Bachelor's Programme in Science, Bachelor of Science and Master of Science (3 + 2 years)

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Degree level
Bachelor's degree
Start semester
2019 Autumn
Scope of studies and length
180+120 ECTS credits, 5 years
Language of instruction
Tuition fee per year (only non-EU/EEA citizens)
13000 €
Application period

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Our understanding of the universe and all modern technology is based on advances made in scientific research over approximately the last 100 years. The operation of computers and mobile phones relies fully on quantum mechanical principles, and the nature of matter in the universe has been unveiled by studies in particle physics, astronomy and cosmology. New exciting discoveries are constantly made and will affect our future. For instance, studies on quantum information combined with the development of new materials are just about to open up the doors for quantum computing, and the analysis by artificial intelligence of big data will lead to new ways to cure disease.

The Bachelor's Programme in Science offers an interdisciplinary education that will enable you to work on the cutting edge of exciting basic research and application development in math, physics, chemistry and computer/data science.

Further information about the studies are on the bachelor’s programme website.

Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries, who do not have a permanent residence status in the area and pursue their studies in English, are liable to pay tuition fees. You can check the FAQ at the Studyinfo website whether or not you are required to pay tuition fees. Further information about tuition fees.

Instruction in the Bachelor's Programme in Science is given fully in English.

Students who know Finnish or Swedish can also attend courses at the Faculty given in these languages and include these in their degree if the courses are included or mentioned in their personal study plan. However, at least 75% of the studies, including the bachelor's thesis, must be completed in English.

During the first half year, all students receive a foundation in university-level math and basic programming skills. After this, they can choose a study track, with second- and third-year university-level courses offered in math, computer/data science, physics and chemistry. It is possible to either deepen the studies in one of these study tracks or to combine studies of two or three tracks to get a truly multidisciplinary education.

The study tracks:

  • Mathematics. The mathematics study track emphasises mathematics as a science of its own. It offers an introduction both to the key concepts and methods of modern mathematics as well as a wider view on the exact world of mathematics, studying exactly defined concepts and the properties and relationships that emerge among these. The study track offers a good grounding for continued studies in mathematics on the master's and doctoral levels. Depending on the optional studies chosen, the track directs the students towards either the world of pure mathematics, with research questions arising from within mathematical theories, or towards applied mathematics where mathematical tools are used to solve questions arising in other areas such as the physical world around us. The study track gives the required prerequisites for continuing studies in the Master's Programme in Mathematics and Statistics. Including studies in statistics or computer science also makes the student eligible to continue in the Master’s Programme in Life Science Informatics or the Master’s Programme in Data Science. Including courses in physics or chemistry allows for studies in the Master’s Programme in Theoretical and Computational Methods.
  • Computer and data science.  The students in the study track of computer and data science acquire the skills to build modern software both by doing hands-on exercises and projects and by studying the fundamental ideas underlying how computers work and how they can be used efficiently. They also get an introduction to the new possibilities created by artificial intelligence and the analysis of large masses of data. Studies in mathematics are a necessary foundation for the more advanced concepts in computer science, in particular going beyond the bachelor's level. Students graduating from the study track of computer and data science can continue in the Master's Programme in Computer Science or the Master's Programme in Data Science.
  • Physics. In the physics study track, you get an education about the classical and quantum mechanical foundations of modern physics, and a view on how this knowledge relates to the modern understanding of the nature of the universe and new technologies. After the common basic and subject studies (60 cr), you can choose courses that start to direct the studies towards one of the master's programmes in which you can continue: the Master’s Programme in Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences, the Master’s Programme in Materials Research (which includes nanoscience and biophysics) and the Master’s Programme in Theoretical and Computational Methods. By combining physics and mathematics studies, you can also direct your studies towards the Master’s Programme in Theoretical and Computational Methods, by combining physics and chemistry towards the Master’s Programme in Physical Chemistry, and by combining physics and computer science studies towards the Master’s Programme in Data Science.
  • Chemistry. In the chemistry study track, you get an education about the fundamental concepts and modern experimental methods of chemistry, related to an understanding of the nature and the role of science and new technologies in society in the future. Bioeconomics, circular economy, novel energy sources, food production, clean water and air, as well as health care set challenges that require a strong knowledge of chemistry. In the chemistry study track, after the common basic and subject studies (60 cr), you can choose courses that start to direct your studies towards one of the optional chemistry-related master's programmes: the Master’s Programme in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences, the Master’s Programme in Materials Research, the Master’s Programme in Theoretical and Computational Methods, or the Master’s Programme in Atmospheric Sciences. By combining chemistry with mathematics, physics or computer science you can also direct yourself to the master’s programmes of those disciplines. After completing the BSc degree, you can also apply to master’s programmes in other universities in Finland or abroad.

