General information Instruction Examinations Degree structure Study modules Courses

Englantilainen filologiaEnglish Philology

Address: English Philology, P.O. Box 1000, FI-90014 University of Oulu, Finland.

Telephone: study counsellor Dr Maarit Siromaa +358 29 448 3277, Academic Affairs Secretary +358 29 448 3400 Ms Helena Karjalainen.




Admission requirements and commencement of studies

English Philology may be studied as a main subject leading to the BA and MA degrees by anyone who has successfully completed their education at a Finnish secondary school ( lukio) — or achieved a comparable standard within an educational system offered in another country — and passed the University of Oulu’s annual competitive entrance examination. It may also be studied as a subsidiary (minor) subject by students already enrolled at the University of Oulu for some other main subject, but only after they have successfully passed a separate entrance examination arranged annually in the spring for their benefit; applicants should sign up for this examination through WebOodi ( by the annually specified date. The examinations for both main-subject and subsidiary-subject entry are usually held in May or June. Once a student has been granted permission to study English Philology either as a main subject or as a subsidiary subject, the registration status of ‘main subject’ or ‘subsidiary subject’ remains in force until officially changed through official university channels.

Course schedules are posted at the beginning of each semester in WebOodi and on the English Philology website ( Information on the course schedules is also delivered through the email mailing list ‘eng-students’, to which one may subscribe at In planning their studies, it is important for students to note that some courses are compulsory (and students must take them) while some courses are ‘elective’, i.e. students may choose them, if they wish, in order to make up the total number of study points necessary to complete their final degree. The teaching programme is planned so that students with English philology as their main subject are able to take courses worth of 60 credits – consisting of the compulsory language and communication studies and courses in English philology – during the first year of their studies. After the first year, it is important to start taking subsidiary subjects along with courses in English Philology. Students taking English Philology as a subsidiary subject may wish to devote more than a year to the completion of their Basic Studies. Due to restrictions on the number of participants for particular courses, it is absolutely essential that students who wish to attend a particular course sign up for it through WebOodi before the deadline set for enrolment.


Study guidance

The lecturer assigned to offer study guidance to students, Dr Maarit Siromaa (tel. + 358 29 448 3277), and the administrative staff responsible for English Philology, Ms Helena Karjalainen (tel. +358 29 448 3400), are available to answer practical questions and offer advice to students on their studies. Members of the teaching staff answer questions relating to their own courses and fields of expertise.

First-year students also have the benefit of the student tutoring system ( pienryhmäohjaus) and the teacher-tutoring system ( omaopettajaohjaus). Student tutors and teacher tutors offer  information sessions on special topics related to starting and planning of the studies. They are also available to help the students with study-related questions, problems and challenges. In spite of the help offered by the tutors, it is essential that students taking English Philology as their main subject explore the opportunities available for completing their degree—and check the requirements concerning subsidiary and general subjects—as soon as possible, preferably within their first year at the university. As part of this work, students are required to plan their studies at the beginning of their studies (OodiHOPS). The plan is updated when the students are doing their Bachelor’s thesis and again when they start their studies that lead to the Master’s degree. Although the staff (and especially those who have been assigned as teacher tutors) offer guidance and advice on this matter, students must in the end take responsibility for their own choices.


English Philology

English today enjoys a special status as the global language. It is written, spoken and understood throughout the world and has become the most important medium not only for international communication of all sorts (casual and informal, commercial and industrial, political and diplomatic, etc.) but also for the dissemination of scientific and scholarly research. This high status of English throughout the world requires high standards for the teaching of English on many different levels. The curriculum for English Philology is therefore designed to address these requirements and to offer a carefully graded mix of courses focusing on the practical aspects of using both written and spoken English, as well as courses in the fields of Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Literature and Culture.


Employment prospects

Employment prospects for students graduating with a degree in English Philology have been favourable for a number of years. The majority of graduates have found employment in language education, and the near future will see an increase in the demand for fully-qualified teachers of English. In addition to this, graduates have been employed as different kinds of language experts, and it is clear that the growing importance of English in the global community means that job opportunities for graduates in English Philology are widening all the time within a large number of other spheres, including publishing, the media, translation, business, tourism and the leisure industry. More information about career prospects and employment is available online (;


Practical information

All students must register at the Student Services Office when enrolling at the University and renew their registration annually thereafter, ensuring that their contact information is always up to date in WebOodi. Responsibility for student services within the Faculty of Humanities is shared between different offices. Information regarding these matters may be found on the websites of both the Faculty and English Philology.

Assessment methods vary from course to course: for example, some courses require regular attendance and the regular submission of homework or coursework, while other courses are assessed by a final written examination, for example an exam or a term paper. Information on examinations and alternative ways for completing courses is available on the English Philology website (shortcut “Exams” on the front page).

