Oulu University of Applied Sciences began to offer higher vocational education in 1992. It responds to the business and employment needs of Northern Finland by arranging and developing training at the higher vocational education level. Oulu University of Applied Sciences has schools in Oulu, Oulainen and Raahe. Oulainen is situated 100 km and Raahe 75 km south of Oulu. Presently there are approximately 8,300 students at Oulu University of Applied Sciences. In 2007 the university admitted ca. 1,800 students to its degree programmes. Studies at the universities of applied sciences aim to provide students with a higher education qualification and skills that are needed in working life. Students work as trainees and prepare their Bachelor's theses in the partner enterprises and organisations of the Oulu University of Applied Sciences.
Oulu University of Applied Sciences offers degree programmes in the following fields of study: Culture; Natural Resources and the Environment; Natural Sciences; Social Sciences, Business and Administration; Social Services, Health and Sports; and Technology, Communication and Transport. In the academic year 2007 - 2008 there are 30 degree programmes leading to a higher professional qualification (B.Sc. hons). Three of the degree programmes are taught entirely in English: Business Information Technology (BBA, Oulu), International Business (BBA, Oulu) and Information Technology (BEng, Raahe). In all the other degree programmes the language of instruction is Finnish. The scope of the degree programmes has been determined in terms of credits. Courses and study modules are credited according to the amount of work they require to attain the required objectives. If a student needs to spend 1600 hours to complete their studies during one academic year, one should receive 60 credits. The completion of a bachelor's degree requires 210 to 270 credits, which takes from three and a half to four and a half years of full time study. Finnish credits are equivalent to ECTS credits. Degrees in universities of applied sciences are higher education (Bachelor's) degrees with a professional emphasis. The degree programmes are planned so that they meet the requirements and development needs set by working life. The degrees give students access to various professional expert positions in working life.
Oulu University of Applied Sciences offers the following Master programmes. They lead to a new type of Finnish Master degree which comprises 60 to 90 credits depending on the field of study in which the first degree is taken.
In accordance with the decision of the Ministry of Education the following Master Programmes can be started in 2008.
Two of the master programmes, Industrial Management and Information Technology, are instructed in English. All the rest of the master programmes are conducted in Finnish.