Master of Social Sciences in Sustainable Digital Life

General

Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Creating a Digital Future for All

Sustainable Digital Life programme aims to make digital life more sustainable and accessible for all by cherishing diversity and combining critical thinking with a creative mindset.

The modern world is permeated and shaped by digital technologies in all areas of life: communication, learning, playing, creativity, dating, therapy —you name it. 

The Master's Degree Programme in Sustainable Digital Life (SDL) focuses on enhancing our digital lives: the digital systems surrounding us as well as the ways of using, regulating, and designing them. The programme offers a unique course portfolio at the intersection of social sciences, design, and media. The programme educates interdisciplinary experts who understand the digital society from the viewpoints of culture and ethics, as well as comprehend digital systems and how they are produced.

The programme:

  • Aims to educate creative, analytical and critical experts in digital media and communication and information technology; experts who are capable of renewing the society by envisioning, designing, and evaluating digital services that are ethically sustainable, accessible for everyone, and mindful of social and cultural diversity.
  • Focuses on sustainability not only related to digital things but also the way of learning: we ensure that future experts possess skills that are adaptive, far-reaching, and transformative in a variety of fields.
  • Has a special focus on accessibility: learning to understand the diversity of users and ways of using digital systems, how to evaluate the accessibility of existing systems, and how to take accessibility into account in the design.
  • Is genuinely multidisciplinary: the teachers of the programme represent various academic disciplines. 

The programme's core courses include digital literacy, fundamentals of service design, sustainable design, diverse digital culture, accessibility and gamification. The programme is strongly project-based: the students carry out realistic research and design projects throughout their studies and connect the theoretical and methodological lessons to these projects.

Sustainability in Tampere University

  • We believe that promoting and educating the development of sustainable technology is a necessary approach to achieve the goal of sustainability.
  • As a herald of scholarship, our university recognises that sustainability is a foundational imperative for various essential systemic entities. 
  • Sustainability highlights the interconnectedness of economic, social and ecological processes. 
  • Sustainable Digital Life especially focuses on the study of the long-term structural change in digital and social systems with the aim of maintaining social cohesion and solidarity while acknowledging the need to reduce environmental and resource consumption to a sustainable level. 
  • There are many entities to which the necessity of sustainability pertains: nature, societies and cultures, the humankind. We want to cherish the diversity and resilience within all of these. 
  • Considering the modern digital lives, there are various recent developments and trends that need to be addressed in the pursuit of sustainability, such as the increasing carbon footprint of computation, increasing power of internet companies, challenges in regulating technology development, homogenization of the digital culture, people’s sense of losing control of their digital lives, information addiction, increasing loneliness and isolation and radicalization through technology.
  • Considering the modern digital lives, the perspective of the users of technology integrated into their everyday practices call for critical skills as literacies on technology. From a sustainability perspective, that is about ecological digital literacy.

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Information about studies

  • Type: Master's degree
  • Degree earned: Master of Social Sciences
  • Planned duration: 2 years
  • Extent of studies: 120 ECTS
  • City: Tampere
  • Campus: City Centre Campus
  • Tuition fee for non-EU/EEA citizens: 12000 €

Study objectives

After completing the Master's degree students will:

  • Be familiar with scientific thinking and capable of applying scientific working methods in his/her own area of specialization.
  • Be motivated for lifelong learning.
  • Be capable of undertaking scientific postgraduate studies.
  • Be capable of applying the knowledge acquired and of functioning in internationalizing working life.

After completing the Master’s Degree Programme in Sustainable Digital Life students:

  • Understand the role of digital media and communication technology in today’s and future society and recognises its ethical and societal risks.
  • Are aware of the diversity of digital cultures and recognises its varieties of value bases.
  • Are able to use critical and constructive (analytical and creative) thinking to design, facilitate, and evaluate sustainable information, communication, and media services for a digital society.
  • Recognise how to make services and communication more accessible and sustainable.

More about the language of instruction

The programme is offered in English.

Study contents

Sustainable Digital Life programme aims to make digital life more sustainable and accessible for all by cherishing diversity and combining critical thinking with a creative mindset.

The goal is to educate creative, analytical and critical experts in digital media, communication and information technology, who are capable of renewing the society by designing, facilitating and evaluating digital services that are ethically sustainable, accessible for everyone and mindful of social and cultural diversity. The students are aware of the diversity of digital cultures and recognise the varieties of their value bases. They understand the role of digital media and communication technology in today’s and future society and recognise its ethical and societal risks.

The education is project-based since students carry out projects throughout their studies and connect their learning to these projects. Students create portfolios and identify their own skills during their studies. Programme's core courses offer students fundamentals of service design, sustainable design, digital literacy, diverse digital culture, accessibility and gamification. Students will study joint core courses along with optional studies in which they can focus on a theme. Students will acquire skills which are needed both in working life and in academia.

