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1. Course title

2. Course code

-Code in Oodi/OTM (upcoming academic administration information system) and other


3. Course status: compulsory or optional

-Which degree programme is responsible for the course?

Masters Programme in Atmospheric Sciences

-Which module does the course belong to?

ATM391 Climate University 

-Is the course available to students from other degree programmes?


4. Course level (first-, second-, third-cycle/EQF levels 6, 7 and 8)

-Bachelor’s level = first-cycle degree/EQF level 6
-Master’s level, degree programmes in medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine = secondcycle
degree/EQF level 7
-Doctoral level = third-cycle (doctoral) degree/EQF level 8
-Does the course belong to basic, intermediate or advanced studies (cf. Government Decree
on University Degrees)?,

This is a Master's level course. 

5. Recommended time/stage of studies for completion

-The recommended time for completion may be, e.g., after certain relevant courses have
been completed.

6. Term/teaching period when the course will be offered

-The course may be offered in the autumn or spring term or both.
-If the course is not offered every year, this must be indicated here.
-Specification of the teaching period when the course will be offered

Spring term (Periods III and IV)

7. Scope of the course in credits


8. Teacher coordinating the course

Mikko Äijälä

9. Course learning outcomes

-Description of the learning outcomes provided to students by the course
- See the competence map (


After the course, students will be able to

  1. justify why systems thinking is necessary to comprehend the implications of climate change and other global challenges, and relate them to changes in the Earth system and human eco-social systems. 
  2. apply, criticize and defend models to ask and test questions about the structures and dynamics of systems. 
  3. apply systems thinking in interdisciplinary collaboration and reflect on their personal role as a developing systems thinking expert. 
  4. reflect on the opportunities for intentional systems change and their own agency. 

10. Course completion methods

-Will the course be offered in the form of contact teaching, or can it be taken as a distance
learning course?
-Description of attendance requirements (e.g., X% attendance during the entire course or
during parts of it)
-Methods of completion

The course is organised online, and is suitable for distant learning. The course requires attendance in the weekly sessions. Absences must be negotiated in advance.  Passing requirements: active participation in the contact sessions and group work, successful completion of online exercises, home assignments, peer evaluation and a learning portfolio.

11. Prerequisites

-Description of the courses or modules that must be completed before taking this course or
what other prior learning is required (ATM302) and/or ATM378, or corresponding studies on basics of climate change and sustainability.

12. Recommended optional studies

-What other courses are recommended to be taken in addition to this course?
-Which other courses support the further development of the competence provided by this

The other courses in ATM391 Climate university module:






ATM373 Leadership for sustainable change

ATM308 Statistical tools for climate and atmospheric science

13. Course content

-Description of the course content

This course consists of three main themes: 

  • Theme 1: “Introduction to Systems Thinking” looks at what systems are and different ways in which they can be described. 
  • Theme 2: “Earth Systems” delves into Earth System Science and the ways in which Climate Change is affecting the Earth seen as a system of interconnected spheres. 
  • Theme 3: “Eco-Social Systems” focuses on humans as agents of change in systems that link individuals and groups of people with the environments they inhabit and depend upon. 

14. Recommended and required literature

-What kind of literature and other materials are read during the course (reading list)?
-Which works are set reading and which are recommended as supplementary reading?

An open-access version of the course materials is available at (requires HAKA or Google account login; please note the course is not organised here, this page is just for public access to the materials).

15. Activities and teaching methods in support of learning

-See the competence map (
-Student activities
-Description of how the teacher’s activities are documented

Course includes: reading, contact sessions, online exercises, home assignments, multidisciplinary online group work, discussions, peer evaluation, learning portfolio.

16. Assessment practices and criteria, grading scale

-See the competence map (
-The assessment practices used are directly linked to the learning outcomes and teaching
methods of the course.

Grading scale is 1-5.

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