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.

Other Master's Programmes (2016-2017)

Science Communication, Master of Arts, 120 ECTS Credits

Profile of the Degree: 

The role of science, research and technology is becoming increasingly important, both from the social and economic viewpoint. Due to this, it is extremely important that the public and decision-makers will have access to up-to-date and understandable information about science. Master’s Degree Programme in Science Communication (TIEMA) is designed to meet this challenge by providing its students with an opportunity to become experts in science communication and popularisation. The TIEMA Degree aims to facilitate students’ practical communication skills as well as their understanding of scientific knowledge.

By learning to understand the nature of the media and the scientific community as well as the language inherent in them, the students of TIEMA will gain the ability to work as mediators between science and the media. The students will learn to think analytically, use various appliances, retrieve, manage and produce information effectively, and work independently on projects.

The Programme comprises 120 credits, leading to the completion of the M.A. Degree within two years, with the possibility of continuing towards a Ph.D.

Unique in Finland, the programme is organised and run jointly by the subjects of History of Science and Ideas, and Information Studies at the Faculty of Humanities. The teaching language of the programme is Finnish.

Courses Required for the Degree: 

The programme (120 ECTS) comprises the following study units: Communication Research Studies (25 ECTS), Science Studies (20 ECTS), Practical Media Skills (40 ECTS) and Pro Gradu Thesis and Seminar (35 ECTS).

Further information: see the Programme Structure Diagram.

Learning Outcomes: 

The graduate will be able to communicate using the principles of popular science communication. He/she will be able to compare and assess the different communication practices inherent in science and journalism, and produce accessible popular texts on the basis of scientific research results and scientific language.

The student will be able to critically evaluate and describe various practices and key issues in modern and more traditional science communication. He/she will be able to use various media and apply the principles of scientific communication in practical communication situations. The student will also be able to address the popularization of science in relation to the history of science, philosophy of science, sociology of science, science education, politics of science as well as the ethics of science and communication. The student will be able to seek information from various sources and databases of scientific information. He/she will be able to apply various methods in communication research and the study of science.

The student will also be able to formulate and define a relevant research problem in science communication, carry out research on his/her topic and present it in the form of a written pro gradu thesis. The student will be able to draft and present scientific seminar reports and participate as an active member in seminars and workshops. He/she will also be able to describe and evaluate the professions and work opportunities in the field of science communication.

Arrangements for Recognition of Prior Learning: 

If the student has completed courses similar to those provided by TIEMA as part of his/her earlier degree, he/she may choose optional courses of equal unit value instead.

General university principles:

Modes of Study and Teaching: 

The student studies full-time, corresponding to about 60 credits per year. This equals to approximately 1600 hours of student workload per year. The full degree (120 credits) can be completed in two years, studying full-time. Teaching and learning methods include lectures, workshops, seminars, book exams, web-based learning and individual work. Some contact teaching may also take place in the evening.

Language of Instruction: 


Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading: 

The degree-related studies can be completed based on the curriculum, which means that the student studies all required studies in accordance with the curriculum. A Personal Study Plan (PSP) is compiled for each student, considering student’s prior learning and work experience. The study units are primarily completed by attending examinations, and they are assessed by the person responsible for the study unit. The assessment is primarily based on exam grades. Other assessment criteria including essays, work reports, continuous assessment, etc., can be used as well. Study unit descriptions give more exact information on the assessment of study units. Master’s thesis shall be written as the final work in the degree.

A numerical scale (0-5 in whole numbers) or verbal grading (Pass or Fail) is used in assessing a completed course. In numerical scale, zero stands for fail.

In determining the final grade for Science Communication studies, a credit-weighted average is utilized. The grade of the Master’s Thesis shall not be considered when determining the average of course grades.

Occupational Profiles of Graduates: 

Graduates are provided with the necessary skills and knowledge to qualify for employment in scientific journalism, communications, content production and other areas of science communication. They will be able to pursue careers in the public, private and non-profit sectors, as employees, entrepreneurs or freelancers.

Access to Further Studies: 

Graduates holding a Master’s Degree in Science Communication may apply for postgraduate studies e.g. at the University of Oulu Graduate School.

Graduation Requirements and Final Project: 

As part of his/her studies, the student will complete a Master’s Thesis in accordance with scientific practices. The abstract of the thesis serves as the maturity test at the Master’s level.

Qualification Requirements and Regulations: 

The Master’s degree (MA) is a qualification for doctoral studies as well a general qualification for many jobs in the civil service. The language proficiency requirements of the degree qualify the student for employment in the civil service according to the section on language proficiency, 6 §.

There are no official qualification requirements for communications professions.

Basic information

Level of the Degree: 
Master's Degree
Duration of Studies: 
2 years
ECTS Credits: 
Language of Instruction: 
Graduate Profiles: 
Communications Manager
PR Officer
Location of Instruction: 
+ 358 (0)294 483352
erkki.karvonen (at)


Applying Information: 
The master's programme is applied for through the