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Master's Programme in Automation and Electrical Engineering
The Master's Programme in Automation and Electrical Engineering is a broad multi-disciplinary programme providing graduates with the ability to work in and between a wide variety of fields - ranging from traditional Electrical Engineering and Energy sectors to Biomedical Engineering, Control Engineering and Robotics. Drawing from extensive research in mathematical and natural sciences, the curriculum is flexible and allows each student to study a unique combination of courses to suit his/her own interests.
The key themes in the programme are
- renewable energies and sustainability, e.g. energy efficiency and intelligent transportation systems
- distributed and networked systems, e.g. smart grid, smart living environment, safety and security in distributed/networked systems
- sensing and perceiving the environment, e.g. microsensors, machine perception
- transition from automation to autonomy
- personal healthcare
The programme provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to apply scientific methods and theories in a broad variety of engineering and research careers as well as in doctoral studies.
Students can choose from three different majors within the programme
Depending on the choice, students can then focus on, for example, Electrical Grids, Electric Motor Drives, Lighting Technology, Control Engineering, Robotics, Automation Systems, Embedded Systems, Imaging and Machine Perception, Microsystems, Biomedical Engineering or Personalised Health Care.
To prepare graduates for future careers the programme offers a variety of practical projects and workshops. They are designed to develop strong team-work and analytical skills to enable graduates to solve complex and ill-defined problems often arising from large and complex systems. The fundamental theoretical, practical and experimental aspects are also included to prepare graduates for possible further studies, especially for a PhD.
Structure of the studies
The Master's degree (120 ECTS) is composed of studies in the major (65 ECTS), elective studies (25 ECTS), and the Master's thesis (30 ECTS).
See more information on the programme curriculum 2018-2019 on the student portal Into.
More about the language of instruction
The language of instruction is primarily English, and the programme can be completed entirely in English. More information is available in the General information about studies page (aalto.fi).
Graduates of the programme are equipped with knowledge and skills to work in a broad variety of engineering careers in both the public and private sectors. The programme also offers an excellent scientific basis for careers in research and academic professions, as well as other multi-disciplinary fields.
Graduates of the programme will graduate with a Master of Science (Technology) degree (diplomi-insinööri in Finnish).
Master’s degree students write a Master’s Thesis as part of their studies. It is an independent project worth 30 credits, following from the major subject and testing the students’ maturity in this subject. Competence in the subject and its methods need to be demonstrated, as well as the ability to work independently and methodically with a minimum supervision. The master’s thesis should be a self-sufficient work that can be understood without reference to external sources.
The thesis topics may be sourced from the needs of either scientific or industrial sectors – for example, from a relevant planning, development or research projects. The university may also offer topics from its own research projects. The work for the thesis includes literature studies, planning of processes, machines, devices or software, or their parts, development of methods, or measuring and analyzing of results. Theses written for private companies normally include a description of the project, aims and limitations arising from the external or internal factors, forecast and choice of the possible resolutions of the project, and description of practical procedures and evaluations. The thesis can also be a more traditional research project or technological assessment where the aim is to illuminate some current state-of-the-art situation or development.
The programme qualifies for doctoral studies (Doctor of Science in an applicable field).
Research related to programme is conducted in several departments of the School of Electrical Engineering. The research in the Electrical Engineering and Automation department is focused on four areas: Power Systems and Conversion; Industrial Electronics and Informatics; Control, Robotics and Autonomous Systems; and Well-being and Smart Living Environment. Research in smart grids is focused on integration of renewable generation in power systems, managing distribution network state, self-healing networks and operation of flexibility resources like storages and demand response for power system balance management. The department is also closely involved in the Aalto Energy Efficiency Research programme.
Choosing a main subject or field of specialisation
Students select their major in the first semester of the programme. The programme has 5 courses (20 credits in total) common for all majors. In addition, each major has 4 obligatory courses (20 credits in total) and a number of optional courses and suggested study paths (25 credits has to be fulfilled) which can be selected from a given list. The students will receive guidance in the selection of courses from their academic mentor. For each major, a possibility to upgrade previous degree knowledge by selecting an optional set of bachelor level courses is offered.
