Futures Studies - UTU Masters
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Master's Degree Programme in

Futures Studies

Turku School of Economics, University of Turku

Will you be the next expert of the future?

The Master’s Degree Programme in Futures Studies provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary and practical education in the field of futures studies. It is designed to educate foresight experts who help organisations to harness future opportunities and avoid unnecessary risks.

The Programme includes plenty of rehearsal, case-studies and real-life experiences on using foresight methodology. These range from quantitative and qualitative methods to innovative and creative futures design techniques.

Here you will get a versatile toolkit for implementing foresight thinking for the benefit of a given organisation. You will qualify to a wide array of expert positions in the strategic and foresight units of private companies and public institutions. The Programme also serves as an excellent basis for building a consultant business.


Programme structure

The extent of the Programme is 120 ECTS and the degree is designed to be completed in two years. Futures Studies as a major subject includes compulsory and optional courses that build the expertise of the student in, for example, futures studies methodology, strategic foresight and scenario building. Students are free to choose a minor subject that complements their career goals. Recommended minors include Sustainable Development, Entrepreneurship, Management and Organisation, and Economic Sociology. Elective studies can include courses in Futures Studies, but can also widen the knowledge of the student in new subjects or thematic areas. All students are also expected to study languages (Finnish as well as English) and general methodological studies.

Academic excellence & experience

The two-year Programme is run by the Finland Futures Research Centre, which is the world’s premier hotspot of future-minded scholars. The Centre is specialised in futures studies and foresight and seeks to accomplish the ultimate goal of a responsible and sustainable future. The Centre researches alternative futures and the challenges and possibilities included in them. Academic research places special emphasis on:

  • foresight
  • environmental and energy research
  • socio-cultural research
  • food and consumption
  • security
  • education

The Finland Futures Research Centre develops the scientific foundations and methods of futures studies. The Master’s Degree Programme utilises the resources, connections and personnel of the Centre to provide students with a comprehensive, multidisciplinary and practical education in the field of futures studies.

The Master’s Degree Programme in Futures Studies is designed to educate futures experts. You will gain the theoretical and academic knowledge required for starting PhD studies as well as practical competences for working in challenging positions in companies or the public sector.

Education is given in English, and the students of this international Programme learn to work together with associates from different countries and scientific backgrounds.

Master's thesis & topics

The thesis is a scientific research report comprised of both a theoretical section and empirical applications. The aim of the process is:

  • to provide you with the tools to locate and critically evaluate scientific information
  • to train independent problem solving for demanding research questions and thus lay and advanced knowledge and skill basis for doctoral studies
  • to train presentation and argumentation skills, both oral and written
  • to attain expertise in the practices of researching, utilising and developing alternative and possible futures in the chosen field

Examples of Master’s thesis topics in futures studies:

  • Images of the future of privacy: A privacy dynamics framework and a causal layered analysis of ideal types.
  • The future of branded sportswear store formats in Germany 2030: Four images of the future.
  • Futures of citizens’ political participation in Russia: scenarios for years 2014–2025
  • Sustainable Development – the Key to Competitiveness CSR as an added value to Alstom’s corporate performance
  • Futures of Finnish food system by 2050. The perspective of resilience

Check out the complete list of Master’s theses written by our graduates from the programme’s webpages


Get your essay published

The Finland Futures Research Centre publishes the inspired and inspirational picks from the students papers each year in a Special Issue “Coolest Student Papers”. With this publication, the Centre has wanted to create a channel for making visible the hard work, academic talent and creativity featured in our courses.

The Special Issue “Coolest Student Papers at Finland Futures Research Centre 2015-2016” covers six courses from the Master’s Degree Programme in Futures Studies, two courses organised by Finland Futures Academy (taught in Finnish), and the interdisciplinary teamwork course of Sustainability Studies. All the studies are coordinated by the Centre. In this Special Issue, each course forms its own section with an introduction by the teacher(s), followed by the papers.

For more information, see http://www.utu.fi/fi/yksikot/ffrc/julkaisut/e-tutu/Documents/eBook_6-2016.pdf


Competence description

As a student in the Programme, you will learn:

  • to understand, compare and evaluate different futures studies cases and methods in relation to each other
  • to explore ethical questions in decision making processes and learn how to incorporate sustainability goals to futures studies
  • how to design and manage demanding projects independently and apply the various methods of futures studies and judge the meaning and consequences of your methodological choices
  • to communicate the results of your projects and studies in a larger context.
  • to express yourself clearly with the correct scientific terminology and achieve a significant understanding of your field of research
Job options

The students graduating from the Master’s Degree Programme in Futures Studies will qualify to a wide array of expert positions in the strategic units of private companies and public institutions.

