Goal of the programme
Would you like to be involved in finding solutions to future challenges of food and energy production, such as climate change, population growth and limited energy resources? Are you interested in animal welfare, clean soil, environmental issues or the newest methods in biological and genetic engineering? Would you like to learn about automation and robotics in agriculture?
Join the Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences on the Viikki Campus to find solutions for the challenges of today and tomorrow. The University of Helsinki is the only university in Finland to offer academic education in this field.
In the Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences, you can pursue studies in plant production sciences, animal science, agrotechnology, or environmental soil science, depending on your interests and previous studies. For further information about the study tracks, see Programme contents.
Upon completing a Master’s degree, you will:
- Be an expert in plant production science, animal science, agrotechnology, or environmental soil science.
- Be able to assess the sustainability and environmental impact of food and energy production.
- Be able to apply biosciences, ecology, chemistry, physics or statistics, depending on your study track, to the future needs of agriculture.
- Have mastered the key issues and future development trends of your field.
- Have mastered state-of-the-art research and analysis methods and techniques.
- Be able to engage in international activities, project work and communication.
- Be able to acquire and interpret scientific research information in your field and present it orally and in writing.
- Have the qualifications to pursue postgraduate studies in a doctoral programme or a career as an expert or entrepreneur.
Further information about the studies on the Master’s programme website.
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.
Find out more about the Be 1* of the Best Scholarship Programme.
Information on the languages of instruction
The Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences is multilingual: the language of instruction is primarily English, but you can complete your studies in Finnish, Swedish or English.
The Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences comprises four study tracks:
Plant production sciences – plants as sources of food, feed, energy, beauty and wellbeing
During your studies, you will have the opportunity to apply biology to the breeding, cultivation, protection and production ecology of crop or horticultural plants. Producing sufficient food is one of the great challenges facing humanity. Plant production sciences have an important mission in finding solutions to this challenge. Plants are cultivated not only for food and feed, but also for bioenergy, green landscapes and ornamental purposes; plant production sciences seek new, improved solutions for all these purposes.
Animal science – animal health and wellbeing
During your studies, you will become familiar with issues pertaining to the wellbeing, nutrition and breeding of production and hobby animals as well as with the relevant biotechnology. In this study track you will apply biochemistry, animal physiology, genetics and molecular biology for the benefit of sustainable animal production. The Viikki Research Farm, in urban Helsinki, provides plenty of opportunities for hands-on learning!
Agrotechnology – technology with consideration for the environment
This study track provides you with the opportunity to study technologies that are key to agricultural production and the environment, from the basics to the latest innovations. Advances in technology and automation offer new horizons to fearless inventors interested in developing machinery and engineering for the reorganisation, implementation and adjustment of production in accordance with the needs of plants and animals.
Environmental soil science – dig below the surface
These studies allow you to literally dig beneath the surface. The soil is a central factor for the production of renewable natural resources, the diversity of nature, and the quality of water systems. As an expert in environmental soil science you will know how the soil serves as a substrate for plants and affects the quality of food, and how it can be improved.
Further information about the content.
Selection of the study track
The Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences comprises four study tracks, allowing you to focus on a specialisation according to your interests and previous studies: plant production sciences (quota of 40 students), animal science (quota of 25 students), agrotechnology (quota of 15 students), and environmental soil science (quota of 5 students).
You can be admitted to the Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences either directly from the relevant Bachelor’s programme or through a separate admissions process. A total of 80 students will be admitted through these two admissions channels.
Bachelor’s graduates from the following applicable University of Helsinki Bachelor’s programmes can continue their studies in the Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences in accordance with previously determined criteria and principles without having to apply separately: Bachelor’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences, Bachelor’s Programme in Environmental Sciences, Bachelor’s Programme in Molecular Biosciences and Bachelor’s Programme in Biology. If there are more applicants to any of the study tracks than there are student places, admission will be based on previous academic performance and the applicability of the previous degree.
Applications are also accepted from graduates of other University of Helsinki Bachelor’s programmes than those listed above as well as from graduates of other Finnish or international universities. In these cases, admission will be based on your previous academic performance and the applicability of your previous degree.
Further information about the selection of the study track.
With a scope of 120 credits (ECTS), the Master’s programme can be completed in two academic years. The degree comprises:
- 90 credits of advanced studies in the selected study track, including your Master’s thesis (30 credits)
- 30 credits of other studies from the curriculum of your own or other degree programmes
The study tracks of the Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences collaborate across disciplinary boundaries to construct thematic modules around importance topical issues: the bioeconomy, the recycling of nutrients, food systems, and the production and exploitation of genomic information.
You must also complete a personal study plan (PSP). Your studies can also include career orientation and career planning.
Various teaching methods are used in the programme, including lectures, practical exercises, practical laboratory and field courses, practical training, seminars, project work and independent study.
Further information about the structure.
The Master’s degree culminates in a Master’s thesis of approximately 50 pages on a topic related to your study track. Completing the Master’s thesis demonstrates your ability to prepare a written scientific presentation in your native language or English, to use source materials critically, and to present your thesis orally and answer questions about it.
The Master’s thesis contains an experimental section, which can either be an analysis of existing research material or an independent research project completed in a laboratory, greenhouse or experimental field, after which you report the results in a scientific thesis. To support the writing and oral presentation of your thesis, you will be offered academic writing courses each year.
The Master’s thesis is typically completed within research projects of the department or campus, or as an assignment commissioned by a research institute or company in the field. Upon completion of your thesis, these partners could be potential employers.
Further information about the MSc thesis.
