Studying
Study mathematics and statistics with other top performers in your field.

Some of the best mathematicians and statisticians in the world will be your instructors. Studies in the Master’s Programme in Mathematics and Statistics will lead you into the fascinating world of modern science, giving you a solid basis for maths and statistics applications. Graduates from this programme find employment as researchers, teachers, and in demanding expert posts in the public and private sector in Finland and abroad.

The Master’s programme consists of courses in mathematics, applied mathematics, and statistics. The courses include group and lecture instruction, exercises, literature, and workshops. Most courses also include exams or project assignments. In addition, you can complete some courses independently, by taking literature-based exams.

Information about the changes in teaching in the programme due to Coronavirus (One drive file).

Orientation event on 1.9.2021

Why Mathematics and Statistics?

The Master’s Programme in Mathematics and Statistics is based on top research. The teaching at the University of Helsinki follows a high standard and is highly valued, not just within Finnish academia but in global university rankings. Some of the best mathematicians and statisticians in the world will be your instructors.

Studies in this programme will give you a solid basis for maths and statistics applications. Upon graduating, you will:

  • Be an expert in the methods of mathematics or statistics
  • Have mastered the basics of another scientific discipline
  • Be able to apply scientific knowledge and methods
  • Be able to follow developments in mathematics and statistics
  • Know how to think critically, argue a point, and solve problems
  • Have excellent interaction skills and be assertive and creative
  • Understand the principles of ethical and sustainable development
  • Be well prepared to work as an expert and developer in your field
  • Be prepared for scientific postgraduate studies

Graduates find employment as researchers, teachers, and in demanding expert posts in the public and private sectors in Finland and abroad.

Structure, content and study tracks

The Master’s Programme in Mathematics and Statistics comprises 120 credits, which you can complete in two years. The degree includes:

  • 85 - 120 credits of advanced courses, including the Master’s thesis (30 credits)
  • 0 - 35 credits of other courses from your own or other programmes
  • Working-life orientation and career planning
  • Personal study plan

The programme consists of four study tracks: Mathematics, Applied mathematics, Statistics and Social statistics. Within the study tracks and you will select your specialisation subject during your first year.

More specific chart of the programme structure (pdf.)

Official requirements, core courses, study tracks and more can be found in the Instructions for students.

Study tracks and specializations

Mathematics and Statistics Master's Programme has the following study tracks:

  1. Mathematics
  2. Applied mathematics
  3. Statistics

The study tracks have specializations:

Mathematics:

Applied mathematics:

Statistics:

Social statistics (It is not possible to choose this study track anymore. The instructions are only for those students that were chosen to the study track before 2020)

More specific chart of the programme structure.

Language of instruction

All teaching is given in English. Exams can also be taken in Finnish or Swedish, and the Master’s thesis can be written in Finnish, Swedish or English.

Courses and teaching

The Master’s programme consists of courses in mathematics, applied mathematics, statistics and social statistics. The courses include group and lecture instruction, exercises, literature, and workshops. Most courses also include exams or project assignments. In addition, you can complete some courses independently, by taking literature-based exams. 

The instructors in this programme have received prizes for their high standard of teaching. The teaching methods used in the subjects in this Master's programme have been widely recognised in the media.

All teaching is given in English. Exams can also be taken in Finnish or Swedish, and the Master’s thesis can be written in Finnish, Swedish or English.

More information:

Master's thesis

The Master’s thesis (30 credits) is based on a topic selected from your own subject. The purpose of the thesis is to advance your knowledge of your chosen topic. Further, it develops your aptitude for working independently and requires you to understand the scientific literature in your field. The topics will often be related to on-going research projects. If you are interested in research, your thesis work can often be the first stage towards your doctoral dissertation.

In mathematics, the MSc thesis is usually written under the supervision of a professor or instructor of the department, but sometimes it can be written outside the department. In statistics, the MSc thesis is usually written outside the department, for example in a government research institute or within research groups on the university campuses. You can acquaint yourself with the range of thesis topics through the thesis database. The supervision of a thesis written outside the department is usually done in cooperation between experts in the research group and a professor or teacher from the department.

Suggestions and model topics for Master's theses in mathematics and statistics.

Planning your studies

When studying in the Master's Programme in Mathematics and Statistics, you will have a personal teacher who will support you with building your own personal study plan at the beginning of your studies. Once you have proceeded in your studies so that it's time to start planning your Master's thesis, the personal teacher will help you with finding a supervisor.

Read more about what to do when you start your studies, pro­gress­ to the Master's thesis stage and finally graduate on the Faculty of Science website.

International scope and co-operation

The international nature of the programme is implemented in many ways:

  • Research within the disciplines of the degree programme is of high international standard and is highly regarded
  • Teaching staff and research collaboration within the programme are international
  • The atmosphere of the programme is international, several international students are admitted each year
  • Theses and projects may be completed within international projects
  • There are opportunities for a student exchange period in many universities abroad

The programme works in close collaboration with other programmes at the University of Helsinki relating to mathematics and statistics, such as:

Within the JOO programme, it is possible to take courses at e.g. Aalto University and Hanken School of Economics, as well as other Finnish universities. There is also collaboration with many corporate partners for various projects.

Doctoral education

After graduating from the Master’s programme, you can apply for a doctoral programme either at the University of Helsinki or other international universities.

Suitable doctoral programmes at the University of Helsinki are, for example:

Other doctoral programmes where mathematics and statistics are used, such as:

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!

Experience the atmosphere of the 150th anniversary year of the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY150).

Finnish-English mathematical vocabulary

Struggling with some of the vocabulary? Download the Finnish-English mathematical vocabulary for students of mathematics by Jussi Väisälä.