Life Sciences is one of the strategic research fields at the University of Helsinki. The multidisciplinary Master’s Programme in Life Science Informatics (LSI) integrates research excellence and research infrastructures in the Helsinki Institute of Life Sciences (HiLIFE).
The Master's Programme is offered by the Faculty of Science. Teaching is offered in co-operation with the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences. As a student, you will gain access to active research communities on three campuses: Kumpula, Viikki, and Meilahti. The unique combination of study opportunities tailored from the offering of the three campuses provides an attractive educational profile. The LSI programme is designed for students with a background in mathematics, computer science and statistics, as well as for students with these disciplines as a minor in their bachelor’s degree, with their major being, for example, ecology, evolutionary biology or genetics. As a graduate of the LSI programme you will:
Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.
The Life Science Informatics Master’s Programme has six specialisation areas, each anchored in its own research group or groups.
Algorithmic bioinformatics with the Genome-scale algorithmics, Combinatorial Pattern Matching, and Practical Algorithms and Data Structures on Strings research groups. This specialisation area educates you to be an algorithm expert who can turn biological questions into appropriate challenges for computational data analysis. In addition to the tailored algorithm studies for analysing molecular biology measurement data, the curriculum includes general algorithm and machine learning studies offered by the Master's Programmes in Computer Science and Data Science.
Applied bioinformatics, jointly with The Institute of Biotechnology and genetics.Bioinformatics has become an integral part of biological research, where innovative computational approaches are often required to achieve high-impact findings in an increasingly data-dense environment. Studies in applied bioinformatics prepare you for a post as a bioinformatics expert in a genomics research lab, working with processing, analysing and interpreting Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) data, and working with integrated analysis of genomic and other biological data, and population genetics.
Biomathematics with the Biomathematics research group, focusing on mathematical modelling and analysis of biological phenomena and processes. The research covers a wide spectrum of topics ranging from problems at the molecular level to the structure of populations. To tackle these problems, the research group uses a variety of modelling approaches, most importantly ordinary and partial differential equations, integral equations and stochastic processes. A successful analysis of the models requires the study of pure research in, for instance, the theory of infinite dimensional dynamical systems; such research is also carried out by the group.
Biostatistics and bioinformatics is offered jointly by the statistics curriculum, the Master´s Programme in Mathematics and Statistics and the research groups Statistical and Translational Genetics, Computational Genomics and Computational Systems Medicine in FIMM. Topics and themes include statistical, especially Bayesian methodologies for the life sciences, with research focusing on modelling and analysis of biological phenomena and processes. The research covers a wide spectrum of collaborative topics in various biomedical disciplines. In particular, research and teaching address questions of population genetics, phylogenetic inference, genome-wide association studies and epidemiology of complex diseases.
Eco-evolutionary Informatics with ecology and evolutionary biology, in which several researchers and teachers have a background in mathematics, statistics and computer science. Ecology studies the distribution and abundance of species, and their interactions with other species and the environment. Evolutionary biology studies processes supporting biodiversity on different levels from genes to populations and ecosystems. These sciences have a key role in responding to global environmental challenges. Mathematical and statistical modelling, computer science and bioinformatics have an important role in research and teaching.
Systems biology and medicine with the Genome-scale Biology Research Program in Biomedicum. The focus is to understand and find effective means to overcome drug resistance in cancers. The approach is to use systems biology, i.e., integration of large and complex molecular and clinical data (big data) from cancer patients with computational methods and wet lab experiments, to identify efficient patient-specific therapeutic targets. Particular interest is focused on developing and applying machine learning based methods that enable integration of various types of molecular data (DNA, RNA, proteomics, etc.) to clinical information.
Our Climate Change: Environment, Science & Policy MSc course is an opportunity for graduates of geography, physical sciences, engineering and computer sciences to explore specific issues relating to climate and environmental change at an advanced level. You will explore a wide range of critical topics focusing on human-originated influences on the terrestrial, hydrological and atmospheric environments, and their biological, physical and societal consequences.
The Climate Change: Environment, Science & Policy MSc is a flexible course allowing you to study either a Policy or a Science pathway. Our course will provide you with an in-depth understanding of the processes and the nature of environmental changes occurring in the Earth’s terrestrial, hydrological and atmospheric environments. You will also develop essential research, analysis and critical-thinking skills that will help you to understand and interpret scientific evidence and also respond to the problems associated with global and regional environmental changes in the Earth’s system.
The study course is made up of optional and required modules and you must take the minimum of 180 credits for the course. If you are studying full-time, you will complete the course in one year, from September to September. If you are studying part-time, your course will take two years to complete. You will take the required combination of required and optional modules over this period of time, with the dissertation in your second year.
We will teach you through a combination of lectures and seminars, and you will typically have 20 hours of this per module. We also expect you to undertake 180 hours of independent study for each module. For your 12,000 word dissertation, we will provide four workshops and five hours of one-to-one supervision to complement your 587 hours of independent study.
As part of a two-year schedule, part-time students typically take the required 40-credit taught module and 40 credits of optional module in year 1. They will then take a 60 credit dissertation module and 40 credit optional modules in year 2. Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.
Performance on taught modules in the Geography Department is normally assessed through essays and other written assignments, oral presentations, lab work and occasionally by examination, depending on the modules selected. All students also undertake a research-based dissertation of 12,000 words.
