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The Master's Degree Programme in Biology of Environmental Change (BEC) is a new research-oriented programme that aims to increase student's knowledge of biological and biogeochemical aspects of the state of the environment. The 2-year education offers advanced knowledge in environmental science, biology, biogeochemistry, hydrobiology, ecotoxicology, environmental policy and law, and environmentally oriented forestry.

Who can apply?

An eligible applicant should have at least a lower university degree (BSc) in environmental or biological sciences, obtained at an internationally recognized and accredited university or higher education institution. The degree should entitle the applicant to apply to Master's studies in the country where the degree has been awarded.

This study program is suitable for students who wish to pursue a career in environmental change research, consulting or in environmental institutes and for those who are interested in pursuing doctoral studies in environmental sciences.​

Environmental science or Biology

In the BEC programme you will choose your main subject from two options: Environmental science in Kuopio campus or Biology in Joensuu campus. The curriculum consists of 120 ECTS credit points, which includes general skills studies, advanced level courses in the main subject plus master's thesis, as well as alternative studies in other disciplines e.g. environmental law and policy, statistics, or sustainable development.

Application procedure

Online application form is required to be submitted by 31.1.2019 (studyinfo.fi). Incomplete or delayed applications will not be considered. 

UEF Admission verifies applicants' language skills according to the programme-specific requirements, and processes applicants' educational certificates. This includes verifying the authenticity of the educational documents as well as credential evaluation.

The application period starts 1.11.2018 and ends 31.1.2019 at 15:00 (GMT+2). For more information about application procedure, please visit Studyinfo.fi and UEF Admission pages. 

Master's degree studies

Studies in biology of environmental change will provide the student with advanced knowledge on the effects of environmental change on ecosystems and their bioprocesses, especially the interactions between atmosphere and ecosystems. The studies are divided into the following study modules:

Biogeochemistry module focuses on studying effects of climate change and land use change on the biogeochemical cycles and on dynamics of gases important in the atmosphere. The conducted research spans various scales from molecules to ecosystems to landscape.

Environmental ecology study module focuses on studying environmental ecophysiology, chemical and microbial ecology, and applied ecosystem ecology.

Genetics and physiology study module concentrates on the ecophysiological, cellular and molecular biological effects associated with environmental change as well as understanding of the interaction mechanisms at cellular level.

Advanced studies provide a good understanding for the research activities on biological impacts of environmental change at universities and research institutes and to act as a leading expert in environmental monitoring.  


The curriculum of the BEC programme consists of 120 credit points (Cp, ECTS), which includes general skills studies, advanced level courses in biology or environmental science plus master's thesis (40 Cp), as well as alternative studies of biology, environmental science, environmental law and policy, statistics, or sustainable development.

The programme consists of lectures, exercises, book exams and hands-on training in research groups. Students will achieve comprehensive knowledge in at least one specialized area of research (e.g. aquatic research, biogeochemistry, environmental ecology, or plant biology), generic core competencies for scientific research, and skills to apply field-specific methods in the laboratory.

The Master’s thesis includes an experimental element. The aim is to improve the student’s skills in data collection, data analysis and to evaluate the student’s ability to report and discuss the observed results scientifically in relation to existing data and knowledge.

In the beginning of the studies, a personal study plan (PSP) shall be prepared for each student with the assistance of the teacher tutors. In order to facilitate the preparation of the PSP, the courses are organised in modules based on their subject and level (basic/advanced).

Practical training in research institutes or other relevant work places (max 10 Cp) can be included in the degree. 

Tuition fees

Tuition fees will be collected from citizens outside the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, starting their studies in Master’s degree programmes conducted in English.

You will not need to pay the fee if you are:

  • EU/EEA citizen or their family member (spouse/child)
  • equivalent to EU/EEA citizens (i.e. citizen of Switzerland)
  • already reside in Finland or some other EU country on a permanent basis (continuous (A) or permanent (P/P-EU) residence permit type), or have an EU Blue Card
  • are enrolled in Doctoral/PhD level studies and research
  • exchange student, regardless of the citizenship
  • have started your Master’s degree studies before autumn 2017

The tuition fees in this programme is 8 000 euros. For students, the tuition fee will remain the same throughout the entire time of completing their degrees.

The tuition fee covers the studies included in the degree (personal study plan), studies-related supervision and counselling, and studies-related supporting services offered by the university. In addition, students are entitled to the services of the Finnish Student Health Service by paying the membership fee of the Student Union. The university assists students in finding accommodation.


Scholarships (tuition fee waivers) are awarded for two academic years on the condition of completing 55 ECTS credits per academic year. The scholarships (tuition fee waivers) are awarded on the basis of the student's academic achievements described above. The scholarship (tuition fee waiver) can cover the tuition fee either in full (100%) or partially (80%).

Information about the scholarships will be available at the university webpage (http://www.uef.fi/en/web/admissions/tuition-fees-and-scholarships )In addition to the scholarship for studies (tuition fee waivers), the faculties can grant an annual scholarship to cover the student’s living expenses during the two-year Master’s degree programme.

The degree programmes conducted in Finnish will remain free of charge regardless of the student’s citizenship. For more information about tuition fees, please see studyinfo.fi.

Visit the MDP in Biology of Environmental Change (BEC) page on the University of Eastern Finland website for more details!




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