Master's Degree Programme in Sustainable Cities and Communities

Joint Master Programme of Science in Sustainable Cities and Communities grows your expertise in the domains of environment, energy, urban planning and natural resources.

> Watch the information webinar about the programme

The Master’s degree is international by definition. It is included in the EC2U European Alliance that comprises the universities of:

  • Coimbra (Portugal)
  • Poitiers (France)
  • Turku (Finland)
  • Salamanca (Spain)
  • Iasi (Romania)
  • Jena (Germany)
  • Pavia (Italy)

The European Union’s policy plans and targets in the area of Sustainable Development together with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) will imply the need for a large number of experts in Sustainability areas.

The EC2U Joint Master “Sustainable Cities and Communities” is a 2-year Master’s Degree (4 semesters, 30 ECTS each, 120 ECTS in total) that aims to train future national and international professionals with diverse backgrounds, in the domains of environment, energy, urban planning and natural resources. This degree is in line with professional practice and will ensure students to develop instrumental skills in analysis and synthesis, solving and planning, and to launch their career with advanced knowledge in the field of sustainable cities and communities.

EC2U Joint Masters

Entry requirements


General Requirement

  • You are an eligible applicant for Master’s-level studies if

  • you have a nationally recognized first cycle degree – normally a Bachelor’s degree – from an accredited institution of higher education,
  • your degree corresponds to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to three years of full-time study,
  • your degree is in a relevant field for the Master’s degree programme that you’re applying to. Please check the section on programme-specific admission requirements.

Language Requirements

Applicants must have excellent English language skills and a certificate that proves those skills. You can indicate your language skills by taking one of the internationally recognized English language tests. 

Applicants must reach the minimum required test results to be considered eligible to the University of Turku. No exceptions will be made. Read more about the language requirements here.

Study right

It is not possible to have more than one Bachelor’s or Master’s study right at the same Faculty. Therefore, when accepting an offered study place, the student will lose any previous BSc. or MSc. study right at the Faculty of Science at the University of Turku.


Before you start preparing your application, always read the full admission requirements on the application portal

In order to apply to the Master program, candidates must have a Bachelor Degree in one of the following areas: exact and natural sciences, life sciences, earth sciences, engineering, architecture, economics and management, and other social sciences relevant for the sustainable cities theme, or have a scientific technical curriculum that can be assessed equivalent to the Bachelor Degree in areas similar to those previously listed.


Selection criteria and procedure

Admission to the programme is selective. There is a maximum capacity of 20 students in the programme for 2023-24. The candidates will be ranked on a scale of 100 points. The selection criteria will be assessed based on:

  • Transcript of Records
  • Knowledge of English language
  • Motivation Letter and Curriculum vitae

The criteria include three categories:

  1. Academic Excellence (50 points):
    Points for academic excellence are based ECTS weighted average of the exam grades reported in the transcript of records if at the time of application, the student does not hold the Bachelor. If the applicant provides more than one previous Degree, the Joint Admission Committee will consider the highest level or in case of equal level, the first one listed by the applicant.
  2. Language Knowledge (20 points):
    The knowledge of higher levels with respect the minimum requirement will be considered
  3. Personal Competencies (30 points, 10 points for each item)
  • Intercultural competence
  • Civic engagement
  • Interest in program enrolment

Programme in brief


The programme in total is 120 ECTS.

The first semester university is the University of Coimbra. The second semester university is the University of Turku and the third semester university the University of Poitiers.

The fourth semester university can be any one of the three universities delivering the diploma (University of Coimbra, University of Poitiers and University of Turku). If applicable, it is also possible to spend the fourth semester in one of the four other EC2U partner universities within the Erasmus mobility scheme (University of Iasi, University of Jena, University of Pavia and University of Salamanca).


To complete your Master’s degree, you will write a master’s thesis in English. Your master’s thesis will be supervised by at least two experts in two different universities. Your Master’s thesis can be a traditional science-oriented work or a more professional-oriented dissertation, resulting from your internships in research and professional environments, to be selected from a pocket of protocols with private and public, local and national agencies/organisations in the fields of Sustainable Cities and Communities, across the Consortium’s Institutions.


The programme has a highly international character. Once you have completed it, you will have a double (or triple) degree certificate. This means that you are awarded a Master’s degree by the universities where you have studied at least 30 ECTS.


The student fee is 1500 € per academic year for EU-citizens and 3770 € per academic year for citizens of non-EU. The sum covers the compulsory fees for Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) and membership of The Student Union of the University of Turku (TYY)

  • Citizens of EU/EEA contries: The EC2U student fee minus the compulsory fees mentioned above will be reimbursed.
  • Others: The EC2U student fee is not reimbursable.

Career options

  • Student will have instrumental skills in analysis and synthesis, organization and planning, and problem solving.
  • Student will have systemic capacities, specifically in the realm of sustainable development.
  • Student will have knowledge that provides a basis or opportunity for originality in developing and/or applying ideas, often in the context of research. 
  • Student will be able to apply the knowledge acquired and their ability to solve problems in new or unfamiliar environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to their field of study. 
  • Student will be able to integrate knowledge and handle the complexity of formulating judgements based on incomplete or limited information that include reflecting on the social and ethical responsibilities linked to the application of his/her knowledge and judgements. 
  • Student will be able to communicate her/his conclusions (and the underlying knowledge and reasons) to specialists and non-specialists clearly and unambiguously.
  • Student  will  develop  the  learning  skills  that  enable  her/him  to  continue  studying autonomously.

The learning outcomes are valued by employers and this programme equips you for a wide range of careers, for example:

  • Eco-consultant
  • Manager in sustainable development
  • Teacher-researcher
  • Urban planner
  • Architecture and/or engineering practitioner
  • Policy or decision-maker at the urban scales

Completing the Master’s degree programme in Sustainable Cities and Communities will give you eligibility to apply to PhD studies in relevant fields.