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Masters Degrees (Soil Ecology)

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A collaboration between the Faculty of Land and Food Systems and Faculty of Forestry, the inter-faculty Soil Science Graduate Program offers opportunities for advanced study and research leading to MSc and PhD degrees. Read more
A collaboration between the Faculty of Land and Food Systems and Faculty of Forestry, the inter-faculty Soil Science Graduate Program offers opportunities for advanced study and research leading to MSc and PhD degrees. Students are registered in the Faculty of Graduate Studies through either the Faculty of Land and Food Systems or Faculty of Forestry, depending upon their research interests.

Areas of study include biometeorology, forest nutrition and nutrient cycling, mycorrhizal ecology, soil biology, soil quality and fertility, soil-plant interactions, ecosystem services, land an water systems.

Program Overview

Soil Science offers opportunities for advanced study and research leading to Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees in the areas of soil microbial ecology, organic matter, soil physics, irrigation and drainage, biometeorology, soil pollution, soil and water conservation, soil management, and land use, with application to forest, agricultural, urban, and range soils, as well as a professional Master of Land and Water Systems (M.L.W.S.) degree. The Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees include a combination of courses in both basic and applied sciences, with research leading to the completion of a thesis/dissertation. The M.L.W.S. degree is intended for students seeking a post-baccalaureate degree for professional practice in the land and water resources management realm. The program is designed to be completed in one calendar year.

Soil Sciences programs are enriched through collaboration with: colleagues in other graduate programs, such as Forestry, Geography, Plant Science, Institute for Resources and Environment, Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems, and Landscape Architecture; and agencies such as Environment Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, BC Ministry of Forests and Range, and other provincial, municipal, and regional government agencies.

Research facilities are housed both within the MacMillan and Forest Sciences Buildings and, on a shared basis, in other buildings on campus. Research facilities within the MacMillan Building include modern analytical laboratories and other equipment for conducting chemical and biometeorological research, while excellent facilities for soil biological research are located in the Forest Sciences Centre.

Quick Facts

- Degree: Master of Science
- Specialization: Soil Science
- Subject: Agriculture and Forestry
- Mode of delivery: On campus
- Program components: Coursework + Thesis required
- Faculty: Faculty of Land and Food Systems

Career Prospects

Graduates of the soil science degree program often obtain positions with government or the private sector. Some graduates decide to continue in the area of research and academia with various universities and colleges. Examples of where some graduates are employed:
- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
- BC Ministry of Forests
- Canadian Forest Service
- Consultant
- Associate Professor, University of Guelph
- Associate Professor, Yale University
- Associate Professor, University of Northern BC
- Environment Canada
- Assistant Professor, University of Bengukulu, Indonesia
- Assistant Professor, University of Venda for Science and Technology, South Africa

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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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Our MSc in Applied Ecology provides you with the advanced knowledge and skills required for employment in field biology, ecology and related areas.You will follow a curriculum with a highly practical emphasis, undertaking hands-on exercises in field and laboratory settings. Read more
Our MSc in Applied Ecology provides you with the advanced knowledge and skills required for employment in field biology, ecology and related areas.You will follow a curriculum with a highly practical emphasis, undertaking hands-on exercises in field and laboratory settings. In the field, you will learn identification skills for a wide range of species in several key taxonomic groups. You will also learn industry-standard survey techniques such as Phase One Habitat Surveying, Habitat Condition Assessments, National Vegetation Classification and Bird Territory Mapping. Laboratory sessions will include use of microscopes in taxonomy and analysis of environmental parameters, such as water oxygen levels and soil nutrient status, to enable better understanding of species-environment interactions.


There will be numerous opportunities to work on on-going projects with linked organisations including wildlife trusts, zoos and wildlife parks, charities and public authorities. It is an expectation that assignments, and especially dissertation work, will have direct impact on understanding and management of species and their environments.

