Master's Programme in Life Science Technologies


Master of Science (Technology).
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120 ECTS

Field of Study:

Technology and Engineering


2 years, full-time


An appropriate Bachelor´s degree or an equivalent qualification.

Tuition fees & scholarships:

Yes, for non-EU citizens.
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Language of Instruction:

More information.

Organising school/s:

School of Chemical Engineering
School of Electrical Engineering
School of Science

Application period:

2017-12-15 - 2018-01-24

Life Science Technologies

Where Life Sciences meet Technology

Technological innovations have become an essential part of modern healthcare, well-being and bioeconomy. Therefore, both in academic research and industry there is an increasing need for people who can deal with today's increasingly complex biomedical problems.

Master's Programme in Life Science Technologies offers a multidisciplinary curriculum focusing on important aspects of current biomedical research, covering fields such as biological data analysis and modeling, advanced biomaterials and bioelectronics, biomedical engineering and neuroscience. The programme draws on fundamental and applied knowledge on these fields and is closely linked to research conducted in the participating schools and departments.

The majors offered are Bioinformatics and Digital Health, Biomedical Engineering, Biosensing and Bioelectronics, Biosystems and Biomaterials Engineering, Complex Systems, and Human Neuroscience and Technology with a possibility to combine different fields with minor and elective studies.

The major of Bioinformatics and Digital Health and the major of Complex Systems offer also a competitive doctoral track where a limited number of top students can be admitted. Students selected to the doctoral track can have their studies tailored towards pursuing PhD studies and can start working towards a PhD in one of the department’s research groups already during their Master studies.

Study programme

Students selected to the programme may freely choose their major, provided they have the required background. The major will be selected as part of the personal study plan in the beginning of studies.

Bioinformatics and Digital Health

Studies in the Bioinformatics and Digital Health cover a wide range of topics in bioinformatics and computational systems biology. To better understand the methodological basis commonly used in the field, the major will provide students with a comprehensive background in probabilistic modeling, machine learning and data science.

The major is designed to give strong competences in

  • computational and data science,
  • skills for developing new computational methods and models, and
  • applying them to real-world biomolecular data.

Examples of research questions studied include predicting drug-target interactions, reconstructing biological networks, finding associations between genotypes and diseases, and modelling dynamical behavior of complex biological pathways.

See detailed course data >>

Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical Engineering builds on a solid basis of physics and technology to characterize, monitor, image and influence biological systems. This major introduces the student to the physics of biological systems in order to efficiently measure, image, and model such systems. In addition, it provides the student with basic knowledge and skills needed for developing novel engineering solutions for diagnosis and treatment in health care.

After completing the major, the student will be able to

  • characterize biophysical systems by conceptual and quantitative models
  • explain how the laws of physics enable and constrain the operation of biological systems
  • follow the progress of biomedical engineering
  • deepen his/her knowledge and skills of specific topics within biomedical engineering
  • apply existing scientific knowledge of the field to research and development in the industry
  • start translating new research results into product development in biomedical technology.

See detailed course data >>

Biosensing and Bioelectronics

The major in Biosensing and Bioelectronics combines both theoretical and practical studies in designing, developing, fabricating and characterizing biosensors, biomedical devices and medical instrumentations. Hands-on experience is gained in order to understand the biocompatibility of both organic and inorganic materials used in electronics, as well as interactions between low frequency electromagnetic fields and living tissue, and in special applications these interactions even with single cells and biomolecules.

The target is to educate engineering experts, who have versatile comprehension of biosensors and other electronic applications. To accomplish this, the student is introduced to

  • nanoscale phenomena,
  • microfabrication techniques,
  • biomaterials science,
  • biochemical recognition of biomolecules,
  • physical transducers,
  • sensor technologies, and
  • clinical equipment like medical imaging.

The tools needed in the development of innovations in the field of biosensors and bioelectronics are provided and the students are strongly encouraged to commercialize their own ideas.

See detailed course data >>

Biosystems and Biomaterials Engineering

The major Biosystems and Biomaterials Engineering provides a solid understanding of biological phenomena, biomaterials and small organic molecules important to the field of life science. At the core of the teaching are:

  • the understanding of molecular and cellular level phenomena,
  • reprogramming of cells,
  • molecular design and characterization of small pharmaceutically active molecules, and
  • the synthesis and characterization of biomaterials.

