MDP in Leadership for Change

Want to become a visionary leader who knows how to deal with change in the complex society? Choosing studies in the Master’s Degree Programme in Leadership for Change will help you to achieve your goal.

Programme profile and research at UTA

Finland University
Degree: Master of Administrative Sciences, Master of Science (Economics and Business Administration), or Master of Social Sciences, depending on specialisation
Duration: 2 years
Extent: 120 ECTS
When to apply: 1.12.2017 – 17.1.2018
Start date: August 2018
Tuition fee for non-EU/EEA students: 12 000 € / year
UTA Scholarships

Programme web page
Programme curriculum

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New kinds of leadership skills are in demand at local, national, international and global levels. The challenges societies face have increased in complexity. Environmental and energy problems, the dynamics of global security, management of regional crises, provision of cost-effective public services and development of fertile grounds for entrepreneurship and business development are all systemic in nature. This means that various institutions and civic society actors must work together, negotiate and agree on the new ways of doing things.

Master's Degree Programme in Leadership for Change enables developing the kind of knowledge and expertise that is needed to explain and understand complex phenomena, become a visionary leader, and to change the world.

In the programme, leadership is understood as a capability to deal with change. Major changes require joint efforts of the government, private companies and other institutions. The Faculty of Management at the University of Tampere provides a unique setting for studying multifaceted leadership dynamics. We bring together the perspectives of business and management from the private sector, the understanding about institutions and governance from the public administration, as well as the knowledge of international relations and political processes from the area of politics.

The Faculty offers high-quality academic research and teaching in the fields of business, public administration and politics - and the Leadership for Change programme focuses on the intersection of these fields. The aim of the programme is to provide the student with a unique understanding of these different fields with a specific focus on leading the dynamics of societal change processes.

The programme has three specialisations:

1) Governance for Sustainable Change

The specialisation in Administrative Sciences provides students with sound academic skills for anticipating, analysing and responding to the complex, dynamic challenges facing contemporary public sector organisations and institutions. Key topics covered by the specialisation include governance in the context of public sector reforms, changing modes of public service delivery, and evidence-based policy making. A cross-cutting theme of the specialisation is the role of public governance in fostering socially, ecologically and economically sustainable societies.

The specialisation considers governance challenges at local, regional, national and international levels and offers students the opportunity to specialise in issues best responding to their particular interests. The teaching faculty comprise distinguished experts in the fields of public administration and management as well as environmental and regional policy.

Students graduating from this specialisation will be awarded a Master of Administrative Sciences degree.

2) Politics in Wider Europe

The specialisation in politics gives students a solid academic basis to understand the interaction of political processes at local, national, regional, international and global levels. The focus is on analysing and leading change with regard to political participation and decision-making, dynamics of integration and disintegration, international security issues as well as questions of political economy and governance.

Students of the politics specialisation have the opportunity to specialise in these questions in the context of the EU and European politics, EU-Russian relations as well as the political dynamics of Northern Europe and Wider Europe. The teaching staff of the politics specialisation comprises several internationally esteemed experts in the field of European and Russian politics.

Students specialising in politics and international relations also have the opportunity to apply to the Cross-Border International Relations double degree programme organized in cooperation with two well-known Russian universities, St. Petersburg State University and Petrozavodsk State University.

Students graduating from this specialisation will be awarded a Master of Social Sciences degree.

3) Sustainable Business Management

The specialisation in business provides students with an in-depth understanding of managing change in contemporary business landscape. Students will explore how societal and technological changes redefine the boundaries of and possibilities for the sustainable renewal of business value creation and innovations. Focus will be placed on understanding the challenges and opportunities business organisations face when trying to create sustainable solutions for future businesses. Students will learn to develop current and create future business concepts in a sustainable way for the benefit of customers, employees and owners as well as other stakeholders and society at large.

The business specialisation consists of studies in management and organisations, economics and risk management, customer oriented marketing and management accounting, as well as in responsible business. The teaching faculty comprise leading Finnish and international scholars in the corresponding fields.

Students graduating from this specialisation will be awarded a Master of Science (Economics and Business Administration) degree.

Leadership for Change

Why Leadership for Change?

Leadership for Change programme is a unique combination of Administrative Sciences, Business Studies and Politics. The programme enables developing the kind of knowledge and expertise that is needed to explain and understand complex phenomena, become a visionary leader, and to change the world.

The three specialisations of the programme give students an excellent opportunity to focus on their area of interest while gaining a broader understanding of the central topics of the programme. Students from all specialisations take part in joint courses focusing on cross-disciplinary perspectives on leadership in complex societal processes.

The Faculty of Management at University of Tampere seeks novel ways to lead, govern and study across boundaries. The combination of the three adjacent fields is internationally rare and one of its kind in Finland.

