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Multi­discipli­nary & Innovative Courses


Air Quality in China


Division of Atmospheric Sciences/Department of Physics

Related Degree Programmes:

Master’s Degree Programme in Atmospheric Sciences



Students of the University of Helsinki


  • INAR will cover the Hyytiälä expenses for all students of the University of Helsinki
  • INAR will cover the course fee + Hyytiälä expenses for all students of the University of Helsinki with study right in Physics (bachelor), Atmospheric or Physical Sciences, Forest Ecology or ATM-DP.

Specify your study programme and that INAR covers your course costs to your application form. If you are uncertain about being eligible, apply with the elomake and contact for a confirmation.






900-1490 (+ Excursion expenses approximately 190. Expenses cover travel expenses, accommodation at Hyytiälä and meals during the excursion) EUR Learn more




Anna Nikandrova

Taina Ruuskanen

Target students

The course is aimed for students with a bachelor’s degree from any field of natural science. No background in atmospheric science is required.

N.B. Students attending the course “Air Quality in China” at the Helsinki Summer School in August 2018 are eligible to apply to the Master’s Programme in Atmospheric Sciences based on their academic performance at Helsinki Summer School in the summer 2018.

Students who have submitted their application to Helsinki Summer School’s course “Air Quality in China” will be offered detailed information concerning the separate application process to the Master’s Degree Programme in Atmospheric Sciences in late June / early July.


What is good air quality and what determines the quality of the air that we breathe? This course on modern atmospheric science examines the key themes and processes affecting air quality from the vantage point of physics, chemistry, meteorology and policy-making. The course has a particular focus on China, where the megacities are facing new kinds of air quality problems. We will reflect both on local factors and on the history of air quality in Europe and the United States.

Learning objectives

Students are introduced to current research in atmospheric science with a focus on air quality and a view on the current situation in rapidly developing China.

After the course the students will be able to define emissions using given emission and vehicle classes, connect the influence of weather fronts to air quality and predict if the forecast weather will lead to an improvement or decline in it. The students will be able to calculate global energy balance, use basic online remote sensing tools and tell how air quality index values are defined from measurements. The students will also learn how policy and other societal tools have been used, and they will learn to search for atmospheric information.

Course format and teaching methods

The course consists of lectures by Finnish and international experts, pre- and post-lecture assignments done individually and in small groups, supported exercise sessions, excursions to measurement stations and a workshop where the students will discuss and work on the core themes with the course teachers. The intensive field course format facilitates interactive discussions in class and exercise sessions as well as during unscheduled study time.

An excursion to worlds’ leading atmospheric measurement site in Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station is part of the course. The separate excursion expenses cover transportation, accommodation at Hyytiälä and meals during the excursion.

Visiting lecturers

  • Academician Markku Kulmala
  • Prof. Tareq Hussein
  • Dr. Leena Järvi
  • Dr. Laura Riuttanen
  • Dr. Pauli Paasonen
  • Dr. Sirkku Juhola


Means and criteria of assessment

Grading scale: 5 = excellent 4 = very good 3 = good 2 = average 1 = poor 0 = fail.

Assessment is based on: participation during lectures, exercises and project work (50%) and examination (50%).

Course Schedule

Location: Kumpula Campus + Excursion to Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station

Monday 6.8.2018 Registration begins
Tuesday 7.8.2018 Registration continues, HSS Opening Ceremony
Wednesday 8.8.2018 Courses begin

Air Quality in China, preliminary course schedule (pdf)