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Course content

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


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.

Visit the Forest Sciences - MSc page on the University of Helsinki website for more details!






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