OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL (OBS): GENERAL STUDY GUIDE 2019-2020
This is a study guide for degree students in Oulu Business School’s master’s programmes: Financial and Management Accounting, Economics, Finance, International Business Management and Marketing.
Please note that this is an unofficial translation of the study guide and in the event of any discrepancies between the Finnish and English versions, the original Finnish version shall prevail.
In this guide you will find important information concerning your studies i.e. course descriptions, institutional study customs etc. However, it is recommended that you will actively follow the web pages of Oulu Business School and For Students for further and updated information.
Programme specific study guides can be found through the links below:
OBS - Master of Science, Accounting
OBS - Master of Science, Economics
OBS - Master of Science, Finance
OBS - Master of Science, International Business Management
OBS - Master of Science, Marketing
OBS – Bachelor of Science, Economics and Business (in Finnish)
For exchange students: Courses in English for exchange students
For exchange students and minor students from other faculties at University of Oulu: Minor studies
Oulu Business School is led by the Dean, Prof. Mikko Puhakka. Vice Dean, Prof. Janne Järvinen is in charge of educational matters. Responsible persons of Degree Programmes are University Lecturer Tuija Lämsä (Bachelor) and University Lecturer Sinikka Moilanen (Master).
Contact information for Oulu Business School’s management, teaching and research staff can be found at Oulu Business School websites.
1. STUDY COUNCELLING
Counselling regarding studies is offered by several staff members at the business school (study secretaries, education designers, teachers etc.). Programme coordinator is appointed to each new degree student at the beginning of the studies.
2. COMMUNICATION REGARDING STUDIES
The official communication channels of the business school are the business school’s email list for OBS degree students and University of Oulu For Students website.
Students’ email addresses are gathered from WebOodi system and hence it is important that the student has a valid email address in his/her contact information in WebOodi. To ensure that students will receive the emails without technical problems, it is recommended to use the official student email address given by the university (firstname.lastname(at)student.oulu.fi).
3. ACADEMIC CALENDAR
At Finnish universities, the academic year consists of two terms.
September – December
January – May
In the spring term, classes finish by early May but some exams can be taken up until the end of May. The actual starting and ending date of studies depends on the field of study and the courses taken.
During academic year 2019-2020 the following teaching periods are followed at the University of Oulu:
Orientation week for
first year students
week 36 (2.9.–6.9.2019)
weeks 36-43 (2.9.–25.10.2019)
weeks 44-51 (28.10.–20.12.2019)
weeks 2-10 (6.1.–6.3.2020)
weeks 11-19 (9.3.–8.5.2020)
weeks 20-22 (11.5.–29.5.2020)
weeks 23-36 (1.6.–31.8.2020)
Exams are arranged also during intensive period and summer term.
4. STUDY LANGUAGE
In the Bachelor programme, most of the courses are only available in Finnish. About 25% of the courses in business and economics are held in English. Study materials can be in either Finnish or in English.
In the Master’s programmes, the courses are arranged mostly in English. It is possible to do exams and other course work also in Finnish.
5. REGISTRATION ON COURSES AND EXAMS
WebOodi is online system for students at the University of Oulu. In WebOodi, students can make an annual registration as attending or non-attending, see degree requirements and view instruction from course catalogues, make a personal study plan (OodiPSP), register for teaching and exams, follow received credits, order an official transcript and change contact information.
In WebOodi, students must register for courses and exams. Students also need to cancel registration before the registration deadline, if wanting to cancel participation. This is important, as the amount of registered students affects for example the choice of teaching methods (lecture, group work etc.), planning the study materials and also the room reservations.
Students who have registered in time and who have an appropriate study right can be accepted to participate in the course. The teacher of the course can limit the number of participants and cancel the registration for students, who have not registered in time or who do not have a study right for the course in question. In other words, student must always have a study right for the course and also register in time for each course and exam.
For exams, there is always a mandatory registration in WebOodi. Exam will be graded only if the student has registered in time for the course and the student has a valid study right for the course. In other words, without the study right and registration, exam will not be graded.
It is also worthwhile to notice that it is not possible to register for courses or exams, once the registration period for the course/exam has closed.
If the student has registered for an exam, but is not going to attend it after all, the registration must be cancelled in order to avoid excess work being caused for the staff.
All students must familiarize themselves with the Exam instructions.
6. STUDENT FEEDBACK
University of Oulu course feedback system is an integrated feedback channel for the all courses in the University of Oulu. The feedback system can be found here.
Feedback system works automatically based on WebOodi registration status. The tool searches through students courses and lists the on-going courses for which student can give feedback. The system will also remind student to provide feedback at the beginning of the course and before the closing of the feedback. Student can give feedback to the whole class, or allocate feedback to different parts of the course according to students’ registration.
