Creative Sustainability, Master of Science (Technology)
Language of instruction:
Field of study:
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.
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.
More information about the research: https://www.aalto.fi/en/department-of-bioproducts-and-biosystems
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.
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.
The School provides education for a wide range of responsible future professionals. M.Sc. and Ph.D. graduates in technology work in diverse positions in Finland's largest industrial sectors, in the metal and electronics industry, wood processing industries as well as chemical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and food industries. The research and teaching are supported by an extensive international academic and industrial cooperation network.
The focus areas of the education are the sustainable use and processing of natural resources and new materials, including their technical applications. In the studies towards the major, students acquire advanced knowledge in a specific area of biotechnology, chemical technology or material science and technology. The education leading to a master’s degree is based on the professional practices of fields requiring expertise in science and technology and on scientific research generating new knowledge. Students may choose their minors or elective study modules so that their degree is a combination of technology, business, and art, typical of Aalto University.
Students will adopt a responsible, goal-oriented and systematic way of working, and develop skills to work as experts in their area of specialisation both independently and in cooperation with experts of different fields, also in an international working environment. They will be able to express themselves clearly and unambiguously both orally and in writing and to tailor their communication to the target audience.
The School of Chemical Engineering trains Masters of Science (Technology) who have the skills and knowledge to work as pacesetters of the fields of biotechnology, chemical technology and material science and technology in various managerial, planning and research duties serving industry or related stakeholders, the scientific community or public sector. The studies of the programme provide students with the knowledge and skills needed for applying scientific knowledge and scientific methods independently and for continuing to doctoral education.
Graduates of the programme will have achieved the key scientific and professional working methods of their area of specialisation and will be able to continuously deepen their knowledge by acquiring, evaluating and processing scientific, technical and professional information. They will gain the knowledge and skills to understand the challenges of the field from the point of view of users and technical and social systems, as well as from that of the environment and be able to use this knowledge in developing new solutions, also as members of multidisciplinary teams.
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Programme-specific admission requirements
Applicants are first evaluated based on Aalto’s general eligibility requirements (found on https://www.aalto.fi/en/study-at-aalto/applying-to-masters-programmes). 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
- 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
|What is evaluated||GPA of the bachelor’s degree|
|What we look for in an applicant?||The applicant's success in his/her previous studies (those that give basis for applying to the programme) will be evaluated based on the grade point average (GPA). Applicants are required to have a GPA equivalent to a minimum of 3.0 (on a scale 1.0 - 5.0, 1.0 being the minimum passing grade).|
|Method of demonstrating competence||Transcript of records, degree certificate|
|What is evaluated||Content and quantity of previous studies in relation to the applied study option-specific requirements|
|What we look for in an applicant?||
BSc or equivalent degree in a relevant field of science or engineering.
Relevant degrees (fields): Materials science/engineering, physics, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, metallurgy, paper science, wood science, textile engineering
Examples of key subjects: Mathematics, physics, chemistry, materials science, process engineering, chemical engineering, metallurgy, composites science/engineering
Knowledge and skills: Adequate knowledge of mathematics, physics, chemistry is mandatory. Knowledge of the materials science and engineering of metals and non-metals as well as biological origin materials is highly desirable.
In addition to the studies giving basis to apply to the programme, other possible studies are also evaluated. However, 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.
|Method of demonstrating competence||Transcript(s) of records, degree certificate(s)|
|What is evaluated||Recognition and quality of the applicant's previous institution|
|What we look for in an applicant?||The applicant's previous institution (where the degree giving basis to apply was completed) will be evaluated based on the recognition and quality of the institution.|
|Method of demonstrating competence||International and national rankings of higher education institutions|
|What is evaluated||Applicant’s further applicability to the study option, motivation and commitment for the studies|
|What we look for in an applicant?||
The applicant must clearly demonstrate genuine motivation to study the chosen field. The applicant must also explain how his/her previous studies support studying in the chosen study option and why he/she would be a good candidate for the study option. Please see further instructions for the motivation letter below.
The studies should provide genuinely new knowledge. If the applicant already has a master's degree, he/she should clearly indicate why he/she is applying to complete another master's degree.
|Method of demonstrating competence||Motivation letter|
|What is evaluated||Work experience and other acquired knowledge/achievements e.g. publications|
What we look for in an applicant?
The applicant's other relevant achievements or experiences are evaluated if documented in the application:
- work experience in a field related to the study option
- participation in scientific research related to the field of the study option which has led to publications or posters
-recommendations stating the applicant’s academic competence and suitability in the field of the study option
- demonstrable interest in sustainable development issues (e.g. work done for environmental NGOs, volunteering, or working for relevant start-ups or enterprises)
|Method of demonstrating competence||Curriculum vitae, recommendation letters, proof of employment, publications|
Study option-specific documents
The documents required from all applicants are listed on https://www.aalto.fi/en/study-at-aalto/applying-to-masters-programmes. In addition, applicants to this programme are requested to provide the following study option-specific documents (if applicable):
- The lack of this application document will adversely affect the evaluation of the application. In particular, we pay attention to your ability of critical reflection.
- Max. 1 page, should be written in English.
- Examples of questions to consider when writing the motivation letter:
- Why are you applying to this master’s programme and major?
- What do you expect to gain from your studies in the master’s programme?
- Why do you think you are a good candidate for this master’s programme? How will your previous education, work experience, knowledge and skills support your studies?
- What are the areas in terms of knowledge and competences you need to develop most to successfully complete the selected studies?
- What are your professional goals? In which sector would you like to work in the future? How do you think this master’s programme would support the development of your professional profile?
- Why do you want to study at Aalto University and in Finland?
- In case the applicant already has completed another master’s degree in a closely related field or if he/she has a study right to another master’s or doctoral programme, he/she is asked to explain why he/she is applying to complete another master's degree.
- Max. 3 pages
- Should be in English
- Highlight merits and activities relating to sustainable development (e.g. relevant work experience, volunteering etc.)
- In addition to their CV, applicants are asked to provide documentary evidence of any work experience, research activity, academic merits and interest in sustainable development (e.g. letter from employer/supervisor or other proof of employment, poster or other publication, letter from academic supervisor)
- Max. 2 recommendation letters.
- The letters should be in English and written by a senior member of academic staff.
- Work experience in a field related to the study option.
- Scientific publications in a field related to the study option.
- Please, provide DOI or other clear reference of your publication
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]
+358 50 362 3017