Students at University of Vaasa campus

New international master's programme combines studies in engineering and project management

Hanna Ahonpää
The University of Vaasa launches a new international master's programme beginning in autumn 2023. The master's programme in strategic project management prepares students to plan, manage and implement a variety of engineering projects as well as project portfolios. This two-year study programme leads to a Master of Science in Technology degree.

There is a rapidly growing global demand for project managers who can think, plan and deliver strategically. Small businesses, large organisations and governments all rely on project professionals to solve strategic problems, select the most suitable products, and successfully deliver projects.  

Project management is now identified as a core competence required to deliver change measured in the desired outcome. With projects increasingly viewed as a way of managing the change efforts of society, project management is called upon to handle the inherent complexity and uncertainty required to bring about these changes. 

Driven by recent business trends, such as fewer management layers, greater flexibility, increasing geographical distribution and more project-based work, project management has grown beyond its roots in certain industries and is changing the way of working.  

Transforming the industry 

Dean of the School of Technology and Innovations Raine Hermans explains why now is the time to dive into project management. 

– The industry is looking for a more strategic view of project portfolio management. Our new master’s programme aims to develop the strategic, tactical and operational aspects of projects, programmes and portfolio management. It encourages strategic thinking on problem-solving, how to prioritise decisions and how to deliver successful projects and outcomes for organisations. 

Project management helps organisations to transform their mainstream operations and service performance. It is viewed as a way of organising for the future. Moreover, in an increasingly busy, stressful, and uncertain world, it has become necessary to manage multiple projects successfully at the same time. 

"There is already a high demand for this kind of expertise in the region. International students with engineering degrees will have a great opportunity to get employed and stay in Finland after graduating from this programme."
Raine Hermans

New perspective to projects 

The master's programme in strategic project management offers a world-leading programme growing project managers and leaders capable of operating and delivering successful projects and initiatives in this demanding new world. 
– The programme is designed to prepare students for professional roles in a wide range of projects by focusing on technical requirements, human-oriented, problem-solving skills, and a strategic understanding of dynamic contexts and systems. 

We offer the content, models, frameworks and tools needed to develop strategic portfolios, identify key benefits and outcomes and deliver projects that solve technical and business needs. 

– Students will develop in-depth knowledge and expertise and work-life skills and capabilities that they will need in technology and engineering projects. 

The subjects taught range from project management, quality and systems engineering, strategic management, problem-solving and risk management to decision-making, sustainability, governance, ethics and stewardship. 

Connecting two cities 

Classes will be held in Seinäjoki, a neighbouring city to Vaasa, and the courses are mainly taught utilising a multi-location classroom (MLC) setup. This will enable teaching and participation both in Seinäjoki and Vaasa. The city of Seinäjoki has initiated the programme based on feedback they have received from stakeholders in industry.

According to Raine Hermans, the new master’s programme is designed to meet the needs of businesses in both the Vaasa and Seinäjoki regions.  

– There is already a high demand for this kind of expertise in the region. International students with engineering degrees will have a great opportunity to get employed and stay in Finland after graduating from this programme. 

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