Teaching in the Master's Programme in Forest Sciences at the University of Helsinki is based on top level research. The goal of our teaching is to educate students to become experts in the field of forest sciences.

Studies in the programme provide a strong basis that spurs on independent and critical thinking. Multidisciplinary thinking and problem-solving skills are emphasized in teaching. Students learn to evaluate forest-related phenomena that influence ecological, economical and social issues.

Why Forest Sciences?

Do you want to affect the future of forests, a key natural resource and the wellspring of biodiversity? Have you ever wondered why forests are called the lungs of the Earth and how climate change relates to forests? Or how trees are grown and processed into products in a sustainable and efficient manner? And how are the economy and forests interrelated?

You can find answers to these questions when you study forest sciences. You will come to view forests not only as a setting for jogging trails or as a source of wood, but rather as a source of versatile renewable resources and as complex ecological systems that are closely connected to their environment. The relationship between humans and nature and between society and natural resources is a strong feature of these studies.

The Master’s Programme in Forest Sciences offers a broad and versatile perspective on forests and their use. The studies focus on and apply knowledge in biology, business economics, environmental sciences, logistics, geoinformatics and information technology. As a graduate in forest sciences you will be a professional in forest ecology, the management and use of forest resources, forest bioeconomy business and policy, with ample career opportunities in Finland and abroad.

Structure, content and courses

The scope of the Master's Programme in Forest Sciences is 120 credits (ECTS). It comprises two study tracks: forest ecology and management and forest economics, business and society. You will select one of the two study tracks when applying.

The specialisations in forest ecology and management focus on various types of forest and peatland ecosystems and their exploitation, examine the planning of forest use and the relevant collection of information, examine forest inventory models, wood harvesting and logistics as well as the processing of wood into bioeconomy products.

Studies in the forest economics, business and society are based on the sustainable use of a renewable natural resource and on the development of responsible business activities in a global environment. The focus of studies is on the globalisation of forest-based industry and business and its structural redevelopment into the bioeconomy and circular economy. You will become familiar with forest-based issues of the bioeconomy in production, marketing and policy as part of the global operating environment.

More information about the structure, content, study tracks and courses of the programme.

Language of instruction

Most of the courses are taught in English, and some in Finnish. In all courses, you can choose to complete your examinations and presentations, as well as your Master’s thesis, in Finnish, English or Swedish.

Master's thesis

Completing your Master's thesis will demonstrate your ability to solve a well-defined research problem of interest to your field of specialisation in accordance with the principles of scientific research. When writing the thesis, you will examine the research problem and background literature, apply different research methods, analyse the results and draw conclusions from them. The objective of the thesis project is for you to demonstrate that you have mastered the key terminology and theories of the field as well as academic writing (in Finnish, Swedish or English).

The Master’s thesis is typically completed within a research project of the degree programme in forest sciences or as an assignment commissioned by a research institute or company. Hence, the Master’s thesis project also offers excellent opportunities to establish networks and contacts with potential employers.

Doctoral education

Upon graduating from the Master’s Programme in Forest Sciences you will be eligible for doctoral education in Finland or abroad. A doctoral degree, which takes about four years to complete, opens doors to academic careers at universities and research institutes as well as to professions requiring a doctoral degree. The University of Helsinki has four doctoral schools with a total of 32 doctoral programmes.

As a graduate of the Master's Programme in Forest Sciences you can pursue studies, for example, in the Doctoral Programme in Sustainable Use of Renewable Natural Resources or the Doctoral Programme in Atmospheric Sciences.

Read more about doctoral education at University of Helsinki.

Student stories

What is it like to study in the Mas­ter’s Pro­gramme in Forest Sciences? What kind of career opportunities does the programme open? How is life in Helsinki?

Check out the following articles to find out more:

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!

Study environment

Take a peek into the different study environments where you will be studying. Most of the studies are located in the Viikki campus, one of the four campuses of the University of Helsinki, just a 15-minute bus ride from the city centre. The Viikki campus has over 6000 students across a variety of environmental linked fields close to nature and agricultural fields. In the Hyytiälä field station, you can complete field courses and enjoy the benefits of the countryside.

Experience the study environment in Hyytiälä and Viikki from the videos below.