Mechanical Engineering, Master of Science (Technology)
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Field of study:
Today's society relies on mechanical engineering for effective, sustainable and safe solutions everywhere. The field covers a wide range of activities and technology sectors, from energy and transportation to medical devices and environmental protection. There is no shortage of tasks, challenges, and opportunities where mechanical engineers create innovative solutions. Mechanical engineering applies to everything from the smallest components to the largest assemblies, resulting in a persistent demand for mechanical engineering expertise.
Through high quality teaching the programme combines hands-on study methods with theory, in order to educate graduates with a variety of skills that correspond to the challenges of future society. As an Aalto University Mechanical Engineering graduate, you will have:
- Own specialization in the field. We have teaching in seven different topic groups: Arctic Technology, Engineering Materials, Marine Technology, Mechatronics, Product Development, Production Engineering and Solid Mechanics, which allows you to specialize in one of these fields or to create your combination of skills from different topic groups. The programme is flexible and versatile, offering many possibilities for specialization or multidisciplinary combination as well as support in plotting your personal study path.
- Relevant technical, mathematical, computational and analytical knowledge and skills. When completing the programme, you will understand the principles and methods of mechanics in engineering, and their practical applications. You will know how to solve engineering problems in your chosen area of specialization, and you can correctly apply a combination of creativity, systematic analysis, computational tools, and critical judgement to such tasks.
- Good interpersonal skills. As a student in an international environment, you will learn to justify your choices and methods, communicate clearly and collaborate effectively.
- Understanding of the societal context. By solving practical real-world cases with the relevant industries, you will also learn the broader societal impact of the field. You will learn to apply mechanical engineering for effective, sustainable and safe solutions, which benefit society in different levels, which our specialization fields reflect.
- Experience from industry. We have close ties to industry, which allows our students to learn in co-operation and to work with the relevant companies and public institutions already during their studies.
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
Aalto University's Master's Programme in Mechanical Engineering builds upon a thorough understanding of core mechanics subjects, which is complemented through advanced studies. Studies provide a solid engineering basis for working in an international, competitive and highly innovative environment. Our teaching is based on problem-based learning, often solving practical real-world cases in co-operation with industry.
Specialisation in the programme is offered through advanced studies courses, which are organised into topic groups. You may follow pre-defined study paths within those topics or pick a less conventional mix of courses in accordance with your individual profile. To help you plan your studies, we offer a comprehensive system of academic support.
- Arctic Technology
- Engineering Materials
- Marine Technology
- Product Development
- Production Engineering
- Solid Mechanics
The programme begins with a project course in which you tackle a prototypical mechanical engineering problem. Over the course's duration you will work and learn as a team and construct your individualized professional profile as a mechanical engineer. This profile forms the basis for your study path going forward. The project course is part of the 30 credits of common studies in the programme.
In addition, you choose 30 credits of advanced studies in the field to build your own area of expertise. 30 credits of elective studies are also included, to be chosen from within or beyond mechanical engineering. The master's thesis completes the programme.
- For more information about the programme's course offering, visit Aalto University's student portal Into.
Webinar | Mechanical Engineering
Want to hear more about the Master's Programme in Mechanical Engineering? In this webinar the programme representatives will introduce the programme and answer your questions regarding the studies in the programme.
The demand for engineers with specific Arctic competence is rising as marine traffic and industrial activities in ice-covered seas increase. The Arctic environment, including the Baltic Sea, is very fragile and it imposes strict requirements for the safety and sustainability of all operations. You will gain a deep understanding of different engineering issues related to cold marine environments, including the design of ships for the harsh Arctic environment and the behaviour of sea ice. Courses deal with winter navigation, ice loads on ships and structures, design of structures, hydrodynamics, ice mechanics and applied mechanics in general.
Aalto University is one of the leading institutions in research related to Arctic Technology. The studies will give you the opportunity to participate in model-scale experiments in a unique test facility, Aalto Ice Tank, and learn the state-of-the-art in analytical and numerical methods. For example, you might choose the arctic marine technology study path or arctic offshore and ice engineering. Graduates of Arctic Technology typically find work in consulting and design companies, classification societies, governmental bodies, shipyards, or in research institutes and universities.
Materials are "the stuff that stuff is made of". Advances in the science and technology of the materials we can use are key enablers of technological progress. Mechanical engineers specialised in the science of our most important engineering materials keep these advances coming and understand which advances to focus on from a user's as well as a producer's perspective.
You can complement this specialisation with, for example, application-specific courses for a particular industry, or with design and modelling skills, or with materials-related courses from other programmes and schools.
Graduates with an engineering materials focus are typically find work in large and small companies, start-ups, research institutes, universities and government agencies in roles like product development, research, analysis, and management.
Courses in the Marine Technology topic group give you an in-depth understanding of maritime engineering. Teaching provides principles for ship construction and design, including hydrodynamics, loads, structural analyses, stability, risk of marine traffic and winter navigation. Experimental work complements theory studies and computer simulations are used to convey concepts.