The course is underpinned by the applied research expertise of the teaching team in applied ecology, including conservation of species in the wild and in captivity, biotic responses to climate change, avian and mammal biology, insect behaviour and evolution, non-native species introductions, population and community ecology, and environmental biology. An additional theme of citizen science develops awareness of the role of public engagement in surveying and conserving species in their environment.

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You learn about soil science, sustainability, food security, GIS, and land use with intensive laboratory analysis from one of the top centres in the world for soil science. Read more
You learn about soil science, sustainability, food security, GIS, and land use with intensive laboratory analysis from one of the top centres in the world for soil science.

COURSES
Semester 1
Core Skills in Environmental Science
Global Soil Geography
Soils for Food Security
Applications for GIS

Semester 2
Environmental Analysis
Land Use and the Changing Environment on Deesside
Optional
Environmental Impact Assessment
Remediation Technology
Catchment Management
Ecological and Environmental Modelling

Semester 3
Project in Soil Science

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The Institute of Science and Environment’s educational and research expertise within Ecology and Environmental Management encompass a range of topics; climate… Read more
The Institute of Science and Environment’s educational and research expertise within Ecology and Environmental Management encompass a range of topics; climate change and the degradation and loss of ecosystem services, grassland management and its botanical enhancement, habitat restoration, creation and maintenance, plant community ecology and vegetation dynamics, ecology and management of wild boar, ex-situ species conservation and management, soil and water analysis and management. It can be studied full time over three years, or part time over a maximum of six years.

The Programme aims to prepare students:

- For doctoral level study.
- To engage in a career in in ecological or environmental management in a research, consultancy or wider sector context.
- To meet the global need for highly trained individuals who can make informed decisions on future research directions.
- To think for themselves in the development of a critical approach to the analysis of data and interpretation of published research.

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MPhil supervision covers a number of research topics supported by research active academic staff. Our range of research areas relate to crop science, soil science, ecological (organic) agriculture, and agricultural water management. Read more
MPhil supervision covers a number of research topics supported by research active academic staff. Our range of research areas relate to crop science, soil science, ecological (organic) agriculture, and agricultural water management.

Crop science

Genes and physiological traits, such as:
-Resistance to crop pests and diseases
-Molecular-assisted selection and breeding methods
-Plant environment interactions and their relationships to stress biology
-Physiological basis of crop yield and quality
-Biotransformation of synthetic compounds and natural products in plants
-Herbicide selectivity in cereals and competing weeds

Soil science

-Soil ecology and the contribution of soil biodiversity to soil quality
-Soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics
-Interpretation of soil and landscape processes to improve understanding of recent and historical environmental change
-Land degradation processes and their control

Ecological (organic) agriculture

-Functional biodiversity for control of pest, disease and weed pressure
-Long term factorial systems comparison experiments for in depth study of different aspects of conventional and organic farming systems

Agricultural water management

-Irrigated agriculture
-Interactions between land-use and hydrological response in a semi-arid environment
-Soil hydrological processes affecting management of salinity in irrigated land

Delivery

We offer a number of different routes to a research degree qualification, including full-time and part-time supervised research projects. We attract postgraduates via non-traditional routes, including mature students and part-time postgraduates undertaking study as part of their continuing professional development. Off-campus (split) research is also offered, which enables you to conduct trials in conditions appropriate to your research programme.

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Several agencies at a national and international level are required to manage our environment sustainably by implementing policy and legislation. Read more
Several agencies at a national and international level are required to manage our environment sustainably by implementing policy and legislation. The study of Applied Environmental Science is critical for establishing policies in environmental assessment, evaluating potential change in environmental quality in response to various land use and other activities, and in the development of management and conservation strategies, as well as contributing to policy formulation.

This programme provides graduates with a thorough knowledge of Environmental Science and there is a heavy emphasis on practical training in fieldwork, laboratory analyses, information sourcing, data analysis,planning, reporting and communication. You will work with an interdisciplinary team of experts covering the key aspects of Environmental Science, encompassing marine, freshwater and terrestrial systems, to make this an exceptionally practical multidisciplinary programme.

