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

Information Processing Science, Master of Science, 120 ECTS Credits

Profile of the Degree: 

The degree programme in information processing science provides students with excellent skills for working anywhere information technology is developed and applied. ICT business is becoming both more international and developing rapidly. Thus, there is considerable demand for experts in the field. Studying information processing science at Oulu University will provide you with good opportunities to become employed and build your career further in the top positions of the ICT field. The education focuses on information systems, software and studies in the supporting fields. At the same time, it is possible to develop other beneficial skills needed in working life, including skills in the areas of languages, oral and written communication, team work and problem solving. With minor studies it is possible to supplement your education in the desired direction.

Over 1200 students have graduated from Information Processing Science.  Nowadays, there are almost 1000 students and about 100 staff memebers in field of Information Processing Science. It is one of the largest degree programmes in the University of Oulu.

The degree programme in Information Processing Science has strong traditions and good experiences in its collaboration with companies in information industry. We favour a working-life-oriented way of completing studies, which means that practical exercises and projects are often conducted in collaboration with companies. So students get concrete experience working in the field during their studies. Project work and Master's thesis may also be done in conjunction with international research groups and projects.

In the Master's degree, 51 credits are mandatory for all students and 39 credits come from the requirements for a chosen specialisation. At least 30 credits of electives must be taken by each student. Electives may be used to study core content more deeply, gain working knowledge of a related topic, or a combination of both.  Minor subject modules may also be taken as electives. The course of study is based on relevant international standards (ACM and IEEE) and programme recommendations.  During Master's studies, students can plan their professional profile and specialisation options using recommended and optional studies, Master's thesis, and work experience projects.  

Information Systems Oriented Module: The information systems study programme focuses on the usefulness and utility of information technology for organizations, work practices and other human activities. The programme gives a broad perspective to understanding IT-related issues in their business, organizational, social and human contexts and provides capabilities and skills to analyse, design, and implement information systems to help to solve a wide variety of business and societal problems. Graduates will be able to work as IS/IT consultants, business and systems analysts, IS designers or IS/IT project managers.

Software Engineering Oriented Module: Software engineering is the application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software. It applies sound engineering principles in order to obtain economical software that is reliable and works efficiently as a part of the information system or embedded system. The courses in the software engineering orientation alternative follow the curriculum guidelines for Graduate Degree Programs in Software Engineering. The courses cover areas such as software analysis and design, real-time distributed software development, software testing and project management. The courses provide relevant theoretical background on software engineering topics and the open source and global software development aspects cross all the courses. The students will learn the core aspects of software engineering in close cooperation with software companies working in a global context.

Courses Required for the Degree: 

Courses required for the degree:

  • Compulsory Studies for all Master’s Level Students 51 ECTS
  • Optional Studies, min. 30 ECTS
  • Compulsory Studies, Information Systems Oriented Module 39 ECTS
  • Compulsory Studies, Software Engineering Oriented Module 39 ECTS

Note: Optional Specialisation (Optional Advanced Studies) courses are arranged within the limits of the degree programme's resources, therefore they are not every academic year available.

Master's courses include intermediate subject courses which will deepen into more advanced studies.  It is the advanced courses which will form the core of the Master's programme, as they tackle the deeper aspects of the topics introduced in the earlier courses. Studies will have a basis in research and a significant portion of time will be used for the preparation of the thesis. Its purpose is to develop a student's readiness for the independent acquisition of scientific knowledge, Identifying problems, analysing them, and forming a solution to them. Optional courses range from 4 to 6 ECTS.

Learning Outcomes: 

By completing the master’s level studies in Information Processing Science a student can act as an independent expert in a goal-oriented project and is able to professionally manage such a project. The student masters the typical research methods and can select the most appropriate research and data collection methods to tackle a specific research problem. The student can develop the working methods and practices of his subject area by using a scientific approach, and can communicate results clearly and fairly.

After finishing master level studies in information systems orientation a student can also:

  • Apply existing and produce new IS knowledge for organisational needs;
  • Analyse and evaluate human activities in IT use situations, work practices, and organisational functions using conceptual means, and present the results of the analysis using suitable descriptive methods;
  • Evaluate the impact of the development of information technology to organisational functioning;
  • Design IT solutions that solve identified problems and improve the efficiency of organisational practices;
  • Set targets to self-steer and work towards those goals;
  • Communicate clearly and analytically using techniques derived from scientific practice.

After finishing master level studies in software engineering orientation a student can also:

  • Apply existing and produce new SE knowledge for software companies’ needs;
  • Design and construct software that satisfies specified functional and quality requirements;
  • Act efficiently in global and distributed software projects or the open source community;
  • Analyse and evaluate software solutions from the perspective of software architecture and design patterns;
  • Analyse and evaluate software processes from the perspective of established capability and maturity models;
  • Set targets to self-steer and work towards those goals;
  • Communicate clearly and analytically using techniques derived from scientific practice.
Arrangements for Recognition of Prior Learning: 

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a complex process, which is done to ease the transition from previous education and training. It allows students to determine differences in educational approaches and recognize specialities when transitioning.

