Studies at University of Oulu 2016-2017

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

Biochemistry, Bachelor of Science, 180 ECTS Credits

Profile of the Degree: 

The degree builds on the strength of the Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine at the University of Oulu to offer a world class BSc programme. The faculty has repeatedly been awarded a national excellence in teaching award, it has dynamic well funded research and excellent state of the art infrastructure which is utilized in teaching too.

The BSc degree in biochemistry meets international guidelines for content, is subject to external international peer-review and includes a high proportion of study time acquiring the necessary practical, cognitive and problem solving skills - including the use by individual students of the most modern equipment - necessary to comprehend and progress the field.

Research-led teaching is a key priority for the faculty and all of the courses in biochemistry are taught by active researchers and all researchers within the faculty teach. Similarly transferable skills, for working life, are integrated into subject specific courses.

The degree programme includes some compulsory ancillary courses in chemistry, biology and mathematics, but it also offers flexibility to allow students to study ancillary subjects which they believe will most benefit their future career, while at the same time having timetables which allow completion of the degree within three years. There is an option for a BSc Degree in biochemistry with international exchange. This includes additional appropriate compulsory language studies to allow integration of the student into the host environment during student exchange period. Student is free to select either of the BSc Degrees and may freely switch between degrees.

The working language of the Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine is English and some courses are taught in Finnish and others in English.

Studying is free and public (Universities Act 558/2009 8§).

Courses Required for the Degree: 

The course structure diagram shows the degree structure of each semester (autumn, “1”, and spring, “2”, semester). The required study modules with their credits are detailed in the diagram. After the diagram, there is the list of study units with their credits. However, student can take more studies (ECTS’s) than the required 180 ECTS if they wish to.

Learning Outcomes: 

Upon successful completion of Bachelor's degree in biochemistry the student is able to:

  • apply fundamental knowledge in biochemistry and ancillary subjects and follow and evaluate developments in that field;
  • apply scientific thinking and use scientific methods
  • relate to and discuss the high public awareness and impact on society of biochemistry
  • complete responsible and goal-oriented teamwork and individual work
  • apply the acquired knowledge in working life
  • communicate in Finnish and Swedish as stipulated in the Degree Statute, as well as proficiency in English;
  • demonstrate transferable and cognitive skills, including the ability to communicate effectively.
Arrangements for Recognition of Prior Learning: 

If a student has earlier studies at a university, university of applied sciences or other academy and if they want to utilize them in the degree they are asked to contact University lecturer Jari Heikkinen.

The recognition of prior learning follows the main principles as defined by the University of Oulu. More information: Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

University of Oulu Education Regulations gives information on recognition of prior learning in article 27.

Modes of Study and Teaching: 

Studies for the BSc degree will be timed for three years, about 60 credits in each year. According to the student´s personal study plan annual amount of credits may vary a little. Every course will be given once a year. Obligatory and recommended optional courses will be timed avoiding time clashes. In many biochemical courses lectures are followed by a practical part in laboratory. The laboratory part is compulsory but lectures are mostly voluntary. Laboratory periods take from one day to three weeks, typically 1-2 weeks, daily typically 8.15-16.00.

Studies for the first year and second autumn (biochemistry lectures) will be given in the Linnanmaa campus. Laboratory parts of all biochemistry courses will be organized at the Kontinkangas campus. From second year spring all courses in biochemistry will be given in Kontinkangas only. Courses for minor subjects (biology, chemistry etc.) will be given in Linnanmaa. Timetable for BSc Degree in Biochemistry will be organized so that there will not be lessons for obligatory or recommended optional courses during the same day in Linnanmaa and Kontinkangas.

Language of Instruction: 

Teaching is mainly in Finnish. Many courses are also in English starting from the first year.

Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading: 

For many biochemistry courses there are some previous courses required as a prerequisite. For fluent studies it is highly advisable that courses will be taken in recommended order. Optional courses have been timed for the 2nd and 3rd year. Assessment is generally based on the grades of final exam. In many courses continuous assessment (laboratory exercises, reports, home works, presentations and workshops) also count toward the final mark. As a Bachelor's thesis students write a presentation for popularization of science in biochemical subject (poster, article for magazine or oral presentation) in addition to an essay.

Grading scale is normally numerical 0–5 (the lowest passing grade is 1).  Some courses are graded verbally pass/fail. In determining final grade for Bachelor degree in biochemistry a credit-weighted average of numerically graded courses 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: 

After the BSc, the students usually continue their university studies in advanced studies to gain the degree of Master of Science (MSc). The degree of BSc is not a professional degree but university students are desired as summer workers and after BSc studies it is possible to work as a trainee in a research laboratory.

Access to Further Studies: 

The student is allowed to pass advanced courses towards the MSc degree before graduation in Bachelor level. The student is automatically eligible for master's level studies in the degree programme in biochemistry.

Graduation Requirements and Final Project: 

For the BSc degree the following studies are required:

6 ECTS Language and Communication Studies (obligatory)
70 ECTS Basic Studies (obligatory)
56 ECTS Intermediate Studies (obligatory)
48 ECTS Optional  Studies (general, basic or intermediate studies)
In total: 180 ECTS

As part of the BSc degree studies the student shall attain the language skills in Swedish and Finnish as defined in the Act (424/2003) section 6, subsection 1.

Of the optional studies included in the BSc degree in biochemistry with international exchange a minimium of 12 credits must be passed in host university during exchange period (biochemistry courses).

When studies towards the BSc degree are completed the student must apply for a Bachelor's Degree certificate from the Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine.

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 (BSc) qualifies the student to complete a Master’s degree (MSc). 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: 
Finnish and English


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