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University of Helsinki, Full Time MSc Degrees in Computer Science

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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. Read more
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.

The University of Helsinki will introduce annual tuition fees to foreign-language Master’s programmes starting on August 1, 2017 or later. The fee ranges from 13 000-18 000 euros. 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: https://studyinfo.fi/wp2/en/higher-education/higher-education-institutions-will-introduce-tuition-fees-in-autumn-2017/am-i-required-to-pay-tuition-fees/

Programme Contents

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.

Selection of the Major

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.

Programme Structure

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.

Career Prospects

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.

Internationalization

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.

Research Focus

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.

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Data science combines computer science and statistics to solve exciting data-intensive problems in industry and in many fields of science. Read more
Data science combines computer science and statistics to solve exciting data-intensive problems in industry and in many fields of science. Data scientists help organisations make sense of their data. As data is collected and analysed in all areas of society, demand for professional data scientists is high and will grow higher. The emerging Internet of Things, for instance, will produce a whole new range of problems and opportunities in data analysis.

In the Data Science master’s programme, you will gain a solid understanding of the methods used in data science. You will learn not only to apply data science: you will acquire insight into how and why methods work so you will be able to construct solutions to new challenges in data science. In the Data Science master’s programme, you will also be able to work on problems specific to a scientific discipline and to combine domain knowledge with the latest data analysis methods and tools. The teachers of the programme are themselves active data science researchers, and the programme is heavily based on first-hand research experience.

Upon graduating from the Data Science MSc programme, you will have solid knowledge of the central concepts, theories, and research methods of data science as well as applied skills. In particular, you will be able to:
-Understand the general computational and probabilistic principles underlying modern machine learning and data mining algorithms.
-Apply various computational and statistical methods to analyse scientific and business data.
-Assess the suitability of each method for the purpose of data collection and use.
-Implement state-of-the-art machine learning solutions efficiently using high-performance computing platforms.
-Undertake creative work, making systematic use of investigation or experimentation, to discover new knowledge.
-Report results in a clear and understandable manner.
-Analyse scientific and industrial data to devise new applications and support decision making.

The MSc programme is offered jointly by the Department of Computer Science, the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and the Department of Physics, with support from the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (HIIT) and the Helsinki Institute of Physics (HIP), all located on the Kumpula Science campus. In your applied data science studies you can also include multidisciplinary studies from other master's programmes, such as digital humanities, and natural and medical sciences.

The University of Helsinki will introduce annual tuition fees to foreign-language Master’s programmes starting on August 1, 2017 or later. The fee ranges from 13 000-18 000 euros. 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: https://studyinfo.fi/wp2/en/higher-education/higher-education-institutions-will-introduce-tuition-fees-in-autumn-2017/am-i-required-to-pay-tuition-fees/

Programme Contents

The Data Science MSc programme combines elements from computer science and mathematical sciences to provide you with skills in topics such as machine learning, distributed systems and statistical methods. You might also find that knowledge in a particular scientific field is useful for your future career. You can obtain this through minor studies in the MSc programme, or it might already be part of your bachelor-level degree.

Studies in the Data Science MSc programme include both theoretical and practical components, including a variety of study methods (lectures, exercises, projects, seminars; done both individually and in groups). Especially in applied data science, we also use problem-based learning methods, so that you can address real-world issues. You will also practise academic skills such as scientific writing and oral presentation throughout your studies. You are encouraged to include an internship in your degree in order to obtain practical experience in the field.

Minor studies give you a wider perspective of Data Science. Your minor subject can be an application area of Data Science (such as physics or the humanities), a discipline that supports application of Data Science (such as language technology), or a methodological subject needed for the development of new Data Science methods and models (such as computer science, statistics, or mathematics).

Selection of the Major

You can specialise either in the core areas of data science -- algorithms, infrastructure and statistics -- or in its applications. This means that you can focus on the development of new models and methods in data science, supported by the data science research carried out at the University of Helsinki; or you can become a data science specialist in an application field by incorporating studies in another subject. In addition to mainstream data science topics, the programme offers two largely unique opportunities for specialisation: the data science computing environment and infrastructure, and data science in natural sciences, especially physics.

Programme Structure

You should be able to complete the MSc Programme in Data Science of 120 credits (ECTS) in two years of full-time study. The programme consists of:
-Common core studies of basic data science courses.
-Several modules on specific topics within data science algorithms, data science infrastructures and statistical data science, and on data science tools.
-Seminars and colloquia.
-Courses on academic skills and tools.
-Possibly an internship in a research group or company.
-Studies in an application domain.
-Master’s thesis (30 credits).

Career Prospects

Industry and science are flooded with data and are struggling to make sense of it. There is urgent demand for individuals trained to analyse data, including massive and heterogeneous data. For this reason, the opportunities are expected to grow dramatically. The interdisciplinary Data Science MSc programme will train you to work in data-intensive areas of industry and science, with the skills and knowledge needed to construct solutions to complex data analysis problems.

If you are focusing on the core areas of data science, you will typically find employment as a researcher or consultant, sometimes after taking a PhD in Computer Science or Statistics to deepen your knowledge of the field and research methods. If your focus is on the use of data science for specific applications, you will typically find work in industry or in other fields of science such as physics, digital humanities, biology or medicine.

Internationalization

The Data Science MSc is an international programme, with students from around the world and an international research environment. All of the departments taking part in the programme are internationally recognised for their research and a significant fraction of the teaching and research staff come from abroad.

The departments participate in international student exchange programmes and offer you the chance to include international experience as part of your degree. Data Science itself is an international field, so once you graduate you can apply for jobs in any country.

In the programme, all courses are in English. Although the Helsinki area is quite cosmopolitan and English is widely spoken, you can also take courses to learn Finnish at the University of Helsinki Language Centre. The Language Centre also offers an extensive programme of foreign language courses for those interested in learning other languages.

Research Focus

The MSc programme in Data Science is offered jointly by three departments and two research institutes. Their research covers a wide spectrum of the many aspects of data science. At a very general level, the focal areas are:
-Machine learning and data mining
-Distributed computation and computational infrastructures
-Statistical modelling and analysis
-Studies in the programme are tightly connected to research carried out in the participating departments and institutes.

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