Recent years have seen major changes in Europe, including the rise of populism, new forms of nationalism, radicalisation and, most recently, a pandemic that is changing the conditions for everyone not only in Europe, but on the planet, radically.
“Our traditional ways of examining the European Union as an institution are no longer valid. To be able to understand the changes and to form an understanding of the direction in which Europe and the Nordic countries are developing, we must take a closer look at social history, human thought and Europe’s political cultures. We will equip our students with excellent skills to do this,” envisages Juhana Aunesluoma, Director of the Centre for European Studies at the University of Helsinki.
The Master’s Programme in European and Nordic Studies extensively explores European and Nordic institutions, societies and their inter-relationships from the perspectives of a wide range of disciplines. The programme offers students a European perspective of the Nordic countries and a Nordic perspective of Europe.
The University of Helsinki provides a good learning environment for European and Nordic studies, and Helsinki is home to a unique cluster of research competence on the subject. The university’s central location in the Finnish capital is an advantage when exploring major topical questions.
“From the very first autumn they begin their studies, our students are introduced to research bodies and organisations, such as the European Commission Representation in Finland, working out of Helsinki. Helsinki is also home to actors in Nordic cooperation and provides rich resources to study them,” says Aunesluoma.
Helsinki forms the geographical and cultural-political confluence of the Nordics, Baltics and Eastern Europe, which makes it an excellent window into the field of study offered by the programme.
The Master’s Programme in European and Nordic Studies consists of joint courses and optional track-specific studies in humanities or social sciences. The University of Helsinki’s rich offering of specialisation studies gives students the flexibility to develop their own bespoke course in response to their own areas of interest and career aspirations.
Master’s students often commend the University of Helsinki for offering them broad flexibility to study and explore topics on their own.
A major element of the master’s degree consists of a research project and master’s thesis completed during the second year of study.
“Research is planned so as to be really useful also in further studies. This means the programme provides a sound springboard for doctoral studies either with us or at other universities,” Aunesluoma says.
The research skills gained from the studies, the multidisciplinary approach combined with the cognitive capacity to understand social trends in Europe and the Nordic countries are sought-after assets in working life.
“Expertise in European societies, institutions, cultures and political identities is in demand in all sectors ranging from institutions like the EU to organisations and private business. This programme provides the skills and knowledge directly related to the pursuit of a rewarding career in these demanding expert positions,” Aunesluoma sums up.