The  study tracks are

  • Mathematics
  • Computer and data science
  • Physics
  • Chemistry

You can select any of these study tracks according to your preferences at the beginning of your studies. The track determines which courses you should take.

The Bachelor's programme comprises 180 credits, which can be completed in three years, in accordance with an approved personal study plan. The degree includes

  • 35 credits of mandatory common studies in basic math, basic computer science, statistics and a group work course introducing modern science topics studied at the Faculty
  • 15 credits of transferable skills courses that help in orienting yourself towards working life
  • 10 credits of language studies, comprising 4 credits of academic English and 6 credits of basic courses in Finnish or Swedish (for students with a matriculation exam from a high school with teaching in Finnish or Swedish, 3 credits of Finnish and 3 credits of Swedish at an advanced level)
  • 60 credits of basic and subject study courses
  • 10 credits of a final seminar (4 cr) and bachelor's thesis (6 cr)
  • 50 credits of other courses from the programme according to your study track and personal study plan

The programme includes on the BSc level a thesis of 6 credits, which is a short (about 15–20 pages) literature study on a timely subject written following scientific standards and referencing practice.

The employment outlook within the field is excellent. Graduates of the programme have excellent employment opportunities in Finland and EU countries in areas such as IT companies, nanoscience, and chemical industries. MSc graduates also have very good chances to continue in basic research in university or research institute PhD programmes.

A BSc degree provides the eligibility to apply for positions that require a first-cycle academic degree.

Admitted students are offered two possibilities for higher-level university studies: a 3-year (180 ECTS credit points) programme for a BSc degree, or a 3+2 year (180 + 120 credits) programme for both a BSc and an MSc programme. Students admitted to the Bachelor’s Programme in Science have the right, after completion of the BSc degree, to continue in one of the nine MSc programmes of the Faculty. These programmes cover the full range of modern natural sciences from pure math to chemistry and are, with the exception of the specialisation lines, taught in English.

Which MSc programmes students are eligible for is determined by their specialisation within the BSc programme (math, computer/data science, physics or chemistry). The MSc programmes in which a continuation from the science BSc degree is possible within the same faculty are 1. Mathematics and Statistics, 2. Life Science Informatics, 3. Atmospheric Sciences, 4. Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences, 5. Materials Research, 6. Theoretical and Computational Methods, 7. Chemistry and Molecular Sciences, 8. Computer Science and 9. Data Science. Each MSc programme has its prerequisite requirements for entrance, and the choice of the BSc study track determines which MSc programme the student will be able to continue in.

The study counsellors will aid the student during the first and second years of studies in setting up a personal curriculum that ensures entrance to the desired MSc programme. In most cases, several options can be kept open until the third year. For instance, a student choosing the physics study track will be able to continue in at least the Atmospheric Sciences, Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences and Materials Research programmes. Courses offered in the third year of the BSc programme serve as an introduction to these MSc programmes, and the student can make his/her choice after taking these courses.

There is a very international atmosphere within the Faculty, as 12 out of the 13 MSc programmes are already in English, and all PhD programmes are in English. About 30% of the PhD students are foreigners, and each year the MSc programmes take in about 50 foreign degree students and more than 100 exchange students.

In addition, the University of Helsinki and the Faculty of Science offer you many opportunities for international activities:

  • Instruction in English within other education programmes
  • International tasks within the student organisations or the student union
  • Language courses at the Language Centre of the University of Helsinki

You can also get information and counselling about independent international experience, such as:

  • Student exchange at one of the exchange locations of the faculty or university
  • Traineeships abroad

In the Faculty of Science, your course opportunities are not limited to the modules offered by your own education programme. You can choose courses from other programmes, both within your own faculty and from the university’s other faculties.

Thanks to the flexible study rights agreement (the JOO), you can also take courses at other Finnish universities, so it is easy to tailor your degree according to your interests and career plans.

Contacts with working life are important at every stage of the programme. Many students work alongside their studies, and can incorporate this experience into their degrees through the trainee section of the degree.  You can develop your own business idea during the university’s entrepreneur courses and at Think Company, which is a new kind of meeting place for students and researchers interested in starting companies, as well as corporate partners in various fields.

