Study options

Human-Computer Interaction - Computer, Communication and Information Sciences, Master of Science (Technology)

Designing new, better ways for people to interact with computing systems and information technologies is what the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is all about. In the HCI major, you learn to innovate user-friendly computing products while making the most out of AI, extended reality, and other modern technologies that shape our future. The major has an unique computational and engineering focus, and it is built around Aalto University’s outstanding HCI research that has been ranked in the top three in Europe.
Aalto university / students at computer / photo by Unto Rautio


Master of Science (Technology)

Application period:

30 Nov 2023 – 2 Jan 2024

Language of instruction:



2 years, full-time


Relevant Bachelor's degree

Field of study:

Technology and Engineering


120 ECTS

Organising school:

School of Science

Tuition fees:

For non-EU/EEA citizens, €15000/y (Master’s studies) Read more

Applying to master’s programmes


How will artificial intelligence change the way we use computers? What will come after the mouse and keyboard as input devices? What makes a computing system trustworthy or interesting to people? How to design interactions that thrill and motivate users? These are some of the topical questions the interdisciplinary field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) looks to answer. HCI has a crucial role in developing next-generation computing products and services that people want to use – and in helping society make the most out of world-changing technologies, such as AI, virtual and augmented reality, robotics, and IoT. 

In the Human-Computer Interaction major, you acquire the necessary skills to innovate new ways to interact with computing systems and information technologies for the benefit of people. The major has an internationally unique engineering and computational (CS/EE) focus with a strong contribution from psychology and design. Students learn how, e.g., computational methods are applied in a human-oriented way. Aalto University’s HCI research – of which this major is based on – has gained international recognition: between 2018–2023, Aalto has ranked #3 in HCI research in Europe. 

HCI graduates have: 

  • Radical creativity and a modern approach to HCI. Graduates learn a wide repertoire of powerful computational and engineering methods – including state-of-the-art methods in AI – and how to apply them to practical problems in HCI. 
  • A strong interdisciplinary approach to human-centric technology. Graduates gain interdisciplinary experience in psychology, social science, business, or design. The HCI study option emphasises the systematic understanding of humans as the basis of our decisions. 
  • A globally recognised skillset. Graduates understand modern design problems from a computational perspective, including challenges in concept creation, interface technologies, algorithms, data, and modelling. They are ready to work in teams with a focus on AI, VR, machine learning, robotics, electrical engineering, computer science, usable security and privacy, data science etc. 
  • Meta-cognitive skills for life-long learning. Graduates understand scientific literacy, have a mindset for critical thinking and possess strong research, teamwork, and leadership skills.  

Language of instruction

In the HCI major, the language of instruction is English. 

Tuition fees and scholarships

Aalto University’s tuition fee for master’s programmes taught in English is 15 000 euros per academic year. Tuition fees apply to citizens of countries other than those of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland. 

Aalto University has a scholarship programme to support non-EU/EEA citizens who study in a fee-charging degree programme. The scholarship may cover 100% or 50% of the tuition fee. 

More information about tuition fees and scholarships at Aalto University is available here

Structure of studies

The Human-Computer Interaction major is part of the two-year Master’s Programme in Computer, Communication, and Information Sciences. The programme comprises a total of 120 ECTS credits: 

  • Major studies (40 or 60 ECTS) 
  • Minor studies (20-25 ECTS) 
  • Elective studies (25-30 ECTS) 
  • Master’s thesis (30 ECTS) 

Students can select their minor either from the other study options in the Master's Programme in Computer, Communications and Information Sciences or from other programmes offered by Aalto University. All major and minor studies are intended to be completed during the first year – students learn the core methodologies and techniques in the design and analysis of interaction.  

The second year is dedicated to the Master’s thesis and elective studies that give students the opportunity to specialise in a chosen technical topic. The elective studies consist of additional major courses, additional minor, multidisciplinary courses, or studies abroad. You can choose practically any combination of elective courses – from Aalto as well as other universities in Finland and abroad – that supports your studies and suits your interests. HCI students have the opportunity to, for example, participate in the Interaction Design course organised by Aalto’s School of ARTS. 

The teaching methods in this programme vary from lectures and group works to programming and a capstone course, a big project in which companies in the industry participate. 