Study objectives

After completing the Master’s Degree Programme in Leadership for Change you will have:

  • an advanced understanding of the role of leadership in solving contemporary challenges at local, national, regional and global levels
  • learned to examine global trends such as digitization, urbanization, climate change, aging, polarization, democratization and integration from a multidisciplinary perspective
  • the skills to foster new forms of engagement across sectors of the economy and society, learned in interaction with staff members from various disciplines – business, governance, politics and international relations – as well as with different societal stakeholders
  • the theoretical and methodological skills to formulate relevant research problems and to undertake independent scientific work
  • the skills to analyse and debate the challenges that leadership faces today and to communicate your views to multiple audiences using different channels of communication.

Study contents

The programme (120 ECTS credits) consists of four elements:

  • Joint programme studies (30 ECTS) form the core of the master’s degree programme. The focus is on cross-disciplinary perspectives on leadership in complex societal processes. This module also focuses on a variety of important academic and employability skills (e.g. research methods, academic writing and presentation skills)
  • The advanced studies module (25 ECTS) enables the students to acquire in-depth theoretical, methodological and conceptual knowledge in their chosen specialisation: business, politics or public administration.
  • Through free-choice studies (25 ECTS) students can develop a unique profile to their studies based on individual interests.
  • Master’s thesis (40 ECTS) is an individual research project that enables the student to demonstrate his/her in-depth knowledge in the chosen specialisation.

Career opportunities

The programme prepares the graduates to work in private, public or the third sector in tasks that involve analysing, planning and steering complex change processes, which unfold at local, national, international and global levels. Students learn to carry out academic research on these phenomena, and acquire skills required for a potential academic career.

Doctoral study opportunities

The programme gives eligibility for postgraduate studies in Administrative Sciences, Social Sciences (International Relations, Political Science) and Business Studies, for example in UTA’s Doctoral Programme of Faculty of Management.

Applying for the programme


Eligibility criteria to the MDP in Leadership for Change consist of two parts: the University of Tampere general eligibility criteria, and programme specific eligibility criteria, which specify and/or add information to the general criteria. Applicants must meet both in order to be considered eligible.

General eligibility

To be eligible to apply for a Master’s programme at UTA, an applicant must have

  • a completed university level Bachelor's degree or equivalent in the field of the desired programme or in a closely related subject AND
  •  fluency in English sufficiently advanced for academic studies. For requirements, please see "Language requirements" below.

Programme specific eligibility criteria

Eligible to apply to the MDP in Leadership for Change (LFC) is a person who:

  • has completed a university level Bachelor's degree or equivalent in the field of Administrative Sciences, Business Administration or Political Science/International Relations (according to the student's desired specialisation(s) within LFC) or other relevant field.
    • Specialisation in Governance for Sustainable Change: field of Administrative Sciences or other relevant field
    • Specialisation in Politics in Wider Europe: field of Political Science/International Relations or other relevant field
    • Specialisation in Sustainable Business Management: field of Business Administration or other relevant field

The Bachelor's degree or equivalent must be completed by the time the programme begins. If the degree is not completed by the end of the application period, an applicant can be accepted to the programme on the condition that she/he sends the degree certificate to the University by 31 July 2018 (to be confirmed). An attested copy of the degree certificate must reach the University of Tampere Admissions office by the deadline. A successful applicant will, in this case, first receive a notification on conditional acceptance and later an official letter of acceptance once the degree certificate has reached the University of Tampere.

Applicants with a Master’s degree will be admitted to the programme only for well-founded reasons.

Language requirements

Applicants must submit evidence on a good command of English for academic purposes. There are two ways of indicating English language proficiency: language tests and previous studies.

1. Language tests

We accept the following tests as a proof of a good command of English:

  • TOEFL, Test of English as a Foreign Language; 90/Internet-based, 575/paper-based
    • Note: scores from "TOEFL ITP/institutional testing programme" are not accepted.
  • IELTS (Academic), International English Language Testing System; 6.5 with no individual score below 5.5
  • PTE (Academic), Pearson’s Test of Academic English; 62

Please note that the language test score must be valid throughout the application period. This means that if the language test expires even 1 day before the application deadline, the applicant must take a new language test. Language test results are valid for two years.

We advise all applicants needing an international language test score to book for a test date well in advance, as test dates are filling up fast in the autumn and it may take several weeks for the test result to reach University Admissions Finland.

For information on how to submit a language test result, please see

2. Previous studies

If you fulfil one of the criteria below, you are exempt from submitting a language test score.

  • A Bachelor's degree completed in English in a university or university of applied sciences in an EU/EEA country, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the United States, excluding online degrees. The applicant needs to have stayed in the respective country when studying for the Bachelor's degree.
  • A Bachelor’s degree completed in a Finnish university in Finnish or Swedish. The compulsory foreign language course included in the degree must be completed in the English language.
  • Secondary education in English in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States.
  • Courses (minimum of 30 ECTS) taught in English, accomplished at the University of Tampere 

Please note that in addition to assessing your previous studies in terms of eligibility, we assess them also to determine the level of your English skills based on the grades. If you feel your grades do not give the right impression of your English skills, we strongly recommend you to take a language test to indicate your proficiency.

