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Programme

Global socio-ecological problems call for multidisciplinary solutions that transcend the usual boundaries of science and decision-making. The Environmental Change and Global Sustainability (ECGS) Master’s programme trains you in wide-ranging interdisciplinary thinking skills and provides you with the ability to:

  • Study environmental and sustainability issues in your respective fields of expertise and
  • Solve problems of socio-ecological sustainability in cooperation with various social actors.

Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.

Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries, who do not have a permanent residence status in the area and pursue their studies in English, are liable to pay tuition fees. You can check from FAQ at the Studyinfo website whether or not you are required to pay tuition fees.

Find out more about the Be 1* of the Best Scholarship Programme.

The ECGS Master’s programme is taught in English. All assignments, exams and dissertations can be done in English, as well as in Finnish and Swedish.

ECGS is a truly multidisciplinary Master’s programme. It covers an introductory Core Module common to all students, followed by two distinct study tracks.

The introductory Core Module focuses on the methodologies of environmental and sustainability science as well as the interactions between science and society. The Core Module also offers a pool of optional methodological studies, providing you with the necessary research tools to tackle socio-ecological challenges.

If your orientation is in natural sciences, the Environmental Change study line can provide you with an understanding of the functioning of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and can give guidance toward their sustainable use.

If your interests are more in the social sciences and humanities, on the other hand, the Global Sustainability study line provides an understanding of the socio-cultural underpinnings of global sustainability challenges so that you can help to develop solutions that take social and environmental justice into consideration.

You can apply for one of the two studytracks in the ECGS Master’s programme: the Environmental Change study line or the Global Sustainability study line. You can refine your expertise in your chosen study line by choosing from study modules related to your specialised field of science or from interdisciplinary phenomenon-based modules.

Environmental Change modules are offered in, for example, the following research fields: aquatic sciences, soil and earth sciences, environmental ecology, environmental biotechnology and agroecology. Global Sustainability modules include themes such as environmental and natural resource economics, environmental policy, development studies, public and social policy, consumer research, forest policy and economics, and development geography. ECGS also offers a variety of modules integrating both natural and social scientific perspectives including phenomenon-based modules on the Baltic Sea and the Arctic as well as a variety of interdisciplinary fields such as climate change, food and consumption systems, urban studies and socio-ecological systems studies.

As an international applicant, you will be assessed and accepted for the Master’s program based on the scientific relevance of your bachelor’s degree and your success in previous studies.

You will graduate with a Master’s degree in Science (M.Sc.) or Social Sciences (M.Soc.Sc.). Your Master’s degree (120 credits, ECTS) will consist of the following studies:

  • Advanced studies, 60 credits, including your Master’s thesis (30 credits)
  • Other studies, 60 credits, including 30 credits of Core Module studies and 30 credits of elective science specific studies from either ECGS modules or other relevant Master’s programs.

During your second year you will write an individual Master’s thesis of about 50–80 pages (30 credits). The Master’s thesis is a proving ground there you demonstrate your capabilities in scientific thinking, methodological research and scientific communication and writing. During the writing process you will also attend a Master’s thesis seminar headed and instructed by a faculty member with expertise in your particular field.

The interdisciplinary ECGS Master’s program provides you with a unique education which is widely applicable for a future career path. Upon graduating from ECGS you will have sufficient expertise in environmental sciences, sustainability sciences and environmental policy to act as a specialist in the public, private and third sectors, and you will have gained essential skills to undertake a career in sustainable business and communication. The Master’s program prepares you to advance to doctoral level studies and thereafter positions in environment-related research. ECGS has a multidisciplinary learning community with faculty from a wide range of sciences, accommodating students in a multicultural network with excellent career prospects.

The ECGS Master’s program, taught in English, trains you to tackle environmental challenges which transcend national borders. The faculty encourage international interaction and the programme promotes a vibrant multicultural atmosphere. You can also include a student exchange in your Master’s level studies.

ECGS is built on a strong connection between the Helsinki university campuses. Since sustainable development is a strategic objective of the University of Helsinki, the university continues to strengthen its cooperation with other universities (such as Aalto University), the Finnish Environment Institute, the National Resource Institute Finland and a variety of collaborating organisations.

