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university of tampere: sis/luo-coms: bachelor and master studies: disciplines: computer science and interactive technology:
Faculties of Natural and Communication SciencesUniversity of TampereFaculties of Natural and Communication Sciences
Computer Science and Interactive Technology

Admissions

Introduction

This document answers the most common questions on how to apply for degree student status in the Computer Sciences at the University of Tampere. This page is concerned with basic information that does not change from year to year. The application dates and other details may vary from year to year and are available elsewhere. If there is a conflict between this page and the application instructions (link below), the latter is correct.

Computer Sciences offer a full program ranging from B.Sc. studies to Ph.D. Most of the undergraduate teaching is given only in Finnish. Therefore, the B.Sc. program is not recommended for people who are not fluent in Finnish. Two M.Sc. programme (B.Sc. degree or equivalent required) and the Ph.D. program (M.Sc. degree or equivalent required) are available in English. The admission procedure on all three levels is described below.

Information on this page applies to degree students. Prospective non-degree students can find information on the Studies at the University of Tampere pages.

B.Sc. + M.Sc. programme (normal application)

The most common way for Finnish students to enter our program is through the annual admission to the combined B.Sc. and M.Sc. program. Admissions are based on scores in the Finnish matriculation examination and an entrance examination. Half of the students are selected based on the entrance exam only. This makes it possible for anybody with the required skills to take the exam and enter the program. The exam can be taken in English. However, most of the undergraduate teaching is given only in Finnish. Therefore this way of entering our program is not recommended for students without a good skill in the Finnish language.

The students admitted this way have the right to complete both B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees. During the three year Bachelor's studies the students choose either Computer Science or Interactive Technology. At this point the students select a M.Sc. programme that they wish to graduate from. Students who have completed Bachelor's degrees elsewhere can apply for admission to the same M.Sc. programmes as described below.

M.Sc. degree programmes

The application process for the M.Sc. degree programmes is competitive. The number of accepted students varies depending on the quality of the applications. Typically we admit about ten students per M.Sc. programme. The application deadline is once per year. The application documents and instructions are common for the whole university. This material can be found on the Studies at the University of Tampere pages. The site is updated for the next application round some time before the deadline (no later than January). The School of Information Sciences has a page with information related to the M.Sc. programmes and admission to Master studies. It is advisable to read it along with this page and the University level documentation mentioned above.

From 2012 Computer Sciences offers two M.Sc. Programmes with tuition in English.

  • Human-Technology Interaction (with three specializations)
  • Software Development

In years 2001-2011 we had intake in three M.Sc. Programmes with tuition in English.

Different programmes aim to teach different skills and the qualities of successful student are also different. All programmes require:

  • Good skill in the English language. The tuition is in English. If a student is not proficient in English, completing the degree will be very difficult. English language can be studied at the University of Tampere, but there is no time for that during the nominal two-year duration of the M.Sc. programmes. The formal requirements including TOEFL (and other similar) test scores are listed in the application material (link above).
  • Bachelor's degree in a relevant field. The requirements for suitable Bachelor's degrees for each of the M.Sc. programmes are given in the Curricula Guide. There is no list of suitable degrees. Instead, the M.Sc. programmes list requirements for preceding studies. These are often stated in terms of the courses given at the University of Tampere. Similar studies completed elsewhere are just as good for making a Bachelor's degree "suitable".
  • Financial resources for effective study. There are no tuition fees at the University of Tampere. However, living in Finland costs money as well as books and other resources that may be needed. See the application instructions for details on the financial requirements.

Previously applicants have needed clarifications on these issues:

  • Does degree X qualify me for applying?
    It depends on what the degree consists of. The minimum is three years of post-secondary education in a field relevant to the M.Sc. programme. When evaluating the applications we compare the contents of the degree to the requirements of the M.Sc. programme. If we are convinced that an applicant has the skills and knowledge needed for the M.Sc. programme, then the degree is OK. However, student selection is competitive. In borderline cases it is impossible to say in advance whether a given degree is good enough for admission.

  • Does a degree from a polytechnic or some other non-university school qualify me for applying?
    See the answer to the preceding question.

  • How high do my grades need to be?
    Comparing across different universities in different countries is difficult. Higher grades are better, but we look at the grades after selecting based on the other criteria. Therefore, if the application indicates a good match of pevious studies to to the M.Sc. programme, excellent skill in English, and includes all the necessary documents, the grades may not need to be exceptionally high in order to make the application acceptable.

    Note that there is no flexibility at all on the language test result. Skill in the English language must be demonstrated with a standardized test and be high enough. We do not want to put you in the situation that you are in Finland, but cannot complete the degree because of inadequate language skills.

