Studies in the Data Science MSc programme include both theoretical and practical components, including a variety of study methods (lectures, exercises, projects, seminars; done both individually and in groups). Especially in applied data science, we also use problem-based learning methods, so that you can address real-world issues. You will also practise academic skills such as scientific writing and oral presentation throughout your studies. You are encouraged to include an internship in your degree in order to obtain practical experience in the field.
Upon graduating from the Data Science MSc programme, you will have solid knowledge of the central concepts, theories, and research methods of data science as well as applied skills. In particular, you will be able to:
4 obligatory data science courses (20 cr)
Obligatory studies on professional data science skills: academic skills, seminar and project (15 cr)
At least 5 elective data science courses from a given list (25-55 cr)
A free choice of any courses/modules in any subject (0-30 cr)
Master's thesis (30 cr)
Read more about the core and specialisation studies in 2023-2026.
(For the students who have started in the programme in 2022 or earlier: see the degree structure and the core and specialisation studies in 2020-2023).
All teaching is in English. You can also take exams and complete work, such as your Master's thesis, in Finnish or Swedish.
The preliminary schedule of Data Science courses during academic year 2023-2024 is available here.
The schedule of Data Science courses during the academic year 2022-2023 is given here.
You can also find information about the courses and teaching in the online course catalogue for students at the University of Helsinki: Courses in Data Science.
The University of Helsinki also offers Finnish courses for international students.
In the Master’s thesis, you will demonstrate your familiarity with the thesis topic, mastery of the necessary research methods, the ability to think scientifically and proficiency in academic writing. Your thesis should contain a definition of the research questions, a review of the relevant literature, and theoretical, constructive or empirical parts developing answers to your research questions. The thesis workload, including the collection and processing of the research material as well as the writing process, corresponds approximately to one term of full-time study.
More information in the thesis instructions.
After completing the MSc programme in Data Science, you can apply for doctoral studies at the University of Helsinki or elsewhere. Due to the high level of international recognition of the University of Helsinki and the data science research groups, you will have good chances to be accepted for doctoral studies at top universities. The additional skills gained in doctoral studies will not only be useful for an academic research career but also for work as a data scientist in industry.
At the University of Helsinki, suitable doctoral programmes include:
More information about doctoral education at the University of Helsinki.
There are many ways to study data science at the University of Helsinki. Some of the options include:
Obtain an MSc degree in Data Science in our programme
Take individual data science courses and modules offered by our programme
Take domain-specific data science courses from other programmes
Take other generic method studies useful for data science
The Data Science MSc programme offers modules for students in other programmes. Individual lecture courses can also be taken by other students.
There is an active data science student community at the University of Helsinki. Some thoughts of two current students and our vice-director on studying in the programme you can find in a news article Turn Data Into Knowledge – Study in the Master’s Programme in Data Science. You can also check out what other students of the programme have said about their studies, the University of Helsinki and life in Finland in general on page Meet the students.
A couple of our alumni, Marlon Tobaben and Andrés Huertas, recently shared their views of studying Data Science and what that has meant to them in a news article Data science is for people with an open and curious mind. You can also read the earlier story of Ioanna Bouri and how her life-long dream of studying in Finland became a path to academia.
Student life and especially the student organisation culture is exceptionally rich and diverse in Finland. Also at the University of Helsinki, the student community is very active. More than 250 student organisations operate within the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY), ranging from faculty and subject organisations to political and societal organisations, and from choirs and orchestras to sports and game clubs. Their activities include anniversary celebrations, academic dinner parties, cultural events, get-togethers and excursions.
As a student and member of the Student Union (HYY), you are entitled to many benefits and services. For example, affordable student housing, low-cost sports services and student-priced meals. You also get numerous discounts, for example on public transport fees across the country.
Read more about student life, services and benefits when studying at the University of Helsinki.
Do you have questions about studies or student life? You can get answers to your questions by chatting directly with University of Helsinki students. Chat with our students!