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Masters Degrees (Bioeconomy)

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This programme responds to the rapid growth in the global bioeconomy by providing the core knowledge and skills needed to compete in a rapidly evolving, highly skilled workforce. Read more

Programme description

This programme responds to the rapid growth in the global bioeconomy by providing the core knowledge and skills needed to compete in a rapidly evolving, highly skilled workforce.

The Masters in Management of Bioeconomy, Innovation and Governance (MSc BIG) is an innovative and dynamic postgraduate qualification designed to meet the increasing demand for skilled people in the growing global bioeconomy.

The MSc BIG programme responds to the central challenges of the bioeconomy, including: developing sustainable innovation in a responsible manner; identifying and exploiting value throughout innovation ecosystems; and bringing new technologies to existing and emerging markets.

To meet these modern challenges, MSc BIG provides students with a dynamic set of competencies, and knowledge about life science innovation, as highly desired by prospective employers in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

Areas covered by the programme include:

agricultural biotechnology
sustainable food and animal production
synthetic biology
pharmaceuticals and antimicrobial resistance
regenerative medicine and cell therapies
stratified medicine
industrial biotechnology
genetic databases
biofuels and energy-related developments

MSc BIG graduates will excel in strategic thinking that brings globally contextualised solutions to practical problems relating to innovation and firm strategy, policy and regulation, collaborative R&D models, and governance and intellectual property.

Programme structure

The MSc BIG programme draws upon real life case studies and the latest research findings from the Innogen Institute. Experiential learning is encouraged, and is accomplished through problem-based group work activities, presentations and interactive seminars, along with conventional lectures.

You will complete five compulsory courses (80 credits) and a selection of optional courses (40 credits), then work on an independently researched dissertation, which can be a conventional academic dissertation or a work-based project.

Career opportunities

Basic scientific knowledge is no longer sufficient for building a successful career in the growing bioeconomy. There is a high demand for trained professionals in this area, and this degree is an opportunity to impress prospective employers in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors with expertise in life science innovation.

You may also choose to continue your studies and pursue an academic career in this rapidly growing field.

The transferable skills you gain in areas such as communication and research will give you an edge in the employment market, whatever your eventual career.

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Do you want to affect the future of forests, a key natural resource and the 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?. Read more
Do you want to affect the future of forests, a key natural resource and the 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 offers a broad and versatile perspective on forests and their use. The studies focus on and apply knowledge in biology, business economics, environmental sciences, logistics, geoinformatics and information technology. As a graduate in forest sciences you will be a professional in forest ecology, the management and use of forest resources, forest bioeconomy business and policy, with ample career opportunities in Finland and abroad.

Come and study forest sciences at the University of Helsinki, in one of the world’s foremost degree programmes in the field. For more information in Finnish about studies in forest sciences, the field of forestry and its opportunities, see http://www.metsatieteet.fi.

The University of Helsinki will introduce annual tuition fees to foreign-language Master’s programmes starting on August 1, 2017 or later. The fee ranges from 13 000-18 000 euros. Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries, who do not have a permanent residence status in the area, are liable to these fees. You can check this FAQ at the Studyinfo website whether or not you are required to pay tuition fees: https://studyinfo.fi/wp2/en/higher-education/higher-education-institutions-will-introduce-tuition-fees-in-autumn-2017/am-i-required-to-pay-tuition-fees/

Programme Contents

General studies in the Master’s programme provide you with skills needed for the academic world and the labour market. In advanced studies, you focus on field-specific issues and develop your professional knowledge when writing your Master’s thesis and completing courses in your field of specialisation. In addition, the studies include elective courses that allow you to diversify and deepen your knowledge.

The Master's Programme in Forest Sciences comprises three study tracks: forest ecology, the management and use of forest resources and forest bioeconomy business and policy. These study tracks include a total of 12 fields of specialisation.

