Study options

Master's Programme in Life Science Technologies

The Master's Programme in Life Science Technologies educates a new generation of engineers, researchers, entrepreneurs and academicians who are all committed to get people to live healthier lives. Life science technology can, for example, shape and equalize healthcare systems and lower the production costs of medicine.
Aalto University / students at Aalto University / photo by Aino Huovio
Get a Master’s Degree in Life Science Technologies at Aalto University – the leading international and multidisciplinary university in the Nordics and Europe.

Degree:

Master of Science (Technology)

Application period:

1.12.2020 – 4.1.2021

Language of instruction:

English

Duration:

2 years, full-time

Eligibility:

Relevant Bachelor's degree

Field of study:

Technology and Engineering

Credits:

120 ECTS

Organising school:

School of Science

Tuition fees:

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

The application period will open 1.12.2020 09:00 (UTC+2)

Scholarships and Tuition Fees

About the studies

Description

Technological advancements have a major impact on biomedicine and healthcare. There is an increasing need for experts who develop technology that can help shape and equalise healthcare systems, lower the production costs of medicine and, simply put, get people to live healthier livegs. To meet the demands of future medicine, the Master's Programme in Life Science Technologies educates a new generation of engineers, researchers, entrepreneurs and academicians who are all committed to creating a lasting impact on people’s lives.

Upon graduating from the Master’s Programme in Life Science Technologies, graduates will have:

A fundamental and applied knowledge of biological systems and phenomena in life sciences. Graduates possess a great amount of knowledge on current and emerging technologies for life sciences.

An understanding of how technology can be used to improve medicine and healthcare. Graduates will obtain skills to build tools that enable better diagnostics, therapies and care.

Strong technical toolset and foundation to build on. Graduates have a comprehensive foundation for further specialisation, such as PhD research leading to careers in biomedical research.

Language of instruction

In the Master’s Programme in Life Science Technologies the language of instruction is English.

Content of the studies

The 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 the studies. The Master's Programme in Life Science Technologies offers six majors:

Bioinformatics and Digital Health covers a wide range of topics in bioinformatics and computational systems biology. To better understand the methodological basis commonly used in the field, the major provides 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.

The major in Bioinformatics and Digital Health also offers a competitive doctoral track where a limited number of top students can be admitted. Students selected for 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. Applicants are asked to indicate their interest for the doctoral track in their motivation letter. The best doctoral track applicants will be interviewed.

Biomedical Engineering builds on a solid basis of physics and technology to characterise, monitor, image and influence biological systems. This major introduces the student to physics of biological systems and to key concepts of related imaging and signal analysis. In addition, the major provides knowledge and skills for developing novel engineering solutions for diagnostic and treatment needs in healthcare. The Biomedical Engineering major offers excellent foundations for pursuing a career in the medical technology industry or in academia.

After completing the major, the student will be able to:

  • characterise 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 or her knowledge and skills on specific topics within biomedical engineering
  • apply existing scientific knowledge in the field to research and development in the industry
  • start translating new research results into product development in biomedical technology.

Biosensing and Bioelectronics major educates engineering experts who have versatile comprehension of detection, processing and analyses of biosignals from various sources. To accomplish this, the student is introduced to nanoscale phenomena, microfabrication techniques, biomaterials science, biochemical recognition of biomolecules, physical transducers, sensor technologies and to various clinical equipment. The basic knowledge needed in the development of innovations in the field of biosensors and bioelectronics is provided. Students are also strongly encouraged to consider practical aspects and possible applications of their knowhow throughout their studies.

Students of the Biosensing and Bioelectronics major are introduced to:

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

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 characterisation of small pharmaceutically active molecules, and
  • the synthesis and characterisation of biomaterials.

Specialisation 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 Engineering. Employment sectors for graduates are within the broad context of engineering combined with chemistry and biotechnology within the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries.

Complex Systems is a transdisciplinary research area that builds upon 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 focus on system-level understanding and giving 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 emphasise computational data analysis, theory or application areas as per their own wishes and interests.

