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.

International Master's Programmes

European Masters Programme in Software Engineering, Master of Science, 120 ECTS Credits

Profile of the Degree: 

The European Master in Software Engineering (EMSE) is a 2-year international master program, completely taught in English, in cooperation with the departments of computer science of four European Universities (Consortium):

  • Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), in Madrid, Spain 
  • Technische Universität Kaiserslautern (UNIKL), in Kaiserslautern, Germany Free
  • University of Bozen-Bolzano (UNIBZ), in Bolzano, Italy 
  • University of Oulu (OY), in Oulu, Finland

The programme foresees a mobility period: student have to choose 2 out of the 4 universities of the Consortium and spend one year of their master study in each university (50% of ECTS in each institution). The courses are project oriented. This means that students have a large offering of internships and projects to develop at the University or in a Company.

The course is built on eight learning paths on annual exchange and based on core areas, specificities, and elective courses (see Description). All partners offer a research methods course to prepare students to elective activities. Elective activities consist of a project (3,5-4 ECTS), an internship (4 ECTS), and a master thesis of 30 ECTS. Master thesis is co-supervised by two professors of the partners the student has visited. Students that successfully complete the program get a double degree from the two universities that have visited. Students are requested to attend a course of 2 ECTS in the local language in each university visited.

Courses Required for the Degree: 

If you take University of Oulu as your first university, then you have to take the 60 ECTS of courses defined in the Course Structure Diagram as first year studies. If Oulu will be your second university, then you take the 60 ECTS of courses defined in the Course Structure Diagram as second year studies. The courses in other EMSE universities can be found at the EMSE Website (Learning Paths & Study Plans).

Learning Outcomes: 

EMSE will prepare You to cope with professional practice that will encompass a wide range of activities, including technical, problem solving, management, ethical and legal issues, written and oral communication abilities and, very importantly, the ability to keep up in a rapidly changing discipline.

As successful EMSE student You will be also able to:

  • Have solid knowledge on foundations, methods, and techniques of requirements analysis and design, software process development, software design, and verification and validation
  • Employ the scientific methods of investigation in SE; in particular understanding and using mathematical instruments that support SE and its practice
  • Understand and apply principles, structures, and use of SE
  • Have basic knowledge of public, corporate and professional cultures and societies in Europe
  • Have practice in various software applicative sectors in the socio-economic context including the non-IT specific like health, automotive, energy
  • Be able to work in large autonomy also managing projects and infrastructures over different platforms, like cloud, distributed, or mobile systems
  • Have a command of the SE technical knowledge and skills necessary to practise as software developer
  • Have a command of the SE management skills needed to organize and control software project team work
  • Be able to reconcile conflicting project objectives providing reasonable cost and time information

Overcome the challenges of global software development and internationalization

Arrangements for Recognition of Prior Learning: 

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a 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.

Modes of Study and Teaching: 

Studies in Information Processing Science are full time, equivalent to 60 credits per year. This means that 1600 hours of student work are needed per year. With this full-time schedule, a student can complete the whole degree (120 credits) in two years. Courses are conducted primarily in the form of classroom teaching. Some of the courses also include practical/job training.

Teaching in Information Processing Science is conducted in four academic periods per year. Periods' start and end dates can be found in the department's study guide. For each period, detailed course descriptions can be found, which include details regarding teaching methods and techniques.

Language of Instruction: 


Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading: 

Studies for the degree can be completed by following the basic course outline. This means that students will complete subject studies, advanced studies and electives chosen based on the EMSE curriculum. As a rule, courses are carried out by passing an examination and an evaluation of each student's performance is conducted by the instructor responsible for the course. Ratings are often based on exam results from finals and/or midterms. However, other assessment methods may be used, such as portfolios, continuous assessment, seminar reports, essays, written reports, etc. The course descriptions for each offering will provide more details regarding how individual courses are conducted.

Study performance will be evaluated using a numeric scale in the form of an integer from 0 to 5 or else graded simply as a Pass/Fail. A numerical grade of 0 represents a rejection of the study performance and failure. A grade point average for the degree is calculated based on credits earned and course weights. 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: 

Nowadays, software and systems development is increasingly done in international business environment with frequent cross-border 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 in Information Processing Science 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: 

A Master's student in Information Processing Science must complete 120 credits in accordance with the curriculum, which will include compulsory major subject studies, optional electives, and written evidence of maturity. Advanced studies will comprise at least 60 of the credits earned. Major studies will include a written thesis. In addition, the studies in the other chosen university affect the graduation requirements. A more detailed study plan will be provided by the degree programme. See also the EMSE website:

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 from 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.  The Information Processing Science Master's degree instead prepares one to enter IT industry expert and management positions.

Basic information

Level of the Degree: 
Master's Degree
Duration of Studies: 
2 years
ECTS Credits: 
Language of Instruction: 
Graduate Profiles: 
Project manager
Software engineer
Global software business expert
IT expert
Location of Instruction: 


Applying Information:
Application Period: 
December 1st, 2015 - March 3rd, 2016