Master in Geography

General

Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

How to un­der­stand geo­graph­ical de­vel­op­ment and dif­fer­en­ti­ation of our planet?

Geography, University of Helsinki, holds place 42 in 2018 Shanghai ranking and is also ranked among the top 50 in the world in 2018 QS World University Rankings by Subject. Nearly 60 Master's students begin their studies every autumn.

Our Master's Programme in Geography is based on high-quality research groups operating in some of the major fields of geography. It is divided into three study tracks:

  1. physical geography,
  2. human geography, and
  3. geoinformatics.

The students are provided with a set of skills that are essential in the contemporary labour market. The discipline of geography is an internationally recognised and vibrant scientific community which welcomes you to study at the University of Helsinki.

Studying

Students who graduate from the Master’s programme in geography have strong theoretical and practical skills. The education in geography offers a broad understanding in current social and environmental issues.

Our students can work as experts in their field, both independently and as members of multi-professional teams. The teaching within the programme is connected with the work of the geography research groups. It is often possible to write the final thesis as part of work in a research group or a research institute in a related field.

Why Geography?

The strengths of students who have completed our Master’s programme when it comes to research and expertise are:

  • their ability to apply theoretical knowledge
  • a broad understanding of multi-layered regional issues
  • strong interaction skills within multi-disciplinary groups of specialists
  • their ability to communicate in writing, orally, and graphically about geographical phenomena and research findings
  • their ability to utilise and interpret various kinds of research data
  • their versatile knowledge of methodology in geography
  • their ability to apply the newest methods in geoinformatics and cartography
  • their embracing of responsible and ethical scientifc practices.

Struc­ture and con­tent

The Master’s programme in geography comprises 120 credits (ECTS) and you should graduate as a Master of Science in two academic years. The following study entities are included in the degree:

  • 60 credits of advanced courses, according to study track (including MSc thesis 30 credits)
  • 60 credits of other courses from your own or other programmes
  • 60 credits of courses in pedagogy for students of teachers education
  • Other studies may include working-life or periods of international work or study
  • Working-life orientation and career planning
  • Personal study plan

The Master’s programme contains both general and study track-specific courses. Teaching within the Master’s programme in Geography is seamlessly connected with the Master’s programme in Urban Studies and Planning (USP), which is jointly implemented with Aalto University.

Courses and teach­ing

The Master’s programme in geography is divided into study tracks. The study tracks offer students the opportunity to specialise in different areas of geography. The Master’s programme contains both general and study track-specific courses. The teaching within the Master’s programme in geography is seamlessly connected with the Master’s programme in urban studies and planning, which is jointly implemented with Aalto University.

Teaching and structure information in different study tracks:

Mas­ter's thesis

The MSc thesis (Pro gradu) is a supervised final research project in which you deepen your knowledge of geography and develop your skills as a researcher. The thesis yields 30 credits.

The purpose of the thesis work is to develop your abilities in independent information seeking, analysis of existing information, and critical interpretation of it. In your MSc thesis, you demonstrate your in-depth knowledge of a central issue or phenomenon within your subject and your ability to employ scientific research methods. A meritorious MSc thesis will produce new knowledge about geographical phenomena and report the findings clearly and according to good scientific practices.

It is often possible to write the final thesis as part of work in a research group or a research institute in a related field.

Stu­dents and stu­dent 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

Graduates from the Master’s Programme in Geography have strong theoretical and practical skills as well as a broad understanding of current social and environmental issues. Our students have been very successful in the job market after completing the programme working as experts in their field, both independently and as members of multi-professional teams. After completing the Master’s degree, it is also possible to continue with postgraduate studies.

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