Goal of the programme
When you study mathematics and statistics at the University of Helsinki, some of the best mathematicians and statisticians in the world will be your instructors. Studies in this Master’s programme will give you a solid basis for maths and statistics applications. Graduates of this Master’s programme find employment as researchers, teachers, and in demanding expert posts in the public and private sectors in Finland and abroad.
The Master’s programme in mathematics and statistics is based on top research. The teaching within the study track at the University of Helsinki follows a high standard and is highly valued, not just within Finnish academia but in global university rankings. Upon graduating from this Master’s programme, you will:
- Be an expert in the methods of mathematics or statistics
- Have mastered the basics of another scientific discipline
- Be able to apply scientific knowledge and methods
- Be able to follow developments in mathematics and statistics
- Know how to think critically, argue a point, and solve problems
- Have excellent interaction skills and be assertive and creative
- Understand the principles of ethical and sustainable development
- Be well prepared to work as an expert and developer in your field
- Be prepared for scientific postgraduate studies
Further information about the studies on the Master’s programme website.
Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries, who do not have a permanent residence status in the area and pursue their studies in English, are liable to pay tuition fees. You can check from FAQ at the Studyinfo website whether or not you are required to pay tuition fees.
Find out more about the Be 1* of the Best Scholarship Programme.
Information on the languages of instruction
All teaching is given in English. Exams can also be taken in Finnish or Swedish, and the Master’s thesis can be written in Finnish, Swedish or English.
The Master’s programme consists of courses in mathematics, applied mathematics, statistics and social statistics. The courses include group and lecture instruction, exercises, literature, and workshops. Most courses also include exams or project assignments. In addition, you can complete some courses independently, by taking literature-based exams. The instructors in this programme have received prizes for their high standard of teaching. The teaching methods used in the subjects in this Master’s programme have been widely recognised in the media.
Selection of the study track
The study branches within this programme are Mathematics, Applied mathematics, Statistics and Social statistics and the specialisation subjects are:
- Mathematical physics
- Applied analysis
- Probabilistic modelling
- Mathematical logic
- Mathematical modelling
- Insurance and financial mathematics
- Algebra and topology
- Social statistics (Students can specialize in official statistics and receive the European Master in Official Statistics (EMOS) certificate.)
You will select your specialisation subject during your first year.
The Master’s programme comprises 120 credits, which you can complete in two years. The degree in mathematics includes:
- 85 – 120 credits of advanced courses, including the Master’s thesis (30 credits)
- 0 – 35 credits of other courses from your own or other programmes
- Working-life orientation and career planning
- Personal study plan
The Master’s thesis (30 credits) is based on a topic selected from your own subject. The purpose of the thesis is to advance your knowledge of your chosen topic. Further, it develops your aptitude for working independently and requires you to understand the scientific literature in your field. The topics will often be related to on-going research projects. If you are interested in research, your thesis work can often be the first stage towards your doctoral dissertation.
In mathematics, the MSc thesis is usually written under the supervision of a professor or instructor of the department, but sometimes it can be written outside the department. In statistics, the MSc thesis is usually written outside the department, for example in a government research institute or within research groups on the university campuses. You can acquaint yourself with the range of thesis topics through the thesis database. The supervision of a thesis written outside the department is usually done in cooperation between experts in the research group and a professor or teacher from the department.
Graduates of the Master’s programme can find employment outside the university or continue with one of the doctoral programmes in mathematics and statistics. The Master’s programme will give you excellent capabilities for work in the public or private sector as an expert in mathematics and statistics, skills that are very sought after in the job market both in Finland and abroad. The banking, investment, and insurance fields, for instance, value mathematicians and statisticians very highly internationally. Many of our graduates work in research and development or as teachers in various educational institutions. Graduates from this programme have excellent chances to find employment corresponding to their education.
In actuarial mathematics you can take additional courses elsewhere to gain an SHV degree (an actuary degree approved by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health). By combining the Master’s programme with courses in pedagogy, you can gain competence to work as a teacher.
You may apply if you meet the following three requirements:
- You have completed by 31 July 2019 a first-cycle degree (e.g., bachelor’s degree) or second-cycle degree (e.g., master’s degree) or a postgraduate degree in Finland or abroad.
- You have completed or will complete studies required for the master’s programme by 11 January 2019. Below are more details concerning applicable studies.
- You are able to demonstrate your proficiency in English, Finnish or Swedish (Updated 18/12/2018: Finnish and Swedish added). For further instructions on demonstrating your language skills, see the section “Required enclosures”.
If you are currently or have previously been a student at the University of Helsinki, please note the following rules.
If you have refugee status or are in a refugee-like situation, and you do not have the official documents to prove your eligibility to apply for higher education, you can still apply to the University of Helsinki.