Programme is genuinely multidisciplinary; programmes teachers represents eight different fields: human-technology interaction, media education, audio studies, theatre and drama research, media culture, information studies, game studies and visual journalism.

Tuition fees

The tuition fee of the programme is 12000 euros per academic year for non-EU/EEA students with a scholarship system for fee-paying students.

Structure of studies

Programme's Curriculum will be published later.

Structure of the programme includes the following studies:

  • General Studies
    • Orientation, Study Skills and Personal Study Planning
    • Language Studies
    • Scientific writing
  • Advanced Studies in Sustainable Digital Life
    • Introduction to Sustainable Digital Life (MOOC course)
    • Principles of Service Design
    • Sustainable Design
    • Users and Digital Literacy
    • Digital Dismodernity – Inclusion and the Diagnostic Society
    • Fundamentals of Accessibility
    • Gamification: A Walkthrough of How Games Are Shaping Our Lives
    • Project Work
    • Project and Thesis Seminar
  • Theme Modules:
    • Sound Culture
    • Visual culture
    • Accessibility
    • Gamification
    • Digital Literacy
  • Free Choice Studies

The programme utilises project-based learning. During the two years, students will attend to Project Work course and carry out a research and innovation project in groups. The project work is integrated into the Master’s Thesis. Research and Project Seminar coordinates the project work and the thesis process.

Career opportunities

The goal is to educate students both for existing professions and emerging future professions. The graduates can work for example as designers, experts or analysts in the domains of digital media, information and communication services, various digitalization projects, and application of artificial intelligence services.

After graduation, the employment opportunities depend also on student’s specialization. Students can specialise themselves with different modules in addition to studying secondary subjects and by that create unique know-how combinations.

Sustainable Digital Life helps students connect with working life as a part of their studies by collaborating with companies and organizations. Students get to know some of the employers already during the studies and get a possibility to carry out projects from real clients from our strategic collaborators.

Co-operation with other parties

Sustainable Digital Life has a strategic long-term collaboration with YLE (Finland's national public broadcasting company). Together, we work with diverse societal topics to make digital services more accessible and sustainable for all. In practice, the collaboration takes place in student project works.

Research focus

Interdisciplinarity: Social sciences meet technology development; problem finding meets problem-solving.

Postgraduate study opportunities

The students graduating from the SDL programme are eligible to apply to the doctoral programmes of Tampere University. There are three particularly suitable doctoral programmes for SDL graduates: The doctoral programme in Information studies and interactive media, the Doctoral Programme in Communication, Media and Theatre, and the Doctoral Program Interactive Technology.

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Eligibility criteria

Eligibility criteria in the Master's degree programmes consist of two parts: Tampere University's general eligibility criteria, and programme-specific eligibility criteria, which specify and/or add information to the general criteria. You must meet both to be considered eligible. Applicants who do not meet both the general eligibility and the programme-specific eligibility criteria will not be selected as students in Tampere University.

General eligibility

To be eligible to apply to a Master’s degree programme at Tampere University, you must have:

  • Bachelor’s degree - nationally recognized first cycle degree
    • which corresponds to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to three years of full-time study
    • from a relevant field for the Master’s degree programme that you’re applying to
    • from a recognised institution of higher education
    • The Bachelor’s degree completed in a university outside Finland must provide eligibility for university-level master’s degree studies in the country in which it was awarded.
  • AND a good command of the English language for academic purposes.

Applicants in their final year of the Bachelor’s degree are eligible to apply if the degree will be completed by 31 July 2021. In this case, they would be accepted conditionally. Please see special instructions for applicants in the final year of the Bachelor's degree.

Admission to studies leading directly to a master's degree will be based on the applicant’s bachelor's degree conferred by a university or a university of applied sciences. Depending on programme-specific admission requirements, the programme may take into account skills previously acquired by applicants when considering applications.

A previously completed master’s degree will not make applicants ineligible for admission. However, applicants who are applying for admission to pursue a second master’s degree will only be admitted for particularly weighty reasons.

Programme specific eligibility criteria

To be eligible to apply to the Master’s degree programme in Sustainable Digital Life, you must have a successfully completed Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in:

  • for example, Interactive Media, Information Sciences, Digital Design, Sociology, Psychology, Journalism, Cultural and Creative Industries (cultural studies, film and media studies, sound and music studies, visual studies, theatre studies).

Language skill requirements

When applying to a Master’s programme at Tampere University, you must submit evidence of your good command of the English language for academic purposes. You have two options of demonstrating your English language proficiency: language tests or previous studies.

In both cases, you must submit a document as proof of language skills.