As a graduate of the Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences, you will have the competence to pursue a career or to continue your studies at the doctoral level.
According to the statistics of the Finnish Association of Academic Agronomists, the current employment situation for new graduates is positive. Graduates have found employment in Finland and abroad as experts in the following fields:
- Research and product development (universities, research institutes, companies, industry)
- Administration and expert positions (ministries, supervisory agencies, EU, FAO)
- Business and management (companies)
- Teaching, training and consultation (universities, universities of applied sciences, organisations, development cooperation projects)
- Communication (universities, media, companies, ministries, organisations)
- Entrepreneurship (self-employment)
As a graduate you can apply for doctoral education in Finland or abroad. A doctoral degree can be completed in four years. With a doctoral degree you can pursue a career in the academic world or enter the job market. The qualifications required for some positions may be a doctoral rather than a Master’s degree.
Further information about the career prospects.
The Finnish-language student site: Mitä meistä tulee isona.
Further information about doctoral education at the University of Helsinki.
You may apply if you meet the following three requirements:
- You have completed by 31 July 2019 a first-cycle degree (e.g., bachelor’s degree) or second-cycle degree (e.g., master’s degree) or a postgraduate degree in Finland or abroad.
- You have completed or will complete studies required for the master’s programme by 11 January 2019. Below are more details concerning applicable studies.
- You are able to demonstrate your proficiency in English. For further instructions on demonstrating your proficiency in English, see the section “Required attachments”.
If you are currently or have previously been a student at the University of Helsinki, please note the following rules.
If you have refugee status or are in a refugee-like situation, and you do not have the official documents to prove your eligibility to apply for higher education, you can still apply to the University of Helsinki.
You may be admitted if
- You prove your eligibility (see above) by the deadline
- You submit the application in Studyinfo.fi and the required attachments within the specified deadline. The application form is open from 3 December 2018 (8:00h Finnish time) to 11 January 2019 (15:00h Finnish time). Read more about what will happen after the application period.
- You have completed a sufficient amount of academic studies suitable to the field of the Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences.
Please note: even if the degree you are using as grounds for application is not completed during the application round, you must have a sufficient amount of applicable studies completed by 11 January 2019.
The applicability of the field and the sufficiency of the completed studies will be evaluated in conjunction with admission. The University of Helsinki does not provide any preliminary evaluation on the suitability of the applicant’s previous studies.
Choosing the language of your Master’s degree
In the Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences, you can choose the language of your degree to be Finnish, Swedish or English. This means that even though most of the teaching will be offered in English, you can answer examination questions and write course assignments and your Master’s thesis in the language that you select as the language of the degree. Please note that you can apply to pursue this Master’s programme in one language only and you must demonstrate your language skills accordingly. You must select the language of your degree when submitting your application.
Choosing a study track
The Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences has four study tracks and can admit no more than 20 students. You can apply for only one of the study tracks offered in the Master’s programme. You must select the study track you are applying for on the application form. This selection is binding.
Study tracks in the Master’s programme in Agricultural Sciences:
- Agrotechnology (maximum intake: 5 new students)
- Animal Science (maximum intake: 6 new students)
- Plant Production Sciences (maximum intake: 10 new students)
- Environmental Soil Science (maximum intake: 3 new students)
Factors affecting admissions
Applicants to the Master’s Programme in Agricultural sciences must have completed a sufficient amount of studies applicable to the discipline of the Master’s programme and the selected study track. The studies included in the degree serving as grounds for application to the programme, or the studies completed in addition to that degree, must be applicable and appropriate to the master’s programme and its disciplines in terms of both content and the applicant’s performance so as to provide sufficient knowledge and skills for master’s studies.
The following factors will be taken into consideration in admission decisions: the suitability of applicants’ previous studies for the Master’s programme, success in previous studies suitable for the Master’s programme, and motivation.
Applications are academically assessed and scored, with emphasis on the above factors in the following order:
- Suitability of previous studies for the prospective master’s programme
- Success in previous studies suitable for the prospective master’s programme
You must receive at least the minimum score required for each area of assessment. If you do not receive the minimum score required for a specific area, the subsequent area(s) will not be scored.
If you apply for more than one Master’s programme at the University of Helsinki Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry in this master’s application process, you must rank them in order of preference on the application form. If you meet the criteria for admission to more than one Master’s programme at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, you can only be admitted to the programme ranked the highest on your application.
Applicants will be informed of the results of the student selection by email by 12 April 2019 at the latest. Please note the one study place per term provision if you are applying for more than one study programme in spring 2019.
Study right to be awarded
If granted admission, you will receive the right to pursue the degree of Master of Science (Agriculture and Forestry) in the Master’s Programme in Agricultural sciences.
Statistics on applicants can be found on the University’s webpage.
The application must be accompanied by the following documents, and the documents must be submitted as instructed below:
- Official photocopy of the degree certificate/diploma
- Official transcript
- Certificate of language proficiency
- Authorised translations into English, Finnish or Swedish
- A photocopy of your passport, your official identity card or your Finnish residence permit card
- Motivation letter, which you will write on the application form
- Diploma supplement (if available)
1) Read carefully the instructions on application enclosures and their submission.
2) You must demonstrate your proficiency in English. Read the instructions on proving your language skills.
3) If the degree serving as grounds for application to the programme is still incomplete, you need not submit a degree certificate/diploma with the application documents. If you are admitted, the admission decision will be conditional, and you will receive instructions with your letter of admission for submitting the official degree certificate/diploma. NB! The final degree certificate/diploma must be presented by 14 August 2019 at the latest.
|Due date||11.1.2019, 15:00|
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