The university MOOCs broaden your knowledge base

At the end of October, the open online courses on introduction to climate change and data security are starting.

The online courses on introduction to climate change and data security that started last year will continue this year. Last time the course on climate change given in Finnish was completed by 291 students and the one in English by 215 students, while the data security course given in collaboration between F-Secure and the university was followed online by over 50,000 in both Europe and North America.

The climate-change MOOC course includes classroom teaching has been implemented as an open online course on the MOOC platform of the University of Helsinki. It differs from other MOOCs in that its schedule includes some classroom teaching. Registration for this course is ongoing.

"You can either complete the course wholly online, or you can attend the four on-site classes and team meetings," says Laura Riuttanen from the Department of Physics, who has designed the structure of the course.

"The student teams came up with 24 solutions to combat climate change."

The students analyse the material in multi-disciplinary teams of around 4 members each, complete an in-depth project in their team, and brainstorm ideas on how to stop climate change.

"During the course last year, the student teams came up with 24 solutions to combat climate change, such as: children’s climate clubs, a CO2-calculating phone app, growing seaweed for biofuel, rice-growing methods to cut back on methane emissions, a climate-food week," she says.

Climate course contents as collaboration between science and art

The Ilmasto.nyt ( package was created by professionals in science, pedagogics, and art. At the university, the departments of physics, environmental sciences, forestry, and teacher education have participated.

"Climate change is such a huge challenge that we need cross-discipline approaches in order to find solutions. Art can be the key to this," says Laura Riuttanen.

The University of Helsinki is the coordinator of the project, and other actors include Lappeenranta University of Technology, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, and Sitra. Other participants are the University of the Arts Helsinki, Aalto University, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, and the Ministry of Education and Culture.

The course material was tested by some 30 representatives of different fields within the universities and universities of applied sciences, as well as organisations. The testers included professionals in engineering, travel, environmental sciences, and theology, as well as design.

The popular MOOC in data security by the university and F-secure was a success

The package was born out of a need for a generation of climate experts that will understand the basics of climate change and can utilise this knowledge within their own field.

"We finally realised that no single technique, action, or contract will save us from climate change, but we need to pool our skills. Climate change concerns everyone, from gardeners to data analysts," says Laura Riuttanen.

The course Cyber Security Base with F-Secure on data security started in collaboration between the Department of Computer Science at the university and F-Secure for the second time is a similar sign of the times.  Its objective is to support employment in the field of data security.

Last time nearly 5,000 students completed the assignments.

The MOOC on data security last year was a fine initiative, where F-Secure and the University of Helsinki combined forces. The course is method-based, and offers a good basis for the job market via its collaboration with the industry, says Sasu Tarkoma, head of the Department of Computer Science.

"Last time nearly 5,000 students completed the assignments, and about 1,000 performed parts or the whole of the course. This proves that security is important in many fields," he says.

The MOOC in data security requires basic coding skills

The data security course given in English yields a preliminary 1-10 credits so that you can taylor how extensive a course you want. The Open University is also participating in the implementation of the course, as with the climate course.

In order to follow the course material, you need basic knowledge of coding, data networks, and internet security. It is an optional course in computer science, and it is open for university undergraduates as well as others interested in it.

The kick-off seminar of the course Cyber Security Base with F-Secure will be held at 10 o’clock on 31 October 2017. After that, you can sign up for the course. You can already order the course bulletins from this page.


MOOC comes from the words ‘Massive Open Online Course.’ It typically has a huge number of participants, is open for everyone, and entails online studying and assignments. The MOOCs are course-like in that they follow a set schedule, allowing the participants to discuss and study together.

The university’s MOOCs

Computer Science MOOCs

The climate course material in Finnish and English