There is a global need for experts with a multidisciplinary education in atmospheric and environmental issues. In the Master's Programme in Atmospheric Sciences (ATM-MP), you can study aer­o­sol phys­ics, geo­phys­ics of the hy­dro­sphere, met­eor­o­logy, biosphere-atmosphere cycles, re­mote sens­ing or at­mo­spheric chemistry and analysis.

You learn to work with environmental issues and deal with matters like air pollution, climate change, deforestation, extreme weather and water resources. The ATM-MP also educates all meteorologists in Finland for weather forecasting, meteorological research and aviation safety. In addition, we educate hydrospheric geophysicists to work in the fields of cryology, hydrology and oceanography, and chemists and aerosol physicists to work in companies.

The ATM-MP is offered by the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry at the University of Helsinki.

Why Atmospheric Sciences?

There is a global need for experts with multidisciplinary education in atmospheric and environmental issues. Upon graduating from the Master's Programme in Atmospheric Sciences, you will have competence in:

  • applying experimental, computational and statistical methods to obtain and analyse atmospheric and environmental data
  • Knowledge applicable to solving global challenges such as climate change, air pollution, deforestation and issues related to water resources and eutrophication
  • Making systematic and innovative use of investigation or experimentation to discover new knowledge
  • Reporting results in a clear and logical manner.

Graduates of the programme have found employment in Meteorological Institutes and Environmental Administration in Finland and other countries, companies manufacturing instrumentation for atmospheric and environmental measurements and analysis, and consultancy companies. In addition, you get a soli foundation for doctoral level studies.

As a graduate of the meteorology line, you will be qualified to use the title of Meteorologist (in Finnish: Meteorologi), as defined by Finnish government decree 1039/2013.

Structure and content

The basic degree in the Programme is the Master of Science (MSc). The scope of the degree is 120 credits (ECTS). The programme is designed to be completed in two years. As a prerequisite, you will need to have a relevant Bachelor’s degree.

The Master's Programme in Atmospheric Sciences (ATP-MP) has six study tracks representing the different branches of atmospheric sciences. The study track is selected during the first semester of studies. The study tracks are:

  • Aerosol Physics
  • Biosphere-Atmosphere Cycles
  • Geophysics of the Hydrosphere
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Analysis
  • Remote Sensing
  • Meteorology

Your first year of studies will consist mainly of lecture courses. During the second year, you must also participate in the seminar course and give a presentation yourself. There is also a project course, which may contain laboratory work, data analysis, or theoretical or model studies. You will have to prepare a short, written report of the project.

There are also several summer and winter schools as well as field courses for students in the Programme. Many of the courses take place at the Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station in Southern Finland.

Language of instruction

All courses are taught in English, although you will also be able to use Finnish or Swedish when appropriate.

Courses and teaching

The units teaching in the programme belong to the National Centre of Excellence (FCoE) in Atmospheric Science – From Molecular and Biological processes to the Global Climate (ATM), which is a multidisciplinary team of the Departments of Physics, Forest Sciences and Chemistry at the University of Helsinki, the Department of Applied Physics at the University of Eastern Finland (Kuopio) and the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

Studies in ATM-MP consist of various courses and project work: lecture courses, seminars, laboratory work and intensive courses. The intensive courses typically last 5–12 days and include a concise daily programme with lectures, exercises and group work.

The preliminary syllabus for the academic year 2024-2025 can be found in the Studies service. Make sure that the correct programme is selected on the drop-down menu. The final syllabus will be published in Sisu. Please note, that some courses will not be lectured every academic year. 

There are also several summer and winter schools as well as field courses for students in the programme. Many of the courses take place at the Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station in Southern Finland.

You can also check out courses in the online course catalogue for students at the University of Helsinki.

The University of Helsinki also offers Finnish courses for international students.

Master's thesis

Your Master's thesis is the culminating project for the MSc degree, which you will plan and complete independently. The extent of the Master's thesis is 30 credits (ECTS) and it aims to demonstrate your:

  • familiarity with scientific methodology
  • ability to carry out a demanding project
  • mastery of the conventions of written scientific presentation

You will need to agree upon the topic of your thesis in consultation with a professor of the programme. The topic is usually related to research problems of one of the research groups within the Programme; commonly the group is part of the Division of Atmospheric Sciences.

Doctoral education

The Master's Programme in Atmospheric Sciences (ATM-MP) is a research-oriented programme and the degree obtained gives you a good foundation if you are interested in proceeding to doctoral level studies.

At the University of Helsinki, doctoral education is carried out in four doctoral schools. The Doctoral Programme of Atmospheric Sciences (ATM-DP) organises the doctoral education of the divisions and research groups involved in ATM-MP and thus provides a straightforward opportunity for you to continue with postgraduate studies.

More information about doctoral education at the University of Helsinki.

Internationalisation and networking


The ATM-MP offers an international study environment with more than 30% of the students and teaching staff coming from abroad.

The ATM-MP is part of a Nordic Nordplus network in Atmosphere-Biosphere Studies, which gives you good opportunities to take courses currently in fourteen Nordic and Baltic universities. There are also several Erasmus agreements with European universities. The PanEurasian Experiment (PEEX) project provides you with opportunities to carry out part of your studies especially in China and Russia.


The programme works in cooperation with research institutes (such as the Finnish Meteorological Institute and Finnish Environment Institute) and industry (such as Vaisala, Airmodus, and Dekati). International and national cooperation with different universities is described above.

Student story

Jack H. Raisanen studies Atmospheric Sciences to advance as an environmental specialist and get expertise in specific matters such as climate change, air pollution and biogeochemical cycles. According to him, there is an excellent cluster of research at the University of Helsinki, and the study programme is one of the best in the world.

In the future, he wants to advocate sustainability and the right for public participation in decision-making. He believes that we can secure an environmentally and socially just world for all by re-prioritizing what is valued in our society.

Read the full article.


Students and student life

Student life and especially the student organisation culture is exceptionally rich and diverse in Finland. Also at the University of Helsinki, more than 250 student organisations operate within the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY), ranging from faculty and subject organisations to political and societal organisations, and from choirs and orchestras to sports and game clubs. Their activities include anniversary celebrations, academic dinner parties, cultural events, get-togethers and excursions.

As a student and member of the Student Union (HYY), you are entitled to many benefits and services. For example, affordable student housing, low-cost sports services and student-priced meals. You also get numerous discounts, for example on public transport fees across the country. 

Read more about student life, services and benefits when studying at the University of Helsinki.

Do you have questions about studies or student life? You can get answers to your questions by chatting directly with University of Helsinki students. Chat with our students!