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Information Networks, Master of Science (Technology)
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The great challenges of our time, from climate crisis to information manipulation, all have something in common: they are complex societal phenomena and solving them requires cross-disciplinary approaches. These so-called wicked problems call for holistic solutions that recognise larger connections between things. Tailored to the needs of the future digital economy and information society, the programme provides students with a comprehensive understanding of how individual technologies and business models can shape societies and values through organisations, networks, and whole industries.
Upon graduating from the Master’s Programme in Information Networks, graduates will have:
- Societal perspective to technologies. Graduates understand the broader impacts of digital technologies and how they can pave the way for sustainable, human and ethical visions of technology in society.
- Understanding of how technology and information systems reshape businesses. Graduates know how information technologies, such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing, enable new business models and organisations to develop.
- Ability for critical thinking. Graduates are skilled in evaluating and creating information, technology and business models from ethical, philosophical and societal perspectives.
- Socially conscious engineering mindset. Graduates are skilled with tools and knowledge on how to create societally sustainable and ethically sound technologies, organisations, and businesses.
- Strong personal and interpersonal skills. Graduates have strong group work skills and are able to work with a range of different personalities and professionals. The graduates also understand their own role, identity and goals in the context of technology, business, and societal impact.
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 on tuition fees and scholarships at Aalto University is available at the Scholarships and Tuition Fees webpage.
Structure of studies
Master’s Programme in Information Networks comprises a total of 120 ECTS credits. The two-year programme consists of:
- Long or compact major (40-65 ECTS)
- Master’s thesis (30 ECTS)
- Elective studies (25-35 ECTS)
- Possible minor (20-25 ECTS)
If the student chooses to take a compact major, a minor (20–25 ECTS) is mandatory.
The programme offers four majors. The major includes compulsory Information Networks courses and studies from the selected major. Thus, the specific content of the major depends on the student’s own interest. The students may build their competence profile in one of the following majors:
- Software Engineering and Architectures focuses on how software and data is designed and engineered as large architectures, especially in an enterprise environment.
- Business and Organisational Design focuses on how organisations and businesses are shaped to create the desired values, impacts, and societal outcomes.
- Digital Ethics, Society and Policy focuses on understanding the societal impact of technologies and digital businesses as a component of broader systems that include values, regulations, politics, environment and other non-technological factors.
- User, Data and Design focuses on how design processes and data are used to create digital products and services that are usable, valuable and functional.
The common courses for all majors are about technology and society, philosophy, aesthetics and digital ethics. Depending on the major the student chooses, the topics include organisational design, service design, user experience, social media, business design, and software design. To give concrete examples of the topics covered, here are some courses picked from the programme’s extensive curriculum:
- Societal Design Project (9 ECTS)
- Politics of Human-Computer Interaction (5 ECTS)
- Digital Ethics (3 ECTS)
- Creating Value with Analytics (5 ECTS)
- Technology and Society (5 ECTS)
- Information manipulation (5 ECTS)
More information on 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.
The study environment in the Information Networks programme is strongly international and studies are conducted in multicultural groups. The School of Science offers diverse possibilities for student exchange all over the world. Exchange studies can be included in the degree as, for example, an international minor. Other possibilities for developing one’s global competence include conducting practical training abroad or taking a summer course abroad.
Aalto University is international by nature, welcoming thousands of degree and exchange students from abroad every year. These students join the diverse Aalto community not only through their studies, but also through multiple free time events, celebrations and extracurricular activities around the campus. Active tutoring programs and support services work hard to help international students integrate to the Nordic culture and feel at home in Finland.
Further study opportunities
The programme qualifies for doctoral studies (Doctor of Science in an applicable field).
Societally conscious engineers, able to see the bigger picture, are increasingly sought after in the job market. Multidisciplinary problem identification, problem solving, continuous learning and innovation are qualities that open doors to an exceptionally wide range of careers. Graduates can best be defined as active co-creators, facilitators and integrators of human-centred innovation in the networked world.
A survey conducted in spring 2021 examined the career paths of Information Networks alumni. 97 % of the respondents said that they are employed. Examples of job titles for recent graduates include:
- Product Manager
- UX Designer
- Service Designer
- Software Developer
- Social Media Producer
The most common workplaces for recent graduates were Aalto University, Futurice, Capgemini, Reaktor, Mandatum Life, Elisa, Nokia, Columbia Road, Gofore, Suunto, Kaiku Helsinki, Bain & Company, Sievo, Solita, Telia Company, Terveystalo, Veikkaus and Nitor.
Aalto University has well-established career services to support students’ employment in Finland and abroad. Thanks to the flexible curriculum, many Aalto students work already during their studies and guarantee themselves entry positions before graduation. There is also a very active entrepreneurship community at Aalto, working as a springboard for founding a company.
Co-operation with other parties
The programme follows a transdisciplinary approach, bridging the gap between society, technology, business and human factors. Courses are tailored so that students develop a wide palette of skills and creativity to tackle problems of significant importance. Also, the programme brings together individuals from a variety of backgrounds.
The study methods embrace active peer learning and problem-based learning. Various group work assignments enhance students’ communication and teamwork skills and prepare them for real-life work environments where collaboration is crucial. Information Networks has close ties with the practical world – through various project courses, students receive briefs from companies, organisations and charities. Students learn to solve problems creatively and ethically, and discuss the end results in close collaboration with professors and stakeholders. Teaching methods don’t only mimic real-life scenarios but actually introduce students to projects with real problems and viable solutions.
The Master’s Programme in Information Networks gathers together a relatively small number of students, and there are a number of ways in which students can have a say in their learning. The professors are highly dedicated to their field and encourage close cooperation and open communication between faculty and students. The close community is one of the strengths of the programme – Information Networks’ guild Athene actively organises various events and company collaborations.