English language tests and the minimum result requirements:

Test name Minimum test result for Bachelor's programmes at Tampere University
TOEFL iBT/TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition 92 overall with no section below 20
IELTS (academic) /IELTS Indicator 6.5 overall with no section below 5.5 
PTE (academic) 62 overall with no section in Communicative Skills below 42
C1 Advanced* C
C2 Proficiency* C1
Finnish National Certificate of Language Proficiency (English) Proficiency level 5

*The previous CAE and CPE have been renamed as C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency

Previous studies

It is possible to be exempted from submitting a language test score if you have completed particular studies listed by Tampere University that demonstrate your good command of English for academic purposes. Only studies that fulfil the criteria will be accepted so if you apply without a valid language test result, carefully examine the exemptions listed by Tampere University and how to submit documents.

Intake

24 students are admitted into the Sustainable Digital Life programme.

Admission procedure

Students are selected to the programme from those applicants who submit a complete application (application and sufficient application documents by the deadline) and fulfil the official eligibility criteria.

The student selection is made by an admissions committee based on the academic qualifications and merits shown in the application documents. Please note that not all applicants fulfilling the requirements can be admitted.

Students admitted to a Master’s degree programme may be required to complement their earlier degree with complementary studies. The complementary studies will be decided at the faculty case by case (maximum 60 ECTS credits). 

Scoring

The number of eligible applicants annually exceeds the number of students that can be accepted. The student selection is made by an admissions committee based on the academic qualifications and merits shown in the application documents.

In the selection process, the following judgmental requirements are evaluated as a composite:

  • High enough academic performance in Bachelor degree studies.
  • The applicants must show strong motivation to study the key topics of the programme and interest to work in an interdisciplinary area.
  • Having completed the MOOC course “Introduction to Sustainable Digital Life” will be considered as an advantage. The course opens 15th October 2020 and the applicant must complete the MOOC course by latest 28th February 2021 (23:59 p.m. GMT+2). All assignments must be submitted by this date to be considered. It is not possible to submit any documents after the deadline as the course closes on this day.

How to apply

Admissions step-by-step

  1. Check the general eligibility and programme-specific eligibility criteria of the programme/s you wish to apply. You are allowed to apply to three programmes at the same time.
  2. Read through the instructions on how to apply and start preparing your application documents as early as possible!
  3. Take a language test if required, please see the language requirements.
  4. When the application period opens, fill in the online application at Studyinfo.fi during the application period and upload the required enclosures to the application. The application period is 9 December 2020 at 8.00 GMT+2 - 13 January 2021 at 15.00 GMT+2.
  5. Upload all required enclosures and send the educational documents by post to Tampere University Admissions Office within two weeks, by 27 January 2021 at 15.00 GMT+2. The documents must reach the University by the given deadline and they must be delivered according to the country-specific requirements, if applicable.
  6. Remember to apply for a scholarship, if applicable.
  7. Wait for the admission results to be announced at the end of March 2021.
  8. If you are offered a study place, remember to accept it by the given deadline. Pay the tuition fee if required.
  9. Start preparing for your arrival in Finland well in advance.
  10. Register as a student and join the Tampere University community when the studies start in August 2021!

Online application form

The online application form will be available only during the application period only at Studyinfo.fi. The application period starts on 9 December 2020 at 8 am (GMT+2) and ends on 13 January 2021 at 3 pm (GMT+2). 

Enclosures

You will need to upload copies of all required documents as enclosures on the application form. In addition to the general application enclosures, some programmes have listed additional programme-specific enclosures that are needed when applying to these programmes.

You will need to upload all required enclosures on your application form online at Studyinfo.fi. In addition to uploading, you must submit officially certified copies of your educational documents to Tampere University Admissions Office by post. Applicants whose degrees have been awarded in certain countries need to pay special attention to the documentation and documents from these countries must be submitted in a particular way. These country-specific requirements must always be followed first and foremost, prior to the regular requirements.

Applicants must post the educational documents to Tampere University Admissions Office so that they arrive by 27 January 2021 at 15.00 GMT+2. You can find the list of the required general application enclosures and further instructions on the Application documents webpage.

There are no programme-specific enclosures when applying to this programme.

However, there are programme-specific questions on the application form and you will be asked to provide:

  • Contact information for two academic/professional persons who can provide recommendations for you. Please give the name, organisation, position and contact information including an e-mail address that if needed, we may contact them.
  • Skype contact information. Please note that only a selection of applicants may be interviewed.

Admission results and appeals

Admissions results will be announced at the end of March 2021. All applicants will be informed about the admissions results.

ryser

Last updated Sep 2020

About the School

The University of Tampere and Tampere University of Technology merged on January 2019. The new foundation-based Tampere University together with Tampere University of Applied Sciences form a new highe ... Read More

The University of Tampere and Tampere University of Technology merged on January 2019. The new foundation-based Tampere University together with Tampere University of Applied Sciences form a new higher education community in Tampere with competitive edges in technology, health and society. Our higher education community is the second largest university community in Finland with our 35 000 students, 50 international degree programmes, 3 500 international students and 1 000 international partnerships. Read less