Global sustainability
The Global Sustainability study track comprises of disciplinary modules. Most of the study modules are 15 ECTS.

You can choose two different modules (15 + 15 ECTS credits) to complete the required 30 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.

Environmental policy and economics

The Environmental Policy and Economics module provides students with skills to analyze the economic, policy, governance aspects of human environmental interactions, and to propose economically viable transition policies toward sustainability. In particular, the students learn to incorporate complex institutional, economic, socio-political, cognitive, ecological and technological factors in their interdisciplinary expert assessments and recommendations.

In the Environmental Policy and Economics module students take part in innovative learning environments – such as group work, case studies, problem sets, simulations, discussions, lectures and text production. This degree prepares students for the challenging, real-life interactions that characterize contemporary environmental governance in the public, private and non-profit sectors. 

Environment and Development

The Environment and development study module focuses on long-term pathways and actual debates related to development and environment in the global South. After completing this module, the student is familiar with classic thinkers and theories and current debates relevant in Development Studies.

In the Environment and development study module, students gain good knowledge of the main principles and relevant approaches concerning the political ecology and multi-scale resource governance in the global South. The study module also provides students the ability to apply the acquired knowledge in empirical research and policy-oriented work. 

Consumer citizens and sustainability transitions

Having completed the Consumer citizens and sustainability transitions module, students have the basic knowledge and skills enabling them to work as an expert in sustainable consumption in the public or private sector. They understand the research paradigms and main empirical research findings concerning sustainable consumption well enough to evaluate competing theoretical perspectives, critique research findings and critically assess policy proposals.

After completing the Consumer citizens and sustainability transitions module, students are able to structure and analyse policy, design and communications problems in sustainable consumption and to collect sensible primary and secondary data to inform solutions to these problems. They also have a conceptual and experiential understanding of different ways in which such problems can be framed. Additionally, students improve their practical research design, methods, data collection, writing and communication skills. 

Forests, global changes and sustainability

Students will gain a holistic understanding of the crucial role of forests and forest-related people in realizing sustainability across multiple levels of governance, often in response to global drivers of change, such as climate change. They will gain an understanding of the fundamental elements of the ecological, economic, and societal dimensions of forests and their linkages.

You can find detailed information about the Forests, global changes and sustainability module in Sisu.

Science and technology studies

The study module of Science and technology studies introduces students to key questions in science and technology research, as well as to research conducted on the topic at the University of Helsinki.

After completing the module, the student understands how the interaction between science and society can be studied using different social science methods. In a similar way, the student understands how technology, technological development and interaction between technology and society can be explored using social science methods. Through their studies students get familiar with the key issues and theoretical approaches of some of the special fields of science and technology research. You can see course details for the Science and technology module from Sisu.

Baltic Sea Sciences

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 anthropogenic 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.

Urban Sciences

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.

Environment, Science and Society

The Environment, Science and Society module focuses on the role knowledge and knowledge-making practices in environmental governance. Science and technology form one of the principal ways through which we understand our environment and devise solutions to environmental problems. This module equips students with the skills to critically assess how knowledge is incorporated into practices of governance and, conversely, how governance practices influence the use of knowledge in the environmental domain.

The courses draw on the interdisciplinary field of science and technology studies (STS) and introduces students to the main theoretical concepts and practical applications of STS in the environmental domain. Having completed the module, students will be able to apply the theoretical concepts of STS to the analysis of environmental problems and evaluate the role of science and scientific knowledge in understanding environmental problems and creating solutions for them.