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.

Language of instruction

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

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 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:

Career prospects

Building your career begins already during your studies. From the start of your studies until one year after the completion of your degree, the Career Services at the University of Helsinki give guidance and support, including career guidance and counselling, courses and events, and facilitation of mentoring groups. During your studies, you can also complete an optional traineeship either in Finland or abroad. Some of the organizations and companies where previous CE students have completed their traineeship are: University of Helsinki, UniPID (Finnish University Partnership for International Development), OECD...

Upon graduation, you will be well-qualified to work as a professional on issues related to education within administration, development, research and training. Some potential employers are governmental and non-governmental organisations, municipalities, educational institutions, consultancies and companies within the education business.

The degree of Master of Arts in Education provides general eligibility for postgraduate studies and qualifies you for positions which require a master’s level education. However, it does not provide a Finnish teacher’s qualification.

Changing Education online media platform

The Changing Education online media platform is a hub for discussion on groundbreaking research in education and a space for inspiring interviews with experts. All from a Changing Education perspective.

The platform was created by One Step Ahead ry (OSA), the international student association of the Faculty of Educational Sciences.

Check out the Changing Education platform and get inspired.

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!

Student organisations and communities