To be able to give feedback, student must be registered for the course in WebOodi. Giving feedback is anonymous, so the receiver of the feedback cannot identify student.
Feedback is processed by the teacher of the course. Also, departmental and faculty management can process the feedback. Compilations made from the numerical feedback data can further be discussed in the Education Committee of the school. Feedback is used to improve the courses.
For the teachers it is possible to comment on the received feedback through the system. Comments can include, for example, summaries of the feedback and the plan on further development of the course.
In addition to the course feedback, there are certain other surveys aimed for students. For example, all graduating students are asked to fill in a survey about their studies in Oulu when they are applying for the degree certificate. Also, there are some other surveys for different kinds of student groups (for example: Student Association Finanssi’s survey, International Student Barometer).
7. STUDY MATERIALS AND ONLINE TOOLS
At the University of Oulu, several electronic systems related to studies are in use. These include: WebOodi, Moodle, Exam, Tuudo, OSAT, Laturi. More information and links to the systems can be found on the University of Oulu website.
Many of the systems retrieve students’ contact information from WebOodi, so students should keep especially the email address up-to-date in WebOodi.
8. GRADING OF STUDIES IN DEGREE CERTIFICATE
The grading scale for courses is usually from 0 to 5, with a zero grade equalling a fail. Some courses are graded as pass/failed.
The grading scale for thesis is from 0 to 5, with a zero grade equaling a fail.
All grades are recorded in the student’s grade register. Completed courses cannot be removed from the student’s transcript of records. Only courses that are part of the degree structure (120 ECTS) are included in the degree certificate and the attached transcript of records.
In the degree certificate (diploma), there will be following details: 1) overall grade for advanced studies and 2) overall grade for intermediate and basic studies.
Overall grade is formed according to following details:
average grade overall grade
4,50–5,00 excellent (5)
3,50–4,49 very good (4)
2,50–3,49 good (3)
1,50–2,49 satisfactory (2)
1,00–1,49 sufficient (1)
Grade of the master’s thesis is not included in the overall grade. The grade of the thesis is given separately in the degree certificate.
However, in order to be awarded an overall grade ”very good” (4) for the advanced studies, the master’s thesis needs to be graded at least ”satisfactory” (2). In addition, in order to be awarded an overall grade “excellent” (5), master’s thesis grade needs to be at least “good” (3).
9. RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING
Oulu Business School follows the guidelines regarding recognition of prior learning, set by the University of Oulu.
Recognition of prior learning (RPL) refers to transferring credits through previously acquired skills and competencies. These competencies may have been acquired through formal studies or a variety of non-formal and informal means, including life and work experience. RPL is part of study planning and preparation of a personal study plan (PSP). At the Oulu Business School, the PSP process is supervised by tutor teachers (programme coordinator) and study counselors.
More information can be found on the Univeristy of Oulu website.
In order to apply for credit transfer, Oulu Business School students send their application through Student's e-Services OSAT-system. Student can login to OSAT-system with university user account. Only PDF-format (file extension.pdf) application attachments are accepted.
9.1. Restrictions regarding credit transfer:
In Master’s degree, at least 60 credits of the degree studies must be completed at the Oulu Business School.
Thesis cannot be substituted with studies completed at other universities. Thesis and maturity exam must always be written for and accepted by the Oulu Business School.
It is not possible to apply for credit transfer for a course that has already been completed at the University of Oulu. That is, it is not possible to get credits twice for the same kind of course.
Courses already included in another degree cannot be transferred and included in the Master’s degree.
Only master level studies completed at a research university can be taken into consideration when applying for credit transfer at master’s level.
The courses need to match the contents and requirements of the student’s degree programme.
The studies to be credited cannot be more than 10 years old.
Please note that Oulu Business School will only be able to process credit transfers for courses belonging in the field of economics and business administration, i.e. all other studies (languages, math, statistical studies etc.) will be dealt with by the University of Oulu language and communication and the Faculty of Science respectively.
9.2. Required attachments for RPL-application are (pdf):
More information on the RPL process can be found on the University of Oulu website.
9.3. Exchange studies and credit transfer
Studies completed during an exchange semester must be transferred in the student’s degree, if the courses in question are of appropriate field and level. Study plan for the exchange semester must be approved in advance. See detailed instructions from For Students website.
10. THESIS AND MATURITY EXAM
At the Oulu Business School, master’s theses are evaluated by the responsible person of the Master’s Programmes. The evaluation is based on a written statement, made by the thesis reviewers. One part of the evaluation process is the maturity exam written by the student. The process is described below in more detail.
The schedule for maturity exams, evaluation of the theses and graduation can be found on the Oulu Business School website.
