Are you in­ter­ested in European or Nor­dic is­sues?

Would you like to understand populism in Europe or how to respond to political violence? Or are you keen on learning more about Nordic welfare states? Do you enjoy studying in a multidisciplinary and international atmosphere, and experiencing Europe from a Northern perspective? Are you interested in studying at a top-ranked university? If your answer is yes, read further and learn why the European and Nordic Studies master's program at the University of Helsinki might be the perfect match for you!

Goal of the pro­gram

Understanding Europe today requires much more than understanding the process of European integration. The tensions, challenges, and possibilities that are manifesting themselves today have their roots in a long political, social and cultural history.

This program takes you to these roots. A multidisciplinary study path introduces you to various aspects of European society, culture, and politics. Along the way, it draws from the strengths of Nordic research on Europe, with its strong focus on regional cooperation, diversity, identities, institutions, culture and the politics of history and memory. You will get to know the Nordic countries from a European perspective and Europe from a Nordic perspective.

Studying the ways in which Europeans cooperate, how European states and societies are interconnected, and how they are governed, forms an important part of the program. Besides looking at the processes of integration and the evolution and functioning of the European Union, the program highlights the significance of regional cooperation in the Nordic context, the EU’s relations with its neighbors and its place in the global system.

At the end of your studies, you will have gained a broad understanding of European issues and acquired advanced research skills. You will be ready to work in a wide range of expert positions that require independent and creative thinking, in both the public and private sectors.

The program consists of joint courses and specialization studies. One of the available options is to specialize in Nordic Studies. ENS is the only Nordic Studies program taught in English in the Nordic countries.

The Master's program in European and Nordic Studies is offered by the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Faculty of Arts.

In­form­a­tion on the lan­guages of in­struc­tion

The language of instruction is English. At least 75% of the degree must be completed fully in English (including seminars, seminar papers and similar written work, exams and the Master’s thesis). However, you can also study in other languages. You can include, for example, a semester abroad or courses taught in Finnish or Swedish.

Pro­gram con­tents

The program consists of a multidisciplinary selection of courses that introduce you to various aspects of Europe, the Nordic countries, and the Baltic Sea Region.

The topics addressed in the joint courses include, for example, contemporary European politics, cooperation and conflict in European history, Nordic societies and cultures, and institutions, ideologies and identities in Europe. You will also learn about nations and nationalism, political and social protest, (Nordic) welfare models, the European Union and Nordic cooperation, European legal traditions, and the politics of memory.

The program involves substantial interaction between you and your teachers. You will complete several writing assignments and research papers along the way, culminating in a Master’s thesis in your second year. Some courses use active learning or flipped classroom pedagogy.

The content of your studies also depends on your own choices. In addition to core courses that provide you with a deep multidisciplinary understanding of Europe, the degree includes specialization studies of your own choosing.

If you specialize in Nordic studies, you will have access to some courses taught at the program for Nordic Literature and the Kultur och Kommunikation Master’s program.

You also have plenty of other options. The University of Helsinki is a large research university. As a student in ENS, you will have access to a rich variety of specialized courses in many faculties and schools. Check the section on research focus to see what we are particularly good at in Helsinki.

Se­lec­tion of the study track

The program has two study tracks (see the structure of studies below for more information):

  • Humanities study track – This study track emphases regional and cultural studies, and history. Upon completion of the program, you will receive the Master of Arts degree.
  • Political science study track – This study track is oriented towards political science, political history, and the European legal tradition. At the end of the program, you have earned the Master of Social Sciences degree.

Pro­gram struc­ture

The extent of the Master's program is 120 credits (ECTS) to be completed in two academic years. The studies are divided into four main parts:

  • Joint courses (core courses that are common to all students in this program).
  • Study track-specific studies (core courses that are separate for the humanities and political sciences study tracks).
  • Specialisation studies (that you choose yourself).
  • Master’s thesis and supporting seminars.


