Master's Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences - Communications Engineering
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As a result of the digital revolution, which is radically transforming the world, there is a constant need for well-rounded communications engineers with great knowledge of the technology fundamentals, in-depth programming skills and solid understanding of the business dynamics.
Communications Engineering, which is one of the majors under the Master's Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences, gives a solid understanding of Internet technologies, wireless communications and communications ecosystems - from the perspective of concepts, technologies and methodologies. Furthermore, during your communications engineering studies you can increase your knowledge for example in mobile communications, industrial internet, cyber security, machine learning applications in communications engineering, and information theory.
The education includes both theoretical and practical aspects of Communications Engineering, preparing the students for a successful career in the industry, research organizations or in postgraduate studies without forgetting the professional language and communications skills learned during the education. Students are encouraged to include international, multidisciplinary, and entrepreneurial components as part of their studies.
With the telecom cluster holding a strong position, Finland is an especially good place for studying Communications Engineering. Almost all the major equipment manufacturers (Nokia, Ericsson, Huawei, Coriant, Airbus Defence and Space etc.) are present in Finland. We have a very strong ICT industry in general, as well. Besides the telecom sector, you can find successful career paths in other industrial sectors and governmental organizations.
Students can undertake internships in the industry already during their studies. The most successful students are offered the possibility to work in a research group along their studies - read more about the Honours programme in Communications and Networking.
Leader in industry collaboration
Aalto University is among the top-ranked universities in the world related to industry collaboration. As a graduate, you can leverage on our connections. Aalto Industrial Internet Campus offers you the possibility to network with students from other engineering disciplines and prestigious industrial partners.
Appreciated PhDs for universities and industry
Some of our graduates continue their education towards a doctoral degree either in Finland or abroad. Our PhD alumni are appreciated in top universities around the globe, as well as in the industry seeking senior R&D personnel.
Communications engineering students with excellent study progress are able to tailor their study plan towards a research career during their master studies by applying to the doctoral track. The selection is based on excellent study progress and shown potential in the form of a special assignment done in a department research group. Applying to the doctoral track takes place on an on-going basis. More information about the doctoral track can be found on the department web page.
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Aalto University supports entrepreneurship and startups in various ways. Our new business incubators, hubs, courses and communities have already helped over 500 startups grow their wings. If you wish to become an entrepreneur, Aalto is the place for you.
Graduates of the programme will graduate with a Master of Science (Technology) degree (diplomi-insinööri in Finnish).
The programme qualifies for doctoral studies (Doctor of Science in an applicable field).
Language of instruction
The language of instruction is primarily English, and the programme can be completed entirely in English. Some courses can be taken in Finnish or Swedish. More information is available in the General information about studies page (aalto.fi).
Content of the studies
The Communications Engineering major focuses on communications and networking technology, networking business, and human centric communications. Depending on your interest, you can focus the studies more towards Internet Technologies, Wireless Communications or Communications Ecosystem.
In the Internet Technologies track you will learn to design carrier grade networks, develop networking protocols and Internet services, and secure your network.
In the Wireless Communications track you will learn about modern wireless communication system architectures, signal processing methods, resource control methods and the related spectrum management issues.
In the Communications Ecosystems track you will learn about operator business, to conduct techno-economic analysis of communications systems and services, and to understand the end-user needs and behavior. You can also steer your studies towards user interface design.
Structure of the studies
The Master's degree (120 ECTS) is composed of studies in the major (60 ECTS), elective studies (30 ECTS), and the Master's thesis (30 ECTS).
Choosing a main subject or field of specialisation
Communications Engineering is one of the eight majors in the Master's Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences.
New students are admitted directly to this major, there is no additional process for choosing a major after the admission.
Students are required to complete a Master's thesis, which is a research assignment with a workload corresponding to 30 ECTS credits. The topic of the thesis is agreed upon by the student and the supervising professor. Master's theses are typically written for one of the research projects of the department(s) in question or related industry.