Information about the master’s thesis enrollment, seminars, instructions etc. can be found on the Oulu Business School website.
10.1. Process for evaluating the thesis and writing the maturity exam
Once the thesis supervisor regards that the thesis fulfills the criteria set for thesis work, the supervisor grants the student a permission to upload the thesis into the Laturi system and informs both the student and business school study office.
Once the student has received the permission, he/she can upload the thesis in PDF/A format into the Laturi system. Student needs to follow the business schools’ graduation schedule (see the link above). Typically, the thesis needs to be uploaded into Laturi one month before the evaluation day.
The thesis reviewers (2) are appointed by the programme director or the vice dean for education. One of the reviewers is usually the thesis supervisor. After the reviewers have been appointed, the reviewers need to give their evaluation about the thesis within one month’s time. In the evaluation, the reviewers either propose to accept the thesis and suggest a grade for the thesis or they propose that the thesis will be rejected. The reviewers need to submit their evaluation to the business school’s study office.
After the student has been granted the permission to upload the thesis into Laturi system, he/she can sign-up for the maturity exam. Maturity exams are written in the Examinarium. The exam needs to be done at least 3 weeks before the desired thesis evaluation day (see link for the graduation schedule above).
The exam date must be agreed with the thesis supervisor in good time before the exam, so that the supervisor can prepare the exam and send it to the Examinarium staff. The student also needs to sign-up for the exam according to the Examinarium instructions.
Maturity exam is mandatory for all degree students, including foreign degree students. In the exam, the student needs to show expertise on the theme of the thesis.
Maturity exam is usually written in schooling language (language used in primary school or high school). However, students whose native language is not Finnish or Swedish, do not need to prove Finnish/Swedish language skills related to the maturity exam, but they will write the exam in English. All other students need to prove Finnish/Swedish language skills with the maturity exam.
Maturity exam is required also from students who have written a maturity exam during previous degree studies (Bachelor’s thesis maturity exam, for example). If the student has already proven Finnish/Swedish language skills with the previous maturity exam, the language skills do not need to be proven again.
Maturity exam is graded by one of the thesis reviewers (contents) and by language expert (Finnish/Swedish language skills). The grading must be done within 3 weeks time and the grading scale is fail/accepted.
Student who is not satisfied with the grading, must make a written appeal and deliver it to the university’s Board of Examiners within 14 days after the grade for the thesis has been made available to the student.
After the reviewers have submitted their evaluation of the thesis and the student’s maturity exam has been accepted, the thesis can be graded by the responsible person of the Master's programmes or the vice dean for education.
The grading scale for theses is from 0 to 5, with a zero grade equalling a fail.
If the student is not satisfied with the grading of the thesis, he/she can make a written appeal about the grading. The appeal needs to reach the University of Oulu Board of Examiners within 14 days after the grade for the thesis has been made available to the student. The student can, for example, ask for the grade from the OBS study office one day after the evaluation day. The student can also ask for a copy of the reviewers’ statement.
All theses made for the Oulu Business School are public after they have been graded. If the thesis includes matters that are to trade secrets or non-public for some other reason, those matters are not to be included in the thesis to be graded. Instead, those matters should be left to the thesis’ background material.
As has been described here, the reviewing and grading of the thesis is a time-consuming process. It should be noticed that it is possible for the student to receive the degree certificate after two weeks of the thesis grading, at the earliest. The degree certificates are given according to the graduation schedule on the business school’s website.
Taking into consideration the time needed for reviewing the thesis, writing the maturity exam, evaluation of the thesis and the maturity exam (and also possible appeals), usually it takes about 1,5 to 2 months between Laturi permission and the receipt of the degree certificate.
In order to graduate, the student must have completed all courses required for the degree, including the master’s thesis and the maturity exam.
The student must first get the studies checked by the business school’s study secretary and then apply for the degree certificate.
More information and a schedule for graduation can be found on the Oulu Business School website.
12. PLAGIARISM AND FRAUD
Oulu Business School follows the guidelines regarding student discipline and fraud, set by the University of Oulu.
Code of conduct for the prevention and processing of misconduct in studies at University of Oulu.
13. DEGREE PROGRAMMES & COURSE REQUIREMENTS
In Oulu Business School there is one Bachelor programme:
and five Master of Science (Econ. & Bus. Adm.) programmes:
Students are accepted into the master’s programmes through the master’s programme admissions. In addition, Oulu Business School’s bachelor’s degree students continue their studies in the OBS master’s programmes.
All students at the business school complete their courses according the current Government Decree on University Degrees (794/2004). The Bachelors’ degree (Bachelor of Science, 180 ECTS credits) consists of joint courses for all students, major studies and minor studies. Studies are described in more detail in the Bachelor programme study guide (in Finnish).
