Structure, content and study tracks

With a scope of 120 credits (ECTS), the Master’s programme can be completed in two academic years. The degree comprises:

  • 90 credits of advanced studies in the selected study track, including your Master’s thesis (30 credits)
  • 30 credits of other studies from the curriculum of your own or other degree programmes

The advanced studies consist of joint courses, 45 credits + study track specific studies, 45 credits. By choosing alternative modules inside your selected study track you will be able to deepen your expertise in particular areas of the selected study track.

The study tracks of the Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences collaborate across disciplinary boundaries to construct thematic modules around importance topical issues: the bioeconomy, the recycling of nutrients, food systems, and the production and exploitation of genomic information.

You must also complete a personal study plan (PSP). Your studies can also include career orientation and career planning.

Various teaching methods are used in the programme, including lectures, practical exercises, practical laboratory and field courses, practical training, seminars, project work and independent study.

You can find below the degree structure 2020-2023 of the Agricultural Sciences (AGRI) as a simplified figure. Under the figure, you can download the AGRI degree structure 2020-2023 and a two-years AGRI model syllabus 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 as a detailed pdf.

AGRI degree stucture

 

 

The Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences comprises four study tracks

Plant Production Sciences – plants as sources of food, feed, energy, beauty and wellbeing
During your studies, you will have the opportunity to apply biology to the breeding, cultivation, protection and production ecology of crop or horticultural plants. Producing sufficient food is one of the great challenges facing humanity. Plant production sciences have an important mission in finding solutions to this challenge. Plants are cultivated not only for food and feed, but also for bioenergy, green landscapes and ornamental purposes; plant production sciences seek new, improved solutions for all these purposes.

Animal Science – animal health and wellbeing
During your studies, you will become familiar with issues pertaining to the wellbeing, nutrition and breeding of production and hobby animals as well as with the relevant biotechnology. In this study track, you will apply biochemistry, animal physiology, genetics and molecular biology for the benefit of sustainable animal production. The Viikki Research Farm, in urban Helsinki, provides plenty of opportunities for hands-on learning!

Agrotechnology – technology with consideration for the environment
This study track provides you with the opportunity to study technologies that are key to agricultural production and the environment, from the basics to the latest innovations. Advances in technology and automation offer new horizons to fearless inventors interested in developing machinery and engineering for the reorganisation, implementation and adjustment of production in accordance with the needs of plants and animals.

Environmental Soil Science – dig below the surface
These studies allow you to literally dig beneath the surface. The soil is a central factor for the production of renewable natural resources, the diversity of nature, and the quality of water systems. As an expert in environmental soil science, you will know how the soil serves as a substrate for plants and affects the quality of food, and how it can be improved.

You select your study track when applying. More information about the modules (15 or 30 credits) and courses of the four study tracks of the programme.

The Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences comprises four study tracks, allowing you to focus on a specialisation according to your interests and previous studies. You choose your study track when applying. The four study tracks are: 

  • Plant Production Sciences - quota of 30 students
  • Animal Science - quota of 25 students
  • Agrotechnology - quota of 12 students
  • Environmental Soil Science - quota of 5 students

You can be admitted to the Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences either directly from the relevant Bachelor’s programme or through a separate admissions process. A total of 80 students will be admitted through these two admissions channels.

Direct admission
Bachelor’s graduates from the following applicable University of Helsinki Bachelor’s programmes can continue their studies in the Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences in accordance with previously determined criteria and principles (in Finnish) without having to apply separately:

If there are more applicants to any of the study tracks than there are student places, admission will be based on previous academic performance and the applicability of the previous degree.

Separate admission
Applications are also accepted from graduates of other University of Helsinki Bachelor’s programmes than those listed above as well as from graduates of other Finnish or international universities. In these cases, admission will be based on your previous academic performance and the applicability of your previous degree.

The teachers and researchers of the Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences engage in active cooperation with companies and organisations in the field. These partners participate in the planning of courses, comment on course contents regarding their topicality and labour market relevance, offer traineeships to students, and commission thesis research from them. They are also potential employers for graduates.

The programme’s teachers and researchers also have good contacts with research institutes outside the University, such as the Natural Resources Institute Finlandthe Finnish Food Authoritythe Finnish Environment Institute, and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.  Consequently, you will have good opportunities to find traineeships, summer jobs and thesis commissions outside the Viikki Campus. After you graduate, these partners will be your potential employers.

The Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences cooperates closely with the other Master’s programmes in the Faculty as well as with other faculties on the Viikki Campus. Cooperation in teaching and research crosses faculty boundaries, so you can choose from a wide variety of courses outside your own programme. Examples of courses available on the campus include environmental sciences, molecular biosciences, food sciences and business economics.