As a graduate of the Master's Programme in Life Science Informatics you will
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The Master's degree comprises 120 credits and it is possible to complete the programme in two years. The degree includes min 85 credits of advanced studies in life science informatics and can include up to 35 credits from other studies.
1. At least 85 cr of advanced studies, including:
2. Other studies 0-35 cr, which may be
More information about the structure of the programme can be found in the Instructions for students. Make sure to select the correct programme in the drop-down menu.
The courses of the Master’s Programme in Life Science Informatics include lectures, exercise classes, and the study of the literature. Most courses award credits based on exams or project assignments. Some courses are completed by independent study and literature-based exams.
The courses are organised into four study tracks: Biomathematics, Biostatistics, Ecological Informatics, and Bioinformatics and Systems Medicine. All study tracks are taught by internationally highly recognised research groups and give a strong basis for pursuing a PhD:
This study track focuses on mathematical modelling with an emphasis on ecology. The introductory courses on mathematical biology and on mathematical modelling are of wide relevance as models are at the heart of theory and also of modern Bayesian statistics. Further courses include the mathematics of infectious diseases, spatial ecology, stochastic population models, game theory, and adaptive dynamics; these assume a background in mathematics and are offered also through the Master's Programme in Mathematics and Statistics. The courses are given only every other year but in a reliable cycle so that every student can take any course in the 2-year span of Master studies. Taken together, this study track offers exceptionally deep knowledge in mathematical ecology with transferable skills in modelling.
This study track studies how to make principled statistical inferences in real-life situations. The breadth of biostatistics is demonstrated by the introductory course 'Topics in biostatistics'. Specialised courses include statistical epidemiology, population genetics, genome-wide association studies and design of experiments. The applied courses are complemented with advanced courses in mathematics and statistics, such as computational statistics, high-dimensional statistics and event-history analysis. The courses in the biostatistics track turn you into an expert in data analysis using software for statistical computing, which is a highly regarded skill across quantitative fields.
In this study track, you specialise in mathematical, statistical and machine learning methods in ecology. In a nutshell, ecology studies the distribution and abundance of species and their interactions with other species and the environment. As a scientific field, it has a key role in our ability to respond to the challenges posed by global change. In turn, mathematical and statistical modelling as well as machine learning are essential for analyzing large ecological data sets. In the ecological informatics study track, you will be trained in the latest methods and techniques of analysis in the field. In addition to courses provided by the Master's Programme in Life Science Informatics, your methodological skills will be strengthened by courses from the Master's Programme in Mathematics and Statistics and your ecological understanding will be strengthened by courses from the Master's Programme in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
This study track combines expertise from all three Faculties involved in the Master's Programme, the Faculties of Science, of Medicine and of Biological and Environmental Sciences. After introductory courses on bioinformatics and systems biology, we offer courses on genome analysis, machine learning, clinical data mining, and systems medicine. For example, we offer biology-tailored algorithm and machine learning studies for analysing molecular biology data as well as computational approaches that allow the interpretation of high-throughput biomedical data obtained from patients. Studies in Bioinformatics and Systems Medicine prepare you for a post as a bioinformatics expert in a biology or biomedical research lab, working with processing, analysing and interpreting big molecular or clinical data.
Check out courses in the online course catalogue for University of Helsinki students in the Studies service.
The University of Helsinki also offers Finnish courses for international students.
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 how you can apply your knowledge to a novel problem, your aptitude in scientific reasoning and your familiarity with the relevant scientific literature. You will be appointed a supervisor, who will ensure that your thesis work proceeds smoothly and on schedule. The thesis is worth 30 credits (ECTS), corresponding to full-time studies for one semester. The thesis is independent work, but it is often done as a well-defined task within a research group.
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 to a doctoral programme during their second year of Master's studies. More information about doctoral education at the University of Helsinki
FinBioNet: Doctoral programmes in the life sciences in Finland
What do students of this Master's programme think about their studies and life in Helsinki? Find out by checking out the LSI student stories.
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