Specialization during the major allows acquiring in depth understanding in one of the selected fields or studying at the interface of the different fields.

The major in Biosystems and Biomaterials Engineering is strongly research driven and is tightly linked to research activities related to the fields of biotechnology, organic chemistry, chemical and biological microdevices, and polymer science at the School of Chemical Technology. Employment sectors for graduates are within the broad context of engineering combined with chemistry and biotechnology within the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries.

See detailed course data >>

Complex Systems

Complex Systems is a transdisciplinary research area that builds on statistical physics, computer science, data science, and applied mathematics. The major in Complex Systems provides the students with tools to understand systems with large numbers of interacting elements, from the human brain to social networks and from living to technological systems.

Studies in Complex Systems will focus on system-level understanding as well as on giving the students hands-on experience in data-intensive research. The set of tools in the curriculum includes

  • network science,
  • nonlinear dynamics,
  • agent-based modelling,
  • machine learning, and
  • Bayesian statistics, together with
  • the fundamentals of dealing with empirical data and computational data analysis.

This interdisciplinary major is suitable for students from different backgrounds (e.g. physics, bioinformatics, computer science), and students can choose to put emphasis on computational data analysis, theory, or application areas, according to their own wishes.

See detailed course data >>

Human Neuroscience and Technology

Studies in Human Neuroscience and Technology draw from the world-class research conducted at the Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering. The grand challenges in brain research are in better understanding the function of the human brain in health and disease, as studied in well-controlled and increasingly complex experimental settings, including during social interaction.

The aim of the major is to provide students with

  • a profound understanding of the structure and functions of human brain,
  • brain research methods and instrumentation, and
  • neurotechnologies.

The teaching faculty consists of recognized scientists in their research fields studying functions of sensory systems and cognitive functions, and developing brain research technologies. The curriculum reflects the research interests of the teaching faculty.

The curriculum of the Human Neuroscience and Technology major is a carefully tailored combination of

  • modern systems-level research methodology of the brain, mind, and human cognition,
  • signal and computational analysis, and
  • modelling methods.

The emphasis of the curriculum is experimental. Although regular lecture and course work is also required, part of the studies will take place in small groups under the guidance of a senior scientist.

See detailed course data >>

Master’s Programme in Life Science Technologies consists of major studies (60 – 65 ECTS), elective studies (25 - 30 ECTS), and a Master’s thesis (30 ECTS). The programme includes 15 ECTS of common studies for all students.

Career opportunities

Majors offered within the Life Science Technologies programme provide the graduates with cutting-edge scientific knowledge and skills enabling them to integrate into the international life science technologies job market or to pursue doctoral studies in specialist fields. 

Career opportunities include both career in research and career in R&D and consulting in medtech and biotech companies.

Aalto University Career Services provides information on employers, job and thesis opportunities and hints for job hunting for all Aalto students.

Tuition fees and scholarships

Non-EU/EEA students selected to the Life Science Technologies programme will be charged tuition fees. They are eligible to apply for scholarships awarded from the Aalto University Scholarship programme. See further information >>.

The Department of Computer Science invites exceptionally qualified Master's students following the major of Bioinformatics and Digital Health or the major of Complex Systems to join the departments’ Honours programme. Students admitted to the Honours programme are associated to one of the department's research groups, and will have the opportunity for part-time, research-related employment during the semesters.

All majors offer the best students summer job/thesis positions.

Admission requirements

Applicants to all Aalto University's Master's programmes in Science and Technology must first meet the general eligibility criteria and language requirements.

In addition, applicants to the majors of the Life Science Technologies programme must meet the major-specific requirements listed below regarding the contents of their previous degree. The academic assessment of the applications is based on the evaluation criteria (see below).

Applicants to the Life Science Technologies programme should have a high-quality Bachelor's degree, primarily in the field of Engineering, Technology or Science. A suitable degree should contain in total at least 60 ECTS credits of studies in the following subjects:

  • biosciences
  • chemistry
  • computer science
  • mathematics
  • physics
  • statistics

Students selected to the programme may freely choose their major, provided that they have the required background. Please use the self-evaluation form [.pdf], an additional application document requested from the LifeTech applicants, to test how well your background matches different majors and to indicate your preference order for majors. The suitability of each applicant for the available majors is assessed during the admission, and a recommendation is given at the time of admission to the programme. The major selection will be finalized as part of the personal study plan in the beginning of studies.

