Data science and computer science popular among applicants to international master’s programmes

The international master’s programmes of the Faculty of Science are increasing in popularity.

With a total of 355 applications received, the Master’s Programme in Data Science was the most popular programme at the University of Helsinki in the application round to the University’s international master’s programmes that ended on 10 January.

At the same time, the international Master’s Programme in Computer Science was the third most popular programme in the round, thanks to a total of 269 applications. The former programme has 30 available places and the latter 45.

Compared to 2018, the number of applicants to the international Master’s Programme in Data Science grew by 29%, while that of the Master’s Programme in Computer Science grew by 21%. 

Both programmes have become increasingly popular ever since 2017, the year when the University’s international master’s programmes were reformed.

“We have been developing both our degree programmes and teaching methods with a long-term and systematic approach. For instance, we have invested in apprenticeship instruction and open online courses,” says Sasu Tarkoma, director of the Department of Computer Science. 

Jussi Kangasharju, director of the Master’s Programme in Data Science, believes that the growth in popularity is also down to the content of the programmes being of high quality.

“The growth in applicant numbers also speaks of the international significance of the themes examined in our master’s programmes,” Kangasharju says. 

Every fourth applicant is a woman

Of all the applicants to the Master’s Programme in Data Science, 27% were women, while the corresponding figure for the Master’s Programme in Computer Science was 24%.

Applications to the programmes were submitted from 62 and 51 countries respectively. The largest share of applications to both programmes came from Finland, followed by Pakistan, India and China.

A total of 4,704 applications were received in the international master’s programme application round of the University of Helsinki, an increase of 21% from the previous year. On the University level, the number of applicants has been growing for three consecutive years, now being three-fold compared to 2017.

The Master’s Programme in Data Science and the Master’s Programme in Computer Science are the flagships for the international education provided by the Faculty of Science. 

“In addition to these two, we have 10 other fascinating international master’s programmes, as well as a new international bachelor’s programme,” notes Hannu Toivonen, professor of computer science and the Faculty’s vice-dean for academic affairs.

Career monitoring surveys (in Finnish only) conducted by the University show that the employment opportunities of computer science graduates are good. More than 90% of the respondents to the latest survey were satisfied with their studies in terms of their career, while a similar share would recommend their education to others.

Further information:

4,700 applications to the international master’s programmes of the University of Helsinki

Key admissions statistics

The application period to the Bachelor's Programme in Science starts on 18 Mar 2020