Key Fact

This Applied Environmental Science course has been running for over 20 years, it’s the only such MSc in Ireland to include a major input from civil engineering, relating particularly to water quality, hydrology and waste treatment processes. This MSc also offers a 2 month work placement in the environmental sector providing relevant work experience.

Core Modules

Samples of modules include:
• Water Resources Engineering
• Vegetation Ecology
• Environmental Impact Assessment
• Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Data Analyses
• Freshwater Resources Assessment
• Remote Sensing
• Global Change Ecology
• Ecological Modelling
• Wildlife & Resources Management
• Integrated Municipal Solid Waste
• Marine/Coastal Ecology
• Soil Ecology
• Water, Waste & Environment Modelling
• Environmental Geology
• Ecotoxicology & Air Quality Monitoring


The course gives due consideration to key legislative requirements and policy developments. Modules and topics shown are subject to change and are not guaranteed by UCD.

Career Opportunities

Our graduates are building successful varied careers in environmental resources assessment, management and protection. A considerable number have been employed in consultancy positions and some are also with the Inland Fisheries Ireland, the Department of the Environment and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Some graduates have also continued their studies at PhD level in the areas of fisheries, biomass fuels, soil, water engineering and invertebrate ecology.

Facilities and Resources

The School of Biology and Environmental Science has 14 state-of the-art research laboratories that are equipped to support a very wide range of research activities at the cellular or whole organism level. The UCD Rosemount Environmental Research Station can also support glasshouse or field-based experiments.

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Food production has tripled in the last forty years, but one billion people still go hungry every year. On average 30% of all food produced is wasted in the pathway from ‘field to fork’. Read more

Programme description

Food production has tripled in the last forty years, but one billion people still go hungry every year. On average 30% of all food produced is wasted in the pathway from ‘field to fork’. With the global human population set to rise from seven to over nine billion by 2050, we urgently need sustainable solutions that will allow us to increase the global food supply while preserving the integrity of agricultural and non-agricultural ecosystems.

Our trees and forests face new plant health threats which in turn threaten areas of great natural beauty and diversity, and affect both rural and urban landscapes. Our unique MSc Sustainable Plant Health will give you the opportunity to develop your understanding of the vital role of plant health, applying your skills by conducting laboratory and field studies.

This programme is primarily aimed at graduates wishing to pursue a career in plant protection in agriculture, horticulture, forestry or urban settings, and also careers in policy development and implementation, plant health inspection, academic and industrial research, consultancy and conservation management, and private industry.

Programme structure

This 12 month programme involves two semesters of classes followed by an individual research project. Students will take 80 credits of compulsory courses, with the opportunity to choose two optional courses. Field trips will also form a crucial part of this course.

Compulsory courses typically will be*:

Fundamentals of Plant Health
Forensic Plant Health
Plant Health in a Global Context
Research Skills and Field Trip
Dissertation

Option courses may include* (select two):

Atmospheric Quality and Global Change
Ecosystem Services 1: Ecosystem Dynamics and Functions
Foundations in Ecological Economics
Frameworks to Assess Food Security
Human Dimensions of Environmental Change and Sustainability
Principles of Environmental Sustainability
Soil Ecology and Taxonomy
Soil Protection and Management
Applications in Ecological Economics
Case Studies in Sustainable Development
Ecosystem Services 2: Ecosystem Values and Management
Environmental Impact Assessment
Forests and Environment
Integrated Resource Planning
Interrelationships in Food Systems
Land Use/Environmental Interactions
Soil Science Concepts and Application
Sustainability of Food Production
Understanding Environment and Development

*Please note: courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change each year.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course our graduates will have gained:
•Specialist knowledge and understanding of plant health, and its evaluation, impact and management
•Skills to detect and identify agents detrimental to plant health
•An understanding of the nature and diversity of plant health interactions
•The ability to develop strategies for plant health management taking into account their impact on agricultural and non-agricultural ecosystems
•Knowledge of the relevance of plant health to sustainability and food security
•Improved analytical skills and critical thinking

Career opportunities

Plant health scientists are employed in a range of vocations: environmental consultancy, research, overseas development, agriculture, horticulture, forestry, urban planning, policy development, plant inspection and management. Long term career prospects are strong as agricultural scientists will continue to be needed to balance increased output with protection and preservation of ecosystems.