The majors offered have the following specific requirements:

Bioinformatics and Digital Health

Required knowledge:

  • mathematics (linear algebra, calculus, discrete mathematics)
  • basic probability theory and statistics
  • basic programming skills
  • algorithms

Additional knowledge in the following areas is considered an advantage:

  • bioinformatics and computational biology
  • machine learning
  • computational modelling and data science
  • health technology
  • molecular biology and biomedicine
  • physics and biophysics

Biomedical Engineering

Required knowledge:

  • mathematics
  • physics

Additional knowledge in some of the following areas is considered an advantage:

  • electronics
  • computational modelling and data analysis
  • neuroscience or medicine
  • biomaterials science
  • physical chemistry

Biosensing and Bioelectronics

Required knowledge:

  • mathematics
  • chemistry or material sciences
  • physics
  • basic programming skills

Additional knowledge in some of the following areas is considered an advantage:

  • electronics
  • computational modelling and data analysis
  • electrochemistry
  • signal processing
  • microsystem technologies

Biosystems and Biomaterials Engineering

Required knowledge:

  • mathematics
  • physics, chemistry or material sciences
  • molecular and cellular biology
  • basic programming skills

Additional knowledge in some of the following areas is considered an advantage:

  • gene technology
  • synthetic biology
  • organic chemistry
  • laboratory experience

Complex Systems

Required knowledge:

  • mathematics (linear algebra and matrix theory, calculus, discrete mathematics)
  • basic probability theory and statistics
  • basic programming skills, algorithms and data structures

Additional knowledge in the following areas is considered an advantage:

  • statistical physics
  • computational modelling and data analysis
  • information theory
  • machine learning
  • network theory
  • nonlinear dynamics

Human Neuroscience and Technology

Required knowledge:

  • mathematics
  • physics
  • basic programming skills

Additional knowledge in some of the following areas is considered an advantage:

  • psychology, particularly cognitive science
  • neuroscience, biology or medicine
  • computer science or signal processing
  • sociology

Evaluation criteria

The student selection process is competitive and only the best applicants are selected. The evaluation of applications is conducted in the following two phases.

Phase I

In phase I, the paper applications submitted by the applicants are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Content of the previous degree(s)
  • Study success: grades achieved and pace of studies
  • Self-evaluation by the applicant
  • Recognition and quality of the applicant's home institution
  • Motivation for studies in the programme
  • Language proficiency
  • Recommendations
  • Relevant work experience or other relevant activities (publications, patents, etc.)

The two most important criteria are the previous study success and the contents of the degree completed. The applicant's study success in previous studies will be evaluated based on the grade point average (GPA) and results in key courses. Very good study success is expected. Self-evaluation is used to check the applicant’s study background against the requirements of the majors.

Phase II

Based on the evaluation in phase I, the best applicants are allotted a time for an online interview. The final student selection decisions to the programme will be made on the basis of the interviews.

The programme does not have a minimum quota to be fulfilled, and not all eligible applicants will necessarily be admitted.

Studies in the Master's programme should provide genuinely new knowledge for the applicant. If the applicant already has a Master's degree, the motivation letter should clearly indicate why another Master's degree is necessary.

Required application documents

In addition to the compulsory application documents, applicants to this programme are requested to provide the following additional documents:

  • Degree certificate and/or an official transcript of records for studies that are referred to in the application, but are not included in the Bachelor's degree transcript.
  • Self-evaluation form [.pdf]
  • At least one academic recommendation letter.
  • Copies of relevant certificates of other activities such as patents, publications, work certificates (optional).
  • GRE test results if taken (please include a paper copy of the result).

Applicant’s motivation letter (compulsory part of the online application form) should be written in English. Also additional application documents described above (recommendations letter(s), work or other certificates, and publications) should preferably be submitted in English. If some other language than English, Finnish or Swedish is used in them, the applicant must provide precise, word-for-word translations of them.

Contact information

Location: Aalto University, Otaniemi Campus, Espoo


  • For enquiries regarding the application process, application documents and language requirements, please read instructions first. If you cannot find an answer to your question, contact Aalto University Admission Services at admissions [at] aalto [dot] fi.
  • For enquiries regarding the contents of studies, please contact masters-sci [at] aalto [dot] fi.

Page content by: | Last updated: 20.12.2017.