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

Physics, Bachelor of Science, 180 ECTS Credits

Profile of the Degree: 

The University of Oulu is one of the northernmost locations where it is possible to study physics and related fields of science. The teaching is focused on earth and space physics and physics of matter. The student also has the possibility to qualify as a subject teacher. Courses can be chosen from several interesting fields of science, such as biophysics, physics, theoretical physics and astronomy. Also the basic and intermediate studies of geophysics are completed in the degree programme in physics. The research at the Department of Physics is of very high quality. The department is an official Centre of Excellence in Research within the University of Oulu.

Several researchers have been very successful in gaining external funding. They are able to hire undergraduate students as trainees in their research groups.

Student guidance is included in the curriculum of the department: in addition to lectures and laboratory exercises, guided self-study methods such as exercise days and tutor room activity are in use. It is also possible to study in summer, since summer courses are organized quite regularly.

Courses Required for the Degree: 

The course structure diagram (attachment) shows the B.Sc. degree structure of each semester (autumn and spring semester) and the required study modules with their credits.

Learning Outcomes: 

A B.Sc. graduate has a basic knowledge of physics and mathematics, and of one of the special fields of physics included in the degree programme: biophysics, geophysics, experimental physics, theoretical physics or astronomy. She/he has the basic skills in making measurements, drawing up reports, solving problems and obtaining information. She/he is in the process of developing a scientific way of thinking.

After completing the B.Sc. degree in physics the student is able to

  • use the concepts and theories of physics to the extent permitted by the level of the intermediate courses
  • write reports of scientific research in physics at the intermediate level
  • evaluate critically the applications of the methods used in physics
  • compute and model physical phenomena at the intermediate level
Arrangements for Recognition of Prior Learning: 

The main principle for the recognition of prior learning in the degree programme is recognizing official learning. Courses of the degree programme in physics can be substituted by prior courses of the same level and approximately the same contents. The student must deliver a document and a course description of any previously completed course to the department.

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: 

A B.Sc. degree (180 ECTS credits) can be completed in three years by studying full-time. The lectures, exercise sessions, exercise days, laboratory exercises and seminars are organized on weekdays within the university building. The teaching mostly takes place at the university, but some courses may include home exercises and/or home exams. The studies naturally include a substantial amount of independent work.

It is recommended that the student completes part of her/his studies as an exchange student abroad.

Language of Instruction: 

The main teaching language for the Bachelor of Science degree is Finnish. English-language textbooks are used in many courses to supplement the lectures. Exams can also be taken in English by agreement.

Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading: 

The student completes the required general, basic and intermediate studies and the optional studies according to the curriculum of degree programme in physics. The courses are mainly completed by taking an exam, and they are assessed by the person in charge of the course.

The assessment is often based on the grades of the end or intermediate exams. Other assessment methods are also used, including home exams, laboratory reports etc. The details on the completion of the courses can be found in the description of each course in WebOodi. The courses are graded either by a numerical scale ranging from 0 to 5 or by the grades pass/fail. The grading system in use is notified in the course description.

To complete the B.Sc. degree, the student must write a bachelor’s thesis. The ‘Thesis and seminar’ course is included in the major subject module. The grade in each study module is calculated as the credit-weighted average of the course grades.

Occupational Profiles of Graduates: 

A B.Sc. degree provides the student with a basic knowledge of science. By deepening this knowledge for the M.Sc. degree, she/he qualifies for example for a career as a researcher or a teacher in e.g. an upper secondary school. After completing the B.Sc. degree, the student has the possibility to transfer to another faculty, university or educational establishment. A B.Sc. degree is a university degree which also opens up many possibilities in working life, where the student can individually develop her/his professional skills.

Access to Further Studies: 

The B.Sc. degree in physics and the minor subject module in one of the special subjects included in the degree programme lay a firm basis for the M.Sc. studies in the selected field of physics.

Graduation Requirements and Final Project: 

A B.Sc. degree consists of the general studies included in the curriculum and the required major and minor subject studies. A bachelor’s thesis and seminar along with a maturity test are compulsory in the degree programme. The maturity test is written on the subject of the bachelor’s thesis (in either Finnish or Swedish). The degree is granted on application.

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 B.Sc. degree qualifies the student to complete a master’s degree (M.Sc.). The language proficiency requirements of the degree qualify the student for employment in the civil service according to the section on language proficiency, 6 §: The decree on university degrees (2004/794), The section on language proficiency, 6§

Basic information

Level of the Degree: 
Bachelor's Degree
Duration of Studies: 
3 years
ECTS Credits: 
Language of Instruction: 
Location of Instruction: 
+358 (0)294 481311
juhani.lounila (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.