Immediately after completing all the courses in a study package (either Basic Studies, Intermediate Studies or Advanced Studies), the students have to ask the Academic Affairs Secretary, Ms Helena Karjalainen, to compile the package in their official university student records. On completion of each of these study packages, all students, regardless of whether they are registered within the main subject or subsidiary subject areas in English Philology, are awarded an overall final grade which is weighted separately for each of these three packages. In order to proceed from Intermediate Studies to Advanced Studies, students must first gain an overall grade of at least ‘good’ (H/3) for their Intermediate Studies. It should be noted that the final grade for each study package is based on the weighted average of course grades achieved at that particular level. Every course grade is first multiplied by the number of study points that the particular course is worth and the resulting ‘weighted’ grade is then added to the other similarly weighted course grades. Finally, the total obtained in this way is divided by the number of study points credited to courses weighted in this way. (Notice that the number of study points credited to pass/fail courses within a particular study package plays no role in the calculation of the overall final grade.)


Learning objectives at different levels

After completing the Basic Studies package in English Philology, the students will be able to demonstrate improved practical skills in their use of written and spoken English and to discuss structures of English and English grammar from different theoretical perspectives. They will also be able to identify and explain the basics of different fields of English linguistics and Anglo-American literature. Finally, they will be able to explain different cultural features of British and North American culture and describe differences between them. The Basic Studies package also familiarise students with the main modes of individual and collaborative teaching and learning encountered in the university: lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, group work, presentations, online teaching, examinations and writing assignments.

The Intermediate Studies package in English Philology is designed with two goals in mind. First, by virtue of its combination of compulsory and elective courses, it extends students’ understanding of the key areas of English Philology while allowing at the same time some room for the development of personal interests. Second, through its training in the basic skills of research methodology and presentation, it leads students majoring in English Philology, to the Bachelor’s Seminar and Thesis. And this in turn allows them—when all the other requirements have been fulfilled—to take the Bachelor’s degree (BA). Alternatively, for minor subject students, completion of the Basic and Intermediate Studies packages may be used to fulfil the requirements for a Bachelor’s degree in a subject other than English Philology.

The Advanced Studies package encourages students to broaden their skills as well as their knowledge base and to learn to apply them to increasingly specific tasks. These goals are especially important in the Master’s Seminar. After the thesis written for the Bachelor’s degree, it equips students with the formal and intellectual skills that are necessary for independent study and the writing of their Master’s Thesis (their Pro Gradu Thesis). The wide range of elective courses at this level is specifically designed to allow students more opportunities to pursue their own subject interests.


Students of English Philology are encouraged to exploit the opportunities for exchange studies at partner universities abroad within e.g. the Erasmus and ISEP programmes. For more information concerning these partnerships and the variety of different courses available at these partner universities, please consult the exchange coordinator Ms Miia Juusola, tel. +358 29 448 3232. For the transfer to Oulu University of course credits obtained abroad, please contact Ms Oili Sievola, tel. +358 29 448 3428. Visiting lecturers from partner universities abroad regularly come to Oulu and offer a variety of short courses at a variety of levels. These courses are not listed alongside the course descriptions below since they are arranged and finalised at relatively short notice, and students therefore need to keep themselves informed of the courses on offer by checking regularly with the web pages for English Philology.

Students who have completed their Master’s degree may pursue further postgraduate studies. Research currently being undertaken within the department covers a wide variety of fields in both linguistics and literature. Within the areas of linguistics and applied linguistics, particular attention has recently been paid by students to discourse and conversation analysis, language learning and teaching, translation, multimodality and computational stylistics. Within literary studies, research has recently focussed particularly on area studies (with a special emphasis on Anglophone literature and culture). Students wishing to pursue studies leading to a doctorate in English Philology must apply through the University of Oulu Graduate School (UNIOGS,




Basic Studies (25 ECTS)

Compulsory courses:

682374P Academic Communication 1 (5 ECTS)

682375P English Grammar (5 ECTS)

682376P Approaches to English Linguistics (5 ECTS)

682377P Introduction to Literature in English (5 ECTS)

682378P British and North American Studies (5 ECTS)


Intermediate Studies (major/45 ECTS; minor/35 ECTS)

Compulsory courses:

 682379A Academic Communication 2 (5 ECTS)

682380A Research in Language Studies (5 ECTS)

682381A Researching Literature and Culture (5 ECTS)

682385A Bachelor's Seminar and Thesis (10 ECTS, major subject students only)


Elective courses:

20 ECTS (4 courses)

In addition to the compulsory courses for Intermediate Studies taught every year, English philology offers a range of elective courses which vary on a yearly basis. Consequently, the students have an increased diversity of options to plan their studies according to their own interests as they progress through the degree system. Information about the offered courses will be available on the English Philology Website and WebOodi.


Advanced Studies (40 ECTS + Thesis 40 ECTS or 20 ECTS)

Compulsory courses:

682382S Master's Seminar (10 ECTS)

682320S Master’s Thesis (40 ECTS) OR

682343S Thesis in a Minor Subject (20 ECTS)


Elective courses:

30 ECTS (6 courses)

In addition to the compulsory courses for Advanced Studies taught every year, English philology offers a range of elective courses which vary on a yearly basis. Consequently, the students have an increased diversity of options to plan their studies according to their own interests as they progress through the degree system. Information about the offered courses will be available on the English Philology Website and WebOodi.