During your second year of study, you will work on an extensive independent research work, your Master’s thesis, on a topic that relates to European and/or Nordic studies. The length of the study will usually be about 60-80 pages. You can choose the topic for yourself, but you should work out a research plan together with your supervisor, who will advise you during your Master’s thesis project. You will also regularly present your progress in a Master’s thesis seminar with your fellow students.

Upon completing the thesis, you will have gained experience on how to conduct an independent research project and report your research findings. You will be expected to demonstrate that you can formulate relevant and interesting research questions, create a coherent research plan, produce and analyze data, and write a scientific research report.

Ca­reer pro­spects

The program will train you as an independent and critical thinker who is well informed about European issues, trained to do independent and creative analytical projects, and experienced in working in a multicultural English-speaking environment.

There is currently a great need for professionals like this within the public and private sectors. The program will provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue a career in higher education, local and national administrations, the media, the European Union, Nordic Regional and international institutions, non-governmental organizations, and the business sector.

European studies graduates from the University of Helsinki have begun careers for example in the European Commission, European Parliament, Committee of Regions, Pro-European NGOs, College of Europe, communication offices, and associations promoting Nordic cooperation. You will meet some potential future employees, as well as alumni from our university, in the career course we organize for you. You will also have the opportunity to complete an internship during your studies.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in academic research, the program provides you with high-quality research training.


You will be living and learning in an international and multicultural environment with students and staff from all over the world. It is also possible to spend a semester abroad as an exchange student at one of Faculty’s numerous partner universities or include a traineeship abroad as part of your degree program.


The program is coordinated by the Network of European Studies at the University of Helsinki (NES), in close cooperation with the Centre for Nordic Studies (CENS) and a wide range of disciplines in the field of the humanities and social sciences.

The University of Helsinki is part of Europeaum, an association of leading European research universities that provide teaching in the field of European studies, and is also its only Nordic member. As a Master’s degree student here, you will have access to seminars and courses organized by Europaeum, including a substantial subsidy covering most of your travel costs.

The University of Helsinki is also part of a Nordic capital universities network and is building a strategic partnership with Stockholm University. In addition, our strong Nordic networks also enable you to benefit from teacher exchanges, bilateral courses (blended online and classroom teaching) and excursions. We offer a wide selection of excellent opportunities for you to include a semester abroad as part of your studies.

Re­search fo­cus

The European studies program covers a wide spectrum of research projects in various faculties and research institutes. In recent years, the focus has been especially on studying boundaries, regions, and identities in Europe, different narratives of Europe, European legal traditions, the construction of post-Cold War Europe, the politics of memory, and political violence in post-war Europe. The university also offers a wide selection of teaching in English in Central and Eastern European studies.

Many of these themes are also strongly present in the field of Nordic studies. This field has traditionally had a distinctly European flavor. Research projects in recent years have, for example, focused on imagology of the European North and South, Nordic welfare state/ism, the politics of neutrality, and Nordic cooperation in a global comparative perspective.

Post­gradu­ate stud­ies

The program provides an excellent basis for postgraduate studies. You can continue your studies, for example, under the aegis of our Doctoral program in Political, Societal and Regional Change, or the program in History and Cultural Heritage, and base yourself in the Centre of Nordic Studies or Network for European Studies.

Tuition fees

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.

Program taught in:
University of Helsinki

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Last updated August 2, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Aug 2019
2 years
- Tuition fee per year (non-EU/EEA students) 13000 €
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The next application period for the Master's Programmes opens on December 3rd, 2018, and ends on January 11th, 2019.
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Start Date
Aug 2019
End Date
Application deadline
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The next application period for the Master's Programmes opens on December 3rd, 2018, and ends on January 11th, 2019.

Aug 2019

Application deadline
Request Info
The next application period for the Master's Programmes opens on December 3rd, 2018, and ends on January 11th, 2019.
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Master’s programme in European and Nordic studies