Study options

Creative Sustainability, Master of Science (Technology)

The critical global challenges of our time, such as the climate crisis, poverty, social and economic inequality and population growth, call for multidisciplinary mindsets to seek new solutions. Answering to this need, the Creative Sustainability Master’s Programme (CS) draws together leading expertise from the School of Business, the School of Arts, Design and Architecture and the School of Chemical Engineering.
Students with teacher learning in laboratory


Master of Science (Technology)

Application period:

1.12.2022 – 2.1.2023

Language of instruction:



2 years, full-time


Relevant Bachelor's degree

Field of study:

Technology and Engineering


120 ECTS

Organising school:

School of Chemical Engineering

Tuition fees:

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

Applying to master’s programmes


The critical global challenges of our time, such as the climate crisis, poverty, social and economic inequality and population growth, call for new mindsets to seek new solutions. The Creative Sustainability Master’s Programme (CS) draws together leading expertise from the School of Business, the School of Arts, Design and Architecture and the School of Chemical Engineering to form a multidisciplinary learning environment that attracts top talent. Students entering the programme all share the same passion to help accelerate the transition towards a sustainable society.

The CS programme educates the next generation of engineers whose skill set extends beyond the traditional technical expertise to be able to participate in multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder innovation processes. Upon graduating from the Master's Programme in Creative Sustainability, graduates will have:

Ability to incorporate systems thinking into problem solving. Graduates understand the interconnected and interdependent nature of the modern challenges and are able to suggest solutions from a holistic perspective.

Cognitive flexibility and design thinking. Thanks to the multidisciplinary nature of the programme, graduates possess a broad set of skills that enhances their creative problem-solving abilities.

State-of-the-art and applied materials engineering knowledge. Graduates understand the principles of circular economy and are able to apply their engineering knowledge to the development of new sustainable materials.

Extensive analytical skills. Graduates master analytical tools for sustainability assessment.

Strong interpersonal skills. Graduates are able to engage in dialogue with experts from various fields as well as work as part of culturally diverse and transdisciplinary teams.

Strong understanding of sustainability management. Graduates are able to manage sustainability initiatives for society at large, for business purposes, and for the needs of other organisations. They have also gained an understanding of the way different organisational forms and work practices can support the pursuit of sustainability.

Language of instruction

In the Master’s Programme in Creative Sustainability the language of instruction 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

Overall, the Master's Programme in Creative Sustainability comprises a total of 120 ECTS credits. The two-year programme consists of:

· Compulsory studies in Creative Sustainability (60 ECTS)

· Minor studies (20 ECTS)

· Elective studies (10 ECTS)

· Master's thesis (30 ECTS)


The studies are divided into four different categories:

· Compulsory joint CS studies: the compulsory core studies that all CS master’s students of the three schools study together. These include courses around systems thinking, creative teamwork, as well as environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainable development.

· Compulsory school studies: the compulsory studies within the student’s own school. For example, at the School of Chemical Engineering, these include courses related to bio-based materials and circular economy.

· Alternative CS studies: studies available to CS master’s students from any of the three schools.

· Elective studies: minor studies or courses in other programmes at Aalto University or other Finnish universities, international student exchange programme, internship, or courses from alternative CS course list.

The compulsory joint courses as well as the compulsory courses for the CHEM branch of the programme are intended to be taken during the first year of the programme. In the second year, students have the flexibility to choose courses according to their interests and the kind of specialisation they wish to accumulate.


The two key topic areas specific to the students at the School of Chemical Engineering are circular economy and biomaterials. Metal recycling and minimising mining damage are given great emphasis and students can also choose to delve deeper into the topic of biomaterials, studying for example forest biomass and biobased polymers that can have a drastic impact on the waste problem, from packaging to textiles. To give a concrete example of some of the topics covered, below is a list of courses picked from the programme’s extensive curriculum:

· Materials for a World in Transition (5 ECTS)

· Fundamentals of Chemical Thermodynamics (5 ECTS)

· Metal Recycling Technologies (5 ECTS)

· Plant Biomass (5 ECTS)

· Circular Economy for Materials Processing (5 ECTS)


The pedagogical approach is based on integrating teaching and research, challenge-based and blended learning, and a strong connection to practical outcomes. Teaching methods range from interactive classroom lessons and laboratory work to group assignments and practical projects carried out for partner organisations.