  • Socio-cognitive aspects of sustainability
  • Behavioural analysis of energy transitions
  • Participatory methods in natural resource policy
  • Regulation of nanomaterials and endocrine disrupters
  • Knowledge integration in environmental and technology policy
  • Ecological and economical modelling of renewable natural resources
  • The Baltic sea, agriculture and the environment 
  • Climate and energy policy and adaptations to climate change
  • Sustainable food production and consumption
  • Lake and marine ecosystems and research on related environmental problems (eutrophication, overfishing, oil accidents) and solutions (sustainable use, rehabilitation and management)
  • Urban ecosystem research, urban environmental policy and urban change
  • Paleoecology and environmental change, responses of plants to air pollution and climatic factors in terrestrial ecosystems
  • Nitrogen aware agriculture: soil health, biological nitrogen fixation, terrestrial nitrogen cycles and pulses in food chains
  • Environmental biotechnology and ecosystems ecology

For further information, please acquaint yourself with our researchers' topical work at:

blogs.helsinki.fi/jahukkin/research-group/

blogs.helsinki.fi/yle-ere/en/

blogs.helsinki.fi/soilman-uh/

urbanecology.fi/

Upon completion of your Master’s degree you will be eligible to apply for doctoral studies in the University of Helsinki and other leading international research institutions. Examples of suitable doctoral programmes in the University of Helsinki include:  

  • The Doctoral Programme in Interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences (DENVI)
  • The Doctoral Programme in Sustainable Use of Renewable Natural Resources (AGFOREE)
  • The Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences
  • The Doctoral Programme in Political, Societal and Regional Change (PSRC)
  • The Doctoral Programme in Wildlife Biology Research (LUOVA)
  • The Doctoral Programme in Atmospheric Sciences (ATM-DP)

For further information, please visit the University of Helsinki doctoral education website at: https://www.helsinki.fi/en/research/doctoral-education

How to apply
Faculties

Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences

The Faculty provides expert training in the biological and environmental sciences, giving you a competitive edge in the labour market. As an expert in the biological and environmental sciences, you can find work in many areas, such as health care, medicine, the sustainable use of natural resources, the resolution of environmental problems, food production, and many fields of industry.  

The Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences plays a key role in the research and teaching conducted on the Viikki Campus. The Faculty and its associated units constitute Finland’s largest centre of research and teaching in the biological and environmental sciences. The Faculty’s strengths include high-quality research as well as a wide range of research and teaching. 

The Faculty consists of two departments:

  • Department of Biosciences (Viikki Campus)
  • Department of Environmental Sciences (Viikki Campus and Lahti University Campus)  

The Faculty also operates three biological field stations:

  • Kilpisjärvi Biological Station in the northwestern region of Finnish Lapland
  • Lammi Biological Station in the Kanta-Häme region in central Finland
  • Tvärminne Zoological Station in Hanko in southern Finland by the Baltic Sea

 

The Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences provides the bulk of its teaching in the modern research and teaching facilities of the Viikki Campus. Degree education in the environmental sector is also provided on the Lahti University Campus. Instruction is in Finnish, Swedish, and English.  

The Faculty employs a wide range of learning methods, including lectures and small group work, as well as laboratory and field courses. The majority of field courses take place at the Faculty’s field stations in Lammi, Kilpisjärvi and Tvärminne. Your work in many major subjects here can also include study and research trips abroad. You will have the opportunity to take part in a traineeship and in practical training in a research group in Finland or abroad. For the experimental section of your Master’s thesis, you will be able to collect data and conduct experiments in the laboratory or in the field, in the research environment of your choice. The Faculty’s research groups also include a large number of international researchers. The atmosphere is international; communication is in English.  

Your education here combines lectures and web-based teaching. Lectures and other study materials are available on virtual learning platforms. We have developed a separate online learning environment for species identification of organisms and various habitats.  

A campus library is located in Viikki in conjunction with a public library. The institutes of higher education operating on the Lahti University Campus have also established a joint scientific library.

The Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences provides you with excellent opportunities for internationalisation during your studies. The easiest option is to participate in a student exchange in another Nordic country, elsewhere in Europe or outside Europe. Exchange programmes usually offer grants and exemptions from tuition fees. Outgoing exchange students are also entitled to student financial aid.
 
Internationalisation may also involve:
• Tutoring international students
• Participating in the Faculty’s English-language teaching, the Language Centre’s language courses or the Helsinki Summer School’s intensive courses and extracurricular activities
• Completing a traineeship abroad
• Getting involved in the international activities of subject organisations or the University’s Student Union
 

All students can participate in a student exchange. Exchange destinations are selected from among universities of the highest standards. Exchange opportunities are currently available in 66 countries in every part of the world. Studies can also include a traineeship completed abroad.

Mobility arrangements help you excel in an increasingly international world:
• You will improve your language skills and ability to interact with people from other cultures.
• You will gain a different perspective on the subject you study.
• You will be able to include studies completed abroad in your degree.
• Studies completed abroad may be key for finding employment after graduation.
 

 

At the University of Helsinki we provide an accessible learning environment for all students.

