Building Technology, Master of Science (Technology)
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Field of study:
The Master's Programme in Building Technology deals with the design, construction, use, and maintenance of civil engineering structures, such as buildings and bridges. Since building technology plays a central role in creating safe and sustainable living spaces, working in the field gives you a real chance to help the society in solving environmental issues and shape the future for the better. Knowing how to build durable structures, utilise sustainable materials, improve energy efficiency, and reuse structures and materials to advance the circular economy – these are some of the essential competences today’s building technology experts need.
This programme educates future professionals and leaders who seamlessly merge science as well as environmentally responsible and human-centric design to help the transition towards a smarter built environment. As a young university, Aalto offers students a more modern and refreshing approach to building technology. The teaching in this programme is highly research-based – students get insights into ongoing research projects. Additionally, international research findings are quickly integrated into our teaching.
Upon graduating from the Building Technology Master’s Programme, you are able to:
- Design safe and sustainable civil engineering structures. Graduates comprehend the fundamental theories and concepts of structural mechanics, structural engineering, and building physics. They also know how to use and reuse environmentally friendly materials in construction.
- Identify physical phenomena as well as use experimental, theoretical, and computational methods to examine and model them.
- Assess the structures and indoor environments with respect to their performance regarding the context-specific loads and physical phenomena.
- Use appropriate experimental methods to analyse mineral-based materials.
- Identify alternative management methods and apply them to planning and controlling both design and construction processes.
During their studies, students will also develop their working life skills, such as analytical and critical thinking, multidisciplinary collaboration, and communication.
Tuition fees and scholarships
Aalto University’s tuition fee for master’s programmes taught in English is 15 000 euros per academic year. Tuition fees apply to citizens of countries other than those of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
Aalto University has a scholarship programme to support non-EU/EEA citizens who study in a fee-charging degree programme. The scholarship may cover 100% or 50% of the tuition fee.
More information on tuition fees and scholarships at Aalto University is available at the Scholarships and Tuition Fees webpage.
Structure of studies
The two-year Master’s Programme in Building Technology comprises a total of 120 ECTS credits:
- Common and advanced studies (60 ECTS)
- Elective studies (30 ECTS)
- Master’s thesis (30 ECTS)
The common and advanced courses are intended to be completed before the Master’s thesis. In parallel, you can choose from practically any combination of elective courses – from Aalto as well as other universities in Finland and abroad – that supports your studies and suits your interests.
The main teaching methods include lectures, exercises, and project-based assignments. The programme also cooperates with the industry, and students get to visit construction sites.
More information about the programme content and curriculum can be found in the Student guide.
Students are encouraged to plan their study path primarily on the basis of their own interests and goals. However, to support the students, ready-made study paths that are designed to meet certain professional qualifications within building technology are also available. These paths include:
- Structural engineering. This specialisation consists of varying themes from concrete, steel, and timber structures to material modelling.
- Building performance. Students learn about topics like indoor environment and air quality as well as fire simulation.
- Construction management. In this path, the focus is on design process, operations, and strategic management in construction.
- Mineral-based materials. Students are introduced to concrete as a building material, different production technologies of concrete structures, and testing of concrete.
- Structural and computational mechanics and engineering. Students learn to develop and apply the fundamental tools of civil engineering: structural and material models of mechanics, numerical methods of engineering, and simulation software skills.
Aalto University is known for its international study and research environment. Every year, Aalto welcomes thousands of degree and exchange students from abroad. Additionally, many of our professors and researchers have international backgrounds and experience, bringing their global networks close to students.
At Aalto, students can improve their global competence by, for example:
- Completing part of the degree, e.g., a minor, abroad in one of the international partner universities as an exchange student.
- Choosing courses with an intercultural approach, learning foreign languages and/or becoming a student tutor for international students.
- Conducting practical training or the Master’s thesis outside Finland.
- Taking summer courses abroad.
Further study opportunities
The Building Technology Master’s Programme is considered a great foundation for doctoral studies.
Civil engineers are needed for a multitude of tasks in designing, engineering, building, and maintaining structures. Completing the programme gives you the knowledge and skills for a career in industry, research, education, or governmental bodies. The majority of our students already have a permanent position upon graduation.
If not self-employed, our graduates’ career paths typically lead to expert or management positions in the private sector. A civil engineer may find employment in Finnish and international construction businesses, engineering offices, and building materials industries. In the public sector, building technology professionals work in public administration as well as at environmental organisations and even institutions such as the United Nations.
