Master in Forest Sciences

General

Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description

How can forests help us fight cli­mate change?

Do you want to affect the future of forests, a key natural resource and 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 at the University of Helsinki is based on the research at the Department of Forest Sciences which has been ranked 4th in the world, placing the department as one of the best in the world.

Studying

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.

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 bioeconomy business and policy. You must 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 bioeconomy business and policy 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. You will become familiar with forest-based issues of the bioeconomy in production, marketing and policy as part of the global operating environment.

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.

Students and Student's Life

Student life and especially the student organisation culture is exceptionally rich and diverse in Finland. Also at the University of Helsinki, the student community is very active.

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, basic healthcare services, sports facilities and student-priced meals. You also get numerous discounts, for example on public transport fees across the country.

Career

A degree in forestry offers extensive and fairly unique professional competence on a global scale on forest and peatland ecosystems, forest management and use, forest conservation, the business economics and policies of forest bioeconomy as well as the collection, management and use of forest-related information.

Graduates also have strong scientific expertise and professional skills for doctoral studies. Several of our graduates have indeed continued with PhD studies either at the University of Helsinki or elsewhere.

Last updated May 2020

About the School

The University of Helsinki offers a wide range of Master’s Degree Programmes, taught entirely in English. The scope of our programmes is 120 ECTS credits, completed with two years of full-time study. ... Read More

The University of Helsinki offers a wide range of Master’s Degree Programmes, taught entirely in English. The scope of our programmes is 120 ECTS credits, completed with two years of full-time study. All programmes comply with the national legislation governing university education and are, therefore, recognised globally. Read less