Our MSc is designed to prepare you for a career in environmental change research, consultancy and/or policy development. It provides interdisciplinary research training for those going onto a PhD in environmental and/or Earth system science within King's or elsewhere, and students entering the job market immediately after graduation are expected to be highly marketable in three main areas: local and national governmental and non-governmental agencies (eg Environment Agency, County Councils, Nature Conservancies); environmental consultancies and businesses (eg environmental informatics providers; environmental businesses - including carbon trading; insurance; waste management and energy industries), and policy development organisations (eg such government departments as Defra). The Seminars in Environmental Research, Management and Policy module offers you the chance to hear and meet practitioners in many of these key areas.
This is a vibrant postgraduate community, with strong international links. Our research partners are global, from UK universities to institutions in southern Africa, Denmark, Iceland, Australia and the USA. Our teaching is invigorated by work from several interdisciplinary research groups, like the Sheffield Centre for International Drylands Research, the Urban and Regional Policy Research Institute and the Sheffield Institute for International Development. The course includes a 10-day field class currently in Galapagos, Nepal and Tanzania, which provides hands-on experience of research.
Our staff are active researchers at the cutting-edge of their fields. That research informs our masters courses. As well as the usual lectures and seminars, there are practicals, lab classes, field trips and research projects.
A new £1m Sediment-Solute Systems lab enables geochemical analysis of aqueous and solid phases, especially in the context of biogeochemistry. We have equipment for chromatography, UV spectrometry and flow injection/auto analysis.
Our sample preparation facilities enable digestion, pre-concentration by evaporation under vacuum, and tangential flow filtration. There are alpha and gamma counters, a laser particle sizer and a luminescence dating lab. Field equipment includes automatic water samplers, weather stations, data loggers and environmental process characterisation sensors.
We have high-quality petrological microscopes for examining geological samples. We have labs for spectrometry and for palaeontological preparation, and you’ll also have access to specialist facilities in other departments at the University.
Laptops, camcorders, tape recorders and transcribers are available for your fieldwork. Our postgraduate computer labs have networked workstations for GIS research and climate modelling, ARC/INFO, ERDAS software and specialist software for remote sensing. GIS facilities are also provided by the £5m Informatics Collaboratory for the Social Sciences.
Our new postgraduate media GIS suite has facilities for Skype, video conferencing, web design, video editing and creative media.
Most of our courses involve fieldwork. The MPH, MSc and MA International Development take students on a 10-day field trip where they put their research skills into practice. Recent classes visited the West Pokot region of Kenya, urban and rural areas of Nepal, the suburbs of Cairo and India.
Ideas and Practice in International Development; Research Design and Methods in International Development; Understanding Environmental Change; Key Issues in Environment and Development; Professional Skills for Development; Dissertation with Placement; International Development field Class, currently in either Kenya or Nepal.
Data, Visualisation and GIS; Living with Climate Change in the Global South; The Political Economy of Natural Resource-led Development in the Global South; Using Policy to Strengthen Health Systems; Cities of Diversity; Cities of ‘the South’: planning for informality.
There are seminars, lectures, workshops and reading groups. You’ll be assessed on your coursework assignments and a dissertation.
Improving air quality through the control of pollutant emissions is a high priority and global challenge. To control, monitor and model atmospheric emissions requires in-depth understanding of the sources of emission, atmospheric chemistry, dispersion modelling and emissions technology.
The MSc in Atmospheric Emission Technology course is designed to provide up-to-date knowledge focusing on international and industrial emission monitoring and control technologies. The latest atmospheric and air quality policy and modelling developments will be introduced to prepare you for a career as air quality monitoring and emissions technology experts within industry, environmental consultancies or regulators.
Currently there is a scarcity of higher education courses in topics that are relevant to air quality management. This course will provide a future generation of professionals in the air quality and air pollution control sectors, with comprehensive understanding of sources and dispersion of atmospheric pollutants linked with key industrial processes and vehicle/aircraft emission.
The course offers unique practical experience in the NERC/Met Office Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurement (FAAM) base in the Centre for Atmospheric Informatics and Emissions Technology at Cranfield.
Many academics in the teaching team have significantly experience working in close collaboration with environmental consultancies, the emission monitoring and control industry, and regulators.
The course comprises eight assessed modules, a group project and an individual research project.
The group projects are founded on group-based research programmes typically undertaken between February and April. The projects are designed to integrate knowledge, understanding and skills from the taught modules in a real-life situation.
The thesis project, typically delivered between May and September, further develops research and project management skills that provide the ability to think and work in an original way; contribute to knowledge; overcome genuine problems; and communicate through a thesis and oral exam. Each student is allocated a supervisor who will guide and assess the student's work.
Taught modules: 40%, Group projects: 20%, Individual project: 40%
To help students in finding and securing appropriate funding we have created a funding finder where you can search for suitable sources of funding by filtering the results to suit your needs. Visit the funding finder.
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We aim to develop this course as a recognised and sought-after qualification within the professional environmental field in the UK and abroad. Successful students will develop diverse and rewarding careers in environmental regulation, public sector organisations (e.g. Defra and Environmental Agency), environmental and business consultancies and process industries in private sectors.
We have been providing Masters level training for over 20 years. Our strong reputation and links with potential employers provide you with outstanding opportunities to secure interesting jobs and develop successful careers.
Our applied approach and close links with industry mean 93% of our graduates find jobs relevant to their degree or go on to further study within six months of graduation. Our careers team support you while you are studying and following graduation with workshops, careers fairs, vacancy information and one-to-one support.