Master's Degree Programme in Sustainable Architecture


Program Description

Creative thinking and problem solving

The Master's Degree Programme in Architecture places your imagination and creativity central in responding to diverse societal, cultural and environmental challenges, through architectural and spatial propositions and interventions.

Our programme provides you with a broad understanding of the fundamentals of architecture on which to build your expertise. At the same time, we are strongly oriented towards the themes of sustainable architecture through a humanistic, all-inclusive and holistic approach. The programme equips you with in-depth knowledge of the cultural and practice-related considerations concerning the field. Our design tasks are rooted in reality and you will develop your creative, reflective and critical thinking and design skills in close dialogue with professors, assistants and fellow students in a proactive environment. Personal initiative, original ideas and imagination are encouraged and supported.

The quality of education, combined with Finnish expertise in the design field, is internationally recognized and provides an excellent foundation for working anywhere in the world. The School of Architecture enjoys an outstanding reputation and attracts students from all over the world. The contents and objectives of the degree programme are based on the requirements of the European Union's directive that governs the qualifications of architects. The degree confers eligibility to work as an architect in Finland, the EU and other countries abroad, although access to the profession may entail training, an internship or an examination, depending on local regulations.

Information about studies

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

Study objectives

After completing the degree, you will have the skills for the architect's profession, lifelong learning and the qualification for scientific or artistic postgraduate studies.

Having completed the Master's Degree in Architecture, you will be able to:

  • Innovatively design safe, responsible and accessible constructed environments that meet aesthetic, technical, spatial and functional requirements.
  • Develop and apply a variety of responsible solutions independently and creatively, regardless of scale, taking into account the relationship between human being and the environment.
  • Design and combine different things into a broad and goal-oriented architectural entity and understand the significance of different factors in the whole.
  • Assess the development of the architecture industry and justify their opinions in the international and societal debate in architecture.
  • Critically and systematically apply professional knowledge and knowledge from different disciplines.
  • Apply theories and methods of architecture and use the scientific methods of work.
  • Justify the solutions chosen and to present and assure them clearly, in writing, verbally and visually, using various techniques.
  • Interpret the needs of customers, users and society and design solutions in the context of the economy, regulations, timetables, climate, professional ethics, sustainable construction, aesthetics and technology.
  • Actively use interaction, language and networking skills in multidisciplinary and multicultural communities.
  • Develop yourself and take responsibility for your own professional skills.
  • Work independently and responsibly in the profession of architect, and evaluate the quality of your work.

The contents and objectives of the degree programme are based on the provisions of the European Union’s directive for the qualifications of architects.

More about the language of instruction

The official language of the programme is English, meaning that all the courses, exams and student services are arranged in English. Consequently, proficiency in both written and spoken English is an absolute prerequisite. Students are required to submit an approved certificate of their language proficiency when applying for admission. In addition, students are required to complete a course in the Finnish language. The course provides students with basic knowledge of everyday Finnish and introduces them to Finnish culture.


Study contents

The first year of our programme equips you with a broad general understanding of the fundamentals of architecture on the master’s level. While orienting towards sustainable architecture, the courses cover the profession’s major fields of architectural design (including public building design and housing design), management of built heritage and urban planning and design.

The second year focuses on architectural design with two major intensive courses in the autumn, as well as on preparing the master’s thesis during the spring semester.

Architectural studies in our programme are mostly about learning by doing. In design studios, assignments are rooted in real-life situations. Excursions and architectural student competitions provide variety. Students learn by sharing and exchanging ideas with fellow students in group sessions. Design project results are reviewed in sessions where the students present their work and explain their approach to the assignment and the ideas underlying their solutions.

Thanks to its relatively small size and a large proportion of international students, the environment at the School of Architecture is familiar and multicultural. Our staff and students make up a close-knit community that supports teaching and learning. The quality of teaching is high, as instruction is provided by faculty members who are also pursuing research and are internationally recognised for their prestigious accomplishments as professional architects. This ensures access to the most up-to-date knowledge and creates an inspirational learning environment.

Tuition fees

The tuition fee of the programme is 12,000 euros per academic year for non-EU/EEA students with a scholarship system for fee-paying students.

Structure of studies

The degree programme takes 4 full-time semesters to complete and carries 120 credits. The last semester is dedicated to the Master’s thesis.

