contact teaching. Studies also include a practice  period.

Language of Instruction: 

The degree can be completed in Finnish.

Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading: 

The student studies communication and orientation studies, basic studies, advanced studies as well as multidisciplinary studies and other optional studies according to the curriculum. The courses are assessed by the persons responsible for each course. Assessment is often based on the grades of the lecture and book exams related to the course. Other assessment methods are also used, such as active participation in teaching and written and other assignments. The course descriptions contain details of ways to complete each course. The degree is completed by writing the Master’s thesis. Each student composes a personal study plan, taking into account previous studies 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. The grade for the Master’s thesis is not taken into account when the average for the advanced studies is calculated. 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 Master of Arts (Education) in broadly-based primary teacher education is part of the studies providing the qualification of primary teacher, so the education aims especially at work in the learning and educational environments of the basic education grades 0-6. It is possible in the education for the Master’s degree to take part in various experimental and research projects, so the degree also provides a basis for research work. The graduates can also find employment in various expert tasks in the field of education and teaching.

Access to Further Studies: 

Graduate is eligible for doctoral studies.

Graduation Requirements and Final Project: 

To graduate as Master, the student must complete studies with a scope of 120 ECTS credits as determined in the curriculum. The thesis studies of the Master’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, unless such skills were already shown in the Bachelor’s degree. 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 nor to students who have received their school edcuation 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 Master’s degree qualifies the student as a primary teacher. The Master’s degree shall in that case include at least 60 ECTS credits of multidisciplinary studies in the subjects and cross-curricular themes taught in primary school. The qualification also requires completion of the pedagogical studies for teachers (60 credits). If a student has not completed these studies in a previous degree, s/he shall complement them based on the confirmed curriculum.

The qualification as primary teacher is stipulated in the Teaching Qualifications Decree (14.12.1998/986). Accordingly, a person is qualified to work as a primary teacher if s/he has completed the degree of Master of Arts (Education), at least 60 ECTS credits of multidisciplinary studies in subjects and cross-curricular themes taught in primary school or basic education , and at least 60 credits of pedagogical studies for teachers.

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: 
Master's Degree
Duration of Studies: 
2 years
ECTS Credits: 
Language of Instruction: 
Graduate Profiles: 
Primary Teacher
Location of Instruction: 
+358 (0)294 483698
minna.saaskilahti (at)


Applying Information: 
The language of instruction in the master’s programme is Finnish. 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.