Our graduates will gain particularly valuable skills due to our programme's unique approach looking at impacts across ecosystems. They also benefit from the applied nature of the course allowing them to use their practical skills in a range of field trip environments with expert supervision.

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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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You study biodiversity conservation as applied ecology in the context of land use - agriculture, forestry and amenity. Focusing on wildlife conservation in the UK and Europe, you develop practical skills in plant identification and habitat assessment from a wide range of upland and lowland areas. Read more
You study biodiversity conservation as applied ecology in the context of land use - agriculture, forestry and amenity. Focusing on wildlife conservation in the UK and Europe, you develop practical skills in plant identification and habitat assessment from a wide range of upland and lowland areas.

Your studies focus on wildlife conservation with a particular emphasis on agriculture, forestry and amenity. Elements of the course have strong links with national, statutory and non-governmental conservation organisations. Practical management skills are gained through involvement in management problems on nature reserves and field courses that provide experience in species identification.

The course has compulsory and optional modules, giving you the opportunity to tailor your studies to your personal interests. Through the compulsory modules you will develop knowledge and skills in core concepts such as:
-Understanding the range of temperate zone ecosystems and wildlife species
-Developing a critical awareness of contemporary conservation issues and research insights
-Understanding scientific survey, habitat assessment and experimental techniques and the ability to identify common species from selected habitats
-The development of effective management plans for species and ecosystems
-Understanding complex biodiversity and ecosystem management issues
-Advanced knowledge and understanding of the influence of environmental, management and land-use factors on ecosystems and wildlife species

You also undertake a major conservation project and are supported through training in designing and delivering a project based on a laboratory or field-based investigation. After choosing your topic you collect, analyse and interpret data to produce a thesis.

Our staff

You benefit from being taught by lecturers who are industry experienced and research active. Our research in integrated agricultural production focuses on soil science, plant science and ecology, spanning a range of scales from: pot – plot – farm – landscape.
Strategic research embraces work on:
-Soil quality
-Rhizosphere function
-Plant-soil feedback
-Soil-carbon dynamics
-Nutrient cycling

Applied research addresses issues of:
-Climate change mitigation (including biofuels)
-Ecological (organic) farming systems
-Low-input crop systems
-Agriculture-environment interactions

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This taught Masters degree is designed for those wishing to pursue a career in conservation management or ecological consultancy, professions which increasingly require postgraduate qualification for establishment and progression. Read more
This taught Masters degree is designed for those wishing to pursue a career in conservation management or ecological consultancy, professions which increasingly require postgraduate qualification for establishment and progression. The course puts a high emphasis on practical field experience for managing habitats, monitoring species and developing biological identification skills for plants, invertebrates and vertebrates. These activities are allied to a clear theoretical framework underpinning ecology and conservation practice. We welcome applications from recent graduates, experienced consultants, conservation workers or those seeking a career change.

What will I study?

This Conservation Management course combines the expertise of the field biologist with practical experience of managing habitats. A firm emphasis is placed on fieldwork, biological identification skills and experience of a broad range of management issues.

You will develop laboratory skills including microscopy for bryophyte and invertebrate identification and soil analysis techniques. Identification skills gained will range from plants to invertebrates, mammals, amphibians and birds.

You will learn to write in a concise scientific style, construct arguments, consider ethical issues of ecological work, analyse and interpret data and synthesise scientific literature. These skills are highly desirable in ecological consultancy and conservation research.

