Master's Degree Programme in Exact Sciences: Mathematics and Statistics

In the Mathematics and Statistics track it is possible to graduate with mathematics or statistics as the major subject with a broad range of special courses from these fields. Within mathematics, you can even further specialize your studies in mathematics or applied mathematics.

In Mathematics, the studies include courses from the following topics: discrete mathematics, theoretical computer science, number theory, analysis, optimisation, mathematical modelling, insurance mathematics and machine learning.

In Statistics, the studies include topics of computational statistics, data analysis, theoretical statistics, biometrics and econometrics.

Upon graduation, you will be able to employ the theoretical knowledge from the fields you have studied and further understand the theoretical development and practical use of the methods and theories of these fields. 

The Mathematics and Statistics track is one of the six specialisation tracks of the Master's Degree Programme in Exact Sciences (previously called the Master's Degree Programme in Physical and Chemical Sciences). The other tracks of the programme are:

A young man smiling in front of a blackboard filled with mathematical formulas

Entry requirements


General Requirement

You are an eligible applicant for Master’s-level studies if

  • you have a nationally recognized first cycle degree – normally a Bachelor’s degree – from an accredited institution of higher education,
  • your degree corresponds to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to three years of full-time study,
  • your degree is in a relevant field for the Master’s degree programme that you’re applying to. Please check the section on programme-specific admission requirements for detailed degree requirements.

Language Requirements

Applicants must have excellent English language skills and a certificate that proves those skills. You can indicate your language skills by taking one of the internationally recognized English language tests. 

Applicants must reach the minimum required test results to be considered eligible to the University of Turku. No exceptions will be made. Read more about the language requirements here.

Study right

It is not possible to have more than one Bachelor’s or Master’s study right at the same Faculty. Therefore, when accepting an offered study place, the student will lose any previous BSc. or MSc. study right at the Faculty of Science at the University of Turku.


Before you start preparing your application, always read the full admission requirements on the application portal

The applicant’s previous degree on the basis of which they are seeking admission to the Master’s Degree Programme in Exact Sciences must be in a relevant field of study. Relevant fields of previous studies for the Mathematics and Statistics track are

  • mathematics
  • applied mathematics
  • statistics
  • or similar

You may not apply to more than one specialization track within the same Master’s Degree Programme at the University of Turku. Therefore, you should carefully consider that your educational background is suitable enough for the track that you are applying to.


The decision of admission will be based on

  • the relevance of the applicant’s awarded degree(s)
  • the amount, relevance, and grades of the courses in the degree(s)
  • the language test result (see Language requirements)
  • the motivation letter and your answers to the optional questions included in the application
  • possible relevant work experience
  • possible interview

In addition to the education diploma and language certificate, you should include testimonials of any relevant work experience in your application. 

The academic evaluation is made only for complete applications that are received during the application period. Any preliminary assessment of suitability or chances for admission will not be given.

Programme in brief


The structure of the programme is modular and each specialisation track has three obligatory modules that contain the core material of the field. These include the MSc thesis (30 ECTS), lecture and exercise courses, seminars, laboratory work, internship or project work, details of which depend on the specialisation. In addition, there is one thematic module that may be chosen to support your own study plan. The fourth module consists of freely chosen courses and obligatory Finnish language and culture courses (5 ECTS).

Mathematics as a main subject: For the first obligatory module in mathematics (20 ECTS), you can choose either Mathematics Module or Applied Mathematics Module. The Mathematics Module contains courses e.g. in discrete mathematics, theoretical computer science, machine learning, number theory, and analysis. In the Applied Mathematics Module, there are courses e.g. of optimization, mathematical modelling, insurance mathematics and machine learning, too.

The second obligatory module in mathematics (20 ECTS) includes special courses from the Mathematics and Applied Mathematics Module. So you can choose to further deepen your studies only in mathematics or in applied mathematics or widen your degree to contain studies in both of these fields.

And the third module in mathematics contains the Master’s Thesis (30 ECTS) and 10 ECTS freely selected courses in Mathematics or Applied Mathematics Modules.

Statistics as a main subject: The first obligatory module in statistics is the Statistical Inference Module (20 ECTS) containing the central principles of frequentist and Bayesian reasoning and, in addition, you learn to apply computationally intensive methods in the aforementioned contexts.

The second obligatory module in statistics can be chosen to be either Econometrics Module (20 ECTS), Biometrics Module (20 ECTS) or General Statistics Module (20 ECTS). According to the title of the modules these deepen your knowledge in one of the specific branch.

The third module in statistics contains the Master’s Thesis (30 ECTS), Thesis Seminar and a course in statistical modelling.

You are free to choose the thematic module from those offered in the programme or faculty or take a suitable minor subject, even one offered by other faculties. Thematic modules offered by this programme include Cryptography Module and, in addition, it is possible to choose a core module in mathematics as a thematic module for statistics and vice versa. In the other studies module you can choose any courses you want from the entire offering of the university in addition to the obligatory “Finnish for foreigners” courses.

See the curriculum >

The University of Turku fosters students' professional growth and global perspective by promoting internships and student exchanges. Every degree student can take advantage of these opportunities – internship subsidy is available for all degree students that find a suitable internship position and every exchange programme includes a grant.


The aim of the Master’s education is to support you to become an independent expert who can evaluate information critically, plan and execute research projects to find new knowledge, and solve scientific and technological problems independently and as a part of a group.

At the University of Turku, the research in Mathematics has the emphasis on various fields at the international research such as  dynamical systems, automata and formal language theory, coding theory, graph theory,  number theory, optimization, and insurance and financial mathematics. In Statistics, such fields include topics in biometrics, financial and macroeconometrics, computational statistics and theoretical statistics.

You will learn the required mathematical and statistics theories, methods and techniques, and also abilities toanalyze various types of applications and datasets, to become an expert on these fields.


The Master’s degree programme includes a compulsory thesis component (30 ECTS), which corresponds to six months of full-time work. The thesis is to be written up as a report based. In Mathematics the thesis topics are mainly literature review’s and the focus is on presentation and understanding of the topic. In Statistics, the master theses typically contain theoretical and empirical parts where a suitable statistical method is first introduced and then applied to a concrete dataset.

The topics Masters’s thesis are mainly from the fields of research of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and from the fields of special courses given.

Career prospects


The Master of Science degree provides the skills to work in many different kinds of positions within areas such as research and development, education, and industry. The specialization track in Mathematics and Statistics provides especially good opportunities for working in research and development positions in academia and industry, as well as working as an expert on data and software oriented companies and services.


The prospects for employment at relatively senior levels are excellent for those trained in the physical, chemical and mathematical sciences and statistics. Thanks to the broad scope of the programme, the skills, and knowledge developed as part of this education at the University of Turku provide many employment opportunities in different areas.

As a mathematician or statistician, you can either go on for further studies for a career in academics or be hired by the industry or companies in a wide range of specialisation, from data-analytics, software and data engineering, financial and insurance sector, mathematical modeling, statistics, biostatistics.


The Master’s Degree provides eligibility for scientific postgraduate degree studies. Postgraduate degrees are doctoral and licentiate degrees. The University of Turku Graduate School – UTUGS has a Doctoral Programme in Exact Sciences, and covers all of the disciplines of this Master's Degree programme. Postgraduate degrees can be completed at the University of Turku.

Note that in Finland doctoral studies incur no tuition fees, and Ph.D. students often receive either a salary or a grant to cover their living expenses. The Master’s programme is a stepping stone for Ph.D. studies.