Study options

Creative Sustainability, Master of Arts (Art and Design)

The Master’s Programme in Creative Sustainability (CS) provides a multidisciplinary learning platform in the fields of design, business, and materials and chemical engineering. Sustainability is an increasingly relevant design perspective as designers are expected to contribute to innovative solutions and to critically examine different framings of sustainability concerns. Studies in the Creative Sustainability Programme prepare students to make an active contribution in sustainability through creative design practice.Complex sustainability challenges, such as climate crises, the loss of biodiversity, and poverty and inequality, call for new mindsets and skills. These mindsets should incorporate a systems-based view of the planet and the ability to work with professionals from different fields and cultures. Sustainability challenges require multi-level solutions that involve a wide range of stakeholders with often competing interests. The CS programme prepares students to respond to these challenges through its international and multidisciplinary learning platform in the fields of business, design and chemical engineering and material science.The CS programme brings together students who are devoted to developing systemic solutions, working in multidisciplinary teams, and challenging themselves with practical learning tasks. Creativity in the programme denotes a focus on fresh, holistic, and emerging innovations and far-reaching alternative solutions. The studies include state-of-the-art knowledge about the interlinked environmental, economic, and socio-cultural aspects of sustainability coupled with learning in practical projects conducted together with partner organizations.The Creative Sustainability programme is organized jointly by the School of Business, the School of Arts, Design and Architecture and the School of Chemical Engineering. Students who enter the programme via the School of Arts, Design and Architecture graduate with a degree of Master of Arts. As an offering in the Department of Design, the Creative Sustainability Master’s programme provides opportunities to develop skills and knowledge to promote sustainable development as a broad societal change process.
Creative sustainability students studying

Degree:

Master of Arts (Art and Design)

Application period:

1.12.2022 – 2.1.2023

Language of instruction:

English

Duration:

2 years, full-time

Eligibility:

Relevant Bachelor's degree

Field of study:

Art and Design

Credits:

120 ECTS

Organising school:

School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Tuition fees:

For non-EU/EEA citizens, €15000/y (Master’s studies)
Applying to master’s programmes

Description

The Master’s Programme in Creative Sustainability (CS) provides a multidisciplinary learning platform in the fields of design, business, and materials and chemical engineering. Sustainability is an increasingly relevant design perspective as designers are expected to contribute to innovative solutions and to critically examine different framings of sustainability concerns. Studies in the Creative Sustainability Programme prepare students to make an active contribution in sustainability through creative design practice.

Complex sustainability challenges, such as climate crises, the loss of biodiversity, and poverty and inequality, call for new mindsets and skills. These mindsets should incorporate a systems-based view of the planet and the ability to work with professionals from different fields and cultures. Sustainability challenges require multi-level solutions that involve a wide range of stakeholders with often competing interests. The CS programme prepares students to respond to these challenges through its international and multidisciplinary learning platform in the fields of business, design and chemical engineering and material science.

The CS programme brings together students who are devoted to developing systemic solutions, working in multidisciplinary teams, and challenging themselves with practical learning tasks. Creativity in the programme denotes a focus on fresh, holistic, and emerging innovations and far-reaching alternative solutions. The studies include state-of-the-art knowledge about the interlinked environmental, economic, and socio-cultural aspects of sustainability coupled with learning in practical projects conducted together with partner organizations.

The Creative Sustainability programme is organized jointly by the School of Business, the School of Arts, Design and Architecture and the School of Chemical Engineering. Students who enter the programme via the School of Arts, Design and Architecture graduate with a degree of Master of Arts. As an offering in the Department of Design, the Creative Sustainability Master’s programme provides opportunities to develop skills and knowledge to promote sustainable development as a broad societal change process.

Language of instruction

The language of instruction in the degree programme in Creative Sustainability is English.