As such, an evaluation of each student's prior learning is included as part of the curriculum and personal study plan (PSP) preparation process. In Information Processing Science, the process of creating study plans is steered by an academic advisor.

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 degree programme in Information Processing Science offers full-time studies, equivalent to 60 ECTS points in an academic year. This is equivalent to 1600 hours of studying in an academic year. A Bachelor’s degree (180 ECTS points) can be completed in three years and a Master’s degree (120 ECTS points) in two years by studying full time. Degree programme in Information Processing Science offers lectures and workshops for the vast majority of studies. Some study modules also include a period of work practice.

Everything is based on independent study. Although instruction is given during the lectures and exercises, the student's motivation and their own contributions are the main conditions of success. During studies, the social skills important to working life are those most emphasised. A course by course content and teaching method can be found in the course descriptions

Teaching in the degree programme in Information Processing Science is carried out in four teaching period. Content and teaching methods for each course are given in more detail in course descriptions.

 

 

Language of Instruction: 

English

Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading: 

Studies for the degree can be completed by following the basic course outline.  This means that students studying in the curriculum will have general studies, basic studies, intermediate studies, and elective minor studies.  As a rule, courses are completed by passing an examination and evaluated by the course instructor. Grades are often determined based on final and/or midterm exams results.  However other assessment methods may be used, such as portfolios, continuous assessment, seminars, essays, written reports, etc. The requirements for course completion are listed in more detail in the course descriptions for each offering.

Grades are awarded using a numerical scale from 0-5 in the form of integers or on a pass/fail evaluation. A numeric grade of zero represents a failure to pass the course.  A grade point average for performance in the programme is calculated taking course weight into account.

In accordance with Government Decree on University Degrees (794/2004) 6 § Finnish and Swedish language proficiency assessments are provided separately.

Occupational Profiles of Graduates: 

Nowadays, software and systems development is an increasingly international business with frequent global projects. Information systems and/or software engineering skills, including a multi-cultural tool kit are required of its labour force. International and language skills, for information systems and software industry experts and project leaders, are a growing need.

Information Processing Science graduates have an excellent employment record.  Work orientation is already part of the learning process. In terms of employment, graduates are generally found in the ICT sector companies, service and industrial companies, and educational organizations.  In recent years, a number of graduates have also begun to work for their own companies as entrepreneurs. Typical Information Processing Science graduates have titles such as IT manager, project manager, software engineer, interface designer, usability expert, global software business expert, technician, IT consultant, IT expert, and researcher.

Access to Further Studies: 

According to University of Oulu regulations 16 § the right to study for a licentiate or doctoral degree is awarded to persons that have completed a Master's degree or those who have completed an equivalent foreign or domestic degree. 

New doctoral students applying for UniOGS, from 1st August, 2011 onward, must follow the graduate school application process. The University of Oulu graduate school's guidelines, regulations, and practices can be found on the UniOGS website

Graduation Requirements and Final Project: 

In order to complete a Master’s degree in Information Processing Science, the student has to complete the required courses in his/her curriculum (120 ECTS points). Major studies must include the advanced studies, the mandatory courses of his/her chosen module (information systems oriented module or software engineering oriented module), optional studies and a written maturity test. The studies must include advanced studies equivalent to 60 ECTS points at minimum. The major studies include a Master’s thesis. If the student has not completed in the course of his/her earlier studies the language and communication studies required for the Bachelor’s degree in science, he/she must complete them for their Master’s degree. More detailed requirements for the scope of the studies can be found from the curriculum of the Information Processing Science.

In the case that the student has already passed the maturity test and demonstrated his/her Finnish or Swedish language skills during his/her earlier studies, a summary of the Master’s thesis will suffice. A separate form is needed for this purpose. Thus, the student does not have to demonstrate his/her Finnish or Swedish language skills but still has to demonstrate his/her familiarity with the field of his/her thesis work.

Government Decree on University Degrees 794/2004, Section 6: Language proficiency

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.

A degree in Information Processing Science is a general degree.  As such, the degree does not provide a certification to any given profession as would, for example, a degree in education, law, or medicine. A Master's degree instead prepares one to enter IT industry expert and management positions. The degree provides sufficient language skills to accommodate section 6 of the Language Act.

Basic information

Level of the Degree: 
Master's Degree
Duration of Studies: 
2 years
ECTS Credits: 
120
Language of Instruction: 
English
Graduate Profiles: 
IT Manager
Usability Expert
Software and Information Systems Analyst
IT/IS Consultant
User Interface Designer
Location of Instruction: 
+358 (0)294 487452
henrik.hedberg (at) oulu.fi

Applying

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

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