If you have a disability, an illness or a learning disability, and might need some special arrangements to be able to complete your studies, please contact the faculty at the beginning of your studies or when the need arises.

You will usually agree upon the practical arrangements with your professor before the course or seminar begins. If needed, you can also consult the Head of Academic Affairs at the faculty.

Special arrangements for your studies, such as individual support for learning, might include extra time to complete assignments and exams, teaching materials given in advance or in electronic form, accessibility to classrooms and alternative ways to complete assignments and coursework.

If you would like more information about special arrangements, please contact the Student Services in the City Centre at specialneeds@helsinki.fi.

University students have access to various services and benefits; among them housing, meals, health care, wellbeing as well as sports. On the New Student web pages, you find information on necessary insurances, permits, and fees. The University of Helsinki Student union (HYY) members may use a great variety of services and participate in various events and activities. Not to mention discounts available for students e.g. on travelling, cultural events, and several stores. Sub-organizations of HYY also organize a wide variety of social events. More information is available at the University of Helsinki website http://www.helsinki.fi/newstudents.

Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry

Become an expert in the responsible use of renewable natural resources!

Safe and sufficient food, the environment, climate change, and the diversity and sustainable use of forests, are global challenges of great concern to all of us. Finding solutions to these issues requires a multidisciplinary approach. By studying at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry you can acquire skills so that you can help to solve these important issues concerning the future of life on earth.

The Faculty offers studies in the fields of food and environmental sciences, agricultural sciences, forest sciences and applied economics. Your studies will enable you to apply chemistry, physics, biology and mathematics to solve practical problems. You will also acquire the skill to reconcile divergent economic and environmental viewpoints.

At the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, you will do more than just sit in the library and lecture rooms. Your studies at the Faculty are based on the most recent research. You will have access to many learning methods and learning environments, such as forests, fields, laboratories and web-based platforms.

Management or expert work in Finland or abroad

As a graduate of the Faculty you will have gained diverse expertise in the biosciences and economics, providing you with capabilities required by companies as well as by society at large. The multidisciplinary approach, the international scope of your education, and the close contacts you will gain with employers, will open doors for you in rewarding professions both in Finland and internationally. You will find more information on employment opportunities as well as personal career stories on the Faculty Website.

A multidisciplinary faculty

The Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, the fourth largest faculty at the University of Helsinki, comprises four departments:

  • The Department of Food and Environmental Sciences
  • The Department of Agricultural Sciences
  • The Department of Forest Sciences
  • The Department of Economics and Management

The Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry is located on the Viikki Campus, also known as the “green campus”. This is one of the most important concentrations of bio‑industry in Europe. In addition to the four faculties, the campus is home to bio‑industry research institutes, agencies and enterprises. Located just nine kilometres from the Helsinki city centre, Viikki brings the scents and sounds of the countryside into the city. The area offers you essential student services, including housing and student restaurants, UniSport services, a science library, and others.

Teaching at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry supports you on your path to becoming an expert in your field. Online studies and in-person teaching complement each other and provide you with diverse learning opportunities. Our study methods challenge you to develop your personal competence, cooperation skills and resources for generating and applying information and knowledge. Student feedback is used to support learning and to develop our teaching methods.

The Faculty provides real-life learning environments. The Viikki Campus includes the Faculty greenhouses, and the Viikki Research Farm is complete with fields and cowsheds. The Campus also houses numerous laboratories (such as the sensory analysis laboratory, chemistry and microbiology laboratories, and technology laboratories), a meat technology pilot plant, a pilot bakery, and a small‑scale dairy pilot plant. The Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station supports studies in forest sciences.

Our tutors, together with the teacher supervisors, support you in the early stages of your studies. The Faculty’s active student organisations provide you with a lively and influential network.

As a University of Helsinki degree student, you can participate in a student exchange or traineeship outside Finland. The University has approximately 500 high-quality partner universities throughout the world, and each year some 1,000 University students embark on a student exchange or traineeship. A stay abroad gives valuable skills and experiences:

  • You can incorporate an international dimension into your degree and obtain international expertise in your field. A well-planned student exchange provides you with diverse, unique skills!
  • You will gain a new perspective on the world, learn more about yourself and enhance your language proficiency.
  • You will get better acquainted with the culture of the target country, meet new people and be able to establish international networks in your field.

More information about studying abroad: guide.student.helsinki.fi/en/study-abroad

At the University of Helsinki we provide an accessible learning environment for all students.

If you have a disability, an illness or a learning disability, and might need some special arrangements to be able to complete your studies, please contact the faculty at the beginning of your studies or when the need arises.

You will usually agree upon the practical arrangements with your professor before the course or seminar begins. If needed, you can also consult the Head of Academic Affairs at the faculty.