For information on the documents you need to submit to indicate your language skills with previous studies, please see


Application period

Master's programme application period, 1.12.2017 – 17.1.2018

Start date

August 2018


2 years

Teaching language



The maximum intake for the MDP in Leadership for Change is in total 30 students. The maximum intake number is divided by the three specialisations of the programme. The intake per specialisation will be 8 - 12 students.

Tuition fee

The tuition fee of the programme is 12 000 euros per academic year (non-EU/EEA students) with a scholarship-system for fee-paying students.

How to apply

Applications are submitted through an electronic application system. A link to the application form is available on the Admissions web page during the application period. All applications are pre-processed by the centralized University Admissions Finland (UAF) service. Applicants must be able to support their application with enclosures related to their educational background, language skills, and other qualifications and merits. The deadline for submitting the application is 17 January 2018.

Applicants can apply to all three specialisations in the programme. They will need to submit a separate application to each specialisation they apply to, but the application enclosures will need to be submitted only once. If the applicant applies to more than one of the programme specialisations, they will need to indicate this in the application form and put the specialisations in the order of preference. In case they would be admitted to more than one of the specialisations, they will be admitted only to the spcialisation placed highest in the application form.


Applicants must be able to prove their educational background by means of officially authenticated copies of their documents. If the documents are not in English, Finnish or Swedish, both the authenticated copies of the documents in their original language and an officially confirmed complete and precise translation into one of the languages mentioned above are required.

In addition to the standard document requirements, educational documents issued in certain countries have more specific requirements for submission. Please go through the requirements carefully and check the country-specific requirements for your degree awarding country before applying.

For more information on the required documents, and instructions for applicants, please see How to apply.

If selected, the admitted student will have to present her/his original educational documents upon arrival at the University of Tampere in order to be able to register at the university.

Tuition fee and scholarships

Finnish universities will start collecting tuition fees from non-EU/EEA citizens starting their studies in Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes taught in English in August 2017 or after that.

Students do not need to pay the tuition fee if they are:

  • EU/EEA citizen or a family member (spouse/child) of an EU/EEA citizen
  • equivalent to EU/EEA citizens (i.e. citizen of Switzerland)
  • already reside in Finland or some other EU country on a permanent basis (continuous A, or permanent P/P-EU residence permit type), or have an EU Blue Card

Applicants must submit documents confirming their residence permit status with their application. For more information on the required documents, please see Application documents.

The University of Tampere offers a substantial number of scholarships for the most talented fee-paying students. The scholarship scheme consists of two scholarship categories.

The University of Tampere tuition fee scholarships cover either 100% or 50% of the tuition fees in a two-year Master’s degree programme.

The University of Tampere global student award for academic excellence scholarships cover 100% of the tuition fees and include a 7,000 € annual scholarship to cover the student’s living expenses during the two-year Master’s degree programme.

Students apply for the scholarship as part of the application to the degree programme. Admitted applicants who have been granted a scholarship will be informed about this together with the admission decision.

For more information on who is required to pay the fee and on the available scholarships, please see Fees and Scholarships web page.

Admission procedure

Students are selected to the programme from those applicants who fulfil the admission criteria. Student selection is made on the basis of application documents; there is no entrance exam. Applicants are assessed on the following merits:

  • the applicant’s a) academic quality and the success and b) relevance of the applicant's overall study record in the completed Bachelor's degree and other studies, judged primarily from the degree certificate and transcript of records
  • the applicant’s English language skills for academic purposes, judged from the documentation provided
  • the applicant’s motivation to study in this programme specifically, and justification of the application in relation to prior studies and future career plans, judged from the letter of motivation and the CV, in the case that there are equally qualified applicants.
  • the disciplinary background of the student supporting the aim of the programme, in the case that there are equally good applicants.

In addition, work experience relevant to the programme and other relevant merits and qualifications may be taken into account, in the case that there are equally good applicants.

The programme may arrange interviews to assess the most qualified applicants. The interviews are conducted by video, telephone or in Skype in March. The interviewees will be contacted using the contact details provided by the applicant on the application form. Prior to the interview, instructions will be sent to the interviewees by email. The purpose of the individual interview in English is to establish the applicant's motivation and her/his aptitude and ability to discuss the content areas of the Master programme. Please note that only a selection of applicants may be interviewed.

Relevance of prior studies and the applicant's motivation are carefully considered. Applicants are expected to explain their reasons for applying to this programme and to this specialization specifically.

Applicants who have not yet completed a Master's degree or equivalent will be given priority in student selection. Applicants with a Master’s degree will be admitted to the Master programmes only for well-founded reasons.

Announcement of results and rectification procedure

Admissions results will be announced in March 2018 (to be confirmed). All applicants will be informed about the admissions results.

Please see the University's general instructions concerning rectification procedure:

Reserve list

Applicants may be placed on a reserve list. In case there are cancellations among the admitted students, applicants from the reserve list will be admitted in the order they have been placed.



Contact information


Terhi Nieminen
Coordinator of International Education

Anna Wansén-Kaseva
Study Coordinator
Anna.Wansen-Kaseva (at)