The specialisations in forest ecology focus on various types of forest and peatland ecosystems and their exploitation. Topical issues include climate change, the prevention of damage to forests caused by insects and fungi, the control of game populations, and problems related to the exploitation of tropical forests.

The specialisations in the management and use of forest resources examine the planning of forest use and the relevant collection of information, forest inventory models, wood harvesting and logistics as well as the processing of wood into bioeconomy products. Topical issues include the application of new remote sensing methods in the planning of forest resource management, the combination of different values and targets in forestry and bioeconomy, various models of silviculture, increased efficiency in logging and transportation, and generating added value in all areas of biorefining.

Studies in the business economics of forest bioeconomy 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.

Selection of the Major

Graduates from the Bachelor’s Programme in Forest Sciences at the University of Helsinki can continue their studies in the Master's Programme in Forest Sciences. There is an application process for graduates from other Bachelor’s programmes, from universities of applied sciences, and for international applicants.

In the application process, you are selected for the Master’s Programme in Forest Sciences. Upon admission you must select one of the three study tracks, and you must select your specialisation by the second year of your Master’s studies.

Study tracks, specialisations and examples of topics covered by them:
Forest Ecology
-The management and restoration of forest ecosystems: the sustainable and multitargeted use of forest, the use of peat.
-Forest soil science: the biogeochemistry and hydrology of forest soil, soil and root ecology.
-Forest pathology and mycology: the microbiology and epidemiology of forests.
-Forest zoology: the biology and ecology of forest insects, the ecology of forest pests.
-Wildlife management: game populations and society, the planning of game husbandry, mammal ecology.
-The ecology, management and use of tropical forests: methods of tropical forestry, agroforestry.

Management and Use of Forest Resources
-Forest resource management: the collection and use of forest-related information in decision-making, laser scanning, remote sensing, forest inventory.
-Forest technology and logistics: the management of forest products, terramechanics, forest bioenergy.
-Wood technology: wood science and wood as raw material, laboratories in the forest industry, the structure and properties of wood raw material.

Forest Bioeconomy Business and Policy
-Marketing and management in the forest industry: strategic management and marketing, responsibility in forestry, customer orientation, innovations.
-Forest economics: business economics of units within forest bioeconomy, economics of silviculture, forest investment and the economic impact of environmental targets.
-International forest policy: global processes and trends impacting the forest sector from the perspective of individuals, communities and nations.

Programme Structure

The Bachelor’s Programme in Forest Sciences includes two study tracks: forest ecology and the use of forest resources, and forest economics and marketing. The Master's Programme in Forest Sciences comprises three study tracks: forest ecology, the management and use of forest resources, and business economics and policies of forest bioeconomy. These study tracks include a total of 12 specialisations (see specialisations above). Upon completing the Master's Programme in Forest Sciences you will be eligible to apply for the Doctoral Programme in Sustainable Use of Renewable Natural Resources.

Career Prospects

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. For more information in Finnish on the available career opportunities, see http://www.metsatieteet.fi

Internationalization

Studies in forestry offer ample opportunities for international activities. For example, you can complete your practical training or collect material for your Master’s thesis abroad. Most courses in the Master’s programme are in English, and several international students participate. You can also serve as a tutor for international exchange students and establish contacts and networks in this way. Another example of international activities is the Helsinki Summer School, which offers intensive courses on topical issues and brings together students from as many as 60 countries.

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The M.Sc. Read more
The M.Sc. Life Science Economics and Policy is an international Master's program with all courses offered in English integrating issues of economics and policy with the life sciences, and equips graduates with in-depth knowledge to work on important challenges within the bioeconomy, some examples of which are described below.

• Determine the impacts on society and the environment of regulatory policies of the natural sciences.
• Independently analyse the economic impacts of policy changes, and present them to the public in an easy-to-understand format.
• Evaluate and develop company strategies in response to changes in policy frameworks.
• Evaluate the economic outcomes of new policies, and make policy recommendations.
• Independently formulate research questions and translate them into research projects to find answers to these inquiries.

