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

International Business Management, Master of Science (Economics and Business Administration), 120 ECTS Credits

Profile of the Degree: 

In the AACSB –accredited Oulu Business School, International business management education focuses on managing and leading international high technology, high context or high touch businesses. The ideas that are taught are combined from different fields of managing business, which make International business management a truly multidisciplinary field of studies and a close connection between theory and practice is maintained in all research, teaching and company projects. The distinctive nature of the education materializes through the combination of the problematics of management and international business especially from the viewpoints of innovativeness and entrepreneurship. The International business management education includes four core learning themes: theories and concepts of international business management, organizational applications, leadership execution and own voice as an international leader. During the studies, the students are involved in and actively participating in assignments for both small and large companies.

International Business Management education aims to give students the tools needed in managing, creating and developing various kinds of international organizations, also new ventures. Teaching that combines theoretical and practical aspects both in the contents and teaching methods provides tools and skills to create and manage growth oriented, knowledge based business in dynamic and global business environments. International business management graduates often work in international and internationalizing companies and organizations in various managerial or expert positions. Typical jobs include strategic management and leadership functions, knowledge management, human resources management and entrepreneurship in globally oriented private and public organizations. Jobs involve as well international sales and marketing, product and service business development and operational and strategic expert, management and development tasks in firms.

Through its focus on the challenging and complex international organizational settings and organizing contexts including multitude of actors and activities International business management education brings knowledge on proactive, innovative and collaborative practices that facilitate development of strong sustainable businesses and prospering areas in the globalized world. International business management concentrates on complexities in international for-profit companies and non-profit organizations, their relationships, wider business networks, or economic areas, such as states and nations. The critical realistic and social constructivist understanding of the phenomena is crucial for the social, economic, and ecological sustainability of business and organizational life. The mainstream approaches focus on large corporations, stress mainly the economic values, and overlook the relatedness of social and economic actions. This has resulted in lack of understanding of the integrated world that is a core interest of the International business management. Readiness to manage these issues is increased through International business management education.

Studying at the Oulu Business School is free and public (based on the Finnish legislation, Universities Act 2009/558 8§).

Courses Required for the Degree: 

The studies for the Master of Science (Econ. & Bus. Admin.) in International business management consists of four modules, each of which corresponds to 30 ECTS. The modules are scheduled for four semesters / two years (total of 120 ECTS). Module 1 concentrates on providing the conceptual and theoretical tools by introducing, e.g., leadership-related issues, internationalization behaviors, and strategizing practices. Based on this, Module 2 focuses on examples and applying of the gained knowledge and skills through considering issues such as modes of internationalization and international activities, legal issues in international business and innovation, and venture growth strategies. During the second year, Module 3 offers a chance to implement and apply the skills even more, for example, through project type of work. In addition, the knowledge on business research methods is advanced at this point. This knowledge is useful in the Module 4 where the student collects his or her knowledge into the thesis work. The thesis will emphasize either management or international business –related aspects, thereby offering a chance for differentiation. In addition to the different emphases, also focusing the thesis on the areas of individual interest strengthens differentiation and expertise. Often the thesis work is done for an existing business organization, or as a part of a research project. In addition to providing professional skills, education in international business management provides eligibility for doctoral studies.

Learning Outcomes: 

General Learning Outcomes

  • Analytical thinking and problem solving – our graduates are able to solve business and/or economic problems and make business decisions.
  • Disciplinary knowledge – our graduates demonstrate deep and coherent understanding of an academic field of study.
  • Business knowledge - our graduates demonstrate deep understanding of their own profession, and are able to use, process and analyze economic and/or business information.
  • Globally responsible leadership – our graduates are able to act as future generators of sustainable value for business and society.
  • Communication skills - our graduates demonstrate professional oral and written communication knowledge and skills appropriate for business situations.

Learning Outcomes in the Degree

Upon completion of Master´s degree in International Business, the student is able to apply and create knowledge about so as to meet with needs of multi-cultural organizations. The student is able to build and manage growth-oriented and international businesses in a successful way. He or she is able to evaluate and apply the conceptual tools of international business management in order to build up a comprehensive and holistic understanding of administrative and organizational phenomena as well as practices. The student knows how to set goals and work independently for achieving these goals. The student is able to communicate and argument clearly, critically, and analytically trough using scientific logic. The degree provides a good qualification for doctoral studies in the fields of management and international business.

Arrangements for Recognition of Prior Learning: 

Main principles and instructions of Oulu Business School for recognition of prior learning in the degree. 

University of Oulu Education Regulations gives information on recognition of prior learning in article 27. Please note that University of Oulu has defined the main principles of RPL followed by everyone, but each field may have its special features.

Modes of Study and Teaching: 

The student studies full-time, corresponding to 60 credits per year. This equals to 1600 hours of student workload per year. The full degree (120 credits) can be completed in two years, studying full-time. The studies are carried out as contact teaching.

Language of Instruction: 

Finnish and English. The courses are instructed mainly in English.

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, advanced 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. The assessment is often based on the grades of final or mid-term exams. Also other assessment criteria are used, including portfolio tasks, micro exams (continuous assessment), work reports etc. 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. When assessing doctoral dissertations and licentiate’s theses, verbal grading kiittäen hyväksytty (Approved with Distinction), hyväksytty (Approved) tai hylätty (Rejected) can be used. In numerical scale zero stands for fail.

In determining the final grade for a study module, a credit-weighted average is utilized. The grades of Pro Gradu Theses and Diploma Theses shall not be considered when determining the average of advanced studies.

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 attaining the M.Sc. degree in International Business Management work can be done in tasks related to business development and management in international business environment, such as HR Manager, Sourcing Manager, Business Development Manager, Consultant, and Entrepreneur.

Access to Further Studies: 

The Master’s degree (MA) is a qualification for doctoral studies.

Graduation Requirements and Final Project: 

In order to graduate, the student is required to have passed all the courses included in the degree, to have completed the master’s thesis and the maturity test in acceptable manner and to have handed out the degree certificate request according to the Oulu Business School graduation timetable:

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

Qualification Requirements and Regulations: 

The degree provides qualification to use the honorary Finnish title of “ekonomi”.The degree provides language proficiency required of personnel in public bodies in Finland, 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: 
Master's Degree
Duration of Studies: 
2 years
ECTS Credits: 
Language of Instruction: 
Finnish and English
Graduate Profiles: 
HR Manager
Sourcing Manager
Business Development Manager
Location of Instruction: 
+358 (0)294 487784
sinikka.moilanen (at)


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