Thematic modules
The different thematic modules of the Environmental Change and Global Sustainability Master's programme are:


  • Baltic sea stud­ies (15 cr)
  • Food and sustainability (15-30 cr)
  • Urban stud­ies (15 cr)
  • Indigenous stud­ies (15-30 cr)
  • Sustainable de­vel­op­ment (15 cr)
  • Cli­mate change (15 cr)
  • Global land use (15-20 cr)
Baltic sea stud­ies

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.

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.

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.

Indigenous stud­ies

Indigenous studies gives you an opportunity to broaden your knowledge of indigenous peoples in a global approach. It covers the following thematic, methodological, and theoretical competences: indigenous research methods and ethics; indigenous languages and education; biocultural diversity, indigenous arts, and indigenous rights. The courses introduce to indigenous philosophies and concepts providing with new insights into epistemologies, power relations, as well as historical and contemporary perspectives in indigenous studies. Using innovative teaching methods, you learn about indigenous peoples’ knowledge-making processes, which are interactive and represent lived experience and detailed observations by many generations. Indigenous studies can benefit students planning careers in policymaking, environment and sustainability sector, education, social work, health care, law, economy, museums, and various areas of culture.

Cli­mate change

After completing the thematic module of Climate Change Studies, 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.
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.