General information Instruction Examinations Degree structure Courses

Swedish language

Address: Swedish language, P.O. Box 1000, FI-90014, University of Oulu, Finland

Telephone: +358 29 448 3400 (office)

Website: (in Finnish and Swedish)

Staff email addresses are always in the form: firstname.lastname(at)


Admission requirements

Swedish language can be studied as a major subject in the Degree Programme in Languages and Literature by students who have successfully passed an entrance examination. To study Swedish language as a subsidiary (minor) subject, students must successfully pass a proficiency test in order to be accepted to commence studies. The proficiency test can be taken in the autumn term or during the entrance examination. Students in the degree programme in languages and literature who have achieved grades laudatur or eximia cum laude approbatur in Swedish in their Matriculation Examinations can gain the right to study Swedish language as a subsidiary (minor) subject automatically.


Study guidance

Study guidance is provided by the staff. At the beginning of the first semester, each new major subject student of Swedish language is assigned a student tutor, that is, an experienced student of Swedish language who helps the new students in getting acquainted with the new environment and with other practical issues. The student tutoring groups consist of approximately 10 new students and one mentor. Tutoring activities provide new students with the chance to get to know each other and, additionally, they provide a natural introduction to student life in general. Each new student will also be assigned a teacher tutor. Teacher tutors take care of matters or problems related to studies in a broader sense: choosing subsidiary subjects, vocational planning, study techniques, etc. Teacher tutors work with the students throughout the duration of their studies.


Swedish language

Studies in Swedish language mainly include studies in the Swedish language and Swedish culture, but they also include courses in related languages Norwegian, Danish and Icelandic.

A major in the Swedish language programme is composed of compulsory Language and Communication studies, Basic Studies (25 ECTS credits), Intermediate Studies (45 ECTS credits) and Advanced Studies (80 ECTS credits). A Master’s thesis of 40 ECTS credits is included in the Advanced Studies.

Subsidiary studies in the Swedish language programme consist of Basic Studies (25 ECTS credits), Intermediate Studies (35 ECTS credits) and Advanced Studies (60 ECTS credits). The Bachelor’s thesis in the Intermediate Level Studies and the Master’s thesis in the Advanced Studies are not compulsory for subsidiary subject students.

The current research in Nordic philology / Swedish language is mainly related to language learning, bi- and multilingualism, text analysis, pragmatics, organisational communication, translation studies, (historical) sociolinguistics and various types of contrastive studies. Researching older forms of the Swedish language in Finland is also one of the focus areas.

Postgraduate studies in Swedish language usually lead to a Doctoral degree, but it is also possible to complete a Licentiate’s degree. Admission to postgraduate studies in Nordic philology / Swedish language is granted by the University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS).


Subsidiary subjects within Swedish language

Swedish language as a subject answers for two subsidiary subjects: Translation (25 ECTS credits) and Swedish for Nursery and Elementary School (25 ECTS credits + 35 ECTS credits).

Those who have gained the right to study Swedish language can include the subsidiary subject Translation (25 ECTS credits) in their Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. The aim of the subsidiary subject is to give students basic skills in translation through theory and practice. The subject is especially suitable to those who wish to seek future employment in translation.

Translation is a prerequisite for all cultural exchange in addition to being an important form of communication in businesses and organisations. Translation as a subsidiary subject gives students an increased preparedness for working with multilingual communication in a professional capacity. The goal of the studies is to give students an overview of translation studies and to give them a practical understanding of the work of translators and interpreters in society. The studies include different kinds of analysis and translation exercises.

All those with a right to study Swedish language have a right to sign up for courses in the subsidiary subject. Students can choose to do all the courses offered in the subsidiary subject or to take one or more individual courses. For those who choose to do all the courses, these will be credited as an individual study package (subsidiary subject) in the Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. For those students who choose to take individual courses, these can be included in the Optional Special Field in Swedish language.

The subsidiary subject Swedish for Nursery and Elementary School includes both Basic (25 ECTS credits) and Intermediate Studies (35 ECTS credits). The studies are primarily intended for students in the class teacher training programme, who wish to gain qualifications to work as Swedish teachers in elementary schools, and for students in the early education programme who wish to become qualified Swedish instructors for nursery schools. Students of Swedish language can also sign up for courses within the subsidiary subject.