Ethics is also an important feature of conservation management, for instance in the collection of voucher specimens. Consideration of ethical issues is given in each module, where appropriate, alongside legal issues.

How will I study?

Fieldwork is an integral part of many modules and is used to provide a multitude of experiences across species, habitats and conservation issues. A variety of local sites are used including dunes, meadows and forests. The programme includes a residential field course. Field trip costs are included within course fees.

In small classes, lecture-style sessions and practical work are designed to develop subject-specific skills, clarify concepts, raise questions and collect data. Follow-up seminars may consider analysis, data presentation, qualitative observations, elucidation of trends, and integration with theoretical ideas.

How will I be assessed?

The course has a variety of assessment methods which are designed to develop the full range of skills and expertise relevant to the subject. These include a research thesis, scientific reports, voucher specimen collections, vegetation portfolios, field-based management plans and examinations.

Who will be teaching me?

The course is taught by a small friendly team who have considerable teaching and research experience in the area. All staff are research active which means that they keep up-to-date with current developments in their areas of interest and pass this knowledge onto their students. Staff expertise includes forest and grassland conservation, habitat restoration, sustainable management of ecosystems, remote sensing in ecology and conservation genetics.

What are my career prospects?

This MSc will equip you with the knowledge and skills required for a successful career in conservation or ecological consultancy. To date, graduates of the course have been employed by a range of non-governmental organisations (for example, Wildlife Trusts, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), and National Trust), governmental organisations (Natural England) and consultancies (including Atkins UK, Jacob’s Ecology, and Avian Ecology). Graduates have also progressed into conservation research, working for the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and at various universities.

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This course will provide you with an in-depth specialisation in organic farming and food production systems and it is currently the only specialised MSc in organic and ecological farming in England. Read more
This course will provide you with an in-depth specialisation in organic farming and food production systems and it is currently the only specialised MSc in organic and ecological farming in England. You will learn and test the latest approaches in the integrated delivery of soil, crop and livestock, and food supply chain management.

Through a combination of lectures, field trips, seminars, practical classes and research projects you will develop advanced knowledge and skills in:
-Managing organic farming and food production units or businesses in different macroclimatic, agronomic and market contexts
-Agronomic approaches used in organic/biological/ecological/sustainable food production systems
-Underlying principles and standards of organic/biological/ecological/sustainable food production, processing and retailing/marketing systems
-Applied and strategic research underpinning the development of organic and other sustainable farming and food production systems
-A wide range of analytical laboratory methods

You will have the opportunity to attend a 10-day field trip as part of the module on Mediterranean perennial crop production systems in Crete, Greece. The trip is organised in collaboration with ecological farming experts from the Greek National Science Foundation (NAGREF).

As part of your studies you will also undertake a major project, similar to one you might experience in the workplace. You will be supported through training in designing and delivering a laboratory project or field-based investigation. You will collect, analyse and interpret data to produce a thesis reporting your investigation and results in a critical manner.

This research project and thesis may be undertaken at the University, in industry, in Crete as part of existing Nafferton Ecological Farming Group research and development projects, or in another country.

Our staff

You will benefit from being taught by lecturers who are industry experienced and research active. Our research in integrated agricultural production focuses on soil science, plant science and ecology, spanning a range of scales from: pot – plot – farm – landscape.

Strategic research embraces work on:
-Soil quality
-Rhizosphere function
-Plant-soil feedback
-Soil-carbon dynamics
-Nutrient cycling

Applied research addresses issues of:
-Climate change mitigation (including biofuels)
-Ecological (organic) farming systems
-Low-input crop systems
-Agriculture-environment interactions

Professor Carlo Leifert is the Degree Programme Director for MSc in Organic Farming and Food Production Systems. Carlo is a member of the Food Security Network in the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability (NIReS) and is part of the Nafferton Ecological Farming Group (NEFG). He currently manages EU and DEFRA funded projects focused on improving resource efficiency, productivity and food quality and safety in organic and 'low input' crop and livestock production systems.