You may be admitted if
- You prove your eligibility (see above) by the deadline
- You submit the application and the required attachments within the specified deadline. The application form is open from 3 December 2018 (8:00h Finnish time) to 11 January 2019 (15:00h Finnish time). Read more about what will happen after the application period.
- You have a first-cycle degree in mathematics or statistics, or a degree in an applicable field with at least 60 credits of key field-specific studies of an equal level to studies for a first-cycle degree in mathematics or statistics.
Please note: even if the degree you are using as grounds for application is not completed during the application round, you must have a sufficient amount of applicable studies completed by 11 January 2019.
Together with their application, applicants must submit officially certified copies of certificates on all previously completed studies that serve as the basis for their application.
The applicability of the field and the sufficiency of the completed studies will be evaluated in conjunction with admission. The University of Helsinki does not provide any preliminary evaluation on the suitability of the applicant’s previous studies.
Choosing the language of your Master’s degree
In the Master’s Programme in Mathematics and Statistics, you can choose the language of your degree to be Finnish, Swedish or English. This means that even though most of the teaching will be offered in English, you can answer examination questions and write course assignments and your Master’s thesis in the language that you select as the language of the degree. Please note that you can apply to pursue this Master’s programme in one language only and you must demonstrate your language skills accordingly. You must select the language of your degree when submitting your application.
Choosing a study track
The Master’s Programme in Mathematics and Statistics has four study tracks:
- Applied mathematics
- Social statistics
Factors affecting admissions
Your success in the selection process will be influenced by the evaluation of your academic performance; the focus will be on the amount, quality and grades of completed studies that are applicable to the programme, your motivation letter, and the study plan contained in it.
In the admission procedure, your application will be scored in the following three categories:
- Applicability of your previous studies
- Academic performance in the studies serving as the grounds for your application
- Your motivation letter (as part of the application form)
The evaluation of the applicability of completed studies will be based on the analysis provided by the applicants on the application form of their previous studies in the key areas of the Master’s programme, i.e., mathematics and statistics. The feasibility of the study plan will be evaluated in relation to the overall impression gained from the other admission criteria.
The motivation letter and analysis of previous studies form part of the admission criteria and when writing them you must answer the provided questions. They are part of the application form.
When applying you must specify which degree you apply for: Master of Science (Faculty of Science) or Master of Social Sciences (Faculty of Social Sciences). You can select only one degree to apply for. If you choose the degree of Master of Social Sciences, your study track will be social statistics. If you choose the degree of Master of Science your study track (mathematics, applied mathematics, statistics, social statistics) will be determined once the studies have started.
You must notify on the application form whether you wish to study mathematics or statistics, but this selection is not binding.The line of study chosen by the applicant will be however considered when assessing the applicability of previous studies as well as the motivation letter.
If several applicants have completed studies applicable to the programme, but not all can be accommodated in the programme’s quota, the applicants will be compared against each other, and the most qualified will be admitted. The programmes need not fill their student quotas to the maximum.
If in this round of admissions you are applying for more than one Master’s programme at the Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki, you must rank them in order of preference on your application form. If you could be admitted to more than one programme, you can only be admitted to the one you have ranked the highest.
The Master’s programme admits no more than 20 students regardless of their selected language of degree and application option.
Applicants will be informed of the results of the student selection by 12 April 2019 at the latest. Please note the one study place per term provision if you are applying for more than one study programme in spring 2019.
Study right to be awarded
If you are admitted, you will be granted the right to pursue the degree of Master of Science (Faculty of Science) or the degree of Master of Social Sciences (Faculty of Social Sciences) in the Master’s Programme in Mathematics and Statistics.
You must select the degree you are applying for when completing the application form.
Statistics on applicants can be found on the University’s webpage.
The application must be accompanied by the following documents, and the documents must be submitted as instructed below:
- Official photocopy of the degree certificate/diploma
- Official transcript
- Diploma supplement (if available)
- Certificate of language proficiency
- Authorised translations into English, Finnish or Swedish
- A photocopy of your passport, your official identity card or your Finnish residence permit card
- Motivation letter and study plan (to be filled in on the application form)
1) Read carefully the instructions on application enclosures and their submission.
2) You must demonstrate your proficiency in English. Read the instructions on proving your language skills.
3) If the degree serving as grounds for application to the programme is still incomplete, you need not submit a degree certificate/diploma with the application documents. If you are admitted, the admission decision will be conditional, and you will receive instructions with your letter of admission for submitting the official degree certificate/diploma. NB! The final degree certificate/diploma must be presented by 14 August 2019 at the latest.
|Due date||11.1.2019, 15:00|
Admission Services, University of Helsinki
Unioninkatu 40 C
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