Structure, content and courses

The scope of the Master's Programme in Computer Science is 120 credits divided into core courses, study track specific courses and other courses. It is possible to complete the degree in two years, in accordance with an approved personal study plan.

The study tracks in the Master’s Programme in Computer Science are Algorithms, Networking and services, and Software systems. Students can select any of these tracks according to their preferences at the beginning of studies. The study track determines, which courses the students should take.

Instruction can be given in English or Finnish. Within these study tracks, instruction is nearly always in English:

  • Algorithms
  • Networking and Services

Within the following study track, some of the instruction is given in Finnish, but it is also possible to graduate with teaching in English:

  • Software systems

You can take exams in English, Finnish or Swedish (unless the nature of the course demands otherwise), and you can write your Master’s thesis in Finnish, Swedish or English.

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
    • Master’s thesis, 30 credits
  • 40 credits of other courses from your own or other programmes
    • The other courses can include a work-orientation period

You can find a more detailed degree structure on the Instructions for students website. The syllabus on the same website helps in planning your own study schedule. Make sure that you have selected the correct programme in the drop-down menu.

The whole degree structure including all courses is in WebOodi, the online course catalogue for students at the University of Helsinki. Courses and seminars organised in the Academic year 2019-2020 can be found in the courses page.

  • Design and Analysis of Algorithms
  • Distributed Systems
  • Introduction to Big Data Management
  • Introduction to Machine Learning
  • Networked Systems and Services
  • Software Architectures

Within the Algorithms study track, 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 create their own challenge when it comes to the efficiency of the algorithms needed.

The courses in this study track are mathematically oriented. To succeed in this study track, it is recommended to include overall 60 cr of mathematics in Bachelor's and Master's degree. Basics of discrete mathematics, logics, linear algebra, and probability theory and statistics included in Bachelor degree should give a sufficient background, and more advanced topics can be included in the Master's degree. Check the prerequisites of courses in this study track for specific advanced math topics that are especially useful for your study path.

The Networking and services study track educates experts and strategic leaders for 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 study track introduces you to the design and implementation of advanced software. The development of a shared software framework or platform for several different software products, for example, is very demanding both technically and from the viewpoint of completing a development project. Developing such software requires technical skills, but also team- and project work, quality assurance, and communication. Within this study track, you can specialise in software engineering, software technology, or information management, and study the current research questions in these areas in depth.


In addition to the above courses, you can include other courses in your degree as well, for up to 40 credits.