Fresh graduates typically work in design, construction, project management, or research. As you progress in your career, your duties may shift to those of an advisor, administrator, or senior researcher.
At the Department of Civil Engineering, research is directed at the following themes:
1. Structures – Structural Engineering, Mechanics, and Computation
The aim of this research area is to create new, research-based knowledge in fields ranging from structural design and engineering to the safe use, maintenance, and deconstruction of structures. The covered topics include, for example:
- Concrete, steel, and timber structures
- Structural engineering
- Structural mechanics
- Computational engineering
- Bridge construction
2. Performance in Building Design and Construction
The aim of this multidisciplinary group is to pursue transformative change in the construction industry and to investigate multiple performance criteria together. The group includes disciplines related to various aspects of performance of buildings and processes in the design and construction phase.
3. Mineral-based Materials and Mechanics
In this research area, the goal is to ensure the strength, durability, and sustainability of engineering structures in the built environment by combining geo- and material sciences with mechanics and engineering. The area encompasses the following disciplines:
- Geotechnical engineering
- Highway engineering
- Tunnelling and mining
- Technology of concrete
- Aggregate materials
You can read more about the research at the Department of Civil Engineering here.
Co-operation with other parties
Aalto University is well-known for bridging different disciplines – students may choose their elective study modules so that their degree is a combination of science, technology, business, and arts. They can supplement their studies with courses from other Aalto schools and programmes as well as courses offered by other universities, including international. This multidisciplinary environment sparks new ideas, friendships, networks, and every so often, startups.
In the Building Technology Master’s Programme, many courses are carried out in collaboration with companies and other programmes – such as Architecture and Mechanical Engineering. Many industry collaborators also give lectures in various courses and students visit construction sites. Additionally, about two-thirds of the program’s Master’s theses are written for external parties, mainly for companies.
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Aalto University's student selection process is competitive and paper-based. Applications that pass the eligibility check (administrative evaluation) conducted by Aalto University Admissions Services proceed to the school's programme-specific academic evaluation.
The following are used as criteria for academic evaluation 2024:
What is evaluated: Grades of the previous degree/CGPA
Admission requirements: Grades need to mainly very good or excellent
Evaluated documents: Transcript(s) of records, degree certificate(s)
Relevance of previous studies
What is evaluated: Contents and scope of previous studies compared to demands/contents of study option applied to
What we look for in an applicant: Contents suit very well or excellent to the study option. We look especially the field of the previous degree, and quantity and degrees of studies in math, mechanics and dynamics.
Evaluated documents: Transcript(s) of records, degree certificate(s)
Recognition and quality of institution
What is evaluated: Recognition and quality of the applicant's previous institution
Admission requirements: Recognized for high quality of education and research
Method of demonstrating competence: International and national rankings of higher education institutions
What is evaluated: Suitability of programme for applicant
What we look for in an applicant? Applicant’s further applicability to the study option, motivation, and commitment for studies
Evaluated documents: Motivation letter and Curriculum vitae
Study-option-specific documents requested
The documents requested from all applicants are listed here (https://www.aalto.fi/en/study-at-aalto/applying-to-masters-programmes). In addition, applicants to the Building technology programme are requested to provide the following study-option-specific documents:
● Motivation letter*
The motivation letter should be written in English. The maximum length of the motivation letter is about 4000 characters.
● Curriculum Vitae (CV)*
*The lack of this document will adversely affect the evaluation of the application.
The study option should provide genuinely new knowledge and enhance the career prospects of the applicant. Thus, applicants who already have a master’s degree in a closely related field will only be admitted with well-justified reasons which should be explained in the motivation letter.
Master’s Admissions at the School of Engineering 2024
The motivation letter is an important part of your application. It gives you an opportunity to present relevant pieces of information that cannot be provided elsewhere in the application.
Examples of questions to consider when writing the motivation letter:
- Why are you applying for the master’s programme in question?
- What do you expect to gain from studies in the master’s programme?
- Why do you think you are the right person for this master’s programme?
- How will your previous education, work experience, knowledge and skills support your success in your master’s degree studies?
- Describe your professional goals. How do you think the master’s programme you are applying for would support the development of your professional profile?
- In which sector would you like to work in the future? What kind of career are you planning?
- Why do you want to study at Aalto University and in Finland?
Professor, Programme director
Planning officer (content and studies of the programme)
Aalto University, Admission Services
For enquiries regarding the application process, obligatory application documents or English language proficiency, please contact Admission Services at