  • Can I apply for a M.Sc. programme with Computer Science as the major subject if I have studied Computer Science extensively, but it was not the major subject of my Bachelor's degree?
    The decision will be based on the requirements of the M.Sc. programme. If it is obvious that an applicant has knowledge equivalent to what we would expect after a three year B.Sc. in Computer Science (and that courses equivalent to the pre-requisites of the M.Sc. program have been completed) we do not care what the major subject was.

  • Can I apply if I get my Bachelor's degree after the application deadline (but before the fall term starts)?
    The original certificates for previous education will be checked before you start studies at the University of Tampere. They are not necessarily needed for the application. However, the application must contain enough information for us to make a reasonable decision. All information that will be in the final documents should be in the application in some form. Admission in these cases is conditional. The final decision will be made after seeing the degree certificate.

  • Can I apply before the application forms and instructions are available?
    No. The application documents for the following spring should be available in January. Applying before that is not possible.

  • Why can I not find detailed information on tuition fees?
    Education in Finland is free. Students do not pay the universities.

Tips for choosing a M.Sc. programme

The information in this section is intended to help in comparing the M.Sc. programmes. The primary descriptions can be found through the M.Sc. programme links above. The purpose here is to clarify the differences between the programs.

Human-Technology Interaction

HTI programme is offered in collaboration between the University of Tampere(UTA) and the Tampere University of Technology (TUT). The studies in this programme take place at both universities.  Students can specialize in one of three specialization options: 1) Interaction Design and Research, 2) Development of Interactive Software, and 3) User Experience Design and Evaluation. Although the programme is available in essentially the same format at both universities it is recommended that those applicants mainly interested in options 1) and 2) apply to UTA and those mainly interested in option 3) and Evaluation apply to TUT.  That way the majority of their course units will be organized by their home university.

The degree awarded in the HTI Programme in UTA is the Master of Science degree in Interactive Technology.

 

1) Specialization in Interaction Design and Research

Software development skills are not required in this specialization in IDR. However, they do not hurt either. A large portion of interactive technology is implemented with software. So, at the very least you are likely to be working with software developers a lot. Knowing what they do is necessary.

In the specialization in IDR  you have to be especially careful in planning your studies. In the job market there are openings under labels such as usability specialist, designer, researcher, and product developer. Through careful selection of courses and minor subjects a student in the HTI programme can make sure that his or her degree fits to one of these profiles.

2) Specialization in Development of Interactive Software

What is said below about the Software Development program applies largely to the specialization in DIS as well. The basic skill set is the same, but the M.Sc. -level courses apply the skills in a different area. The specialization in DIS concentrates on making the kind of software that interfaces with human users. Graphical user interface frameworks are just the most common examples of such software. Speech user interfaces and some other technologies require similar systems to improve the efficiency of software development.

In short the difference to the SD program is in the HCI emphasis, and the difference to the specialization in IDR is that in the specialization in DIS the students also learn to implement their ideas in software.

3) User Experience Design and Evaluation.

Software Development

In practical terms software development means programming. If you do not like programming and programming languages, this is the wrong M.Sc. programme for you.

Many courses on the M.Sc. level are not on programming or programming languages, but rather on the management of software development projects and design of software systems. However, programming skills are necessary to understand the reasons for these higher-level processes.

Ph.D. programme

The procedure for applying  to the Ph.D. programmes is changing in 2012. Follow the SIS Doctoral studies page for updated info. The old procedure is described below.

The first step is to contact a professor in the field that you are interested in and negotiate a research plan. The professor will also help you through the formal application procedure. The official infomation regarding postgraduate studies is available from the School of Information Sciences. They have information for prospective Ph.D. students online including a guide for postgraduate studies and a practical guide.

Although you do not have to pay the university for participating in the Ph.D. programme, living in Finland costs money. Because of this it is practical to apply for a funded position in one of the graduate schools funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and the Academy of Finland. These schools are administrative entities that handle the student selection, channel the student researchers' salaries, and arrange some graduate school specific courses and events. Most of the actual Ph.D. work happens in one of the participating institutes (such as the School of Information Sciences).

The graduate schools have a limited number of four-year research grants for Ph.D. students. Computer Sciences in the Shcool of Information Sciences is involved in two Graduate Schools. Tampere Graduate School in Information Science and Engineering (TISE) is probably the best choice for Computer Science oriented applicants because of its large size. However, the Graduate School on Software Systems and Engineering (SoSE) has also granted positions for Ph.D. students in our school. The Graduate School in User-Centered Information Technology (UCIT) is more suitable for HCI-oriented work.

The application deadlines for the Graduate Schools vary from year to year depending on the number of students graduating early and on the funding decisions of the Academy. Monitoring the web pages of the Graduate Schools is the best way to get information on approaching application deadlines.

 
Maintained by: webmaster@uta.fi
Last update: 24.5.2012 23.16 Muokkaa

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