The Programme builds upon and enhances the knowledge attained by the students in their previous degrees and other experiences and therefore the career options of the graduates are also strongly linked to them.

Possible job titles are:

  • strategic planning executive
  • consultant
  • futures analyst
  • business development manager
  • development and planning officer in public administration
Career in research

Master of Arts degree provides eligibility for scientific postgraduate degree studies. Postgraduate degrees are doctoral and licentiate degrees. Degrees can be completed at the University of Turku or the graduates may choose to apply to any other university in Finland or abroad.

Graduates from the Programme are eligible to apply for a position in the University of Turku Graduate School, UTUGS.  The Graduate School consists of 16 Doctoral Programmes which cover all disciplines and doctoral candidates of the University.

Together with the Doctoral Programmes, the Graduate School provides systematic and high-quality doctoral training.  UTUGS aims to train highly qualified experts with the skills required for both professional career in research and other positions of expertise.


General degree requirements

Phase 1. General requirements

1. Degree Requirements  

Applicants must have one of the following degrees:

  1. a) Bachelor’s degree from Finland or corresponding degree from a foreign university:
  • Bachelor of Science in Economics and Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Social Sciences
  • Bachelor of Arts in Education
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Health Science
  • Bachelor of Administrative Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science in Food Chemistry
  • Bachelor of Medicine
  • Bachelor of Science in Technology
  • Bachelor of Laws
  • Bachelor of Sport Sciences
  1. b) Bachelor’s degree from a University of Applied Sciences in Finland:
  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Culture and Arts
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Logistics
  • Bachelor of Environmental Planning
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Industrial Management
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Biotechnology and Food Industries
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Environmental Technology
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Media Engineering

2. Language Requirement

Prospective candidates should have a good level of proficiency in the English language.

3. Minimum Grade

The grade of the applicant’s major studies must be 3 or higher for students graded on a grading scale of 1-5. The minimum for all other grading systems should be average or better. If the applicant’s certificate does not indicate the grade for the major studies, the average grade will be calculated from all courses indicated in the transcript of records. If the grading scale is other than 1-5, it will be converted to the 1-5 scale.

Student selection

All applicants that fulfill the phase 1 of the application process which means general degree requirements as well as the minimum grade requirement will move on to phase 2 of the selection.

Phase 2: Selection Criteria

The applicants that have passed phase 1 will be graded and approximately 20 applicants with the highest points will be selected.

Only studies completed and registered by the admission deadline of 31 January 2018 are taken into account in the selection process. All documentation of these studies must be provided by the end of the application period 31 January 2018. The required degree must be completed by 10 July 2018. If the required degree is not completed by the application deadline, applicants should enclose a statement from their home university stating the expected date of graduation.

The grading is done as follows:

1. Bachelor’s thesis

Bachelor’s thesis or corresponding final thesis grade of 3 or above will be awarded 15 points. (If the grading scale is other than 1-5, it will be converted to the 1-5 scale). Applicants who have not written a thesis as part of their previous degree will earn no points in this section. The applicants whose thesis was graded on a scale of pass/fail will earn 10 points.

2. Eligible previous studies

Previous studies in futures studies 1 ECTS credit = 1 point, maximum of 25 points. When converting the old Finnish credit system into ECTS the multiple of 1.5 is used for Universities of Applied Sciences and 1.8 for Universities.

3. Grade of Major Studies

The grade of the applicant’s major studies, on a grading scale of 1–5. If the applicant’s certificate does not indicate the grade for the major studies, the average grade will be calculated from all courses indicated in the transcript of records.

Grade 3 = 10 points
Grade 4 = 20 points
Grade 5 = 30 points

If the applicant’s previous studies are not graded on a scale of 1–5, the grading scale will be converted to a scale of 1–5.

4. Supplementary studies

Supplementary studies are studies that a student admitted into the Master’s Degree Programme must finish in order to supplement previous studies. The aim of the supplementary studies is to give the student sufficient qualifications to finish the Master of Arts degree. Supplementary studies are maximum of 22 ECTS credits.

Applicant’s Bachelor degree will define the individual supplementary studies:

  • Supplementary studies for Bachelor from University: second language 0-6 ECTS
  • Bachelor from University of Applied Sciences: futures studies 10 ECTS, methodological studies 6 ECTS and second language studies 0-6 ECTS.