You can modify and focus your studies based on your interests through specialisation courses from other topic groups or other master's programmes. For instance, the cross-disciplinary Cruise & Ferry Experience minor connects engineering studies with design and business.
Marine Technology studies provide you with the capabilities required to perform design and research work in the marine industry. The majority of graduates work in design and research positions at shipyards, research institutes, design offices, shipping companies and regulatory institutions.
Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary field that integrates mechanical, electrical, telecommunications, control and computer engineering. By choosing the advanced studies of this topic group and the recommended courses for elective studies, you will develop a strong conceptual and theoretical background as well as practical expertise in the different technology areas of the subject: machine design, electronics, fluid power, automation, control engineering, programming, modelling and simulation.
Your studies will involve solving multidisciplinary problems creatively through various methods; critically evaluating the adaptability of alternative technologies; analysing system characteristics, operation and quality with measurements and simulations; and designing and building energy-efficient and requirements-compliant mechatronic systems, apparatuses and machines.
Following graduation, your typical career options include working as an expert, e.g., as system designer, product developer or research engineer in the service of a component manufacturer, an engineering office or a research institute. With accumulated work experience, graduates typically move over to more challenging design, research, teaching or management duties in the service of industry or academia.
A good product developer has expertise and competence in at least one additional field, such as machine design, engineering materials, manufacturing, structural engineering, electronics, mechatronics, industrial design or business development. Product development courses focus on three main areas. First, the theoretical foundation in the methods and tools of product development. Second, more practical approaches for communicating, prototyping, and testing ideas and solutions. Third, the capstone course takes you through a complete experience, from an idea to a prototype, in partnership with an industrial partner and based on a real-world challenge.
Product development courses are aimed at those who adapt well to team settings and who are interested in the processes of developing investment and consumer goods from planning to completion. Matters of management and leadership, as well as working in an interdisciplinary team, are components of the capstone course.
If you are interested in product development, you will typically find yourself in a position of team leader soon after graduation. Further career paths may lead to development manager positions, technical expert roles or product manager positions with more business responsibilities.
A production engineer has a wide set of skills for managing production at factories. The Production Engineering topic group focuses primarily on manufacturing in the metal industry.
Courses in the topic group cover the following general subjects: manufacturing and machine tool technology, additive manufacturing, quality management and metrology, production systems, modelling and optimisation in production technology. Studying production engineering is often practical, involving hands-on laboratory exercises, projects and individual assignments. Close co-operation with the industry is common.
The focus areas of research include modelling and optimisation of production systems, material removal processes and additive manufacturing technology. As a student, you may also use the shared research facility ADD – the Aalto University Digital Design Laboratory – which provides 3D printing, laser cutting and robotics services to the university.
Experts in the field of solid mechanics are needed in the design of structures and machinery to ensure their safety and efficiency. The studies provide a comprehensive framework of the theoretical and numerical aspects of applied mechanics. As a future expert in this field, you will not only learn the fundamental theories related to the behaviour of structures and materials under loads, but you are also able to apply these theories – together with numerical tools – to effectively and reliably solve practical hands-on tasks. Complementary studies in materials science, machine design, product development, and production engineering may also prove useful.
Our courses in Solid Mechanics provide students with the capability to perform structural design and research related to the mechanics of structures. Graduates will find work in companies designing and manufacturing products or structures, in consulting and design companies or in governmental bodies. Research institutes and universities are typical working environments as well. Recent graduates in solid mechanics from Aalto University have specialised, for example, in lifts, vehicles, marine propellers, and steel structures in civil engineering.
Mechanical Engineering students are actively encouraged to spend a semester abroad, studying at one of the top-tier international partner universities of Aalto University.
Further study opportunities
Master’s programme in Mechanical Engineering is considered a great foundation for doctoral studies and post-doc positions.
The finished degree opens doors to a multitude of career paths in consulting, design, product development, research and management, or to a postgraduate position within Aalto University or elsewhere. Graduates of Mechanical Engineering Master’s programme can work as:
- Systems engineers understanding and designing complex systems of different scales, from atomic to global.
- Entrepreneurial engineers creating innovative design necessary to develop products, processes and services that are competitive in a global economy.
- Engineering scientists conducting basic research, which is necessary to address compelling global challenges such as energy sustainability.
- Engineering managers leading global projects and businesses.
These are just some examples, as the number of career paths available for graduates are nearly endless. Our students work closely with industry already during their studies, which enables them to start their careers before graduation.
Our Mechanical Engineering M.Sc. programme brings together teaching mainly from five research groups in the Department of Mechanical Engineering: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials, Marine Technology, Mechatronics, Product Development, and Solid Mechanics. Broadly, we all work on the design, production, and operation of sustainable systems, mostly involving one or more of the 4 M’s of Mechanics, Materials, Marine, and Manufacturing. We typically make use of digitalization for innovation, optimization, and control; for example at Aalto Industrial Internet Campus for Mechatronics or ADDlab for additive manufacturing. Design Factory and Aalto Ice Tank are world-class facilities for research in product development and in ice mechanics or marine technology, respectively. More information can be found on our website at https://mecheng.aalto.fi/.
