Master's Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences – Human-Computer Interaction – opiskelijoiden tarinoita
Human-Computer Interaction -pääaineen opiskelijoiden mietteitä ohjelmassa opiskelusta.
The Master’s Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences – Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) prepares students for professional and academic careers in human-computer interaction. The HCI study option is unique with its focus on methods from engineering and computer science with applications in interaction design, user interface technology, and user research. HCI graduates have:
A modern computational approach to HCI. Graduates learn a wide repertoire of powerful computational and engineering methods and how to apply them to practical problems in HCI.
A strong interdisciplinary approach to human-centric technology. Graduates have gained an interdisciplinary experience with a strong emphasis on computer science and engineering, including contributions from psychology, social science, business, and design. The HCI study option emphasises the systematic understanding of humans as the basis of our decisions.
A globally recognised skillset. Graduates understand modern design problems from a computational perspective, including challenges in concept creation, interface technologies, algorithms, data and modelling. They are ready to work in teams with a focus on AI, machine learning, robotics, electrical engineering, data science etc.
Meta-cognitive skills for life-long learning. Graduates understand scientific literacy, have a mindset for critical thinking and possess strong teamwork and leadership skills.
Upon graduation from the Human-Computer Interaction study option, graduates can pursue internationally competitive careers where they take the lead in design, research or management.
Human-Computer Interaction major offers also a competitive doctoral track where a limited number of top students can be admitted. Students selected to 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 in entering the doctoral track in the application form. The best doctoral track applicants will be interviewed. Read more
HCI professionals are well-employed and pursue careers related to user experience, usability, interaction design, human factors, user interface design, human-computer interaction and beyond. Our curriculum includes several contact possibilities with the industry in Finland and abroad, in particular in the capstone project. Half of our students write their Master's thesis for a company.
The programme is particularly well suited for students who will be engaged in start-up companies on interactive products and services as it includes essential knowledge to make products and services successful. The graduates will have strong engineering and design skills, as well as other technical and professional skills that enable them to take key roles in an industrial research and development environment. They are well prepared for industrial R&D jobs, user interface engineering and consulting, various expert roles related to interactive technology and user research, and doctoral studies at Aalto University and abroad. Typical job titles include User Interface Engineer, User Experience Designer, Behavioral Analyst, Interaction Designer, User Interface Developer, User Researcher, Information Visualisation Specialist. Our students have also pursued academic careers. The studies put emphasis on basic theories and methodologies, offering a solid basis for PhD studies in HCI in Helsinki or internationally.
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).
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 euros for non-EU/EEA students per academic year. Further information is available on Scholarships and Tuition Fees page (aalto.fi).
Students learn computational approaches to HCI via modeling, theories, and methods, as well as relevant design and empirical methods. As the curriculum progresses, they learn to apply their skills to increasingly more realistic problems.
The first year of studies consists of learning the core methodologies and techniques in the design and analysis of interaction. During the second year, students specialise in a chosen technical topic. The core courses provide a strong foundation in design, empirical methods, and HCI theories on topics such as input devices, interactive media, interaction techniques, interface technologies, interactive applications and multimodal interactive systems.
Here are some examples of the wide course selection:
Please note that there may be some changes to the curriculum for 2020-2022. The new curriculum will be published in April-May 2020.
The Master’s Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences – Human-Computer Interaction is organised by the Schools of Science and Electrical Engineering and comprises a total of 120 ECTS credits. The two-year programme consists of:
Students can select their minor either from the other study options in the Master's Programme in Computer, Communications and Information Sciences or from other Master’s programmes offered by Aalto University. The elective studies consist of additional major courses, additional minor, multidisciplinary courses, or studies abroad.
At the beginning of their studies, students define their Personal Study Plans (PSP) together with an academic advisor. The primary purpose of PSP is to ensure that the studies support the student’s interests and are completed in a logical order.
Personal Study Plan (PSP)
Personal Study Plan (PSP) is a practical tool to define a student’s own study path, i.e. compiling an optimal selection of courses, aligned with the student's interests and programme requirements. PSP is also a useful tool for keeping up with studies. At best, it shows the stage at which students are with their studies and sets concrete milestones for them to follow.
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 programme’s reputation is recognised globally and it provides students a solid foundation for an international career. The two organising schools offer diverse possibilities for exchange studies all over the world. Other possibilities for developing one’s global competence are, for instance, conducting a practical training period, summer courses abroad or acting as a tutor for first-year students.
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 studies, but also multiple free time events, activities and celebrations 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.
Aalto University is well-known for bridging disciplines of business, arts, technology and science. The lively campus brings 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.
The research groups involved in the programme co-operate closely with international companies and research groups of the field of HCI. They have demonstrated academic co-operation with high quality international universities and organisations.
Research in Human-Computer Interaction at Aalto University is internationally recognized for contributions to computational design and interaction. CSRankings.com ranks Aalto University as #4 in Europe in the field of HCI. The groups are also part of FCAI, the Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence.
In addition to these programme- and study option specific admission requirements, applicants must also fulfill the general admission requirements.
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.
Required background for Human-Computer Interaction includes track record in:
Knowledge of one or more the following areas is considered an advantage:
The student selection process is competitive and the best applicants are selected according to the following evaluation criteria:
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. If the applicant already has a valid study right leading to a Master's degree in the admission target in question, the applicant cannot be readmitted without special reasons.
In addition to the compulsory application documents, applicants to the CCIS programme are requested to provide the following study-option-specific documents:
*) The lack of these documents will adversely affect the evaluation of your application.
In addition, these additional study-option-specific documents add value to your application:
Work certificates and certificates of other relevant achievements
Copies of any publications
GRE or GMAT test results, if available
The application should explain the full educational history of the applicant.
All additional application documents described above 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.
Upload the documents to your online application form in pdf-format. Name the file(s) according to format: Name of the document-Lastname-Firstname (e.g. CV-Lastname-Firstname.pdf). Maximum file size is 1.0 GB.
The study-option-specific documents must be uploaded for each study option separately, even if you use the same document (e.g. CV). Please check carefully the study-option-specific document requirements for each study option you apply to.
The deadline for the study-option-specific application documents to be uploaded to your application form is 10 January 2020 at 15:00 (GMT +2).
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 at Aalto University School of Science at [email protected].
Human-Computer Interaction -pääaineen opiskelijoiden mietteitä ohjelmassa opiskelusta.
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