The major in Complex Systems also offers a competitive doctoral track where a limited number of top students can be admitted. Students selected for 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. Applicants are asked to indicate their interest for the doctoral track in their motivation letter. The best doctoral track applicants will be interviewed.

Human Neuroscience and Technology draws from the world-class research conducted at the Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering. The biggest 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 interactions.

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 recognised 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.

Topics

The topics vary depending on the major the student chooses. In addition to major, students complete elective studies from any discipline that suits their preferences. Examples of topics covered in the programme include:

  • Improved and predictive diagnostic tools and therapeutic methods
  • Technologies for personalised and preventive medicine
  • Novel engineering solutions for healthcare, homecare and data-driven clinical decision making
  • Technologies for characterisation, monitoring, imaging and influencing biological systems, including the human brain
  • Tissue and organ engineering
  • Solutions for increasing sustainability and bioeconomy

Methods

The Master's Programme in Life Science Technologies embraces learning by doing. There are very few pure lecture courses as instead, group works and practical exercises form a significant part of the teaching methods. Gaining practical expertise of the latest technologies is essential for preparing to work at the forefront of scientific research and health technology.

Students receive a firm methodological foundation that will not become obsolete despite development of new technologies. They will have in-depth knowledge and expertise in the major of their choice, accompanied with a wide view of the topics covered by the whole programme in the joint studies. All majors combine lectures, seminars, visits, multidisciplinary projects, peer working and individual projects, and vary from contact teaching and face-to-face meetings to e-learning.

Structure

Overall, the Master’s Programme in Life Science Technologies comprises a total of 120 ECTS credits. The two-year programme consists of:

  • Major studies (60-65 ECTS)
  • Elective studies (25-30 ECTS)
  • Master’s thesis (30 ECTS)

Personal Study Plan (PSP)

The Personal Study Plan (PSP) is a practical tool to define a student’s own study path, compiling an optimal selection of courses that are aligned with the student's interests and programme requirements. PSP is also a useful tool for students to keep track of their studies. At best, it shows where students are with their studies and sets concrete milestones for them to follow.

Internationalisation

The Master’s Programme in Life Science Technologies is international by definition. Education is acknowledged globally and – as science is a universal language – the graduates can take their skills to any country in the world. The schools involved offer 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 each 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. 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.

Multidisciplinary opportunities

The Master’s Programme in Life Science Technologies strongly fosters cross-departmental interaction. The primary focus of the programme is on teaching the universal language of science. Students learn to apply advanced methods, theories and models to various disciplines.

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 multidisciplinarity environment sparks new ideas, gathers enthusiasts around them and gives birth to friendships, networks, and every so often, startups.

Career opportunities

Health technology is one of the most significant high-growth technology sectors both globally and in Finland. It is also one of the fastest growing high-tech export sectors in Finland, with 300 companies currently employing over 12 000 people. Students in the Master's Programme in Life Science Technologies carry out their studies in the Greater Helsinki region, which is one of the most important hubs in health technology in Northern Europe. According to HealthTech Finland, Finnish health tech companies often combine advanced technology including artificial intelligence, robotics, internet of things, digital services, and information collected by national health authorities like genomic data. These products, services and solutions are also often based on new and innovative cooperation between the municipalities, hospital districts and private companies.

Typical career paths for graduates of the programme include:

  • Working in the R&D function of a global health tech company or a startup
  • Working in consultancy in the medical and health technology industry
  • Taking an academic path and becoming a researcher in the field

The high number of research groups in life sciences (several hundred) in the region provide good opportunities for internship and thesis work. The majors offered within the Life Science Technologies programme provide 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.

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.

Post graduate opportunities

The Master’s programme in Life Science Technologies at Aalto is considered as a great foundation for doctoral studies and post-doc positions.

Study-option-specific application instructions

Contact information

For enquiries regarding the application process, required compulsory application documents or English language proficiency, please contact Admission Services at [email protected].

For enquiries regarding the study-option-specific application documents, doctoral track or studies in the programme, please contact Learning Services of Aalto University School of Science at [email protected].

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The application period will open 1.12.2020 09:00 (UTC+2)

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