The main emphasis of the Basic Studies is on training the students’ articulacy, conversation skills and pronunciation, which are especially important for elementary level language teachers. In connection with the Basic Studies, the students will also become familiar with Swedish culture and Swedish society as well as the society and culture of Swedish-speaking Finland. The goal of the Intermediate Studies is to develop the students’ written and spoken language skills. During the Intermediate Studies, students are introduced to language teaching, language pedagogy and bilingual teaching from the point of view of linguistics. The Intermediate Studies support the students’ other pedagogical studies, which explore education from the viewpoint of pedagogical and didactic theories.


Specialisation options within Swedish language

The specialisation options within Swedish language are mainly Subject Teacher Training and International Business Communication.

Those who wish to become teachers can apply for subject teacher education via an aptitude test. Students who are not pursuing pedagogical studies can choose International Business Communication as their specialisation option during their advanced studies (4th–5th year). This specialisation option is meant primarily for students whose subsidiary studies have to do with the business world (e.g. Communication Studies, Economics). The Advanced Studies’ courses Intercultural Communication and Organizational Culture and Communication are obligatory for these students, as is a work practice (693706S Praktik), during which students use Swedish on a daily basis. The master’s theses of these students should also touch upon a theme within the subject of international business communication.


Employment prospects

Students of Swedish language become teachers or language experts within the public or private sectors. Different combinations of subsidiary subjects prepare students for different work duties. Those who wish to teach can pursue the subject teacher education through an aptitude test and become subject teachers. Those who wish to find a career in the business world can study economics alongside Swedish language and choose the courses within their main subject that have to do with international business communication. Those who wish to become translators can choose, for example, Finnish and Translation as their subsidiary subjects.


Practical instructions

The teaching methods vary according to the courses. In general, teaching methods include lectures, practice groups, and seminars. Completion of the studies requires active participation. At the beginning of each course, the teacher responsible will provide students with information on the course in question. Elective courses are organised as teaching resources permit.

Various forms of assessment are used in the department: written examinations, summaries, essays, learning journals, reading courses, group examinations, etc. The teacher responsible will provide specific information about the assessment methods at the beginning of each course.

A formal examination is normally arranged at the end of the course. Two additional examinations are arranged for those students who fail to pass the examination or who wish to improve their grade. Additionally, courses can be completed as book exams, written assignments or summaries. A reading course worth one ECTS credit requires approximately 100 pages of reading. Literature for reading courses is always chosen in accordance with the teacher’s suggestions. The students must register for all examinations at least 10 days before the examination day. Lists of course literature can be found on the department’s website.

Language training (3–5 ECTS credits) is compulsory for major subject students as well as for those subsidiary (minor) subject students who are completing the Advanced Studies package. Language training is a part of the Language and Communication studies and can be included in the Bachelor’s degree or the Master’s degree.

Swedish language arranges student exchange with various universities through the Nordliks programme of the Nordic Council of Ministers and the European Union’s Erasmus programme. Nordliks encompasses all the universities in the Nordic countries that have departments of Nordic languages or literature. In practice, this means that the department is able to offer student exchange places at various Nordic universities each year, without tuition fees. Exchange studies will be accredited in full in the student’s degree. Before the exchange, a preliminary study plan should be made together with the Faculty International Coordinator. This is done to ensure that the planned courses will be in line with the requirements of the degree programme. Studies abroad do not have to directly correspond with the courses in the programme; courses can be chosen according to the interests of the student. However, the courses must correspond to the required levels of standard and scope as set by the department.

Specific application dates are made available on the department’s bulletin board and online.

The following are important channels for information:


There you can, among other things, find information on:


Objectives of Study packages

After completing the Basic Studies, students are familiar with the various aspects of Nordistics. They have elementary knowledge of the knowledge and skills in the Swedish language and Swedish culture. They are also familiar with the main aspects of the historical development of Swedish and other Nordic languages.

After completing the Intermediate Studies, students are able to produce both academic and everyday texts in Swedish. They are able to conduct minor academic research, and critically evaluate and discuss various academic issues within the field of Nordistics. Students are also familiar with the outlines of the historical development of the Swedish language, and have familiarised themselves with the language and culture of other Nordic countries.

After completing the Advanced Studies, students have acquired a basic academic education as well as knowledge of the knowledge and skills in Swedish language so that they are able to work as language experts in multi-professional work environments in a competent and ethical way. They have reached a level of professional competence in Swedish language and have the ability to quickly and effectively acquire new knowledge and skills according to the principles of scholarly thinking. They are able to communicate in a convincing manner in speech and in writing.