Learning outcomes

The following learning outcomes are strived for: a thorough knowledge of the fundamental principles of research methods; economic theory and modelling; data collection and analysis; and of the latest developments in contemporary research. Social competencies and skills are developed to equip graduates to operate with self-confidence in their future professions.

All courses are taught in the English language to equip students for an international working environment.

Is this program for you?

Are you interested in agriculture, the biological sciences, economics, governance, and how they integrate in policies and regulations for society, industry, and government; in regulatory affairs; in research; in topics like globalisation, food security, and the the bioeconomy; or are you planning a career in the corporate life sciences? Are you passionate about innovation, solving challenging problems, or risk management? If yes, then this program will equip you for the above, and more.

Employment opportunities

Firms and institutions involved in any way in the food value chain and the life sciences arena are potential employers. Possible employment opportunities are: a specialist leadership position such as Regulatory Affairs in industry (e.g. food processing, biotechnology), or in international organisations such as: the World Bank; the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR); the European Commission (EC); the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), or as a consultant, or a researcher in an academic or private institution.

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January, May or September. The time is ripe to develop low carbon alternatives to petroleum-based products both in terms of what society wants and what economics demand. Read more

Start dates

January, May or September

Overview

The time is ripe to develop low carbon alternatives to petroleum-based products both in terms of what society wants and what economics demand. This makes it’s an exciting time to be part of the rapidly developing Biotech Industries. However, biorefining is a highly technical field and the successful growth of the industry is resulting in a lack of sufficient staff with the technical knowledge necessary to support its expansion. This course has been designed in consultation with existing UK industries to address this skills shortage. Since this programme is aimed at people who are already working, training is via distance learning and we hope to complement these with workshops.

Taught by experts at both Aberystwyth University (AU) and Bangor University (BU) through AU, the Industrial Biotechnology course offers you a highly vocational option.

The MSc comprises five core modules and four complementary modules which have been selected to allow students to study the main components of the biorenewable pipeline, from raw materials through extraction and processing to products; and to carry out your own work-based research. They are:

Core Modules

Biorenewable Feedstocks - each January

Students will learn about dedicated crops, agricultural waste and food waste streams and look at how to match feedstock to end-use. The module will examine: the scale of the challenge facing land-based crop production in the 21st century; the role of emerging technologies to meet these needs sustainably; and practical and economic considerations to scaling up production.

Biorefining Technologies - each January

This module will equip students with a detailed fundamental and practical knowledge of biorefining including pre-processing, processing and product isolation. It will teach them to evaluate the relative limitations and merits of different extraction, microbial biotechnology & fermentation technologies

Biobased Product Development - each September

This module will focus on potential end-products from bio-refineries including the relevant performance tests and the available processing/manufacturing technologies; both current and emerging technologies will be discussed. The module will also pay attention to the product innovation chain including commercial elements, life-cycle analysis and regulatory considerations.

Waste Stream Valorisation - each May

This module explores the potential to valorise a range of waste streams and will include case studies of exemplary waste streams as well as from students’ own chosen areas of interest.

Drivers of the Bioeconomy - each September

This module examines the societal drivers that shape the bio-economy and looks at what makes production viable. The need for energy efficient will be highlighted, along with vertically integrated production pipelines.

Research Methodologies and Advances in Bioscience

This module provides a framework for developing your research skills in the context of your own research question. You will be paired you up with a supervisor whose research field is in your area of interest and your supervisor will then guide you as you develop your ideas.

Work-based Dissertation

You may start your dissertation in any semester but should only be taken when Research Methodology and Advances in Biosciences has been completed and will involve a work-plan developed with your ATP tutor, academic supervisor and employer (if relevant). Working at a rate of 10-15 hrs per week we would expect the dissertation to take a year to complete.

Complementary Modules

Carbon Footprinting and Life Cycle Assessment - each January

(BU) This module will provide a theoretical and critical analysis of the practice and application of Carbon Footprinting (CF) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as key tools in assessing the environmental impact of agricultural systems.

