Environmental Change

The Environmental Change study track (45 ECTS) comprises of disciplinary major and minor modules. Major modules are 15-30 ECTS and minor modules 15 ECTS.

You can choose two or three different modules to complete the required 45 ECTS credits for your advanced studies. Some modules also offer the possibility to expand the module with elective studies to 30 ECTS credits for more in-depth competence within the module.

At least 30 ECTS have to be chosen from major modules, but all 45 ECTS can be covered within major modules as well. If wanted, 15 ECTS can be chosen from minor modules.

Major modules

There are five major modules in the Environmental Change study track:

  • ECGS-010 Aquatic Sciences, 15 or 30 cr
  • ECGS-090 Environmental soil science, 15 or 30 cr
  • ECGS-550 Changing Arctic and northern environments, 15 or 30 cr
  • ECGS-610 Agriculture and environment, 15 or 30 cr
  • ECGS-930 Urban studies, 30 cr
Aquatic sci­ences

Study module in Aquatic sciences offers students comprehensive knowledge on the functioning of aquatic ecosystems, both marine and freshwater, including their food webs, and biological, chemical and physical regulatory mechanisms.

Students acquire skills in planning and carrying out aquatic ecosystem research, including both experimental and field studies. The Aquatic sciences study module also teaches students to diagnose the main environmental problems of aquatic ecosystems and to apply research-based solutions; e.g. management and  restoration planning. 

En­vir­on­mental soil science

After completing the study module in Environmental soil science the student has in-depth knowledge of the advanced concepts and theories of Environmental Soil Science and can apply them in new contexts. Students learn advanced research methods in Environmental Soil Science and can apply them independently for research work. Students also learn to apply theoretical knowledge of Environmental Soil Science for solving advanced practical problems. 

Changing Arctic and northern environments

In the study module of Changing Arctic and northern environments students will develop an understanding of specific environmental issues related to the Arctic and knowledge of long-term perspective on Arctic environmental changes and human activities. Students get familiar with real-world problems and abilities for their management and solving.

The Changing Arctic and northern environments study module deals with central theories, concepts and glossary of Arctic research, including the questions of resilience, bifurcations and critical transitions. Students also learn key research methods and approaches and data acquisition means and become familiar with Arctic literature and topical research reports. 

Ag­ri­cul­ture and en­vir­on­ment

After completing the module, the student will gain understanding on agricultural production within its environmental context and impacts, and will gain some applied skills on planning environmentally sound production. Depending on the content of optional courses, the student can also deepen understanding between agriculture and environment from various perspectives of sustainability.

Urban studies

The aim is to introduce students to the basics of urban ecology and to help them become aware of the impacts of urbanisation on nature, the world and human beings. Both theoretical and practical courses will prepare the student to meet urbanization challenges, such as ecosystem degradation, policy issues, and management and planning. After completion, the student will be able to identify urban environmental/social problems, and have the toolkit to meet these challenges and solve the problems with other interested parties.

Urban studies can be picked as a major or a minor module. The basic (minor) 15cr module focuses on urban ecosystem ecology, urban biodiversity and urban environmental policy, and the advanced (major) 30cr module, in addition of the above-mentioned topics, includes skills such as nature-based solutions, fieldwork experience and a choice of subjects including ecotoxicology, urban climate and integrated methods in environmental social sciences.

Minor modules

There are eight minor modules in the Environmental Change study track:

  • ECGS-500 Sustainable management of marine environments, 15
  • ECGS-077 Chemical pollution, 15 cr
  • ECGS-700 Food and sustainability, 15 cr
  • ECGS-800 Global land use, 15 cr
  • ECGS-915 Urban studies, basic, 15 cr
  • IND-500 Indigenous Studies, 15 cr
  • ATM391 Climate University MOOC, 15 cr
  • VIIKB-201 International Master level studies, 15 cr
Sustainable management of marine environments

This module offers an overall framework for understanding, analyzing and solving regional environmental problems, using the Baltic Sea as a case study. The students will gain understanding about the causal interactions between the human and natural system:

  • multiple anthrophogenic and natural drivers and pressures that affect the marine ecosystem
  • contribution of marine ecosystem services to human welfare
  • role of mitigation and adaptation measures, national and international policies and marine governance

The students will learn central concepts and tools from relevant disciplines (natural sciences, environmental economics and social sciences) needed in the analysis of sustainable marine management and governance. The student will learn to work as a group to access collective intelligence and multidisciplinary balanced view to marine management.

Chemical pollution

Study module in Chemical pollution teaches students to evaluate the functions of drinking water and wastewater treatments, waste recycling, and related bioreactors and bioenergy production. Students learn to evaluate remediation needs and performance (contaminated air, water, soil) and to understand the employability skills, or commercialization possibilities of own competences.

Within the Chemical pollution study module students also learn legislation related to environmental biotechnology, relations between bio- and environmental technology and social sciences, and the basics of biotechnology product development. 

Food and sustainability

Having completed the study module each student will

  • have a sound understanding of the structure and functioning of the food system from the perspective of sustainability.
  • be able to find and interpret research reports in which ecological efficiency, environmental impacts, or use of natural resources have been studied over the whole production and consumption cycle.
  • be able to produce a list or an illustration of key issues in all three dimensions – ecological, economic, and social - of sustainability in these systems.
  • be able to use conceptual frameworks such as sustainable food consumption, sustainable diet or sustainable livelihoods, to address the complexity of the challenge of sustainability in food systems

In addition to these competences and skills, each student will have had the opportunity to deepen her/his understanding of food as an issue of sustainability through the choices of elective courses.

Global land use

With this module students may acquaint themselves with

  • Key concepts and current trends in global land use across a range of geographies, governance, and land types in the context of sustainable development and global change processes.
  • Main ecological, economic, and societal drivers of land use change in the context of sustainability.
  • Ecological basis of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures of tropical forests.
  • Basic theory and skills necessary to start working with remote sensing data to analyse land use change.
  • Main research gaps, the current hot topics, and future directions in global land use.
Indigenous studies

Indigenous studies provides an opportunity to foster knowledge of Indigenous societies in local and global approaches. It offers transformative and decolonial methodological and analytical tools to approach different Indigenous social worlds, power relations, and reconciliation. The program introduces students to Indigenous knowledge-production as a relational and interactive process. Engaging with diverse local and land-based learning methods, students became familiar with historical and contemporary perspectives and themes within Indigenous studies.   

This minor uniquely covers the following thematic, methodological, and theoretical competences: Indigenous education and languages; Indigenous research methodologies and ethics; biocultural diversity, Indigenous arts, and Indigenous rights and history.  

The indigenous studies module can benefit students planning careers in policy-making, environmental and sustainability sectors, education, law, economy, social work, health care, museums, and various areas of culture.

Climate University MOOC

After completing the thematic module of Climate University MOOC, students will master basics of physical, ecological and social phenomena of climate change. Depending on the amount and selection of optional courses, the student will also be able to:

  • describe in depth the origin of climate change in the atmosphere,
  • explain the effects of climate change on the structure and functioning of ecosystems in different climatic areas,
  • plan and carry out climate change related field research, and
  • participate in the discussion on the social importance of climate change and the means of mitigating the change.
International Master level studies

International studies upon agreement with the PSP teacher