The programme is part of the European knowledge and innovation community EIT Climate-KIC, working to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy. Students get to interact with university students from elsewhere in Europe and participate in trainings and activities organised by the community.

Personal Study Plan (PSP)

The Personal Study Plan (PSP) is a practical tool to define a student’s own study path, compiling an optimal selection of courses that are aligned with the student's interests and programme requirements. PSP is also a useful tool for students to keep track of their studies. At best, it shows where students are with their studies and sets concrete milestones for them to follow.


A response to the environmental, social and economic challenges requires cross-cultural understanding and cooperation on a global level. The Creative Sustainability programme is a learning environment that is genuinely international: to date it has been the programme of choice for students of 54 different countries from all over the world. Thanks to this, the CS learning experience takes place in a diverse, while like-minded and supportive group of highly-motivated students and faculty.

Concrete examples of possibilities for developing one’s global competence include:

· choosing courses with intercultural approach, learning foreign languages and/or becoming a student tutor for international students

· completing part of the degree abroad in an international partner university as an exchange student

· conducting practical training or Master’s thesis abroad

· taking a summer course abroad

Aalto University is international by nature, welcoming thousands of degree and exchange students from abroad every year. These students join the diverse Aalto community not only through their studies, but also through multiple free time events, celebrations and extracurricular activities around the campus. Active tutoring programs and support services work hard to help international students integrate to the Nordic culture and feel at home in Finland.

Further study opportunities

The Master’s programme in Creative Sustainability – MSc in Technology at Aalto is considered a great foundation for doctoral studies.

Career opportunities

Sustainability considerations arise in all business and industrial contexts and thus there are several possible career options for those with expertise in sustainability and material science. Graduates of Creative Sustainability from Chemical Engineering can find themselves, for example, pursuing one of the following career paths:

· Working as sustainability and business development managers in industries facing and dealing with major ecological challenges (e.g. forestry, manufacturing, electronics, agriculture)

· Working in the development of new material solutions for circular economy

· Embarking on an entrepreneurial venture

· Working in strategic and leadership positions in the public sector

Aalto University has well-established career services to support students’ and graduates’ employment in Finland and abroad. Thanks to the flexible curriculum, many Aalto students work already during their studies and guarantee themselves entry positions before graduation. There is also a very active entrepreneurship community at Aalto, working as a springboard for founding a company.

Research focus

More information about the research:

Co-operation with other parties

The programme’s international and multidisciplinary learning platform merges business, design, chemical engineering and material science in a way that prepares students to respond to the defining challenges of today’s society. Students study in multidisciplinary teams, increasing their understanding of different disciplines and enabling holistic approaches. This activates students to create new sustainable solutions for the human, urban, industrial and business environment.

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 multidisciplinarity environment sparks new ideas, gathers enthusiasts around them and gives birth to friendships, networks, and every so often, startups.

Applying to master’s programmes

School of Chemical Engineering

The School of Chemical Engineering combines natural sciences and engineering in a unique way. This allows the results of our research to be refined a long way and put into practice as ready products and processes. Each innovation secures both our renewable and non-renewable natural resources for the future.

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Programme-specific admission requirements

Applicants are first evaluated based on Aalto’s general eligibility requirements (found on Applicants meeting the general eligibility criteria for master's studies are then evaluated according to the evaluation criteria below. 

Applications are first evaluated based on the following (critical) criteria. 

  • Academic performance 
  • Relevance of previous studies 

Only the applications who fulfill the requirements for these criteria will be evaluated against the full set of evaluation criteria. After the evaluation of the remaining criteria below, the best applicants will be selected based on the joint evaluation of all criteria.

  • Recognition and quality of institution
  • Suitability
  • Other areas of competence

The programme does not have a minimum quota to be filled, and not all eligible applicants will necessarily be admitted.

Evaluation criteria for the Master’s Programme in Creative Sustainability - MSc in Technology

Study option-specific documents

The documents required from all applicants are listed on In addition, applicants to this programme are requested to provide the following study option-specific documents (if applicable):

Contact information

In case of programme-specific questions and inquiries, please contact [email protected] If there are open questions about the admissions and applying instructions, you can reach out to [email protected]

Contact information

School of Chemical Engineering

For enquiries regarding the application process, application documents and language tests, please contact [email protected] For enquiries regarding the content of the programme and studies at the School of Chemical Engineering, please contact Learning Services of Aalto University School of Chemical Engineering, [email protected]

[email protected]

+358 50 362 3017

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