The Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Helsinki is well known for its expertise in studies on social justice and diversity in education, including sociological, cultural, psychological, philosophic, gender studies perspectives, as well as the use of educational psychology and neuroscientific insights.

In the Master’s Programme in Changing Education you get an understanding of education as a dynamic and transformable construct from the individual neural level to global policies. Your studies are theory-driven, science-based and hands-on and you gain the knowledge and skills to analyse, develop and influence the practices and structures of education systems, institutions, teaching and pedagogical issues. You complete the degree of Master of Arts in Education and become a future expert and change-maker in education.

Why Changing Education?

The foundation of the Master's Programme in Changing Education is international and multicultural awareness and competence. As a graduate, you will be able to:

  • understand and apply the critical evaluation of topics independently, as well as in co-operation with other groups and communities
  • critically and analytically evaluate, reflect and gain information on the constantly changing nature of education and society
  • work ethically towards more socially just educational policies and systems
  • use methods from basic neuroscience and educational psychology to improve teaching and learning
  • continue your studies in a PhD programme
  • work on education-related issues as a well-qualified professional within administration, development, research and training, for example, in governmental and non-governmental organisations, municipalities, educational institutions, consultancies or companies within the education business

Please note that this degree (Master of Arts in Education) does not provide a Finnish teacher’s qualification.

Structure and content

The scope of the Master's Programme in Changing Education is 120 credits (ECTS) to be completed in two academic years. The curriculum comprises compulsory and optional modules in educational sciences, courses in qualitative and quantitative research methods and culminates in the production of a Master’s thesis. You can also include optional studies in related disciplines, an internship and a student exchange period as part of your degree.

The programme is aimed for students who have completed a first-cycle degree (e.g., bachelor’s degree) in Finland or elsewhere. The language of teaching and studying in the programme is English.

The programme is structured around three topic areas:

  • Education, society and culture
  • Educational psychology and neuroscience 
  • Pedagogy, educational institutions and research-based teacher education

More information about the content and structure of the programme.

Courses and teaching

In the Master's Programme in Changing Education, your studies connect different views of diversities and equality in education, teaching, and learning. You study sociological, cultural, historical, philosophical, and gender studies perspectives with educational psychological and neuroscientific research.

You participate in carefully designed democratic learning where students and teachers work together with problems, ideas, materials and pedagogical tools in different contexts. You can choose from a variety of courses addressing current themes in education at different levels of schooling.

The content of the courses focuses on the three topic areas. All students take courses in each topic area and the optional courses provide space for creating a deeper understanding of the topic. You can check out courses in the online course catalogue for students at the University of Helsinki.

The language of teaching and studying in the programme is English.

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

Learning environments

For those students who intend to work in the laboratory-based neuroscientific research, please see the information of the Cognitive Brain Research Unit facilities.

CICERO Learning is a network of research in the areas of learning, brain and technology and offers our students facilities for state-of-the-art learning studies.

Minerva Plaza allows inspiring learning together.

AGORA brings together scholars from a wide variety of multidisciplinary backgrounds, who share an interest in critical theories and methodologies in education. Members of AGORA are interested in questions such as social justice, equality, differences, power, global issues, collectivism and multiplicity.

Master's thesis

The Master's thesis, an independent scientific study, is an integral part of your degree. The aim is to develop the basic skills required for conducting research, including:

  • defining a chosen research problem in the context of previous research in the field
  • finding information independently and assessing this information critically
  • mastering the theories and research methods required for the work
  • analysing data
  • communicating results in a clear and logical format appropriate to the audience

During a year-long Master’s thesis seminar, you participate in research seminar meetings, complete seminar assignments, write your Master’s thesis and present your findings in research seminar meetings. In the seminar meetings, you get regular feedback about your work from your supervisor and fellow students.

Upon completing the Master's thesis seminar, you will have advanced skills in critical thinking and writing, as well as a thorough understanding of your thesis topic. Given its scope and complexity, your Master’s thesis will also help you develop research and project management skills, which will be useful in a variety of professions.

Doctoral education

The degree of Master of Arts in Education provides general eligibility for postgraduate studies and a solid foundation for doctoral studies.

At the University of Helsinki, doctoral education is carried out in four doctoral schools. Suitable doctoral programmes are for instance: