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Programme

Computer science has a brilliant future! You could help to create new network solutions, build the future digital society, develop secure digital services, or be involved in a ground-breaking international software project. Perhaps you will develop algorithms for utilising genome data in medicine or optimise bus routes using positioning data. Do you wonder about all the things that can be automated? Or would you like to dig deeper and become a researcher?

In the Master’s programme in computer science you can become an expert in a wide range of fields. You will have access to the focus areas of research in computer science at the University of Helsinki: algorithms, distributed or networked systems, and software engineering.  You will gain lasting professional skills for specialist, design, or managerial posts in the corporate world, or for research and doctoral education, since the Master’s programme in computer science gives you the aptitude for both independent working and multidisciplinary teamwork.

This education will give you:

  • The ability to advance your knowledge in the different areas of computer science
  • The skill to seek, assess, and analyse scientific information in your own area of expertise, and apply the methods of the field in an ethical and sustainable way
  • The ability to act as expert in the field, and to develop the practices and methods of your field in cooperation with specialists from other fields
  • Oral and written communication skills in an international work environment

The quality teaching within the computer science programme at the University of Helsinki has been highlighted repeatedly in national and international teaching assessments. The student-centred, in-depth learning gives you a solid basis for life-long learning. Studying at the leading research unit for computer science in Finland offers you constant interaction with current research and insight into the development patterns in the field.

Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website:www.helsinki.fi/en/programmes/master/computer-science

The University of Helsinki will introduce annual tuition fees to foreign-language Master’s programmes starting on August 1, 2017 or later. The fee is 15 000 EUR. Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries, who do not have a permanent residence status in the area, are liable to these fees. You can check this FAQ at the Studyinfo website whether or not you are required to pay tuition fees.

Instruction can be given in English or Finnish. Within these sub-programmes, instruction is nearly always in English:

  • Algorithms
  • Networking and Services

Within the following sub-programme, some of the instruction is given in Finnish, but it is also possible to graduate with teaching in English:

  • Software systems

You can take exams in English, Finnish or Swedish (unless the nature of the course demands otherwise), and you can write your Master’s thesis in Finnish, Swedish or English.

In future, we will increasingly be using intelligent tools, consisting of networked hardware, software, services, and data. They will work based on intelligent, learning algorithms, data streams carried by communication protocols, and global infrastructures.

Within the Algorithms sub-programme, you will study effective algorithms and their application within other disciplines and in corporate life. Future IT systems will contain more and more intelligent components, the function of which will be based on complex mathematical models created automatically with the aid of machine-learning methods.  The problems to be solved are computationally challenging, and the ever increasing amounts of data will create their own challenges when it comes to the efficiency of the algorithms needed.

The Networking and services sub-programme educates you to become an expert and strategic leader in the design and management of new global infrastructures. The infrastructures include Internet technologies in fixed networks and mobile environments, as well as the information and service networks built on top of them. Focus areas include the theory, data security, and trust within distributed systems, interactive systems, and the adaptability of services in a changing environment.

The Software systems sub-programme introduces you to the design and implementation of advanced software. The development of a shared software framework or platform for several software products is very demanding both technically and from the development project viewpoint. Developing such software requires technical skills, but also team- and project work, quality assurance, and communication. Within this sub-programme, you can specialise in software engineering, software technology, or information management, and study the current research questions in these areas in depth.

The sub-programmes in the Master’s programme for computer science are:

  • Algorithms
  • Networking and services
  • Software systems

You can select any of these programmes according to your preferences at the beginning of your studies. The sub-programme determines which courses you should take.

The Master’s programme comprises 120 credits, which can be completed in two years, in accordance with an approved personal study plan. The degree includes:

  • 80 credits of advanced courses, including
    • Shared courses within the programme
    • Courses within the programme which support the thesis topic
    • The Master’s thesis (Pro gradu), 30 credits
  • 40 credits of other courses from your own or other programmes
    • The other courses can include a work-orientation period

The advanced module in the Master of Science degree includes a thesis (30 credits). In this project you demonstrate your ability for scientific thinking, your grasp of research methods, your in-depth knowledge of the thesis topic, and your aptitude for scientific written communication. Some common types of theses are the literature-based comparison or analysis, and the experimental or constructive application. All theses demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the research literature within the writer’s own field, and command of the communication style prevalent in computer science publications.  

