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Regional Studies

Master's Degree Programmes Contact Information

Division of Biogeoscience
Division of Geology and Geochemistry
Division of Urban Geograpahy and Regional Studies
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P.O. Box 64
(Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2a)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki

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Institute of Seismology

P.O. Box 68
(Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2b)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki

phone +358 294 1911 (university exchange)
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Laboratories and Facilities

Bedrock Geology, Economic Geology and Geodynamics

Bedrock geology

Photo: Martti LehtinenThe focus of the program of petrology and bedrock geology is in the composition, structure and evolution of the crystalline bedrock by methods in petrology, geochemistry, isotope geology, mineralogy, structural geology, tectonics, geophysics and modern data analysis. The students in the program specialize either in pure or applied research, for example in petrology or lithospheric evolution,  or the petrological questions pertaining to the occurrence and economical use of crystalline natural resources.

Professor in charge : Tapani Rämö


Petrology (ancient Greek: petra = stone, logos = study) is one of the central fields in geology. It studies the origin, occurrence, structure, classification and history of the rocks - magmatic, sedimentary and metamorphic - in the lithosphere. Petrological teaching and research has a long and internationally respected tradition at the University of Helsinki. The modern program of petrology and bedrock geology answers the demands of society and instructs students in the composition, structure and evolution of the lithosphere by methods in petrology, geochemistry, isotopic geology, mineralogy, structural geology, tectonics, geophysical data and data analysis.

Specialization is possible in either basic (e.g. petrology and lithospheric evolution) or applied research (e.g. questions of geology pertaining to evolution and utilization of natural resources). Geologists trained in the program are placed in positions of research and teaching in universities, the Geological Survey of Finland and other research institutions in the field, and in posts in companies, industries and government.


Instruction in petrology and bedrock geology is composed of lecture courses, practical excercises, seminars, field courses and excursions, and it prepares the student for work in bedrock geology anywhere on the globe.

Photo: Tapani Rämö

A focal instrument in petrology instruction is the polarizing microscope, although the Masters degree program often includes methods in mineral chemistry, geochemistry, isotope geology and X-ray diffraction spectroscopy. Succcesful studies require minors in chemistry and, depending on specific specialization, geophysics, physics, mathematics or inforamtion studies. Handling of field observation or geochemical data in a geographical information system is also important in the program. Modelling, spatial data analysis and data mining are future foci in the courses.

Photos: Jukka Lehtinen, Helena Saarinen, Martti Lehtinen


The research done in the petrology and bedrock geology program, which includes master’s and doctoral students projects, postdoc-projects and separate research initiatives, is very extensive. Internationally, the Division of Geology is known especially for its research on granites, e.g. the study on the genesis of the Rapakivi granites and related rocks worldwide. In addition, other projects, such as work on the basalts of Antarctica, precambrian mafic volcanism and plutonism, continental lithospheric evolution and meteor craters have attained internationally significant results.

The research at the Division of Geology in international in nature, and is based on solid collaboration with universities and institutions in the United States, Brazil, Great Britain and france among others. The division is also in a responsible leadership position in several international programs in bedrock geology (for example the IGCP-porgram of UNESCO and IUGS). The main collaborator locally in both research and teaching is the Geological Survey of Finland, whose headquarters are in Espoo.

Photo: Pasi Heikkilä

Economic Geology

Photo: Samppa Bernelius

The students in the program of economic geology study the exploration and occurrence of natural resources and the processes of their formation. Students learn to recognize the type of formation, plan the exploration for unknown resources and the methods of preliminary evaluation. In addition to metal resources, the nature and quality assessment of aggregates is also taught.

Professor in charge: Thomas Wagner

Photo: Anna Tornivaara, Janne Hokka and Ragnar Törnroos
Photo on the left: Wollogorang, Northern Territory, Australia. (Anna Tornivaara)
Photo in the middle: Mt Isa Mines, Queensland, Australia. Dumpers (Janne Hokka)
Photo on the right: On the mine course (Ragnar Törnroos)

Photo: Janne Hokka and Anna Tornivaara
Photo on the left: Kupferschiefer, Puola. Field trip in Poland(SGA Baltic Student Chapter). (Janne Hokka)
Photo on the rigth: Osborne Mine (Cu, Au), Queensland, Australia .(Anna Tornivaara)