More information about the programme content and curriculum can be found in the Student guide. There may be some changes to the courses for the academic years 2024–2026 — the new curricula will be published in April 2024, when they will also be visible in the Student guide

Master's Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences


The HCI major has a wide course selection, giving students the opportunity to freely choose their study path that best suits their interests and aspirations. However, if a student wants to specialise in certain topics, they can choose to complete a set of recommended courses. Such topics include, for instance: 

  • Interactive AI 
  • Virtual and augmented reality 
  • Visual and interactive computing 
  • Interactive systems engineering 
  • User-centred design 
  • Technology and society 


Aalto University is known for its international study and research environment. Every year, Aalto welcomes thousands of degree and exchange students from abroad. Programme administrators, active student tutors, and student support services work rigorously to help international students integrate into Nordic culture and welcome them at home in Finland. Additionally, many of our professors and researchers have international backgrounds and experience, bringing their global networks close to students.  

The HCI programme is recognised globally and it provides students a solid foundation for an international career. The two organising Aalto schools – Science (SCI) and Electrical Engineering (ELEC) – offer diverse possibilities for exchange studies all over the world. Other possibilities for improving one’s global competence include, for instance, conducting practical training, summer courses, or the Master’s thesis abroad as well as becoming a tutor for first-year students and learning foreign languages. 

Further study opportunities

The Human-Computer Interaction major puts emphasis on basic theories and methodologies, offering a great foundation for doctoral studies. Many of our students have pursued academic careers at top universities, such as ETH Zürich, University of Copenhagen, and University of Lausanne. 

Career opportunities

HCI professionals are well-employed and work in different fields related to, e.g., interactive AI and systems, user experience, interaction design, and user interface design. Our students have the possibility to network with both Finnish and international companies especially in the capstone course, opening them career opportunities. Additionally, about half of the students write their Master's thesis for a company. 

Thanks to their strong engineering and design skills as well as other technical and professional know-how, our graduates can pursue internationally competitive careers where they take key roles in design, research, or management. As mentioned before, many of our graduates decide to pursue academic careers and work as researchers at various top universities. And since the programme provides essential knowledge of how to make products and services successful, it is also well suited for students who want to become entrepreneurs or work at startup companies. 

Typical job titles among the graduates include: 

  • User Interface Engineer 
  • Behaviour Analyst 
  • Interaction Designer 
  • User Experience Designer 
  • User Researcher 
  • Information Visualisation Specialist 
Unto Rautio

School of Science graduates in working life

School of Science Master's graduates are highly successful in finding jobs corresponding to their education. On this page you can find information on job titles, job sectors and career development of our graduates.

School of Science
Sami Nieminen

'In our field, it would require quite a bit of effort to graduate unemployed'

Sami Nieminen graduated as a Master of Science in Technology in the summer of 2022, majoring in human-computer interaction.


Research focus

The topics covered in this major are linked to ongoing research focus areas in the departments of Computer Science and Information and Communications Engineering at Aalto University. 

Co-operation with other parties

At Aalto University, bridging different disciplines is made easy – students may choose their elective study modules so that their degree is a combination of science, technology, business, and arts. They can supplement their studies with courses from other Aalto schools and programmes as well as courses offered by other universities, including international. For example, HCI students can participate in the Interaction Design course organised by Aalto’s School of ARTS. This multidisciplinary environment sparks new ideas, friendships, networks, and every so often, startups. 

As mentioned before, the HCI major also cooperates with the industry especially in the capstone course, and many students write their Master’s thesis for a company. Additionally, the research groups involved in the HCI programme collaborate closely with international companies and research groups in the field. The groups are also part of FCAI, the Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence

Webinar | Human-Computer Interaction

Learn more about Master's programme in Human-Computer Interaction. Watch the Webinar recording where programme representatives and students tell more about the studies, career possibilities and answer some other questions you might have.

Watch webinar recording
Students looking at computer screens in class

Programme-specific admission requirements

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) applicants meeting the general eligibility criteria for master's studies are evaluated according to the below Evaluation criteria. The evaluation process is described under Applicant evaluation process. In addition to the obligatory application documents, this study option asks the applicants to submit also the documents listed under Requested documents.

Get to know us

Chenyu ystävineen kampuksella.

My Journey through Human-Computer Interaction (external link)

2nd year student Chenyu reflects on her experience studying Human-Computer Interaction.

Vertailu ihmisen ja tekoälymallin näppäilystä

AI learns to type on a phone like humans

Computational model precisely replicates eye and finger movements of touchscreen users -- could lead to better auto-correct and keyboard usability for unique needs

Three happy students in overalls in the Aalto University metro entrance

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Contact information

Learning Services at Aalto University School of Science

For enquiries regarding the programme-specific application documents or studies in the programme, please contact Learning Services of Aalto University School of Science

[email protected]

Admission Services

For enquiries regarding the application process, obligatory application documents or English language proficiency, please contact Admission Services

[email protected]

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