Some of the theses are written in collaboration with research groups at the department, so you may be able to participate in top research even before completing your degree. Due to the breadth of the field and its impact on society, the thesis topics range over many themes. Recent thesis topics have included cloud computing, big data, management of large genome data, machine learning, service- and model-based solutions, software development methods, and software quality assurance.

The employment outlook within the field is excellent. Masters of computer science find varied positions within the ICT field, both as employees and entrepreneurs. The nature of the education is also geared towards giving you an aptitude for managerial posts. All the sub-programmes provide the qualifications to find employment in a wide variety of jobs.  

Software-system graduates often start their careers as software developers and designers, while network graduates often start with software at the infrastructure level (such as data communications, computation, or data entry). The skills learned in the algorithms sub-programme enable you to work on challenging tasks in various fields.

As a graduate you can find employment within small or large corporations as well as organisations in the private, public, or third sector. Due to the global nature of the field, you can find employment anywhere in the world. Taking modules from other education programmes will help you apply your computer science skills in other areas. Many jobs are based on these combinations.

Thanks to its strong scientific basis, the degree is also an excellent springboard to a doctoral programme.

A Master's degree gives eligibility to apply to positions that require a second cycle academic degree.

There is a very international atmosphere within the programme, as nearly a third of the students come from abroad, and the advanced courses are instructed by international researchers.

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 students’ organisations or 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 in one of the exchange locations of the faculty or university
  • Traineeships abroad

Computer science at the University of Helsinki is a popular exchange location, especially from Germany. Some 5-10 students come annually; exchange students have come from 14 countries in recent years. The students in the department have taken exchange periods in 16 countries in the past few years.

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. The teaching within the data science and the Life Science Informatics Master’s programmes is designed in close cooperation with the computer science Master’s programme.

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 computer science students work alongside their studies, and can incorporate this experience in 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 corporation or research organisation is also a good way to improve your working-life abilities.

Computer science at the University of Helsinki participates in the Luma network, spreading programming and digital-society skills to school pupils and the public.  The work within Luma includes educating science teachers in computer science to meet schools’ teaching needs. Clubs and camps offer teaching experience in the field to computer science students and teaching students, as well as teachers gaining complementary training.

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 there 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 Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (HIIT) is a joint research institute of the University of Helsinki and Aalto University, which supports and coordinates research collaboration within the field of computer science. The research in computer science in the Helsinki region gains considerable added value and international impact through this collaboration.

There are several multidisciplinary research projects 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. The role of computer science within these projects is to develop the basic methods of the discipline in strategic areas and to collaborate in depth with other disciplines.

The sub-programmes within the Master’s programme cover a considerable part of the strategic focus areas of computer science research at the University of Helsinki: algorithms, data analysis and machine learning, networking and services, software systems, bioinformatics, and data science.

Computer science is part of three Finnish Academy centres of excellence: for computational inference, inversion problems, and cancer genetics. These units represent the collaboration between computer science and other disciplines.

Computer science has coordinated the long-lived Algodan centre of excellence, which has been the basis for many current research groups.

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

  • The doctoral programme in computer science
  • The doctoral programme in mathematics and statistics

For more information, please see the Doctoral Education on the University of Helsinki website: www.helsinki.fi/en/research/doctoral-education

How to apply

Closed applications

Application
Application for Master's Programmes in English, spring 2017 (University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science)
Application period
1.12.2016, 08:0012.1.2017, 15:00
Study places
60
Of which for first-time applicants
0
Application
Haku maisterikoulutukseen, monikieliset maisteriohjelmat, kevät 2017 (Helsingin yliopisto)
Application period
1.12.2016, 08:0012.1.2017, 15:00
Study places
60
Of which for first-time applicants
0
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.

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 disabilityservices@helsinki.fi.

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 the University of Helsinki website http://www.helsinki.fi/newstudents.

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