Master's Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences – Security and Cloud Computing
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About the studies
Studies in Security and Cloud Computing give students a broad understanding of the latest and future technologies for secure mobile and cloud computing systems. Students will gain both practical engineering knowledge and theoretical insights into
- secure systems engineering,
- distributed application development,
- network and service architectures, and
- mobile and cloud platforms.
The programme combines theoretical knowledge and security expertise with product development skills.
The graduates will have strong software development skills and other technical and professional skills that enable them to take key roles in an industrial research and development environment. Thus, they are well prepared for industrial R&D jobs, security engineering and consulting, various expert roles, and doctoral studies at Aalto University and abroad.
Typical job titles of recent graduates include Application Developer, Frontend Engineer, GIS Software Developer, Information Security Specialist, IT Specialist, Security Consultant, Software Developer, Software Engineer, Software Security Architect.
Some examples of the companies our recently graduated alumni work for are Acelvia, Creanord, DNA, Ericsson, F-Secure, Frosmo, Futurice, Houston Inc., IBM, KONE, Likeit Solutions, MediSapiens, Nixu Corporation, Second Nature Security, Solinor, Reaktor, RELEX Solutions, Smartly.io, Vainu.io.
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).
The tuition fee is €15 000 for non-EU/EEA students. Further information is available on Scholarships and Tuition Fees page (aalto.fi).
Helsinki-Aalto Center for Information Security (HAIC) will select several HAIC Scholars from the top applicants admitted to the Security and Cloud Computing major. A HAIC Scholar will receive generous financial aid including living cost support in the form of living cost scholarships or honours student position (part-time research-related employment during the semesters). All applicants to the Security and Cloud Computing major are automatically considered for HAIC scholarships.
Content of the studies
The major covers fundamental concepts, methods and the latest technologies on secure systems engineering, distributed application development, ubiquitous computing, network and service architectures, ubiquitous computing, and cloud and mobile computing platforms.
The studies are closely bound to the research conducted by the teachers, for example, on the Internet of Things, pervasive and ubiquitous computing, cloud platforms and services, mobile platform security, and network security. Special attention is paid to security and privacy issues as they are critical requirements in developing and deploying services in open networks and distributed systems.
The teaching methods combine theory with hands-on exercises and software development on mobile devices and cloud platforms.
As learning outcomes, the students of Security and Cloud Computing major will
- have the theoretical understanding of information security and practical skills necessary for designing and analyzing secure computing systems;
- understand the architectural principles of distributed services and applications.
They will also be able to design, analyse and implement distributed, mobile and cloud computing systems.
Structure of the studies
The Master's degree (120 ECTS) is composed of studies in the major (40-65 ECTS), possible minor (20-25 ECTS), elective studies (25-35 ECTS), and the Master's thesis (30 ECT). Elective studies may include a minor subject.
Students can select their minor either from the other majors in the Master's Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences or from the other Master’s programmes offered by Aalto University. The elective studies can consists of an additional major courses, additional minor, multidisciplinary courses, or studies abroad.
See the Security and Cloud Computing curriculum on the student portal Into.
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 a company or for one of the research projects of the department(s) in question.
The study environment in the 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 e.g. as an international minor. Students of the Security and Cloud Computing major have also the opportunity to take the second-year studies in ITMO University in St. Petersburg, Russia, and complete a double degree graduating from both Aalto University and ITMO.
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.
The topics of the major are linked to ongoing research focus areas in the Department of Computer Science at the Aalto University School of Science.
Programme-specific admission criteria
The admission criteria to the 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.
The required background for the Security and Cloud Computing major:
- mathematics (linear algebra, calculus, probability theory, statistics, and discrete mathematics)
- good programming skills
- algorithms and data structures
- theory of computing
- computer networks
- software engineering
- project and team work
Knowledge of the following areas is considered an advantage:
- additional knowledge of mathematical methods
- mobile applications
- web software and online services
- operating systems
- distributed computing
- embedded systems
- advanced computer networking
- information security and cryptography
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 mandatory application documents, applicants to the 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].
For enquiries regarding the content of programme and studies at the School of Science, please contact Learning Services of Aalto University School of Science, [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.