Genetics and Genomics - each May

(AU) This module focuses on the challenges facing land based production and the role of emerging technologies to meet these challenges sustainably.

Anaerobic Digestion - each May

(BU) This module covers not only the technological aspects of AD, but also the opportunities and consequences of different feed-stocks, the alternative uses of the produced energy and digestates.

Climate Change - each September

(BU) After an introduction to the science and effects of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the module will assess historical climate change and will look at current predictions of future change. Methods by which agriculture and industry could adapt to the consequences of – and mitigate its effect on – climate change will be discussed.

Each distance learning module runs for 12 to 14 weeks. Students can start with whichever module they like and take as many or as few as they are able to over the five years of registration.

To achieve a PGCert, students must complete three taught core modules
To achieve a PGDiploma students must complete any six taught modules
To achieve an MSc, students must complete four core modules, two complementary modules and a work-based dissertation.

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The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) has launched this unique Masters in Industrial Biotechnology. IBioIC has committed to creating the next generation of skilled industrial biotechnologists. Read more

Why this course?

The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) has launched this unique Masters in Industrial Biotechnology. IBioIC has committed to creating the next generation of skilled industrial biotechnologists.

The course meets industrial needs and is at the forefront of developments in science and engineering. It combines the expertise of staff from 13 academic institutions across Scotland. Our industrial partners also provide input to the course.

This is an exciting opportunity for science and engineering graduates who are looking for a career in an emerging industry that is sustainable, green and essential to the global economy.

The course will provide you with a strong foundation in basic industrial biotechnology. You’ll also cover advanced state-of-the-art topics in a wide range of industrial biotechnology-related areas. A three-month placement is offered, giving students the opportunity to gain valuable experience working with one of IBioIC’s industrial partners.

See the website

You’ll study

The taught classes are designed to give you a thorough understanding of the current developments in industrial biotechnology.
Two semesters of formal teaching are followed by an intensive research project. You'll carry this out with an industrial partner.
The taught classes cover the following areas and are taught by the following partners:

Core classes include:
- Industrial Biotechnology, Governance and Importance to the Bioeconomy (The Innogen Institute, Edinburgh University)
- Bioprocessing (Strathclyde University)
- Synthetic Biology (Glasgow University)
- Practical Systems Biology (Edinburgh University)
- Downstream Processing (Heriot Watt University)
- Applied Biocatalysis (Strathclyde University)

Elective classes include:
- Blue Biotechnology (SAMS, University of Highlands & Islands)
- Renewable Energy Technologies (Abertay University)
- Advanced Project Management (Strathclyde University)
- Supply Chain Management (Strathclyde University)
- Production Management (Heriot Watt University)
- Resource Efficient Formulation (University of the West of Scotland)

Facilities

The Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS) offers an excellent environment for research and teaching. It is located in a new building with several laboratories. All are fitted with modern equipment.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

To find out more about the courses and opportunities on offer visit isc.strath.ac.uk or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333+44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future. You can also complete the online application form. To ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Learning & teaching

Two semesters of formal teaching are followed by an intensive research project, carried out with an industrial partner.

Assessment

The final assessment will be based on performance in exams, coursework and the research project. If necessary there may be a formal oral exam.

Careers

The course provides an exciting opportunity for science and engineering graduates who are looking for a career in an emerging industry that is sustainable, green and essential to the global economy.

Our students enjoyed successful placements with the following companies:
- Qnostics
- GSK
- Xanthella
- SeaBioTech
- Marine Biopolymers
- AMT
- Ingenza
- Unilever
- Innogen
- CRODA
- CelluComp
- NCIMB

A total of 70% of our 2014 cohort have found full-time jobs or have undertaken further study as a result of the experience gained throughout their placement.