Delivery

The course is taught in a block format with a six-week block and then two-week teaching blocks.

You will be taught through:
-Lectures
-Seminars
-Practical and field classes
-Tutorials
-Case studies
-Small group discussions

You will be expected to undertake independent study outside of these structured sessions. Your knowledge and understanding will be assessed through written examinations, coursework, presentations and your final major project.

You can also study through the Credit Accumulation Transfer Scheme (CATS). This allows us to award postgraduate level qualifications using credit-bearing stand-alone modules as 'building blocks' towards a qualification. This means that the credits from modules undertaken within a five-year period can be 'banked' towards the award of a qualification.

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Are you up to the challenge of finding innovative methods and sustainable solutions to the threats facing the environment? The Environmental Sciences Master programme at Wageningen University has its roots in the natural, technological and social sciences. Read more

MSc Environmental Sciences

Are you up to the challenge of finding innovative methods and sustainable solutions to the threats facing the environment? The Environmental Sciences Master programme at Wageningen University has its roots in the natural, technological and social sciences.

Students will gain insight into the socio-economic causes and the characteristics of pollution and degradation of the natural environment, including the effects on human beings, the atmosphere, ecosystems and other organisms. This two-year programme is based on an interdisciplinary approach. Students learn to develop analytical tools and models, as well as technologies, socio-political arrangements and economic instruments to prevent and control environmental and sustainability issues.

Programme summary

We are facing a future with an increased demand for food, water, energy and other resources, which will have an enormous impact on our already heavily burdened environment. Environmental challenges for the future include using our resources efficiently, minimising our impact on nature, and creating and changing people’s awareness and behaviour towards their environment.

The MSc Environmental Sciences programme is designed for students who want to take up this challenge in finding innovative and sustainable approaches to secure and improve the state of the environment. This programme provides insight into the socioeconomic causes, the characteristics of pollution and degradation of the natural environment, and their effects on human beings and ecosystems. By taking an interdisciplinary approach, students learn to develop analytical tools and models, environmental technologies, socio-political arrangements and economic instruments to prevent and control environmental problems.

To allow you maximum flexibility in your individual course of study, there are no formal specialisations and compulsory elements are kept at a minimum. This allows you to tailor the programme to your individual needs. Major thesis research can be conducted in one of the ten thesis tracks (major) and each major can be combined with a minor in Environmental Communication or Education.

Thesis tracks

The ten thesis tracks are clustered in 4 groups.

Environmental Quality
Investigates the physical, chemical and biological processes that influence the quality of the environmental compartments: Soil, Water and Air; and the effects of pollutants on humans and ecosystems. Students can choose the thesis tracks Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management, Air Quality and Atmospheric Chemistry, Soil Biology and Biological Soil Quality, Soil Chemistry and Chemical Soil Quality, or Environmental Toxicology.

Environmental Systems Analysis
Studies the natural and social processes involved in environmental issues. It aims to develop integrative tools and methodologies and to apply these in strategic research. Students can choose to develop such an integrated approach via the thesis track Environmental Systems Analysis.

Environmental Policy and Economics
Covers the contribution of the social sciences to environmental research. The focus is on the social, political, legal and economic aspects of environmental issues and the goal is to provide students with the skills for studying, formulating and designing innovative forms of national and international environmental governance. You can choose a thesis track in the disciplines of Environmental Policy, Environmental Economics and Natural Resources, or Integrated Water Management.

Environmental Technology
Concentrates on biological, chemical and physical processes for water reuse and the recovery of nutrients, minerals and energy. The aim is to fully understand these processes in order to design and optimise innovative technologies for renewable energy, closing nutrient cycles and solving environmental issues. You can choose any of these topics via the thesis track Environmental Technology.

