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1. Degree programme title

Master's Programme in Theoretical and Computational Methods

2. Degree title to be awarded and the competence provided by it

Master of Science (M.Sc.)

The Master of Science degree qualifies you for demanding expert positions and postgraduate education in Finnish and international doctoral programmes.

3. Degree level (first-, second-, third-cycle/European Qualifications Framework (EQF)

Master’s programmes, second-cycle degree/EQF level 7

4. Programme-specific admissions criteria

Admission criteria, Master's Admission, Master's Programme in Theoretical and Computational Methods

(University of Helsinki, Degree Finder, How to Apply)

5. Programme-specific procedures for the recognition and validation of prior learning

Aiemmin hankitun osaamisen tunnustamisessa noudatetaan myöhemmin keväällä/kesällä vahvistettavaa rehtorin päätöstä.

In case of single courses, the accreditation is primarily made by the responsible teacher of the course. In case of course packages and other larger entities, the accreditation is primarily made by the HOPS supervisor of the study track the entity belongs to. The programme director and vice-director have the right to accredit studies in the programme.


6. Programme profile (whether graduates will have an academic or professionally oriented
profile; examples of employer contacts during studies)  

This Master’s programme is strongly orientated towards research.  At the Kumpula campus, top research is being carried out in many of the disciplines included in the programme, such as theoretical particle physics, cosmology, computational material physics, aerosol physics, mathematical physics, inversion problems, theoretical chemistry, laser spectroscopy, and algorithm theory.  The instruction in the programme is given by the researchers in these groups.  This Master’s programme will give you a solid basis for continuing with postgraduate studies and research in one of these areas.

The programme cooperates with Helsinki Institute of Physics (HIP)  and Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (HIIT) and collaborates with the centres of excellence for Analysis and dynamics research, Inverse problems and Atmospheric sciences.

(Opintopolku: Research focus)

7. Key learning outcomes/objectives of education

The basis of natural sciences is the modelling of phenomena and solving these models.  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 of this programme is that you can combine the above disciplines into a comprehensive programme.  It is well suited for the needs of basic research and for many fields of application.  This programme requires a strong commitment from you to develop your own skills and plan your degree.  You can tailor your programme according to your existing knowledge and interests, in cooperation with the programme professors.

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.

Upon completing the Master’s programme, 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.

(Opintopolku: Goal of the programme)

8. Job descriptions and labour market sectors (examples for graduates)


The Master’s degree in sciences applying theoretical and computational methods gives you an excellent basis for postgraduate studies or for work in many careers in Finland or internationally. Masters of Science employed within research and R&D in industry are very well paid.  On the other hand, a career at the university or a research institute lets you carry out academic research on a topic of your own choosing.

As a graduate with an MSc degree you could embark on a career in:

  • Industry, especially advanced technology corporations (applied research and R&D, leadership),
  • Universities and research institutes abroad and in Finland (basic scientific research)
  • Teaching in universities and universities of applied sciences
  • Software engineering, e.g. gaming industry
  • Various design and consultation jobs in the public and private sectors

Graduates of similar programmes in the earlier degree system have found employment as researchers and teachers in universities and research institutes in Finland and abroad (e.g. CERN, ESA, NASA), for example, in administration (e.g. the Finnish Academy), and in private corporations. The strong analytical skills provided by the education are sought after in areas such as data analysis (industries, media companies, gaming industry, finance), and corporate research, product development, and consultation (e.g. Nokia, Ericsson, Apple, Sanoma, Spinverse, Supercell, Nielsen, Valo Research and Trading, Planmeca, Reaktor, Comptel, Vaisala, KaVo Kerr Group, IndoorAtlas and Goldman Sachs).

(Opintopolku: Career prospects)

9. Postgraduate study options/opportunities

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:

(Opintopolku: Postgraduate studies)

10. Career orientation/compulsory or elective traineeship

11. International mobility

International mobility is encouraged. The recommended window for student exchange is during the summer or the second autumn.

12. Degree programme structure (e.g., a figure displaying modules and their scope in
credits as well as the courses contained in the modules)


The Master’s programme comprises 120 credits (ECTS) and 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
  • 30 credits of other courses from your Master’s programme or other programmes

Your studies will include a personal study plan, working-life orientation, and career planning. The other studies could also include a traineeship, complementary courses in your major or minor subject, or a completely new minor subject.

(Opintopolku: Pro­gramme struc­ture)

This Master’s programme does not have any study track; instead, can can tailor a suitable combination according to your plans and existing knowledge from the modules in physics, mathematics, chemistry, and computer science. Your personal study plan will ensure that your courses will form a functional combination.

(Opintopolku: Selection of study track)

For more detailed information, see Degree Structure Details.

13. Assessment practices  


Opintokokonaisuuden kokonaisarvosana määräytyy siihen sisällytettävien opintojaksojen arvosanojen perusteella siten, että kutakin opintojaksoa painotetaan sen opintopistemäärän mukaisesti. Arvosanaa laskettaessa huomioidaan ainoastaan opintojaksot, jotka on arvioitu asteikolla 0-5. Opintokokonaisuuksien kokonaisarvosanojen laskemisessa käytetään seuraavia keskiarvorajoja:




5 (erinomainen)      



4 (kiitettävä)



3 (hyvä) 



2 (tyydyttävä)



1 (välttävä)  




 Mikäli kokonaisuuden opintopistemäärästä yli puolet on arvioitu muuten kuin asteikolla 0-5, opintokokonaisuudesta ei anneta kokonaisarvosanaa.

14. Graduation practices and criteria

15. Criteria for full-time and part-time studies, opportunities for distance learning, if any 

Compulsory participation is only applicable in the seminar course as stated in its course description.

16. Practices for collecting and processing student feedback  

17. Degree programme director

Professor Kari Rummukainen

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