Uusi opinto-opas (sisältäen myös opetusohjelmat) lukuvuodelle 2018-2019 sijaitsee osoitteessa https://opas.peppi.utu.fi . Tältä sivustolta löytyvät enää vanhat opinto-oppaat ja opetusohjelmat.

The new study guide (incl. teaching schedules) for academic year 2018-2019 can be found at https://studyguide.utu.fi. This site contains only previous years' guides.

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Arkistoitu opetussuunnitelma 2013–2014
Selaamasi opetussuunnitelma ei ole enää voimassa. Tarkista tiedot voimassa olevasta opetussuunnitelmasta.
MDP in Environmental Sciences
Kuvaukseen liitetty tiedosto:
Normative timing of the studies (xls 45 kB.)

The Master's Degree Programme in Environmental Sciences educates environmental specialists that hold a comprehensive view of environmental issues. The programme covers different interdisciplinary specialization fields that are managed by the Departments of Geography and Geology; and Biology. As a cooperation of these participating units, the programme offers specialization studies in:


- Ecotoxicology

- Spatial and Ecological Interactions

- Quaternary Paleoecology and Environmental Change


All students are given the basic knowledge in environmental problems and multilateral environmental agreements, and they also achieve advanced scientific knowledge and practical skills in data management and environmental analysis. Education is given in English, and the students of this international programme learn to work together with associates from different countries and cultures. Graduates of the programme are competent in basic and applied research, and will also find employment in tasks related to environmental assessment and administration as well as in commercial activities and economic life. The Master of Science (MSc) degree also gives eligibility for scientific postgraduate studies.



Both foreign and Finnish students admitted to the programme must hold a degree equivalent to a Bachelor's degree from a Finnish university. Finnish ammattikorkeakoulu degrees can also be considered sufficient when combined with possible additional Bachelor's level studies (max. 60 ECTS). These additional studies are not included in the Master of Science degree. The degree should be in an applicable field e.g. biology, biochemistry, chemistry, geography, geology, environmental science or earth science, and correspond to 180 ECTS at an institution of higher education. The applicants choose the preferred specialization field already in the application, and the students are admitted directly into the specialization fields. Student selection is based on the student's educational background and reasoning for choosing the particular specialization field. The specialization fields in the Master's Degree Programme are not offered as minor subjects for students in other degree programmes.

Foreign applicants must pass an internationally recognized English language test, either TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) with minimum score of 575 (paper-based test) or 232 (computer-based test) or 90 (internet based test) or IELTS (International English Language Testing Service) with an overall band score of 6.5 and no individual scores below 5.5. Only score reports received directly from the testing center will be accepted.




The students are registered in the department coordinating the specialization field they have been admitted to.

The MSc degree is attained in two years. The studies encompass many aspects of environmental sciences and consist of book examinations, lectures, seminars and experimental field and laboratory courses. In the beginning of the programme, each student will formulate an individual study plan with the help of an advisor. The curriculum includes common studies (minimum 27 ECTS) and advanced studies in the specialization field (93 credits including an extensive 40 ECTS Master's Thesis). The students may also study courses from the other specialization fields in the programme (or other programmes even in other universities) to broaden their perspective. If the student wishes studies from another specialization field in the programme to be marked separately as a minor subject in the transcript of records and the degree certificate, a minimum of 25 ECTS is required.

In the Finnish system, all courses are measured in ECTS credits, opintopiste (op) in Finnish. One credit refers to an input of approximately 27 hours of work for the attainment of set objectives for a course.



The studies in each field begin with common studies which mainly are obligatory for all students in the Master's Degree Programme in Environmental Sciences. However, there are a few exceptions:

- The students in the field Spatial and Ecological Interactions may compensate the course Introduction to Geoinformatics (MAAN6053) with Literature in Geoinformatics (MAAN6453)

- All foreign students whose native language is not Finnish must pass Finnish language courses (KIFF0003) worth at least 5 credits. Finnish students are excused for the course and may instead complete their common studies with courses on their specialization field.