Your future career

Graduates from this programme are well-equipped to continue their scientific training in a PhD programme or to begin - or continue - a professional career requiring independent scientific performance. Students are taught the knowledge and skills needed to communicate with experts from different disciplines allowing them to play a key role in complex environmental and sustainability issues. Most graduates enter careers in environmental consultancy, research and management, while others are involved in policy development and higher education.

Alumna Charlotte Van Erp Taalman Kip.
Upon graduation, Charlotte started working as environmental consultant at MWH Global. Two years later, she continued her career at the water board Hollandse Delta as innovation engineer. She works together with different parties for implementing innovative and sustainable ideas. One project she is involved in is an initiative of all water boards that focuses on the recovery of valuable compounds in sewage. “It’s time to see our sewage not as a dirty waste stream, but as a valuable resource. We should not destroy this potential of sewage. On the contrary, it is our duty to recover and reuse all its valuable components.”

Related programmes:
MSc Climate Studies
MSc Urban Environmental Management
MSc Earth and Environment
MSc Forest and Nature Conservation
MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management.

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The Organic Agriculture programme has been designed to train students in multiple aspects of organic agriculture and the associated processing and marketing chain. Read more

MSc Organic Agriculture

The Organic Agriculture programme has been designed to train students in multiple aspects of organic agriculture and the associated processing and marketing chain. An important goal is to prepare the students for interdisciplinary teamwork at an academic level.

Programme summary

This programme has been designed to train students in multiple aspects of organic agriculture and the associated processing and marketing chain. An important goal is to prepare for interdisciplinary teamwork at an academic level. The programme is unique in its combination of detailed consideration of the underlying principles and processes from a natural science perspective with social and economic studies. Creative thinking is required to design new sustainable farming and marketing systems instead of simply optimising existing systems. The programme has an international character that uses case studies and offers project opportunities in both the developed and developing world. The curriculum has been carefully formulated to provide a balance between fundamental and applied science. Various university groups participate including farming systems ecology, soil quality, animal science, entomology, rural sociology, environmental policy, education and economy, making this a well-rounded and holistic programme.

Specialisations

Agroecology
Due to concerns on conventional farming practices, food safety issues and pollution, consumers increasingly demand wholesome agricultural products that are produced in a sustainable way. In addition to the demand for organic products by consumers in industrialised countries, there is a need for scientific agroecological farming practices in developing countries and countries in economic distress. In these regions, farmers cannot afford external inputs like pesticides, fertilisers or expensive seeds. Courses focus on: the analysis and design of sustainable organic farming systems; studying the relationship between plant and animal production; soil and landscape; analysing factors affecting plant and animal health; organic product quality. Students learn a systems approach to conduct research projects involving integrated agroecological systems.

Consumer and Market
Socio-economic constraints affect the demand for organic products, and are major bottlenecks to expand organic production. Improved understanding of consumer preferences is essential to stimulate sustainable production of healthy food and renewable resources. Production, processing and marketing of organic products is increasingly affected by (inter-) national policy and legislation. Insight into these aspects is crucial to expand organic production systems. Courses focus on: analysis of consumer perception; insight into relations between government policy and consumer behaviour; development of strategies for certification and trademarks for organic products; globalisation of food production and consumption; environmental education; global versus local production. Students acquire skills to analyse complex problems at the intersection of organic agriculture and society.

Double degree in Agroecology
The double degree programme combines the strengths of the two co-operating institutes, adding the specialist knowledge in agroecosystems management of FESIA with the expertise in designing and evaluating organic food production chains in Wageningen. Students get the opportunity to understand structure and function of complex agroecosystems. They learn to apply systems approaches in studying, designing and evaluating agricultural systems and food production chains, and to develop creative solutions for sustainable farming and marketing of organic products. Action learning and action research through cooperation with farmers, food system professionals and consumers will shorten the distance between practice and theory.

Your future career

Graduates have career opportunities in agribusiness, research, non-governmental organisations and public administration. They often hold jobs such as scientist, consultant, policy maker or quality assurance officer.

