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

Teacher Education in Health Sciences, Master of Health Sciences, 120 ECTS Credits

Profile of the Degree: 

Students admitted to the Teacher Education Programme in Health Sciences have nursing science as their major. The pedagogical studies 35 ECTS cr for health science teachers consist of studies in education and nursing didactics. The studies deal with the teacher’s personal and professional development and the actual work of a teacher extensively. The objective of the studies is to begin developing expertise in pedagogy. The educational studies provide the qualifications principally to teaching tasks in the vocational educational institutions in the field of health care. The educational studies are divided into undergraduate and postgraduate studies.

The employment rate among health science teachers is good at present and in the future the need for teachers is expected to increase significantly. The reason for the increasing need is the retiring of vocational education teachers.

Courses Required for the Degree: 

The Degree Programme in Teacher Education Programme in Health Sciences leads to the degree of Master of Health Sciences (MHSc), comprising 120 ECTS cr. The main subject is nursing science.

The Master of Health Sciences includes areas of competence in health sciences, scientific practice and research skills, and also a minor subject (teacher’s professional development) and optional studies.


Nursing Science 52 ECTS cr

Scientific Practice and Research Skills 10 ECTS cr


The obligatory studies in didactics 35 ECTS cr are completed during the studies for a Master’s degree in the Teacher Education Programme. 


A more exact description of the degree and course structure is provided in the structural diagram of the studies.

The implementation of teaching is in accordance with the decision by University of Oulu (KN 17.9.2014) regarding four teaching periods during the time period 31.8.2016-13.5.2017. Additionally there is a period for examinations and for catching up 16.5-27.5.2017. Furthermore, it is possible to take a part of the courses during the summer term. A separate announcement is made of the courses offered during the summer term by the end of February.

Learning Outcomes: 

The learning objectives of the Degree Programme correspond to the aims of the Finnish National Framework for Qualifications and other Learning.

Having attained the degree of Master of Health Sciences students are able:

to have extensive and highly specialized knowledge of the concepts, theories and methods in nursing science and are able to use them independently as a basis for nursing science research;

to analyze critically the issues related to nursing science and closely related disciplines;

to plan, act and evaluate according evidence based knowledge in expert positions of teaching and educating in social and health care;

to solve demanding problems relating to education, research, development and innovation in the field of social and health care;

to work independently and cooperatively in demanding expert positions of teaching and educating in social and health care;

to manage and develop complex, original and new strategic approaches in the operating environment of social and health care;

to manage issues at hand and lead people, to plan and evaluate an appropriate field of operation for other persons and groups, and to draw useful conclusions based on observation in the field of social and health care;

to communicate well both orally and in writing to audiences consisting of colleagues and the general public, and are capable of international communication and interaction in the second national language in Finland, and in at least one foreign language;

to have the competence required for postgraduate studies in Health Sciences and for continuous learning.



Arrangements for Recognition of Prior Learning: 

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) follows the main principles as defined by the University of Oulu. According to regulations of the University of Oulu, paragraph  Accreditation of studies taken elsewhere and recognition of prior learning (§ 27), the principles concerning accrediting studies taken in other Finnish and foreign universities and other educational institutions are stipulated in the curriculum or other regulations, unless they have not been stipulated elsewhere. The decision for accreditation of studies by individual students is made by the head of the degree programme Professor Helvi Kyngäs.

Studies to be credited from vocational college, university of applied sciences or Master’s degree in health care from university of applied sciences, and other universities requires separate application procedure. Forms of acceptance can be found in web-pages of Oulu University:

Application to have credits accepted has to be submitted to the teacher responsible for the study unit and further dealt with by the chairperson of the Degree Programme.

Studies to be credited towards Master’s Degree in Health Sciences

Based on a previous Master’s degree from a university of applied sciences and /or other universities, 25-50 ECTS credits may be accepted by the head of the degree programme. The student must submit a written statement of how the previous studies supplement the current degree studies in health sciences (RPL- process).

Modes of Study and Teaching: 

The Master of Health Sciences degree will be completed after the Bachelor of Health Sciences degree and it includes 120 ECTS credits. The studies mainly comprise full-time study. Courses are arranged so that the degree can be obtained in two years with full-time study.

The extent of studies is indicated using ECTS credits, which illustrate the amount of time required to achieve good learning. The average time students devote to studies per week is 40 hours, which may consist of 20 hours of teaching and 20 hours of independent work, for example. The annual input of work by students totals 1,600 hours, corresponding to 60 ECTS credits.