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 Creative Sustainability programme is organized jointly by the School of Arts, Design and Architecture, School of Business, and the School of Chemical Engineering. The two-year CS programme comprises a total of 120 ECTS credits, divided between compulsory joint Creative Sustainability studies, compulsory studies in design, elective studies, and a master’s thesis. The pedagogical approach is based on integrating teaching and research, problem-based learning, and strong connection to practical outcomes. The curriculum is based on personal study plans, in which the students can also include studies completed at other universities or other modules from Aalto University. More information about the course offerings is available on the programme website.

Specialisations

Creative Sustainability contains three tracks that are organised through the separate intake processes in the School of Arts, Design and Architecture, School of Business, and School of Chemical Engineering.

Internationalisation

The Creative Sustainability programme is genuinely international. Thanks to this, the CS learning experience takes place in a diverse, while like-minded and supportive group of highly motivated students and faculty.

Students have opportunities to make exchange studies in other university through exchange agreement of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture.

Further study opportunities

The degree grants eligibility for doctoral studies.

Career opportunities

Creative Sustainability studies prepare the students to work as sustainability experts in a wide range of organizations also including those with a strategic view on transformation towards sustainability. The student can develop expertise in different professional profiles which vary from research skills to the practical skills of management, leadership, design and engineering in different environments.

Design confronts new challenges in innovating for sustainable development. The CS programme teaches skills to meet these challenges through specialization and interdisciplinary work. Graduates from CS programme are attractive targets for progressive local and international employers as well as prepared for academic careers and independent entrepreneurial activity.

Aalto University's Creative Sustainability studies prepare the students to work as sustainability experts in a wide range of organizations

Research focus

Creative sustainability studies draw from research in the fields of design for sustainability, sustainable consumption, sustainability Innovation and management and on research on new materials and circular economy.

Co-operation with other parties

The programme in particularly planned to support collaboration between disciplines. Beyond this, Aalto University is well-known for bridging disciplines of business, arts, technology and science. The lively campus and freedom of choosing elective courses across the university bring students from different fields under one roof. This spontaneous multidisciplinary environment sparks new ideas, gathers enthusiasts around them and gives birth to friendships, networks, and every so often, startups.

The pedagogy is based on real life challenges, and the studies present many opportunities to interact and network with other stakeholders and organizations involved in sustainability.

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Insights from studying collaborative MA programmes (Part 1/2) | Aalto Blogs (external link)

Michael shares his experience in studying a Master's degree in Creative Sustainability and International Design Business Management.

Image from remote site: ourblogs.aalto.fi

Insights from studying collaborative MA programmes (Part 2/2) | Aalto Blogs (external link)

Michael shares his experience in studying a Master's degree in Creative Sustainability and International Design Business Management.

Applying to master’s programmes

Study-option-specific Admission Procedure and Evaluation Criteria

Applicants meeting Aalto’s general eligibility criteria for master's studies will be evaluated and ranked according to the evaluation criteria that has been decided in advance for each study option. The applications to Master’s Programme in Creative Sustainability (CS) Master of Arts will be evaluated based on the following criteria.

Phase I

Academic performance

What is evaluated

Grades of the previous degree(s)

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

Good academic performance in previous studies

Method of demonstrating competence

Transcript(s) of records, degree certificate(s)

 

Artistic and/or design practice

What is evaluated

Demonstrations of artistic and/or design work or assignments

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

Relevant design practice relates to promoting sustainability and social change.

Method of demonstrating competence

Portfolio

 

 

Relevance of previous studies

What is evaluated

Content and quantity in relation to the applied study-option-specific requirements

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

Relevant previous studies can relate to a many fields. However, studies in sustainability, environmental studies, as well as studies relating to social change are regarded as an advantage.

 

Method of demonstrating competence

Transcript(s) of records, degree certificate(s)

 

 

Suitability

What is evaluated

Applicant’s further suitability to the study option, motivation, and commitment for studies and communication skills

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

 

Suitable applicants have demonstrated some engagement in sustainability either in their previous study, work or through other commitments. Suitable applicants also have emerging ideas on how they might be professionally engaged in sustainability in the future.

