Studying

The Master’s Programme in Theoretical and Computational methods will give you a strong basis in the theoretical methods, modelling, and mathematical and numerical analysis within physics, mathematics, chemistry and/or computer science. The special feature is that you combine the above disciplines into a comprehensive programme by tailoring a suitable combination according to your plans and existing knowledge in cooperation with the programme professors. However, this requires also a strong commitment from you to develop your own skills and plan your degree.

The strong scientific emphasis of the programme makes it a natural gateway to further studies in physics, mathematics, chemistry and computer science. 

The Master’s Programme in Theoretical and Computational Methods has an exceptionally great scope. The programme consists of several modules in physics, mathematics, chemistry, and computer science.

Upon completing the Master’s Programme in Theoretical and Computational Methods, you will:

  • Have a solid basis of skills in your chosen scientific field
  • Have good skills in analytical and computational thinking and deduction
  • Be able to apply theoretical and computational methods to the analysis and understanding of problems in various fields  
  • Be able to generalise information on scientific phenomena, and identify the inner relationships
  • Be able to create mathematical models of natural phenomena
  • Be able to solve the models, both analytically and numerically

As a graduate of this Master’s programme, you can work as an expert in many kinds of scientific jobs in the private and the public sectors. The employment rate in this field is good.

The programme’s strong scientific emphasis makes it a natural gateway to further studies in physics, mathematics, chemistry, and computer science. This will usually take place within one of the research groups working on the Kumpula campus.

The Master’s Programme in Theoretical and Computational Methods will give you a strong basis in the theoretical methods, modelling, and mathematical and numerical analysis within physics, mathematics, chemistry and/or computer science. 

The scope of the programme is 120 ECTS credits. It is possible to complete the degree in two academic years. The degree includes:

  • 90 credits of courses in the Master’s programme, including the Master’s thesis (Pro gradu) of 30 credits (Advanced studies)
  • 30 credits of other courses from your Master’s programme or other programmes (Other studies)

The programme consists of several modules in physics, mathematics, chemistry, and computer science. Your studies also include a personal study plan, working-life orientation, and career planning. In addition, the other studies could include a traineeship, complementary courses in your major or minor subject, or a completely new minor subject.

Studying in this programme requires a strong commitment from you to develop your own skills and plan your degree.  You tailor a suitable combination according to your plans and existing knowledge in cooperation with the programme professors. Your personal study plan will ensure that your courses form a sensible functional combination.

See an overview of the course structure

The special feature of this programme is its great scope: it consists of several course packages in physics, mathematics, chemistry, computer science and/or data science, for example:

  • Theoretical physics
  • Mathematics
  • Cosmology and particle physics
  • Computational physics
  • Physical chemistry
  • Laser spectroscopy
  • Mathematical physics and stochastics
  • Applied analysis
  • Software engineering
  • Theoretical computer science
  • Data science

The courses include group and lecture instruction, exercises, literature, and workshops. Most courses also include exams or project assignments. In addition, you can complete some courses independently, by taking exams.

Instruction is given in English, but the courses and assignments can also be done in Finnish or Swedish.

See an overview of the course structure

Check out courses in the online course catalogue for students at the University of Helsinki.

The advanced module of your major subject includes a Master’s thesis that will demonstrate your:

  • ability for scientific thinking
  • command of scientific methods
  • mastery of the topic of your thesis
  • aptitude for scientific communication

The extent of the Master’s thesis is 30 credits. It is often written under the supervision of one of the research groups in the departments belonging to this programme, so you will become familiar with top research during your Master's programme.  These projects are a natural gateway to postgraduate studies.

The Master’s programme works in a very international atmosphere, with many top researchers from Finland and abroad teaching in it. In addition, the University of Helsinki and the Faculty of Science offer you many opportunities for international activities:

The collaboration partners include several top international research centres, such as CERN, ESA, ESRF, and ITER.R. So as a graduate student at the Faculty of Science, you will be able to apply for research training at places such as CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, or the ESRF centre in Grenoble, France. A traineeship in one of the internationally active research groups on campus will enable you to acquaint yourself and form contacts with the international research community during your studies. In addition, the international exchange programmes offer many opportunities for you to complete part of your degree at a foreign university.

As a Master’s degree student, you can select your minor subject both from your own faculty and from the other faculties at the university. Thanks to the contract for flexible study access (JOO), you can also study at another university in Finland, so it will be easy to tailor your degree to your own interests and career goals. Some of the courses are organised in cooperation with Aalto University.

You can also participate in research projects in your field while you are studying.  Writing your Master’s thesis in cooperation with a corporation or research organisation is also a good way to improve your working-life skills or get first-hand experience of working in an international research project. The programme has close collaboration with the Helsinki Institute of Physics (HIP) and Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (HIIT).

The programme maintains contacts with its alumni within the corporate sector. You can develop your own business concepts at the university’s entrepreneurship courses and at Think Company, which is a community of students and researchers interested in starting their own business, as well as for entrepreneurs in different fields.

The Master's degree (Master of Science) provides general eligibility for postgraduate studies and a solid foundation for doctoral studies.

After completing an upper university degree, you can apply for doctoral programmes both at the University of Helsinki and at other top international universities. Some of the suitable doctoral programmes at the University of Helsinki are:

More information on doctoral education at the University of Helsinki.

Student life and especially the student organisation culture is exceptionally rich and diverse in Finland. Also at the University of Helsinki, the student community is very active.

More than 250 student organisations operate within the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY), ranging from faculty and subject organisations to political and societal organisations, and from choirs and orchestras to sports and game clubs. Their activities include anniversary celebrations, academic dinner parties, cultural events, get-togethers and excursions.

As a student and member of the Student Union (HYY), you are entitled to many benefits and services. For example, affordable student housing, basic healthcare services, sports facilities and student-priced meals. You also get numerous discounts, for example on public transport fees across the country.  

Read more about the life and benefits as a student at the University of Helsinki.

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