The education consists of multidimensional teaching methods including contact teaching, lectures, web-based learning, cooperative and communal learning, diverse learning tasks, and individual and group supervision. The education also includes blocks of independent study and various cooperative projects linked with professional settings. The teaching of the study units includes various methods planned and adjusted towards different life situations of individual students such as for those students who have to travel from long distances.

The structure and progress of the studies has been designed so that the multidisciplinary studies would create a comprehensive picture of health care in offering a wide range of content and methods. The studies accumulate and are divided evenly so that the study load would not grow to be too much for the students.

Furthermore, when planning the studies, an attempt has been made to support the students’ social networking, their getting to know other students and their engaging in groups. Social networking and the creation of an open atmosphere between staff and students is seen as important. International relations, persons studying in international programmes and exchange students have been taken into consideration by providing teaching and supervision in English when needed. Students are encouraged to develop their English skills in scientific communication.

All students of University of Oulu may become exchange students if they so wish and to take a part of their courses (e.g. free choice studies, practice) in an institution of higher education abroad. The time period for studies as an exchange student is 3-12 months and a student may become an exchange student when they have finished one year of studies at University of Oulu. The student and the coordinator for international affairs made a decision together regarding the time period for studies as an exchange student and for an individual study plan. In case the student is doing the practice unit of their studies as an exchange student, the student first agrees about this with the teacher responsible for the practice unit and with the person responsible for international affairs. After this the student is in contact with the student centre in order to apply for the place of practice and in order to apply for needed funding. 

Language of Instruction: 

Teaching language is Finnish. The study material is in Finnish and in English.

Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading: 

The studies included in the degree programme Master of Health Sciences can be completed in accordance with the curriculum. This means that students complete the studies in the following areas of competence included in the curriculum: health sciences, scientific practice and research skills, and also a minor subject and optional studies.

Study units are assessed according to multidimensional evaluation methods including self-assessment and pair-assessment, examinations, designing of portfolios, written assignments, essays, teaching theme and general plans, learning diaries, concept maps, demo and teaching sessions. Assessment is completed by the person in charge of the course.

A more detailed account of course completion can be found in the description of courses. The final assignment for a Master’s degree is the Master’s thesis. A Personal Study Plan (PSP) is drawn up for each student, taking into account prior studies and work experience.

Grading (University of Oulu Rules of Procedure, article 17): A numerical scale 0-5 (whole numbers) or oral assessment (pass/fail) is used in grading.

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 having obtained the degree of Master of Health Sciences students can work in social and health care in various teaching, design, development, research and management positions.

Access to Further Studies: 

After completing the Master’s degree, the student is eligible for applying for further academic education (licentiate degree, doctoral degree) organized by the University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS).

Graduation Requirements and Final Project: 

The Master of Health Sciences degree is an upper-level University degree comprising 120 ECTS credits. Requirements for the degree include advanced studies in major subject which include Master’s thesis. The student must also complete nursing didactics studies (35 ECTS cr) and other studies indicated in the curriculum. In order to gain a degree certificate the student has to supply an application to the faculty’s office according to instructions given by the faculty.

In addition, the student must show the required level of Finnish and Swedish language skills according to Act (424/2003, section 6, subsection 1) and the required level of knowledge in one foreign language to be able to follow the field specific development and work in an international environment (Government Decree on University Degrees 794/2004, Language Proficiency Section 6).

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 (MHSc) qualifies the student to work as experts in social and health care teaching, research, development and management in national and international level. After completing the Master’s degree, the student is eligible for applying for further academic education (licentiate degree, doctoral degree).

The degrees of Bachelor and Masters in Health Sciences include a minimum of 60ECTS cr of studies in accordance with the Government Decree on University Degrees (794/2004) regarding pedagogical studies, which provides the qualification indicated in the law (986/1998) regarding qualification criteria for personnel in the various offices of teaching.

Additionally, students need to demonstrate language proficiency according to the 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: 
Expert in Social and Health Care
Nursing Instructor
Student Coordinator
Location of Instruction: 
+358 (0)294 485613
maria.kaariainen (at)


Applying Information: 
The degree is part of a five-year degree programme which is applied for through the joint application system. The language of instruction in the degree programme is Finnish.