Method of demonstrating competence

Motivation letter

 

 

Other areas of competence

What is evaluated

Work experience and other acquired knowledge/achievements e.g. publications, non-formal education, competitions

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

Sustainability requires skills of communication and analytical skills as well as creative problem-solving. Not all these competence areas are captured in design outputs but can also include e.g. publications.

Method of demonstrating competence

Curriculum vitae

 

Phase II

Suitability

What is evaluated

Applicant’s further suitability to the study option, motivation, and commitment for studies and communication skills

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

Suitable applicants have demonstrated some engagement in sustainability either in their previous study, work or through other commitments. Suitable applicants also have emerging ideas on how they might be professionally engaged in sustainability in the future.

Method of demonstrating competence

Interview

 

 

Evaluation process

The applicants will be first evaluated based on Aalto’s general eligibility requirements. Applicants meeting the general eligibility criteria for master's studies will be evaluated and ranked according to the evaluation criteria that has been decided in advance for each study option.

The selection process for those who meet the general eligibility criteria comprises of two phases: 

Phase I

In Phase I, the applicants are evaluated based on the following criteria

  • Academic performance
  • Artistic and/or design practice
  • Suitability/Motivation letter
  • Other areas of competence

Only the applicants who are ranked highest in the preliminary evaluation will be invited to phase II in the selection process.

Phase II

In Phase II, the evaluation is based on the following criteria

  • Suitability/ Interview

Part of the applicants are invited to the second phase. The invitation to the second phase is sent to the applicants at latest seven days in advance.

Interviews will be conducted online. The interview is used to further assess the merits and suitability of the applicant.

After the evaluation conducted in Phase II, the best applicants will be selected based on the joint evaluation from Phases I and II.

Study-option-specific documents requested

The documents requested from all applicants are listed on the Aalto University website (https://www.aalto.fi/en/study-at-aalto/applying-to-masters-programmes). In addition, applicants to this study-option are requested to provide the following study-option-specific documents:

Portfolio

A portfolio consisting of the applicant’s own works is mandatory.

In the portfolio, applicants display work that shows their artistic expression and design skills. The portfolio must contain diverse samples of the applicant’s previous scientific, professional and/or artistic activity. Artwork/project work can be provided as technical drawings, slides or photographs. If you present a work that has been undertaken as a team, please clarify your particular role in, and contribution to, the project. The work contained in the portfolio must be catalogued, listing at least the title and/or theme, materials used, size, purpose and year of completion of each piece. The catalogue must also detail where and when the work has been exhibited, displayed or published.

The portfolio should be uploaded as a single PDF-file. Maximum size for the portfolio is 100 MB. Name the file as: Portfolio-surname-firstname.pdf.The intake committee will only evaluate the material displayed in the PDF-file. Links to external material (e.g. website) or video material will not be considered during the intake process.

CV / Professional experience

The applicant’s professional experience will be looked at broadly, and especially with regard to work experience relevant to the Creative Sustainability programme. Professional experience will be evaluated based on the CV.

Motivation letter

The applicant must convey his/her motivation for studying in the Creative Sustainability programme by writing a letter of motivation. The letter should include responses to the following questions:

  • What is your most significant achievement or success in the area of sustainability and design?
  • Why do you want to become a student in the Creative Sustainability programme at Aalto University?
  • What types of projects would you like to do during your studies and as your masters’ thesis?
  • What do you want to do after the master programme?

(Max. 3000 characters.)

Language of application documents

The application documents must be submitted in English.

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Contact information

Learning Services at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture

For enquiries regarding programme-specific application documents orstudies in the programme, please contact Aalto ARTS Learning Services.

[email protected]

Admissions Services

For enquiries regarding the application process, obligatory application documents or English language proficiency, please contact Admissions Services.

[email protected]

The application period is open until 2.1.2023 15:00 (UTC+2)

Apply now
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