The Master's Programme in Life Science Informatics (LSI) is designed for students with background in mathematics, computer science and statistics, as well as for students with these disciplines as a minor in their bachelor’s degree, with their major being, for example, ecology, evolutionary biology or genetics.

As a student, you will gain access to active research communities on three campuses of the University of Helsinki: Kumpula, Viikki, and Meilahti. The unique combination of study opportunities tailored from the offering of the three campuses provides an attractive educational profile.

Why Life Science Informatics?

As a graduate of the Master's Programme in Life Science Informatics you will:

  • Have first class knowledge and capabilities for a career in life science research and in expert duties in the public and private sectors
  • Competence to work as a member of a group of experts
  • Have understanding of the regulatory and ethical aspects of scientific research
  • Have excellent communication and interpersonal skills for employment in an international and interdisciplinary professional setting
  • Understand the general principles of mathematical modelling, computational, probabilistic and statistical analysis of biological data, and be an expert in one specific specialisation area of the LSI programme
  • Understand the logical reasoning behind experimental sciences and be able to critically assess research-based information
  • Have mastered scientific research, making systematic use of investigation or experimentation to discover new knowledge
  • Have the ability to report results in a clear and understandable manner for different target groups
  • Have good opportunities to continue your studies for a doctoral degree
Structure and content

The Master's programme comprises of 120 credits and it is possible to complete the degree in two years, in accordance with an approved personal study plan. The degree includes:

At least 85 cr of advanced studies, including:

  • shared introductory courses within the programme, 15 cr
  • study track-specific courses within the programme, 35 cr
    • These courses are both from a given study track (student´s own study track) and from other study tracks and also from other programmes, as approved in personal study plans. More information about the study tracks.
  • LSI30003 Master’s thesis, 30 cr
  • LSI30002 Master´s thesis seminar which includes study orientation 5 cr

Other studies, 0-35 cr, for example, courses from other master's programmes or bachelor´s level courses

More information about the structure of the programme can be found in the Instructions for students. Make sure that the correct programme is selected in the drop-down menu.

Language of instruction

All teaching is in English.

Courses and teaching

The Master’s Programme in Life Science Informatics has four study tracks:

  • Bioin­form­at­ics and Systems Medicine
  • Bio­mathem­at­ics
  • Bio­s­tat­ist­ics 
  • Eco-evol­u­tion­ary In­form­at­ics

More information about the study tracks.

During the first autumn semester, each study track gives you an introductory course. At the beginning of the spring semester, you are assumed to have decided your field of specialisation (study track).

Plan your studies or take a look at the model timetables in the Studies service.

Check out courses in the online course catalogue for University of Helsinki student in the Studies service.

The University of Helsinki also offers Finnish courses for international students.

Master's thesis

The programme includes a mandatory Master´s thesis, a scientific research project.  The project can be theoretical or practical in nature, including biological or medical data-analysis from an ongoing research project. The resulting thesis is a written work that demonstrates your ability for scientific reasoning and your familiarity with the relevant scientific literature. You will be appointed a supervisor who will hold regular meetings with you to ensure that your thesis work is proceeding smoothly and on schedule. The thesis is worth 30 credits (ECTS), corresponding to full-time studies during one semester. Although the thesis is an independent work, it is often done as part of a research group.

Doctoral education

After completing the MSc programme in Life Science Informatics, you can apply for doctoral studies in the University of Helsinki, elsewhere in Finland or abroad. The high level of international recognition of the University of Helsinki and the Life Science research groups offers you excellent opportunities for doctoral studies at top universities. The additional education and practical skills gained in doctoral studies are useful not only for an academic research career but also for working in the private sector.

At the University of Helsinki, suitable doctoral programmes include:

Qualified students who intend to pursue a research career can apply for the Integrative Life Sciences (ILS) doctoral programme during their second year of Master's studies.

More information about doctoral education at the University of Helsinki.

Students and student life

Student life and especially the student organisation culture is exceptionally rich and diverse in Finland. Also at the University of Helsinki, 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!