The study environment in the programme is strongly international, and studies are conducted in multicultural groups. The School of Electrical Engineering offers diverse possibilities for student exchange all over the world. Exchange studies can be easily included in the degree e.g. as an international minor. Other possibilities for developing one’s global competence are e.g. conducting practical training abroad, taking a summer course abroad or acting as a tutor for first-year students.
Co-operation with other parties
The Department of Communications and Networking operates closely with the national and international companies and research institutes of the field. In addition, the department has academic co-operation with high quality international universities and organisations.
Programme-specific admission requirements
Applicants to the programme must meet the general eligibility and language requirements that are common to all Master's programmes in the field of science and technology.
Admission criteria to the CCIS programme is a high quality Bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, communications engineering, or electrical engineering. Excellent candidates with degrees in other fields such as information systems, engineering, natural sciences, mathematics or physics will be considered if they have sufficient studies and proven skills and knowledge in the required areas.
For all tracks in the Communications Engineering major, a Bachelor's degree in communications engineering, computer science or electrical engineering is required. In addition, the applicant must have solid knowledge in some of the following areas:
- mathematics (linear algebra, calculus, probability theory, statistics, and discrete mathematics)
- software engineering and programming skills
- operating systems
- basics of computer networks
- basics of communications engineering
- communication protocols (Internet and mobile)
Knowledge of at least some of the following areas is considered an advantage for successful study performance in the chosen study track:
- computer architecture
- distributed systems and parallel programming
- practical experience in networking
- software engineering
- communications systems components and design
- fundamentals of communications and information theory
- fundamentals of electronics systems design
- complex systems
- social or behavioral sciences
- user-interface design
The student selection process is competitive and the best applicants are selected according to the following evaluation criteria:
- Content of the previous degree(s)
- Study success: grades achieved and pace of studies
- Recognition and quality of the applicant’s home university
- Motivation and commitment to studies in the programme
- Other relevant achievements (work experience, publications, Junction Hackathon competition or other programming competition wins, etc.)
- Language proficiency
During the evaluation of eligible applications, the applicants’ previous study success and contents of the previous degree(s) are checked first. Only the applications who pass this preliminary evaluation will be evaluated against the full set of criteria listed above.
The applicant’s study success will be evaluated based on the grade point average (GPA) and results in key courses. Very good previous study success is expected. The recognition of the applicant’s home university affects the final interpretation of the academic performance.
The minimum GPA for applicants from Finnish universities of applied science is 4.0. Applicants with GPA below the limit cannot be admitted unless they have other exceptional qualifications. Programme’s courses or equivalent courses completed in open university or as non-degree studies with excellent grades may support the application.
The contents of the applicant’s previous degree(s) are evaluated based on the courses available on the official transcript of records and the course descriptions submitted. The applicant is expected to have completed sufficiently studies in the major-specific subject areas (see above). 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.
In the final phase of the academic evaluation, the applicants who passed the preliminary evaluation, are ranked and the best applicants are selected. 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. In most cases, non-degree or e.g. open university studies are recommended instead of degree studies to complement the earlier degree or to improve one’s professional skills.
Required application documents
In addition to the compulsory application documents, applicants to the CCIS programme are requested to provide the following additional documents:
- at least one original recommendation letter (preferably academic)
- course descriptions of courses taken in relevant subject areas (see the subject lists above)
- work certificates and certificates of other relevant achievements
- copies of any publications
- official transcript of records for other university studies which are not included in the mandatory part of the application
- GRE or GMAT test results, if available
The application should explain the full educational history of the applicant.
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), course descriptions, 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.
For enquiries regarding the application process, application documents and language tests, please contact [email protected].
School of Electrical Engineering
For enquiries regarding the content of programme and studies at the School of Electrical Engineering please contact [email protected].
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Finland’s excellent reputation in education, combined with a wide range of courses offered in English, makes Finland an attractive study destination for international students. Boasting the largest technology hub of the Nordic countries, Finland is a world leader in information technology, business, design and many other academically centred fields.