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

Geography, Bachelor of Science, 180 ECTS Credits

Profile of the Degree: 

In the programme of Geography, BSc degree is 180 ECTS. BSc degree is lower academic degree in Finland. Students who are accepted to study Geography can study Geography free of charge (Universities Act 2009/558 8§).

The major subject to all is Geography. In his/her major studies, in Geography, the student can choose his/her specialty between Physical Geography, Human Geography and Regional Development and Regional Policy. The student may apply to teacher training, too. Minor studies may be chosen freely. After his/her BSc-studies the student is able to continue studies in MSc-program.

The research profile is very high (The CoE of Academy of Finland RELATE, REA 2014), which reflects to all courses. The staff is internationally highly acknowledged and awarded. There are tens of visiting scholars annually in the department.


Courses Required for the Degree: 

BSc-level studies in Geography:

Major, Geography: Basic studies 30 ECTC cr, Intermediate studies 55 ECTS cr. Total 85 ECTS cr.

Minor studies: 84 ECTS cr in which 10 ECTS cr are obligatory (Introduction to statistics, 5 ECTS cr, and A second in course in statistics, 5 ECTS cr, to all students of Geography). Minor studies can be chosen freely. They are performed as follow:

3 x 25 ECTS cr basic studies (+ 10 ECTS cr) = 85 ECTS cr, or

1 x 60 ECTS cr basic and intermediate studies (+ 10 ECTS cr) + 14 ECTS cr other studies = 84 ECT crS.

Other (“general”) studies are 11 ECTS cr (Orientation, language courses in English, Swedish, Use of Databases). They are implicated in the Study Guide.

Studies are planned so that the student will achieve 30 ECTS cr per semester, 60 ECTS cr per academic year. There can be more than 180 ECTS cr in the BSc degree. It is minimum.

The description of structure of the BSc degree is in appendix.

Learning Outcomes: 

After BSc-graduation the student can

  • recognize the most essential geographical concepts and traditions,
  • interpret different geographical phenomena in the fields of Physical Geography, Human Geography, Tourism Geography, Geoinfirmatics and Regional development and policy,
  • perform individual written reports and cartographical visualizations according to demanded level of courses,
  • study individually geographical phenomena from the view point of Geography,
  • make conclusions about geographical impacts to nature, culture, tourism and regional development, and
  • produce individually geographical information that is based on the knowledge of courses of the degree.
Arrangements for Recognition of Prior Learning: 

The main principle for recognition of prior learning is that earlier studies in Geography or corresponding field may substitute some of the studies in Oulu. Each case is evaluated individually.

University of Oulu Education Regulations gives information on recognition of prior learning in article 27. The main principles of RPL are followed as ordered.

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 book exams. Teaching is organized on weekdays, from 8:00 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Language of Instruction: 

Language of instruction is mostly Finnish. Mots of the exam material are in English. Some of the courses are held totally or partly in English (for exchange students).

Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading: 

Assessment methods and criteria for the studies: The degree-related studies can be completed based on the curriculum. This means that the student studies the basic studies, intermediate studies and elective studies the curriculum contains, in accordance with the curriculum. The study units are primarily completed by attending examinations and they are assessed by the person responsible for the study unit.

Study unit descriptions give more exact information on the assessment of study units. Bachelor’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 (University of Oulu Education Regulations, article 17):

A numerical scale 0-5 in whole numbers or verbal grading Pass or Fail is used in assessing a completed course.

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: 

Geographers work in multiple professions. The most common professions are in the public sector (like researchers, teachers, planners, coordinators). There are also several posts in the open, private, sector and the expertise of the geographers is widely acknowledged.

Access to Further Studies: 

The BSc-level degree gives automatically qualification to the MSc studies.

Graduation Requirements and Final Project: 

Requirement to achieve BSc-degree is to finish all the required courses, BSc-thesis and maturity test and student shall attain the language skills in Swedish and Finnish defined in the Act (424/2003) section 6, subsection 1.

Qualification Requirements and Regulations: 

BSc-degree does not give professional qualification. However, BSc-degree gives possibility to apply post in which the requirement is lower academic degree.

Degree provides 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

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.

Basic information

Level of the Degree: 
Bachelor's Degree
Duration of Studies: 
3 years
ECTS Credits: 
Language of Instruction: 
Location of Instruction: 


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