Special arrangements for your studies, such as individual support for learning, might include extra time to complete assignments and exams, teaching materials given in advance or in electronic form, accessibility to classrooms and alternative ways to complete assignments and coursework.

If you would like more information about special arrangements, please contact the Student Services in the City Centre at specialneeds@helsinki.fi.

As a student at the University of Helsinki, you will have access to a wide range of services and benefits; such as housing, meals, health care, wellbeing and sports. On the New Student web pages, you will find information on necessary insurance, permits, and fees. As a member of the University of Helsinki Student union (HYY) you will have a great variety of services at your disposal and will be able to participate in various events and activities. Discounts are available for students, for example for travelling, cultural events, and several stores. Sub-organisations of HYY also organise a wide variety of social events. You will find more information on the University of Helsinki website http://www.helsinki.fi/newstudents.

Faculty of Social Sciences

The Faculty of Social Sciences is Finland’s most diverse and multidisciplinary academic community and social force in its field. Global economic and political events increase the need for experts who are able to place them in a historical, internationally comparable context. Changes in social structures require a novel understanding of, for example, the foundations of the welfare society. 

The Faculty is known for its international top-level research that utilises diverse research corpora and challenging research methods as well as engages in innovative discourse. Teaching at the Faculty emphasises multidisciplinarity and critical thinking. The Faculty has a long tradition of collaboration with ministries, municipalities, various organisations and the media. 

Students enjoy their time at the Faculty of Social Sciences and feel like a part of the community. The Faculty and the students’ respective home departments are the students’ closest and most important operational environment. There is active interaction across disciplines and between different faculties.

There are some 4,000 undergraduate and 700 active postgraduate students at the Faculty, which is located on the City Centre Campus and includes two departments and a total of 13 disciplines. The Faculty website can be found at http://www.helsinki.fi/socialsciences.

The Faculty of Social Sciences is located on the City Centre Campus near the Helsinki University Main Library (Kaisa House) and Learning Centre Aleksandria, which provide students with modern learning facilities. Other services of the Helsinki University Library, such as databases, online journals and textbooks, are readily available as well.

The Faculty of Social Sciences is a high-quality, research-based, international and multidisciplinary learning environment that trains versatile experts with a solid grasp of research methods and a profound understanding of the society for a wide range of positions in the public and private sectors. The teaching makes use of blended learning in a wide range of ways, thus increasing flexibility and providing efficient support for learning.

Helsingin yliopiston tutkinto-opiskelijana sinulla on mahdollisuus lähteä opiskelijavaihtoon tai harjoitteluun ulkomaille. Yliopistolla on noin 500 laadukasta partneriyliopistoa ympäri maailman, ja joka vuosi noin tuhat opiskelijaamme suuntaa joko opiskelijavaihtoon tai harjoitteluun. Jakso ulkomailla antaa

  • kansainvälisen lisän tutkintoosi, ja saat kansainvälistä osaamista omalta alaltasi. Hyvin suunniteltu opiskelijavaihto tuo osaamiseesi monipuolisuutta ja ainutlaatuisuutta!
  • Saat uudenlaisen näkökulman maailmaan, opit myös itsestäsi ja kielitaitosi vahvistuu.
  • Tutustut kohdemaan kulttuuriin uudella tavalla, tapaat uusia ihmisiä ja saat erinomaisen mahdollisuuden verkostoitua alallasi kansainvälisesti.

Lisätietoja opiskelusta ulkomailla guide.student.helsinki.fi/fi/opiskele-ulkomailla

At the University of Helsinki we provide an accessible learning environment for all students.

If you have a disability, an illness or a learning disability, and might need some special arrangements to be able to complete your studies, please contact the faculty at the beginning of your studies or when the need arises.

You will usually agree upon the practical arrangements with your professor before the course or seminar begins. If needed, you can also consult the Head of Academic Affairs at the faculty.

Special arrangements for your studies, such as individual support for learning, might include extra time to complete assignments and exams, teaching materials given in advance or in electronic form, accessibility to classrooms and alternative ways to complete assignments and coursework.

If you would like more information about special arrangements, please contact the Student Services in the City Centre at specialneeds@helsinki.fi.

University students have access to various services and benefits; among them housing, meals, health care, wellbeing as well as sports. On the New Student web pages, you find information on necessary insurances, permits, and fees. The University of Helsinki Student union (HYY) members may use a great variety of services and participate in various events and activities. Not to mention discounts available for students e.g. on travelling, cultural events, and several stores. Sub-organizations of HYY also organize a wide variety of social events. More information is available at the University of Helsinki website http://www.helsinki.fi/newstudents.