Find information on Scholarships here http://www.strath.ac.uk/search/scholarships/index.jsp

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The MSc in Sustainable Chemical Engineering is designed for ambitious graduates who aspire to play leading roles in managing, innovating and delivering resource efficient products, processes and systems in a sustainable way. Read more
The MSc in Sustainable Chemical Engineering is designed for ambitious graduates who aspire to play leading roles in managing, innovating and delivering resource efficient products, processes and systems in a sustainable way. The process industry has a high dependence on material and energy resources. Because of this, there is a strong interest in improving resource efficiency to increase competitiveness and decrease environmental impact.

Resource efficiency is about 'doing more and/or better with less' and delivering this sustainably presents a major opportunity and challenge for engineers and scientists. Industry needs skilled graduates with the expertise to take up this challenge now.

This course benefits from the support of our multidisciplinary EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training:

- Sustainable Chemical Technologies (University of Bath)
- Water Informatics: Science and Engineering (Universities of Bath, Exeter, Bristol, Cardiff)
- Catalysis (Universities of Bath, Cardiff, Bristol).

The three Centres for Doctoral Training offer excellent opportunities for cross-disciplinary projects in engineering and science as well as access to a lively programme of talks and other events throughout the year. At the start of the MSc programme you will be assigned a doctoral student who will act as your mentor in addition to an academic tutor and supervisor.

Make an Impact: Sustainability for Professionals

If you are interested in sustainability, you can sign up for our free MOOC (massive open online course) Make an Impact: Sustainability for Professionals (https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/sustainability-for-professionals). The course starts in April.

Visit the website http://www.bath.ac.uk/engineering/graduate-school/taught-programmes/sustainable-chemical-engineering/index.html

Learning Outcomes

This course teaches and builds on advanced concepts and technologies core to sustainable chemical engineering. It will train you how to integrate systems thinking and economic, environmental and social objectives in problem solving and decision making. You will graduate with the practical and interpersonal skills required by professionals to work in the emerging and expanding employment market in the green sector.

You will:

- gain a holistic understanding of the environmental, social, ethical, regulatory and economic dimensions of sustainable chemical engineering and how they interact

- apply methodologies and tools to design and evaluate alternative products, processes and systems based on sustainability criteria

- apply your knowledge of resource conservation to deal with complex scenarios, real-life problems and decision making in the face of incomplete or uncertain information

- develop 'big picture' thinking to evaluate alternative products, processes and systems using whole systems approaches, which consider the multiple criteria and stakeholders along the process industry value chain

- develop the skills to formulate and implement research and design projects independently and in professional multidisciplinary teams.

Structure

The programme creates many opportunities for interdisciplinary and active learning through authentic, industrially relevant case studies, games and project work. There are guest speakers from industry and other organisations, as well as opportunities for industrial visits. Transferable skills development, such as problem solving, teamwork, effective communication, networking and time and resource management, is embedded throughout the programme.

- Semester 1 (September to January):
The first semester consists of five taught compulsory units that provide you with a foundation in sustainability and systems analysis to apply throughout the programme.

The units advance your understanding of the concepts, technologies and issues in resource recovery, including the valorisation and the re-use of waste streams (waste2resource). You will examine in detail how resources can be conserved by transforming wastes and other feedstocks into high value products in the bioeconomy.

Each unit consists of lectures, tutorials and case studies, and is supplemented by private study and preparation for in-class activities.

Assessment is by a combination of coursework and examination.

- Semester 2 (February to May):
In the second semester you will take two further technical specialist units on resource conservation. These cover a range of advanced technologies and concepts, including process intensification and waste, water and energy integration.

You will also develop your understanding of Sustainable Chemical Engineering in a design, research and management context through three project-based units, focused on resource efficiency and conservation.

In the group activity, you will apply engineering and project management techniques to solve a design problem, just as an industry-based design team would.

Project unit 1 introduces you to research methods and project planning. You will then apply this to detailed background research in your discipline area to prepare for your individual summer dissertation project in Project unit 2.

Assessment is by a combination of coursework and examination.

