Architectural Design, M.Sc.

  • N/A
    Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English (take IELTS)
University rank #201 ,
The Oulu School of Architecture welcomes international applicants with a Bachelor’s degree in architecture to apply for the 2 year, full-time Master’s Degree Programme in Architecture, starting in September of each year. The Architectural Design program at the University of Oulu is instructed entirely in English and fully integrated with the domestic master level studies of the school.


The Oulu School of Architecture welcomes international applicants with a Bachelor’s degree in architecture to apply for the 2 year, full-time Master’s Degree Programme in Architecture, starting in September of each year. The Architectural Design program at the University of Oulu is instructed entirely in English and fully integrated with the domestic master level studies of the school.

The degree awarded, Master of Science in Architecture, is a professional architect’s degree, providing the qualifications to work as an architect and eligibility to carry on to doctoral studies.

The school’s teachings respond both to local and global environmental issues as well as the latest features in the field of architecture. On the other hand, local building traditions and extreme climate conditions offer great resources and possibilities for research and creating new architecture for extreme northern climates. The far-north location of the school provides an excellent laboratory for teaching e.g. lighting design, which is one of the specific subjects offered in the Architectural Design Master’s degree programme.
Aims and content of the programme

The aim of the International Master’s Programme is to provide knowledge and skills in architectural design, design of urban spaces, architectural lighting, detailing of interiors and exteriors, and basics of research and theory of architecture. The goal is to encourage students to develop a personal relationship with architecture and design. The Master’s studies provide graduates with practical skills needed in the architect’s profession and expertise to participate in research and to carry out post-graduate studies.

Graduation Requirements

To be awarded a Master's degree, a student must complete the required studies and Master's thesis and write a maturity essay demonstrating language proficiency (English). The diploma for the degree of Master of Science (Architecture) is awarded on request and issued by the Education Dean of the Faculty.

After graduation

University of Oulu graduates enter the job market as experts of the environment, economics, technology, medicine, education and culture. Research institutes such as CWC, Infotech, Biocenter Oulu and the Thule Institute offer possibilities for an academic career. Collaboration between the University, the city of Oulu, the research institutes and businesses is vast and productive. For a large number of companies, Oulu has been a favourable environment for their R&D.

Programme Structure

Course content

The degree is an architect's professional degree notified by the EU commission

The Master’s Degree Programme in Architecture (120 ECTS) is a two years study programme, divided into four academic terms, consisting of studio projects, theoretical studies and the diploma thesis project. The extent of each one term studio course and the diploma project is 30 ECTS. The programme is fully integrated with the school's domestic Master’s degree studies in architecture.

The contents of the design oriented study programme are based on the school's tradition and experience of teaching design closely related to architecture. The focus of studies is on studio projects, varying from larger scale public buildings to designing details - both for buildings and urban structures - with emphasis on sustainability. Additionally the lectures cover contemporary features of Finnish and Scandinavian architecture, and the latest developments of building materials.

The professors of the school are internationally recognized architects and researchers. The instructors are professionals who work both as teachers and as practicing architects and designers. The teaching is carried out in small groups and through individual consultations. International workshops and guest lectures by noted domestic and foreign architects, researchers and artists are an integral part of the studies, as well as group work in multinational student teams.

The contents and objectives of the degree program in architecture are based on the requirements of the European Union Professional qualifications directive (2005/36/EC) set for the education of architects (article 46).

The degree awarded is an architect’s professional degree, providing the right to practice the architect’s profession in Finland and the European Union according to the laws and decrees. The holder of this degree has the right to apply for the membership of the Finnish Association of Architects (SAFA).

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Study intensity Full-time
  • Credits
    120 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score: 6.5

    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Take IELTS test
  • Minimum required score (Grade C): 180

    The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

    Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

  • Minimum required score: 580

    The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

  • Minimum required score: 92

    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

Entry requirements

Each Master’s programme has its own specific admissions requirements. Before you start filling out the application form, make sure that you meet the requirements of the programme admissions. The following includes the basic information on admissions requirements for Master’s courses.

Specific Academic Requirements

Students who are on their last term/semester of Bachelor's studies can apply to study a Master's degree. Applicants with excellent academic records can be offered a conditional study placement. In these cases the applicant has to submit his/her Bachelor's degree documentation before receiving the final study placement offer.

Detailed Selection Criteria

The selection of students is based on the level of the portfolio and the academic content and level of the applicant’s Bachelor’s degree.

The main focus in the student selection is on the artistic level of the portfolio, reflecting the applicant’s ability to express him/her self in spatial and visual terms as well as ability to work in different scales, from large to the small.

Language Requirements

All applicants are required to prove a high level of proficiency in English language. All programmes ask the applicant to submit documented evidence of their level of English.

It should be noted that most unsuccessful applicants in recent years failed to prove their level of English sufficiently.

Other Admissions Requirements

Applicants are asked to submit documentation on their academic excellence, for example in the form of academic recommendation letters. Also other documents relating to the field of study are required. Please visit the websiteApplication Documents for the detailed list of required enclosures for application. Also note that all documents are listed as obligatory for application and no exceptions are made in requirements.

The application will be processed in the Selection Committee only if:

  1. The applicant submits an application in the requested manner
  2. The applicant submits the application documents in the requested manner
  3. The applicant’s previous education gives eligibility for a Master’s studies
  4. The applicant’s language proficiency satisfies the language requirements.
Application Documents

All application documents have to be delivered by the deadline. UAF does not process application documents that arrive after the deadline. Make sure that you know what documents are required from you and how do you attest your application documents to be valid and authentic. If you apply for more than one programme in the University, please remember to send in separate documents for each programme.

All submitted documents will be examined for their eligibility and authenticity. In case the applicant submits forged documents, the application will be automatically rejected.

Please note, that application documents will not be returned.


Digital portfolio is required to be submitted as a program specific application document for the Master’s Programme in Architecture. The portfolio must be sent electronically directly to the University of Oulu within the application period.

Contents of the portfolio:

The e-portfolio should present an illustrated documentation of the applicant’s preceding study of the Bachelor’s degree in architecture, including design projects from small to large scale. The material should be divided by study year and provided with an easily readable, short description of each assignment presented in the portfolio.

Additional artistic work of the applicant (e.g. competition projects) may be presented in the portfolio with a written description of the content and the year of completion. Team projects, in which the applicant is one of the actual authors, may also be included. Any material that is not entirely the applicant’s own work must be clearly identified and the applicant’s own particular contribution to the project has to be described.

Cover page is required and must include the applicant’s name and the UAF application number. Mark your name on each page of your portfolio.

Form of the portfolio

The portfolio must be submitted as a single, multi-page PDF-file with all pages in horizontal (landscape) orientation, in either A4 or A3 size. The maximum number of pages is 20 and the maximum PDF-file size is 15 MB.The portfolio should be designed and formatted for on-screen viewing (avoid double-spread layout).

Submission of the portfolio:

The portfolio is to be sent electronically by the application dead-line directly to the University of Oulu.

Document Requirements

Before submitting your application documents, there are a few important procedures to follow in order to make sure that the application documents are submitted correctly. These include having the copies of your educational documents officially certified and possibly translated. Detailed information on how to submit your documents is available here.

  • Degree Certificate
  • Temporary (Provisional) Degree Certificate
  • Transcript of Records
  • Grading scale

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • EUR 13000 International
  • Free EU/EEA


StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Testimonial Registration Module

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.