Master's Degree Programme in Public Choice (MSocSc)

University of Tampere Finland

For more information about Master's Degree Programme in Public Choice at University of Tampere, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award

How long you will study
2 years

Domestic course fees
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How you will study

Course starts

International course fees
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All study options

About Master's Degree Programme in Public Choice at University of Tampere

• Coordinating school: School of Social Sciences and Humanities
• Duration: two academic years
• Extent: 120 credits/ECTS credits
• Programme period: autumn semester 2016 - spring semester 2018
• Specialization: Quantitative Research, North American Studies
• Website

Will politicians advance public interest? How do lobbies affect governance? What policies will best provide collective goods? This program is designed to teach students to use economic tools to address these types of social science problems. Issues examined involve strategic behavior ranging from institution design, policy design and implementation, and decision-making.

North American Studies programme in Public Choice is a quantitative social science programme. The methods used include social choice theory, game theory, and basic microeconomic intuition/analysis. Following traditional public choice theory, the program examines how and when individual self-interest among politicians, interest groups, etc. can either help or hinder the public interest in policy design and implementation. Coursework will emphasize both practical and theoretical understanding of the issues.

In addition to building quantitative skills, this program incorporates a comparative and multidisciplinary perspective. Issues addressed draw on examples from North America and Europe in terms of evaluation.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMSocScHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study2 years
    Course startsAugustDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

There are no tuition fees for 2016 intake.

Starting in 2016, Finnish National Board of Education will start collecting an application handling fee. The fee is collected from applicants who apply to programmes starting in the autumn semester 2016 with a degree completed outside the EU/EEA countries. The fee will be 100 euros for one application round.

Entry requirements

Admission criteria for admission in 2016

Number of study places

A maximum of 10 students are admitted into the programme.

Commencement of studies


Duration of studies

2 years

Application period

Master's programme application period, 14.12.2015-27.1.2016

Language of tuition


Application procedure

Applications are to be submitted through the service, where the electronic application form is available 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. All the required application enclosures must arrive at UAF by the end of the application period, 27 January 2016 at 15.00 (GMT+2).

Applicants to Finnish higher education institutions who are applying based on a qualification completed outside the EU/EEA –area or Switzerland will be required to pay an application fee of 100 €. The collection of the application fee is independent of the home country and nationality of the applicant. The fee will be collected as a part of the application process. The application fee is valid for one application period, and it covers all the applications that you make for study programmes that begin in the same semester.


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.

For more information on the required documents, and instructions for applicants, please see

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.

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.


Eligibility criteria to the MDP in Public Choice 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

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

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 s/he sends the degree certificate to the School office by 31 July 2016. Attested copy of the degree certificate must reach the School 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 School office.

Programme specific eligibility criteria:

To be eligible to apply to the MDP in Public Choice, an applicant must have a successfully completed Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in an area appropriate for the content of the Master's Degree Programme. A degree in a relevant field of study, e.g. Economics, Business Administration, Political Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, Cultural Studies, English Philology is helpful but not required.

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. Previous studies

The following previous studies are accepted as proof of a good command of English:

• A Bachelor's degree in English in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States, excluding online degrees, with the applicant having stayed in the respective country when studying for the Bachelor's degree.
• Secondary education in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States.
• A right to study towards a degree at the University of Tampere AND the foreign language course required in all Bachelor’s degrees in Finnish universities completed in the English language. The grade needs to be 4 or higher.
• A right to study towards a degree in one of the international Master’s degree programmes offered by the University of Tampere

2. 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. Please 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 2016 applicants needing an international language test score to book for one 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

Admission procedure

Students are selected to the programme from those applicants who fulfil the official admission criteria. Candidates for admission should be well qualified and capable of benefiting from the programme of study.

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 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
• the applicant’s academic quality and the success and the 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 personal skills, judged primarily from the reference letters
• the applicant’s English language skills for academic purposes, judged from the certificate provided

In addition, work experience relevant to the programme, and other relevant merits and qualifications may be taken into account.

The School may arrange interviews to assess the most qualified applicants. The interviews are conducted by telephone or in Skype in March-April. 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 programme. An effort is also made to establish the applicant's social skills and language skills in English. Please note that only a selection of applicants may be interviewed.

Applicants who have not yet completed a Master's Degree or equivalent will be given priority in student selection.

After the assessment, the programme makes a proposal to the Dean on the students to be admitted. The Dean makes the final decision on admission.

Announcement of results and rectification procedure

Admissions results will be announced by 29 April, 2016. All applicants will be informed about the admissions results.

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

Clearing procedure

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.

Location of University of Tampere

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