- Semester 3 (June to September):
The final semester consists of an individual project leading to an MSc dissertation. Depending on your chosen area of interest, the project may involve theoretical, computational and/or experimental activities. You will conduct your individual project at Bath under the supervision of a member of academic staff, with opportunities for industrial co-supervision. You will have access to the state-of the-art facilities in the Department of Chemical Engineering.

Assessment is through a written dissertation and an oral presentation.


Facilities and equipment
The Department has a full range of research facilities with pilot plants for all major areas of research. Our analytical facilities include gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), UV-VIS, FTIR and Raman, photon correlation spectroscopy (PCS), microcalorimetry, adsorption measurement systems, surface and pore structure analysis systems and particle sizing equipment. Within the University, there is access to atomic force, scanning and transmission electron microscopes.

Research Excellence Framework 2014
We are proud of our research record: 89% of our research was graded as either world-leading or internationally excellent in the Research Excellence Framework 2014, placing us 10th in the UK for our submission to the Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering.

Careers information
We are committed to ensuring that postgraduate students acquire a range of subject-specific and generic skills during their research training including personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and career management. Most of our graduates take up research, consultancy or process and product development and managerial appointments in the commercial sector, or in universities or research institutes.

Find out how to apply here - https://secure.bath.ac.uk/prospectus/cgi-bin/applications.pl?department=chem-eng

We have Elite MSc Scholarships for £2,000 towards your tuition fees available for this course - http://www.bath.ac.uk/engineering/graduate-school/taught-programmes/funding/

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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?. Read more
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.

The University of Helsinki will introduce annual tuition fees to foreign-language Master’s programmes starting on August 1, 2017 or later. The fee ranges from 13 000-18 000 euros. Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries, who do not have a permanent residence status in the area, are liable to these fees. You can check this FAQ at the Studyinfo website whether or not you are required to pay tuition fees: https://studyinfo.fi/wp2/en/higher-education/higher-education-institutions-will-introduce-tuition-fees-in-autumn-2017/am-i-required-to-pay-tuition-fees/

Programme Contents

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.

Selection of the Major

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.

Programme Structure

With a scope of 120 credits (ECTS), the Master’s programme can be completed in two academic years. The degree comprises:
-60 credits of advanced studies in the selected study track, including your Master’s thesis (30 credits)
-60 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.

Career Prospects

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.

Other admission details

Applications are also accepted from graduates of other University of Helsinki Bachelor’s programmes 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. For the latest admission requirements see the website: https://www.helsinki.fi/en/masters-admission-masters-programme-in-agricultural-sciences-master-of-science-agriculture-and-forestry-2-years/1.2.246.562.20.29558674254

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Life on Earth depends on solar energy captured by plants - they are the base of most food webs and underpin the functioning of all major ecosystems. Read more
Life on Earth depends on solar energy captured by plants - they are the base of most food webs and underpin the functioning of all major ecosystems. Plants release the oxygen we breath. They convert solar energy into chemical energy, providing us with food, fibres, renewable energy sources, and raw materials for many industries. Plants do not carry out these processes in isolation. They interact with other organisms and the physical and chemical environment, communicate and actively adjust to their circumstances. How do they do these things and how can we profit from understanding them? When you have graduated from the Master’s Program in Plant Biology you will have the answers to these big questions, and more, such as:
-How one plant cell develops into a complicated organism and how plant cells, tissues and organs communicate with each other
-How plants avoid, tolerate or defend themselves from external stress factors such as diseases, drought and excessive solar radiation
-How plants sense their environment and communicate with each other and with other organisms
-How plants, interacting with microbes, fungi and animals, maintain ecosystems and thus life
-How the genotypic, functional and morphological differences between plants allow them to thrive in vastly different habitats

You will also be able to:
-Understand how research in plant biology and biotechnology can contribute to plant breeding and production.
-Plan, coordinate and execute high-quality basic and applied scientific research.
-Have a good command of the scientific method and critically evaluate research across scientific disciplines.
-Use the basic skills needed to expand your knowledge into other related fields and communicate with experts in those fields.
-Act in working life as an expert and innovator in your field, supported by your language, communication and other transferable skills.
-Be eligible for scientific post-graduate (doctoral) studies.