Alumna Natasja Poot.
“I have chosen the MSc Organic Agriculture because I was looking for a programme in which all aspects of agriculture are discussed. Courses addressed topics on soils, plants, animals and their interactions. I did not want to limit myself to just organic agriculture, but I can apply the knowledge to all conventional integrated farming systems as well. After graduating, I started at BLGG as a product manager Soil Health. BLGG is a laboratory in the agricultural sector that offers innovative analyses and advices that help farmers in their everyday management. In my position, I am focusing on developing tools for soil-borne diseases, nematodes and soil suppressiveness.”

Related programmes:
MSc Food Quality Management
MSc Environmental Sciences
MSc Plant Sciences
MSc Animal sciences
MSc Biology
MSc Management, Economics and Consumer Studies
MSc Forest and Nature Conservation.

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Our mission is to educate engineers who can design infrastructures and plan human development while balancing environmental health and the society’s need for better living conditions. Read more

Mission and goals

Our mission is to educate engineers who can design infrastructures and plan human development while balancing environmental health and the society’s need for better living conditions. The MSc in Environmental and Land Planning Engineering focuses on a broad range of interdisciplinary professional capabilities and expertise required to deal with all the issues related to a sustainable utilization of natural resources. We provide a full track in English, which offers a panoply of specialized courses and laboratories addressing all the environmental components, air, water, soil and the biota, and the impacts due to natural hazards and to human activities, as well as their mitigation. We achieve the mission through advanced scientific and technological education.

See the website http://www.polinternational.polimi.it/educational-offer/laurea-magistrale-equivalent-to-master-of-science-programmes/environmental-and-land-planning-engineering/environmental-engineering-for-sustainability-track/

Career opportunities

Graduates are expected to be employed in land and environmental service enterprises, engineering firms for design and construction of plants for water and air emissions treatment, energy generation and waste disposal, companies for producing and managing environmental instrumentation, remote sensors and environmental monitoring systems and networks, public authorities and agencies for land planning and control.

The track in Environmental engineering for sustainability is taught in English.

Presentation

See http://www.polinternational.polimi.it/uploads/media/Environmental_Engineering_for_Sustainability.pdf
Our mission is to educate engineers who can design infrastructures and plan human development while balancing environmental health and the society’s need for better living conditions. The MSc in Environmental and Land Planning Engineering focuses on a broad range of interdisciplinary professional capabilities and expertise required to deal with all the issues related to a sustainable utilization of natural resources. We provide a full track in English, which offers a panoply of specialized courses and laboratories addressing all the environmental components (air, water, soil and the biota) and the impacts due either to natural hazards or to human activities, as well as their mitigation. We achieve the mission through advanced scientific and technological education.
Graduates are expected to be employed in land and environmental service enterprises, engineering firms for design and construction of plants for water and air emissions treatment, energy generation and waste disposal, companies for producing and managing environmental instrumentation, remote sensors and environmental monitoring systems and networks, public authorities and agencies for land planning and control.
The track in Environmental engineering for sustainability is taught in English.

Subjects

Available courses include: chemistry for sustainability, soil remediation, engineering and process technologies for water, air and solid wastes treatment, hydrology and hydraulic engineering, ecology, energy systems technologies, environmental impact assessment and quality evaluation, environmental systems engineering and management, geotechnical and seismic engineering, water, land and soil resource management, surface and subsurface water quality modelling and evaluation.

See the website http://www.polinternational.polimi.it/educational-offer/laurea-magistrale-equivalent-to-master-of-science-programmes/environmental-and-land-planning-engineering/environmental-engineering-for-sustainability-track/

For contact information see here http://www.polinternational.polimi.it/educational-offer/laurea-magistrale-equivalent-to-master-of-science-programmes/environmental-and-land-planning-engineering/environmental-engineering-for-sustainability-track/

Find out how to apply here http://www.polinternational.polimi.it/how-to-apply/

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