The advanced module in the Master of Science degree includes a thesis (30 cr), with which students show their ability for scientific thinking, grasp of research methods, in-depth knowledge of the thesis topic, and their aptitude for scientific written communication as practiced in the scientific community. Common basic types of theses are the literature-based comparison or analysis, and the experimental or constructive application. All theses should have in common the in-depth knowledge of the research literature within the writer’s own field, and learning 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 topics of theses range over many different themes; lately, thesis topics have included e.g. cloud computing, big data, management of large genome data, machine learning, service- and model-based solutions, software development methods, and software quality assurance.
We have introduced Computer Science Colloquium to guide you in the thesis process. As a first year student, you hear presentations of theses on different topics, and this gives you a way to choose your specialization and get to know people sharing the same interests. Once you have found a supervisor and a topic through the colloquium (or any other route such as advanced course or seminar), you should book a presentation slot from the colloquium.
The steps required between starting and finishing the thesis work are described in study guidelines: see Master's Thesis instructions. All the materials are in the Master's Thesis in Computer Science -project course page.
To enable full-time work towards the Master's thesis, the programme can provide stipends to students based on demonstrated excellent study performance and quality of the research plan towards the thesis. To apply, you should have at least 4.0 weighted average grade in your advanced studies towards the Master's degree conducted in recommended time, have already a topic and committed supervisor, and a plan how to finish the thesis and the degree in maximum of 6 months. You can apply the stipend also for shorter time period, for example for taking leave from work to finish the thesis. The maximum stipend is 2000 euros and granted for 6 months full-time work towards the thesis. Email your application to veli.makinen at helsinki.fi, with subject line "Thesis stipend". Please provide your name, student number, average grade, number of advanced studies credits, start time of your Master's studies, explanation of possible gaps in studies, commitment to focus full-time to thesis work (e.g. plan to take leave from work), thesis topic, names of supervisors, study track / specialization line, planned stipend period, list of planned courses and seminars to take in order to graduate soon after completing the thesis, and a free form research plan including some intermediate milestones for the thesis project. Applicants passing the minimum criteria will be invited for an interview before decision. The applications are processed following the Steering Group meeting schedule (see end of the Master's Thesis instructions): to target a certain meeting, send your application at least one week before. Possible interview takes place on the day of the Steering Group meeting, between 9-14. Recipients of the stipends will be published in the minutes of the Steering Group meeting. We have a few stipends per year, and the criteria will be adjusted based on level of applications.