In addition, you can participate in research projects through thesis and seminar work, i.e., concrete research work. Writing your MSc thesis in cooperation with a research group, corporation or research organisation is also a good way to improve your working-life abilities.

The physics research at the faculty is carried out in close collaboration with leading European big science institutions such as CERN and the European Southern Observatory. Computer science at the University of Helsinki has considerable collaboration with corporations in the fields of networks, data security, data science, etc. Within the field of data security is the Intel Collaborative Research Institute (ICRI-SC). The Nokia Centre for Advanced Research (NCAR) was established in spring 2016 to promote research on data science and networks.

The University of Helsinki is the leading university in the country, with a strong focus on basic research and research-based education. It is regularly ranked among the top-100 universities in the world. The strongest research areas in the university include those studied at the Faculty of Science, such as atmospheric research, mathematics, data science and materials research. The physics research at the faculty is carried out in close collaboration with the leading European big science institutions such as CERN and the European Southern Observatory.

Several multidisciplinary research projects are under way at the Faculty of Science, which are being carried out in cooperation with the research institutes on the science campus and with other faculties, universities and corporations.

After completing an MSc degree, you can apply for a doctoral programme at the University of Helsinki and at other universities in Finland or abroad.

For more information, please see the Doctoral Education at the University of Helsinki website.

How to apply

Faculty of Science

Teaching and research in the natural sciences in Finland are highly regarded at the international level. The Faculty of Science at the University of Helsinki is centred on the Kumpula Science Campus, which is the biggest and most versatile cluster of scientific competence in the Nordic countries.

The Faculty has five departments:

  • Department of Physics
  • Department of Geosciences and geography
  • Department of Chemistry
  • Department of Mathematics and Statistics
  • Department of Computer Science.

Your education in the Faculty of Science is based on basic research by recognised and internationally distinguished scientists. There are many interdisciplinary and international research networks operating on campus. The theoretical and empirical research conducted within them forms a solid foundation for teaching focusing on meeting challenges related to global sustainable development and information technology, for example.

When designing the degree programmes, we have focused on addressing the requirements of working life, research and further education. You can complement your degree by choosing from a vast variety of minor subjects. You can also complete parts of your studies abroad.

In addition to Finnish, the languages of instruction are Swedish and English.

The aim of the Faculty of Science is to provide you with wide-ranging knowledge and skills in different research methods, enabling you to begin a career in many different fields. The Faculty of Science is a multidisciplinary research and learning environment. The modern facilities and high-tech teaching laboratories provide you with a dynamic environment where you can study many fields of natural sciences. The teaching employs the latest technology and principles of the Extreme Apprenticeship method. You will also have the opportunity to take part in field courses and research projects in the University of Helsinki’s research stations around the world.

You will have easy access to course textbooks, databases and scientific publications at the Kumpula Campus Library on campus as well as through the electronic services of the Helsinki University Library.

As a University of Helsinki degree student, you can participate in a student exchange or traineeship outside Finland. The University has approximately 500 high-quality partner universities throughout the world, and each year some 1,000 University students embark on a student exchange or traineeship. A stay abroad gives valuable skills and experiences:

  • You can incorporate an international dimension into your degree and obtain international expertise in your field. A well-planned student exchange provides you with diverse, unique skills!
  • You will gain a new perspective on the world, learn more about yourself and enhance your language proficiency.
  • You will get better acquainted with the culture of the target country, meet new people and be able to establish international networks in your field.

More information about studying abroad:

At the University of Helsinki we provide an accessible learning environment for all students.

If you have a disability, an illness or a learning disability, and might need some special arrangements to be able to complete your studies, please contact the faculty at the beginning of your studies or when the need arises.

You will usually agree upon the practical arrangements with your professor before the course or seminar begins. If needed, you can also consult the Head of Academic Affairs at the faculty.

Special arrangements for your studies, such as individual support for learning, might include extra time to complete assignments and exams, teaching materials given in advance or in electronic form, accessibility to classrooms and alternative ways to complete assignments and coursework.

If you would like more information about special arrangements, please contact the Student Services in the City Centre at

As a student at the University of Helsinki, you will have access to a wide range of services and benefits; such as housing, meals, health care, wellbeing and sports. On the New Student web pages, you will find information on necessary insurance, permits, and fees. As a member of the University of Helsinki Student union (HYY) you will have a great variety of services at your disposal and will be able to participate in various events and activities. Discounts are available for students, for example for travelling, cultural events, and several stores. Sub-organisations of HYY also organise a wide variety of social events. You will find more information on Instructions for students.