Aalto University is well-known for bridging disciplines of business, arts, technology and science. The lively campus and freedom of choosing elective courses across the University bring students from different fields under one roof. This spontaneous multidisciplinary environment sparks new ideas, gathers enthusiasts around them and gives birth to friendships, networks, and every so often, startups.
Programme-specific admission requirements
Information Networks 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.
The Master’s Programme in Information Networks is a trans-disciplinary study programme in engineering building on computer science and business management. It combines the fields of social sciences, advanced digital technologies, and business. The Master's students combine in their studies computer science, industrial management and business with a human-centred approach. Thus, our programme should not be considered as a master’s programme in telecommunication technologies. Our programme aims to learning outcomes that enable a holistic understanding about the interplay between information technology, business and humans.
The applications to Master’s Programme in Information Networks are evaluated based on the following criteria:
Relevance of previous studies
|What is evaluated?||Content and quantity of previous studies|
|What we look for in an applicant||
An acceptable applicant’s Bachelor’s degree will allow the applicant to complete the Master’s degree in two years. Thus, engineering degrees in computer science, media technology, industrial engineering and management, or in some combination of these subject areas are examples of suitable degrees. However, we encourage applicants from other backgrounds than engineering also to apply, if they have academic evidence on skills corresponding to the subject areas listed below.
The official study transcript of acceptable applicants fulfill the following criteria:
In addition, courses in digital media, human-computer interaction, user experience, service design, operations and service management, organizational behavior and leadership, communications, social sciences, and philosophy are merits for the applicant.
The contents of the applicant’s previous degree(s) are evaluated based on the courses available on the official transcript of study records. Relevant work experience, professional certificates and/or online courses are judged case-by-case, but they do not, in general, compensate for the university level studies that include also the theoretical foundations of the required subjects.
|Evaluted documents||Degree certificate(s), transcript(s) of study records, maximum 10 course descriptions of those courses in mathematics, programming or computer science and other subject areas that the applicants consider to be most relevant for their application.|
|What is evaluated?||Grades of the previous degree(s) and pace of studies|
|What we look for in an applicant||The acceptable applicants have achieved consistently very good grades at their home university. With the grading scale used in the Finnish universities from 1 to 5 (5=excellent), the weighted GPA should be about 4. When evaluating each applicant’s academic performance, we especially emphasize the grades achieved in the degree that gives the eligibility for applying.|
|Evaluated documents||Transcript(s) of records, degree certificate(s)|
|What is evaluated?||Applicant’s suitability to the programme, motivation, commitment to studies, and written communication skills.|
|What we look for in an applicant||
We are looking for applicants who 1) show a clear interest in people as individuals, groups, communities, or organisations and society as users of information and communication technology, 2) can clearly express the reasons for applying to the study option, 3) describe why they would be good candidates for thestudy option, and 4) are committed to study 30 ECTS per semester.
Studies in the Master’s programme should provide genuinely new knowledge for the applicant. If the applicant already has a Master’s degree in any field, the motivation letter should clearly indicate why another Master’s degree is necessary.
|Evaluated document||Motivation letter|
Recognition and quality of institution
|What is evaluated?||Recognition and quality of the applicant's previous institution|
|What we look for in an applicant||We expect acceptable applicants to have completed their previous degree in a high-quality higher education institution and programme. The recognition of the applicant’s home university affects also the final interpretation of the academic performance.|
|Method of demonstrating competence||International and national rankings of higher education institutions|
Other areas of competence
|What is evaluated?||Work experience and other acquired knowledge/achievements e.g. publications, non-formal education, competitions|
|What we look for in an applicant||
We are looking for applicants who show a clear interest in people as individuals, groups, or communities, or organisations and society as users of information and communication technology. Applicants will benefit of the following:
|Evaluated documents||CV and/or portfolio, proof of relevant employment, recommendation letter|
Applicants to Information Networks meeting the general eligibility criteria for master's studies are evaluated and ranked according to the process described below.
First, the applications are evaluated based on the following, critically important criteria:
- Relevance of previous studies
- Academic performance
Only those applications that include the required documents/fulfill the requirements of the above-mentioned critical criteria will be evaluated further and ranked.
Secondly, the following non-critical criteria are added to the final evaluation:
- Recognition and quality of institution
- Other areas of competence
The applicants are advised to include all the suggested documents to support their application (see Requested documents).
The best applicants will be selected based on the comprehensive evaluation of all the above-mentioned five criteria. The programme does not have a minimum quota to be filled, and not all eligible applicants will necessarily be admitted.
In addition to the obligatory application documents, applicants to the Information Networks programme are requested to provide the following programme-specific documents:
- Motivation letter (see Suitability criterion)
- The motivation letter should be written in English. The maximum length of the motivation letter is about 4000 characters. The motivation letter should indicate the applicant’s interest, suitability, and motivation specifically for the Information Networks programme.
- Course descriptions of those courses (max 10) the applicants consider most relevant for their application (incl. description of the courses that will be completed after the application period but by 31 July 2024 (relevant for unfinished degrees)). These courses should indicate how the applicant fulfills the Relevance of previous studies criterion.
- Official transcript of records for other university studies which are not included in the mandatory part of the application (e.g. incomplete degrees, exchange studies, non‐degree studies), if available
- CV and/or portfolio
- Proofs of relevant employment if available
- Recommendation letters
The lack of any of these documents will adversely affect the evaluation of your application.
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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
For enquiries regarding the application process, obligatory application documents or English language proficiency, please contact Admission Services