Faculty teaching facilities
The Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry operates on Viikki Campus as well as in Mikkeli and Seinäjoki. The Faculty also encompasses the Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station in the northern Häme region as well as the Muddusjärvi Research Station in Upper Lapland.

Below are further details on the Faculty’s teaching facilities.

 

Research has always been conducted at the Viikki Arboretum. The Arboretum is also an option for completing practical training. Administratively, the Arboretum is managed by the Instrument Centre of the University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, while its operations are directed by a joint management group of the University of Helsinki and the City of Helsinki.

 

The Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station is a meeting point for top-level forestry research and traditions. Forestry students spend 10 weeks in Hyytiälä while completing a field course organised by the University. Visit also a Finnish-language construction blog for the new wooden building to be constructed at the Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station

Of the buildings on Viikki Campus, Building EE, Building A, Biocenter 1, Building C, Info Centre Korona, the Forest Sciences Building and the laboratory building are specifically occupied by the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry.

 

 

The plant cultivation facilities in Viikki encompass a total of 2,400 m2 of greenhouse space and three hectares of fenced fields. The research greenhouses comprise 51 separate sections with the capacity for carefully controlled experimental conditions. Among other things, climate (temperature, lighting, air humidity) and irrigation conditions can be adjusted by section according to experimental needs. Adjacent to the greenhouses are also a weather station, growing rooms and chambers as well as facilities and equipment for specimen processing. In addition to research, the greenhouse facilities are used to organise courses and demonstrations. Students carry out experimental work and complete theses (e.g., master's and postgraduate theses) related to courses as well as participate in the work of research groups under the supervision of teaching and technical staff. The spectrum of experimental plants is great, ranging from model plants relevant to molecular biology (e.g., thale cress, wild strawberry and gerbera) to a variety of arable crops and horticultural plants (e.g., broad bean, barley, rapeseed, arctic raspberry and raspberry) as well as forest trees (e.g., spruce, pine and birch).

The Muddusjärvi Research Station is located in the village of Kaamanen in Inari, northern Finland. The research station has at its disposal roughly 13 hectares of arable land and 700 hectares of forest land. Research at the station is conducted in the fields of limnology, applied biology and radiochemistry. In addition, forest experiments are carried out in the surrounding forests, including provenance and cultivation tests with larch.

The Ruralia Institute, which operates under the Mikkeli University Consortium and the University Consortium of Seinäjoki, is a department of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry. The institute emphasises local development, sustainable food production chains and a renewable bioeconomy.

 

 

The Viikki research farm comprises 155 hectares of arable land, a dairy barn and 70 dairy cows. The barn enables the study of the nutrition, welfare and behaviour of dairy cattle as well as related technical solutions. The farm also produces some 600,000 litres of milk every year, which is sold to a dairy. Among other things, dairy barn demonstrations are organised at the research farm for students, providing them with the opportunity to get hands-on experience of a dairy barn and to familiarise themselves with its key elements and functions. On the summer course in agricultural sciences, the research farm is utilised in learning assignments related to crop science, animal science and technology through exercises organised on the farm premises. Many students of agricultural sciences complete their theses in research projects that make use of the fields, dairy barn and equipment or other infrastructure of the research farm. Each year, the research farm also provides traineeship positions to a handful of students of the agricultural sciences. In addition, several of our students work part-time as cattle tenders at the Viikki dairy barn alongside their studies.

 

Many ways of learning

Lectures are the most traditional way of learning, with the lecturer often employing a set of slides to introduce the topic and the students writing down their notes. Lectures can involve brief group discussions or assignments. At the end, there is usually the opportunity for further discussion or questions. Lectures also have visiting speakers who offer different perspectives or represent an organisation in the field.

 

Small-group instruction differs from mass lectures, since small groups can more flexibly agree on how to discuss lecture topics and conduct negotiations on, for example, examinations. Often, teaching in small groups is also more dialogue based. Small-group instruction is provided, for example, in the intensive period following the Christmas break.

 

Today, many courses can be completed remotely, with the help of, among other things, streamed lectures, lecture recordings and independent study. Courses can be based on academic writing stemming from course literature or a learning journal based on lecture recordings.

 

Project-based courses focus on solving problems presented by businesses in the field. Projects teach project management and cooperation skills, as the work is carried out in teams. Project-based courses are also a good way to show your skills to a business where summer job positions may soon become available.

Of the field courses, the 10-week course organised at Hyytiälä (colloquially known as ‘Hyde’ in Finnish) is the best known. In addition to learning, the Hyytiälä field course is known for its inclusive sense of community and shared identity. You can read more about the field course in the Hyytiälä blog.

All of the bachelor’s programmes of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry include a traineeship period. Traineeships can be completed in positions relevant to the field, and traineeship funding can be applied for from the University. The opportunity to complete a traineeship should be seized due to its importance for future employment. Read more about traineeships.

At Viikki, studying is practical, with sustainable research conducted in practical ways. Students of food science in particular work frequently in the laboratories. Also operating in Viikki is a laboratory for sensory analys is that has received the ISO 8589 certificate. Students of agricultural and forest sciences also conduct experiments, although not typically in the laboratory environment.