Career opportunities

The majority of professional architects in Finland work in architecture firms or as private entrepreneurs, but also the public sector is a significant employer. Traditionally architects in Finland have mainly worked in architectural design. The scope of the profession has since expanded considerably to also include, for example, environmental issues, real estate management, education and research, and the culture sector. The focus of design tasks has shifted from new construction to the multiple challenges of renovation. More and more architects are working as urban planners, as experts employed by companies, the government, institutions and organisations, or in education and research. The Master’s Degree Programme in Architecture prepares future architects to pursue a wide range of career opportunities.


The degree obtained upon completion of the Master’s Degree Programme in Architecture is an architect’s professional degree that corresponds to the Finnish professional degree of "arkkitehti" and qualifies you to work as an architect in Finland and the European Union in accordance with the relevant laws and decrees. The degree satisfies the criteria set forth in the 2005/36/EC EU Directive and is listed among automatically recognised European degrees.

Co-operation with other parties

In addition to studies in one’s own degree programme, students may take full advantage of the teaching offered by the Tampere higher education community ranging from technical to vocational studies in various fields.

Postgraduate study opportunities

The Master’s Degree in Architecture confers eligibility to apply for admission to doctoral studies. MSc (Arch) graduates may seek admission to the Doctoral Programme in the Built Environment that leads to the degree of Doctor of Science in Architecture, which is equivalent to a PhD in many other countries.


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 at Tampere University.

General eligibility

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

  1. 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 the relevant field for the Master’s degree programme that you’re applying to
    • From an accredited institution of higher education
  2. AND a good command of the English language for academic purposes.

A 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.

Applicants in their final year of the Bachelor’s degree are eligible to apply if the degree will be completed by 31 July 2020. In this case, they may be accepted conditionally.

Applicants with a Master’s degree may be admitted only well-founded reasons and only if they are able to show that the new degree at Tampere University provides the applicant with significant new knowledge and skills.

Programme specific eligibility criteria

The previous degree should be from a field closely related to the Master's programme you are applying to. In the Master’s programme in Sustainable Architecture, the previous degree has to be in the field of Architecture.

Language skill requirements

All applicants must submit evidence on a good command of English for academic purposes. There are two ways of indicating English language proficiency: language tests and previous studies.

The minimum English language test result requirements

Test name & Minimum test result

  • TOEFL iBT: 92 overall, with no section below 20
  • IELTS (academic): 6.5 overall, with no section below 5.5
  • PTE (academic): 62 overall, with no section 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. Only these studies are accepted. If you apply without a valid language test result, carefully examine the exemptions.


A maximum of 10 students is admitted to the Sustainable Architecture programme.

Admission procedure

Students are selected to the programme from those applicants who submit a complete application (application and 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.

All students with a degree from a Finnish University of Applied Sciences (AMK) are required to complete a study package depending on the student's background. Admitted students will be informed on these studies in detail when the studies start in the autumn of 2020.


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

How to apply

Application step-by-step checklist
  1. Check the general eligibility and programme-specific eligibility criteria of the programme/s you wish to apply. You are allowed to apply 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 during the application period and upload required enclosures for the application. Application period 4 December 2019 at 8:00 GMT+2 - 15 January 2020 at 15.00 GMT+2.
  5. Upload all required enclosures and send the educational documents by post, according to the country specific-requirements if applicable. Documents must reach Tampere University Admissions Office by 31 January 2020 at 15.00 GMT+2. The documents must reach the University by the given deadline.
  6. Wait for the admission results to be announced in early April 2020.
  7. If you are offered a study place, remember to accept it by the given deadline.
  8. Pay the tuition fee, if required. Start preparing your arrival in Finland.
  9. Register as a student and join the Tampere University community!
Online application form

The online application form will be available during the application period only at The application period starts on 4 December 2019 at 8 am (GMT+2) and ends on 15 January 2020 at 3 pm (GMT+2).


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 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 31 January 2020.

In addition to the seven Tampere University general application enclosures, for the Master's programme in Sustainable Architecture you also need to submit:

A portfolio

  • The portfolio must be uploaded as a single PDF and it should widely present the applicant’s creativity and architectural and artistic skills. Work done collaboratively should be identified as such and the applicant's role in the project defined. Embedded links within the portfolio are not considered.

2-minute video

  • In addition to the portfolio, a short video (up to 2 minutes) is required, where the applicant should present their portfolio. The video must be uploaded as a single file in .mov, .avi or .mp4 format.

Admission results and appeals

Admissions results will be announced in early April 2020. All applicants will be informed about the admissions results.


Last updated Nov 2019

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