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 Electrical Engineering and Automation enjoys well-established links and co-operation agreements with a wide range of companies, research institutes and universities in the EU, Japan, Finland and the USA. Many of our graduates are employed with our partners either through master’s thesis work or through research projects.
Programme-specific admission requirements
Required prior knowledge
The following background knowledge is required. This knowledge is typically obtained by studying a Bachelor degree at a research university with Electrical Engineering, Automation, Control Engineering or Materials Science as a major subject.
The required background subjects are:
- mathematics (linear algebra, calculus, probability theory and statistics)
- programming skills
- physics and/or chemistry
- project and team work
- technical writing
For applicants whose previous degree is in a subject other than Electrical Engineering, Automation, Control Engineering or Materials Science, it is critical to demonstrate the knowledge in the above areas and the specific major requirements (as described below) in the application.
Students chosen to the programme may be required to complement their earlier degree studies with complementary studies. The admission letter will provide information on any such requirements. The complementary studies cannot be included in the Master's degree but will be required for graduation.
In addition to the general background requirements, each major has specific requirements. The major is selected at the beginning of the studies, and at that point the background requirements listed below are considered. The applicants are asked to indicate in the motivation letter which major they wish to follow.
The majors offered have the following specific requirements:
The application process is competitive. First, the applicant’s suitability for the programme is evaluated. The applicants are then ranked, and the best applicants are granted admission to the programme.
The evaluation of the applicants is based on the following criteria
Content of the previous degree
The applicant should have a Bachelor’s degree (minimum 180 ECTS credits or equivalent) in Electrical Engineering, Automation, Control Engineering or Materials Science. Excellent candidates with degrees in other fields such as Computer Science, Engineering, Natural Sciences or Mathematics will be considered.
Applicants who already have a Master’s degree of comparable quality and content in Electrical Engineering, Automation, Control Engineering, Materials Science or a related field, or who intend to complete one, will not be accepted to the programme except for special reasons, which the applicant must explain in the application. The Master’s programme should provide genuinely new knowledge and further the career of the applicant.
Recognition and quality of the home university
The applicant’s previous degree will be evaluated based on the international reputation and academic quality of the university and the programme.
The degree programme is looking for applicants with excellent success in their previous studies. This will be evaluated on the basis of the Grade Point Average (GPA) and results in key courses. The grades will be evaluated in relation to how demanding the studies have been. The time spent on the previous studies will also be taken into account.
All the applicant’s previous university studies, including incomplete degrees and non-degree studies, will be taken into consideration when evaluating study success. Applicants who have previously studied at Aalto University, e.g. as exchange students, are also evaluated according to the grades, the number of credits obtained, as well as on the time spent on these studies.
Motivation and commitment
The applicant should be motivated to study the chosen subject and committed to full-time studies with a plan to complete the Master’s degree in two years.
Other relevant achievements
The applicant’s other relevant achievements may be considered if documented in the application. These may include, for example:
- experience in demanding work where the Master’s degree would be necessary
- participation in scientific research leading to publications
- special achievements in one's previous career or as an entrepreneur, prizes in competitions, or published writings
At least one recommendation letter should be attached to the application. It should preferably be from a university professor, lecturer or a thesis instructor who has supervised the applicant’s studies at the university. The recommendation should comment on the applicant’s suitability to the specific Master’s programme and major.
The applicant must meet the mandatory language requirements. In addition to this, it is critically important to be able to use English as a working language. The studies are conducted fully in English.
Required application documents
In addition to the mandatory application documents, applicants to the AEE programme are requested to provide the following additional documents:
- at least one original recommendation letter (preferably academic)
- work certificates and certificates of other relevant achievements
- copies of any publications
- the official transcript of records for other university studies which are not included in the mandatory part of the application
The application should fully explain the educational history of the applicant. If the applicant has started or completed other studies in addition to the Bachelor's degree mentioned above, he or she should also provide the respective official transcripts and other possible (degree) certificates. If the applicant has work experience or other activities or achievements to support their application, certificates or other proof should be included in the application. If the applicant has publications, copies or permanent web links to the publications should be provided. The CV and the motivation letter should be used to provide a summary of one's personal history, achievements, objectives and other points that one considers important for the application.
For enquiries regarding the content of programme and studies at the School of Electrical Engineering please contact [email protected].