Aalto University

Creative Sustainability - Architecture, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • English
The International Master's Programme in Creative Sustainability (CS) is a joint master’s programme at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture, School of Business and School of Engineering. This Creative Sustainability - Architecture programme is offered by Aalto University.


The Creative Sustainability - Architecture programme at Aalto University brings together students who are devoted to develop systemic solutions, work in multidisciplinary teams and challenge themselves with practical learning tasks. The studies offer students opportunities to collaborate with research projects, companies, organisations and students from other disciplines.

Content outcomes

The CS programme provides the graduates with knowledge and skills on several competence areas:

  • Multidisciplinary approach: capability in adapting knowledge, skills and new approaches to reach collaborative solutions based on ecological, economical and sociocultural sustainability.
  • Systems approach: ability to integrate analytic and systemic thinking into critical problem solving that creates new holistic understanding about complex situations in society. The emphasis is on global awareness within the context of local communities and simultaneous modification of different aspects of sustainability.
  • Design thinking: capability in creative problem solving that utilizes the methods of the design process in defining the problem, generating ideas and obtaining solutions.
  • Project management: capability in multidisciplinary team leadership and communication in versatile environments that promotes sustainability in various cultural contexts.
  • Business management: ability to develop new approaches and skills for creating sustainable business models and improvement of business ethics and corporate responsibility.
Skill outcomes

In addition to the specific aims of the CS programme the graduates of architecture have to possess the needed knowledge and skills for a professional architect which are mentioned in the EU directive 2005/36. Those are:

  • ability to create architectural designs that satisfy both aesthetic and technical requirements,
  • adequate knowledge of the history and theories of architecture and the related arts, technologies and human sciences,
  • knowledge of the fine arts as an influence on the quality of architectural design,
  • adequate knowledge of urban design, planning and the skills involved in the planning process,
  • understanding of the relationship between people and buildings, and between buildings and their environment, and of the need to relate buildings and the spaces between them to human needs and scale,
  • understanding of the profession of architecture and the role of the architect in society, in particular in preparing briefs that take account of social factors,
  • understanding of the methods of investigation and preparation of the brief for a design project,
  • understanding of the structural design, constructional and engineering problems associated with building design,
  • adequate knowledge of physical problems and technologies and of the function of buildings so as to provide them with internal conditions of comfort and protection against the climate,
  • necessary design skills to meet building users' requirements within the constraints imposed by cost factors and building regulations,
  • adequate knowledge of the industries, organizations, regulations and procedures involved in translating design concepts into buildings and integrating plans into overall planning.
Academic skills

The aim of the programme is to provide the graduates with following general academic skills:

  • acquaintance with the academic discussion and the essential professional literature of the field
  • ability to write and argue in an academic and critical way
  • knowledge and skills needed to apply scientific knowledge and to use relevant research methods of the field
  • good language and communication skills to operate in a multicultural and global environment
  • knowledge and skills for lifelong and flexible learning
  • knowledge and skills for postgraduate education.

Programme Structure

Courses included:

  • Building Site Monitoring (compulsory)
  • Methodology (or other methodological studies approved by the programme) (compulsory)
  • Maturity test
  • Sustainable Building Design
  • Sustainable Urban Design - Studio
  • Building Design Studio 1
  • Building Design Studio 2
  • Housing in Urban Context
  • Diversifying Forms of Living
  • Wood Studio (occasional)
  • Wooden Town (occasional)
For more information, please visit programme website.

Detailed Programme Facts

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Book IELTS
  • Minimum required score (Grade C):


    The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

    Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

Admission procedure

Students from Finnish or international universities can apply to this multidisciplinary programme through the admission procedure of the Aalto University.

  • The applicability of the previous degree, i.e. bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a school of architecture
  • The amount of relevant studies
  • The academic performance of the applicant
  • The quality of the application as a whole, including the portfolio
  • The motivation and commitment of the applicant on the basis of a motivation letter.
  • The applicant must show his/her motivation for studying in the program by writing a letter of motivation. A portfolio consisted of the applicant’s own works is mandatory. 

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    15000 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 15000 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 0 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Tuition in bachelor's and master's programmes taught in English from August 2017 onwards are subjected to annual fees for non-EU/EEA citizens.

Living costs for Helsinki

910 - 1400 EUR/month
Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Prospective students subject to tuition fees are eligible to apply for Aalto University Scholarship.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.