After earning your degree, you can continue towards a PhD or move directly into a career. If you have a Bachelor’s degree in a field of biology from another Finnish university or from a foreign university anywhere in the world, you are welcome to apply for the Master’s programme in Plant Biology. Based on your previous studies we will evaluate the possible need for supplementary studies, which will be included in your degree.

The University of Helsinki will introduce annual tuition fees to foreign-language Master’s programmes starting on August 1, 2017 or later. The fee ranges from 13 000-18 000 euros. Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries, who do not have a permanent residence status in the area, are liable to these fees. You can check this FAQ at the Studyinfo website whether or not you are required to pay tuition fees.

Programme Contents

The Master’s Programme in Plant Biology is a joint programme of the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences and the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, which ensures an exceptionally comprehensive curriculum. You will be able to study the diversity of wild and cultivated plants from the Arctic to the Tropics, as well as plant functions from the molecular to the ecosystem level.

The teaching is diverse, consisting of modern laboratory and computer courses, field courses, seminars and excursions. The curriculum is intertwined with research. You will be introduced to the research groups from the beginning of your studies, so you will become familiar with research methods as your studies progress. Much of the study material is in various learning platforms (such as Moodle), which allow distance learning. You will have a personal tutor who will help you tailor an individual study plan according to your requirements.

Within the programme you can choose among several optional study modules and focus on, for example:
-Plant biotechnology and breeding
-Molecular biology and genetics
-Regulation of growth, reproduction and differentiation of tissues
-Biological basis of crop yield
-Plant ecology and evolutionary biology
-Evolutionary history and systematics of plants and fungi
-Species identification

All modules are worth at least 15 credits. They are interlinked to ensure a coherent and balanced degree that allows you to obtain a broad perspective. Alternatively, you can focus on your primary research interest while acquiring the skills needed to follow your career goals on completion of your degree.

A translational perspective is emphasised in courses in which it is relevant. That will allow you to apply the acquired basic knowledge in problem-based research, bridging the gap between basic and applied research.

Selection of the Major

By choosing study modules you find interesting you will be able to deepen your expertise in particular areas of plant biology. Your degree can thus be tailored depending on your aspirations, whether you want to be a university researcher, entrepreneur, or environmental/agricultural consultant. You will also be free to pick individual courses from any module, without having to take all courses in it. However, each module is a coherent entity so we recommend that you take all of the courses in it.

Programme Structure

The extent of the programme is 120 credits (ECTS), to be completed in two years of full-time studies. The degree consists of:
-60 credits of advanced studies (in plant biology), including Master’s thesis (30 credits).
-60 credits of other studies from this programme or other programmes.

The curriculum contains a personal study plan and it can contain career planning or transferable skill studies.

Career Prospects

With a Master’s degree in Plant Biology, you will have many potential career opportunities. You can work especially:
-As a researcher and/or part-time teacher at universities or other institutions of higher education.
-As a researcher in national and international institutions in the public and private sectors.
-As an expert, civil servant, authority or PR officer in public administration.
-In various positions in international organisations or enterprises engaged in bioeconomy.
-As an entrepreneur in the biological or environmental sectors of business.

Internationalization

International scope is a key benefit of the Plant Biology programme. You will be encouraged and helped to seek exchange possibilities in international student exchange programmes with cooperating universities. In this way you will get new ideas, perspectives and personal contacts that may prove useful later in your working life or doctoral studies.

All of our research groups include numerous members from Europe and farther afield. Thus you will be doing research in an international community and will be able to improve your skills in foreign languages, especially English, which is of primary importance in working life today.

You can also tutor international students or act in the student’s subject association or Student’s Union and get valuable experience of international and multicultural communities.

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