The Master’s degree (Master of Science, 120 ECTS credits) consists mainly of major studies. In addition, there can be other studies (internship, language studies etc.) depending on the student’s degree programme.
A person who has completed the Master of Science (Econ. & Bus.Adm.) degree is entitled to use the Finnish honorary title “ekonomi”.
In the Bachelor’s degree, the main language of instruction is Finnish. About 25% of the business and economics studies are taught in English.
In the Master’s degree, the main language of instruction is English. Course work (for example exams) can be written in Finnish, too.
The current Government Decree on University Degrees (794/2004) has been in act since 1.8.2005. The English version of the Decree can be found on Finlex website.
Each student must follow the Oulu Business School’s degree requirements that were in place in the student’s first year of studies. In the event of course changes within the degree programme (new courses added to the programme or old ones removed), the student can choose substituting courses from the latest degree programme structure (within the same programme).
As of 2005, all Finnish universities began using the ECTS grading system (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System). The number of ECTS credits is based on the amount of work required to achieve desired learning outcomes for a course or a study module. Today one ECTS credit corresponds to 27 h of work making the student workload in full-time study (60 ECTS credits) 1600 hours per academic year.
14. EXCHANGE STUDIES
For OBS students, there are several options for exchange studies. It is possible to apply for an Erasmus exchange in Europe or via NOREK to Nordic countries. OBS has also exchange partner universities outside Europe, mainly in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Japan. In addition, the University of Oulu has several university-wide exchange agreements outside Europe. These exchange destinations are also available to OBS students, if they offer business studies.
Requirements for exchange studies
Students accepted for an exchange must have completed their first year of studies (about 60 credits) before the exchange begins. Bachelor Level students are advised to go on exchange during the Autumn Semester of their 3rd year. In order to do Master Level studies on exchange, the students must have completed their Bachelor Degree before the exchange begins.
Exchange students must have sufficient language skills to be accepted on exchange. The most common minimum level requirement is B2 (CEFR scale) in English. Some host universities (especially outside Europe) require an international language test (IELTS or TOEFL).
All studies done during exchange must be transferred in the student’s degree in Oulu Business School. Students must submit a study plan of 25-30 credits for exchange studies and get the study plan accepted before the exchange. After the exchange the studies are transferred through Recognition of Prior Learning application in OSAT system, more information can be found on For Students website.
More information on exchange studies can be found on For Students website.
15. WORKING LIFE RELEVANCE
All master’s programmes at the Oulu Business School are firmly connected to working life. Courses include real-life projects and internships that are made for companies. In company projects students create solutions to the challenges presented by the companies.
Through internships and mentoring programme students will familiarize themselves with working life, create contacts and get to know different kind of tasks at the host companies. In addition, many of the master’s theses are made as assignments for companies.
Internship is a voluntary part of all Master’s degree programmes at the Oulu Business School. Information about internships and different kinds of grant options can be found on the Oulu Business School website.
University of Oulu mentoring programme is offered for both international and Finnish students and is carried out in English. The mentoring programme aims to support the student with his/her study and career related decisions and career planning. Students have a mentor, with whom they discuss career-related topics. More information about the mentoring programme can be found on the University of Oulu website.
All University of Oulu graduates with a Bachelor's, Master's or a Doctoral Degree are alumni. The Alumni Network is an online free-of-charge service for all alumni to keep in touch with fellow alumni and the University. More information can be found on the University of Oulu website.
16. DOCTORAL STUDIES
In Oulu Business School a student can earn the following degrees after completing a Master of Science degree: Doctor of Science (Economics & Business Administration) or Licentiate degree. The programme is called;
Oulu Business School doctoral degree programme,
and students can choose to specialize in one of the following majors: accounting, economics, finance, international business, management and marketing.
The University of Oulu has established a university–wide graduate school (University of Oulu Graduate School, UniOGS), which started its activities on 1.8.2011. The goal of the UniOGS is to provide the framework for the doctoral education of all students at the University of Oulu.
The graduate school’s main task is to provide a high quality doctoral education at the University of Oulu. This implies the adoption of some standardized practices for doctoral education at the University of Oulu, which are expected to lead to changes in the application process for the admission of students, the study requirements, the supervision, the follow-up processes, and the processes related to the doctoral dissertation.
New doctoral students will apply study right for doctoral studies from University of Oulu Graduate School. Current students, who have been granted study rights for doctoral training from a Faculty of the University of Oulu before 01.08.2011, are requested to register in the Graduate school. Please contact Human Sciences coordinator of the Graduate School: PhD Elina Pernu (email@example.com). Additional information can be found on the UniOGS website.
Guidelines for doctoral studies and a business school study guide for doctoral students can be found on the Oulu Business School website.