Co-operation with other parties
In teaching as well as in research, we often collaborate with industry and other research institutes for our projects. The majority of master’s theses in our programme are carried out in industry, and annual events to showcase the outcomes of student projects, such as the Mechatronics Circus, the Product Development Gala, and the Marine Technology Gala are well attended by people from industry and academia alike. Within our programme, students collaborate in project courses and case studies, and often choose to develop a multidisciplinary professional profile by taking minors or elective studies in other fields.
Get to know our alumni
"Ice is a very complicated material to work on. We are trying to study the causes of ice fracture and its effect on the design of marine offshore structures in the arctic region. For this, we are employing computer vision along with conventional fracture mechanics."
Waqas Ahmad, Doctoral student at Aalto University
"To me, ships were and still are the ultimate engineering product in a sense that they combine the full range of engineering disciplines that together form a highly complex floating city."
Eetu Kivelä, Project Manager at Foreship Ltd.
"I felt a little bit out of place during the first years and basic courses, but things got interesting after discovering the product development opportunity: I wanted to design things based on deep insight on human mind and behavior."
Mikko Koskinen, Co-founder at Kyrö Distillery
"Originally, I wanted to specialize in mechatronics, but materials stole my heart during my undergraduate degree. I decided to write my bachelor’s thesis in materials science and haven’t looked back since!"
Aino Mäntyranta, Doctoral student at Aalto University
"I acquired a bachelor’s degree in plastics technology, and I wanted to broaden my analysis and design skills and to gain a deeper understanding of materials and structures. With that goal in mind, I applied to a master’s programme in Mechanical Engineering at Aalto, where I chose to major in Solid Mechanics."
Lien Tran, Concept Designer at Deltamarin
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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 2023:
What is evaluated: Grades of the previous degree
Admission requirements: Grades need be to mainly good or excellent
Evaluated documents: Transcript(s) of records
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: Previous studies should prepare for very good or excellent study performance in the study option. This requires a thorough understanding of statics and dynamics, basics of solid mechanics, and materials, complemented for example with some combination of continuum mechanics, fluid dynamics, machine design and production engineering.
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 field-specific) rankings of higher education institutions
What is evaluated:Applicant’s fit to the study option, motivation, and commitment for studies
What we look for in an applicant: Motivaton should be clearly in connection with the study option
Evaluated documents: Motivation letter
Other areas of competence
What is evaluated? Practical experience and other acquired knowledge/achievements: e.g., publications, formal and non-formal education, competitions
What we look for in an applicant: Context situating the motivation in connection with the study option
Evaluated documents: Curriculum vitae and (if applicable) supporting documents
Applicants are expected to hold a high-quality bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or a related discipline.
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 Mechanical engineering programme are requested to provide the following study-option-specific documents:
- A motivation letter, with reflections on what you hope to learn from the topics you can study in this programme and on the connection between your interests, relevant prior experience, career goals, and intended studies
- A curriculum vitae and (if applicable) supporting documents clearly showing the timing of post-secondary education and any prior experience relevant to the motivation for applying to this programme. Supporting documents for such prior experience are also required, if applicable.
The lack of these application document will adversely affect the evaluation of your application. Study-option-specific documents must be uploaded for each study option separately. If you use for example the same CV, you have to upload it twice.
Tips for writing
Master’s Admissions at the School of Engineering 2023
The motivation letter is an important part of your application. It gives you an opportunity to show us the context in which you want us to consider your application, and to present relevant pieces of information that cannot be provided elsewhere in the application. An excellent motivation letter is concise, persuasive, forward-looking, and evidence-based (consistent with transcripts, CV, and reference letters). It should be written in good English and formatted as a letter. We do not have a strict limit on the length of the motivation letters, but one page of 12-point text laid out to be easily readable should suffice, so not much more than 500 words. Please reflect on what specialisations we offer and ensure your motivation letter identifies some courses or a topic group you are particularly interested in.
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? You may want to describe a particular instance that taught you an attitude or skill you consider important, or exemplifies it.
- 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?
Master’s Admissions at the School of Engineering 2023
The curriculum vitae is also an essential part of your application. It summarises your professional identity and the path you have taken to where you are now. An excellent CV is complete (it should clarify rather than obfuscate any gaps in your career or studies), facilitates to find relevant information at a glance, highlights what you want to emphasise, and focuses on verifiable quantitative information. Supporting documents for information included in the CV should also be submitted, if applicable. Practical experience —gained for example through projects, assignments, internships, working, or extracurricular activities— should indicate not only start and end dates but also briefly address your role and responsibilities, and outcomes you take credit for.
Examples of supporting documents you should provide if applicable:
- official transcripts and degree certificates of any studies started or completed in addition to the bachelor's degree that makes you eligible to apply for master's degree studies
- work certificates
- certificates of prizes and other relevant achievements
- copies of publications, if you did not provide a permanent web link
- recommendation letters are not required
Note that whereas the evaluation of your application will not be adversely affected if you have little or no work experience or other activities because you focused on your studies and are continuing directly to our programme, the evaluation of your application will be adversely affected if you fail to provide a CV.
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