Applicant is graded on the needed supplementary studies: 0 ECTS = 22 points, 1 ECTS = 21 points and so on. 22 ECTS needed supplementary studies will give applicant 0 points.

5. Motivation letter

The applicant will receive 0-30 points from the motivation letter.

In the motivation letter, the applicant should cover the following themes:

  • What is your educational and professional background and how you feel it fits this Master’s Degree Programme?
  • Define your reasons for choosing this Master’s Degree Programme and how you see your future after graduation.
  • Present the international experience you have that you consider relevant for this Programme.
  • What aspects of studying in Finland and in this Programme you expect to be most challenging for you? How do you plan to conquer these challenges?
  • Please discuss your understanding of Futures Studies as a field of research.

Instructions for the motivation letter:

  • The length of the motivation letter is limited to a maximum of 4,000 characters.
  • The language of the motivation letter is English.

The motivation letter will be graded with the following criteria:

  • Relevant international experience. (0-10 points)
  • The level of motivation to enter the Programme. (0-10 points)
  • Understanding the context of futures studies. (0-5 points)
  • Relevance for career plans. (0-5 points)

If the motivation letter is missing, the application will be rejected.

Language Requirements

The language proficiency can be proven with:

Bachelor’s degree (or higher) or an equivalent degree in an English-language programme in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States or in an EU/EEA country. The language of instruction of the degree must be proven with the degree certificate, transcript of records or Diploma Supplement.

Or by one of the following tests:

  • TOEFL PBT (Test of English, paper-based) minimum requirement: 575 points
  • TOEFL iBT (Test of English, internet-based) minimum requirements: 92 points, each separate part at least 20 points
  • CAE/CPE (University of Cambridge Advanced Examination/proficiency Examination) pass grades A, B or C
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) minimum grade 6.5, each separate part at least 6 points
  • PTE Academic minimum requirement 62 points, each separate part at least 54 points
  • Finnish matriculation examination in English language, minimum grade of magna cum laude approbatur (or a corresponding minimum English language grade of 5 from the International Baccalaureate degree, grade 7.00 from the European Baccalaureate degree or grade 8 from the Reifeprüfung degree).

The language test results must be valid. Please note that the language test is valid until the expiry date given by the test organiser.


Application Form and Enclosures

The application form for the studies starting in autumn 2018 is available online during the application period on 1 December 2017 – 31 January 2018 at 15:00 (local time in Finland, GMT +2). Please read carefully all the application instructions and detailed admission requirements before applying! Make sure that you fulfil both the admission and language requirements before applying.

The application form is available to be filled and submitted at the Studyinfo portal during the application period. The following documents must be scanned and attached to the application (in pdf format):

  • The original degree certificate (in the original language) AND an English, Finnish or Swedish translation (or an English-language Diploma Supplement concerning graduates from European universities) of the degree certificate or a statement from the applicant’s home institution in English, Finnish or Swedish stating the expected date of graduation.
  • The original transcript of study records (in the original language) AND an English, Finnish or Swedish translation (or an English-language Diploma Supplement concerning graduates from European universities) of the transcript of records.
  • Certificate of knowledge of English (see Language requirements).
  • CV (Curriculum Vitae)

All translations must be made either by an authorized translator or by the degree awarding institution. Each page of an official translation must bear the translator’s stamp and/or signature. Official translations must be exact translations of the original documents.


Make sure you have the required degree. If you are graduating after the application deadline, you may apply on the condition that the required application documents are submitted and arrive at the University of Turku by 10 July 2018 at 15:00 (local time in Finland).


Check the language requirements and reserve a time for a language test if necessary.


Fill in the online application form. The online application is open only during the application period, so make sure you finish your application before 31 January 2018 at 15:00:00 (Local time in Finland, GTM+2).


Master’s Degree Programme in



Degree: Master of Arts (humanities)

Duration: 2 academic years, 120 ECTS credits

Mode of study: Full-time

Faculty / Department: Turku School of Economics, Finland Futures Research Centre

Location: Turku, Finland

Language of instruction: English

Start date: August 2019

Application period: 3 Dec 2018 – 31 Jan 2019

Tuition fee for citizens of EU/EEA countries or Switzerland:  None

Tuition fee for citizens of non-EU/EEA countries:  €10,000 / academic year

Scholarships available: check the website


Future with UTU

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