- All students with Finnish education background (suomenkielinen peruskoulu) must pass virkamiesruotsi (KIRU2321 and KIRU2341) either in their BSc. or MSc. Degree (Valtion virkamieheltä kaksikielisellä kielialueella vaadittava kielitaito siitä annetun lain (424/2003) 6§:n 1 momentin mukaan.)


Please also note that previous knowledge or supplementary studies are required in statistics.




The field focuses on mechanisms of toxicity. One of the major foci of research is investigating how environmental adaptations at the genetic and physiological (individual) level are disturbed by environmental contamination. Specifically, effects of oxidative stresses on gene expression are investigated using the Baltic Sea and the Fennoscandian shield as major research areas. Since oxidative stress is studied the research comprises, e.g., metal toxicity, toxicity of organic compounds (e.g. PAH), oil pollution and UV-radiation. The main taxonomical groups investigated are fish, amphibians and birds but suitable work on plants and prokaryotes is included. The students are expected to integrate into the existing research groups within aquatic toxicology, conservation genetics or environmental biology of birds to carry out their thesis work.


The teaching given represents principles required for understanding how environmental contamination may affect environmental responses of individuals, how individual responses can be transmitted to the population and ecosystem level via genetic mechanisms and what are the chemical methods used for determining and pathways involved in exerting the effects of environmental contamination.


An indication of the role of University of Turku in ecotoxicology is that the chief editor of Aquatic Toxicology works in the Department of Biology. In addition the recent active research has been concentrated in finding out the effects of environmental contamination on birds and their invertebrate prey. Future foci include conservation genetics and the influence of environmental contaminants on the genetic mechanisms of local adaptations.


Coordinating unit: Department of Biology, section of Genetics and Physiology



Quaternary Paleoecology and Environmental Change

Within this interdisciplinary field, paleogeological research is combined with the Biological Museum’s extensive knowledge in the taxonomy of animal and plant groups. Education represents the core area in paleoecological research and focuses on environmental history and quaternary geology, including analytical physical and chemical methods as well as practicals in the taxonomy of different subfossil groups.


Being rich in lakes and marshes and extensive glacial record, Finland is traditionally known as an area with exceptionally favorable chances to do paleoecological research. At the University of Turku, paleoecological education and research is partly directed to the unique Finnish Archipelago and to the Kevo Subarctic Research Center in the Finnish Lapland.


Paleoecological research has a central role in several international research programmes, including the past Global Change (PAGES) of the International Geological Correlation Programme (IGCP), European Science Foundation in Holocene Climatic Variability (Holivar) and International Quaternary Association in Commission of Human Evolution Paleoecology. All these projects aim in increasing quantitative knowledge in the global change of the earth’s recent history, to make it possible to estimate changes in the atmosphere caused by human action.


Coordinating unit: Section of Geology (Dept. of Geography and Geology)



Spatial and Ecological Interactions

Students who take spatial and ecological interactions as their specialisation field are expected to have a keen interest on spatial distribution, dynamics and interactions of natural and human-made entities, like species, vegetation types, habitats, land uses and land cover patterns. Students are trained in applied skills of spatial analysis techniques in various geographical and ecological research applications. In addition, the curriculum addresses important GI-science processes in the society, such as development of spatial data infrastructures, policies and services with regard to environmental information. In this interdisciplinary specialisation, research on taxonomy, ecology, biogeography and landscapes are combined with the use of remote sensing, image processing, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and digital cartography. Students are encouraged to define their Master's thesis topics as part of the existing multidisciplinary research teams at the University of Turku, utilising the facilities of the Laboratory of Computer Cartography (www.utu-lcc.utu.fi). Relevant research teams work on various topics of ecological, coastal, landscape, fluvial and development studies in arctic, boreal and tropical environments.


Coordinating units: Section of Geography (Dept. of Geography and Geology) and section of Biodiversity and Environmental Science (Dept. of Biology)

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