Master’s Degree in Software Engineering

The software engineering masters programme is guided by directly involved industry partners in Europe and Southern Africa to provide a international programme in professional practise. The degree will be awarded by the University of Turku.

This programme is located in Windhoek, Namibia.

This software engineering programme is a pioneering new collaboration between Finland and Namibia, where students study at the University of Turku satellite campus at the University of Namibia in Windhoek. Working closely with students and companies from the EU and from Southern Africa will train software engineers who are able to understand IT-related challenges in the global south and design, develop, implement, and evaluate software solutions to meet these requirements.

Obtain the skills companies are looking for at our new campus in Africa

The M.Sc. (Tech.) degree programme is based on the standard UTU M.Sc. (Tech.) degree programme mainly implemented online in Namibia, but including contextual elements in projects and demonstrations. A few courses will be also arranged in Windhoek and delivered online to Turku campus. The degree programme is available for all eligible students from all around the world.

Programme in brief

Programme Structure

  1. Software engineering, development and business major for 40 credits
  2. Masters thesis and capstone project for 50 credits
  3. Professional skills and optional minor subjects for 30 credits

Academic Excellence & Experience

The Master’s Degree Programme in Software Engineering is a two-year programme. It focuses on the skills required to work on team projects producing professional industry quality software. The covered topics include:

  • Software engineering methodologies and practices
  • Advanced programming techniques
  • Privacy and security
  • Quality management and testing
  • Software development, design and architecture

The course is highly practical and project activities will involve working with real companies in both Namibia and Finland. There is a broad mix of state-of-the-art techniques and solid industry practice to provide both the breadth and depth of skills essential for a software engineering career. Teamwork and professional skills are major focus throughout the degree.

Master's Thesis & Capstone Project

In the Master’s thesis you must prove your ability to do scientific work, manage research methods and demonstrate skill in scientific writing. The thesis will involve theoretical and practical analyses of research problems and to clearly report the results. These research problems may be associated with the capstone project or real issues provided by companies.

The goal of the Master’s thesis is to

  • train students in independent problem solving for demanding research questions
  • to train students in presentation and argumentation skills, both oral and written
  • train students in search and critical evaluation of information
  • develop an ability to engage in a constructive dialogue with related disciplines
  • gain insight into actual research and development work in the software engineering field

The capstone project is a year long team project of 5-8 members to implement a working solution to a real-life challenge. Topics are driven by the real needs of companies, communities and research groups and will require working with a real customer.

The goal of the Capstone project is to

  • Experience planning and managing team work over several months
  • Learn how to communicate with diverse stakeholders
  • Experience the challenges in solving complex and ill-defined problems
  • Analyse and communicate progress and performance of the project

Career Options

Competence Description

Completing the degree gives a strong basis to work in the software industry and ICT4D (ICT for Development) research. The program covers the most essential topics of software engineering, and integrates the student with the software industry and ICT4D research initiatives, especially through the Capstone-project. The gained skills are eligible in software engineering industries globally, but also give specific knowledge, skills, and networking opportunities to work on unique software challenges of the global south.

For the students from the global north, the programme offers exceptional ways to familiarise themselves with the growing job opportunities for software engineers to work in and with Africa.

You will have the opportunity to learn teamwork and acquire a unique skill set in multi-disciplinary international Capstone projects.

As a student in this Programme, you will gain skills in:

  • Designing and analyzing modular, reusable and extendable software
  • Diverse programming paradigms and concepts
  • Quality-driven software testing
  • Lean business and software development methods
  • Project management practices
  • Teamwork and professional skills

Job Options

The employment percentage of those holding an Master of Science (in Technology) degree is high in Finland and elsewhere. There is a shortage of well qualified software engineers in both Finland and Southern Africa, as well as an established startup culture in Finland which is still in its early stages within Namibia.

Possible job titles are:

  • Project manager
  • Software engineer
  • Software Architect
  • Test manager

Career in Research

This Master’s degree provides eligibility for scientific postgraduate degree studies. Postgraduate degrees are doctoral and licentiate degrees.

Graduates from this Programme are eligible to apply for a position in the University of Turku Graduate School, UTUGS.  The Graduate School consists of doctoral programmes, which cover all disciplines and doctoral candidates of the university.

Together with the doctoral programmes, the Graduate School provides systematic and high quality doctoral training.  UTUGS aims to train highly qualified experts with the skills required for both professional career in research and other positions of expertise.

Entry requirements

General Admissions 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 programme page 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 Faculty of Science and Engineering. No exceptions will be made.

Read more about the language requirements here.

Programme-specific Admission Requirements

The applicant’s previous degree on the basis of which s/he is seeking admission to the Master’s Degree Programme should be in a relevant field of study. Relevant fields of previous studies for this Master’s Degree Programme are

  • Computer Science (software oriented applicants)
  • Computer Engineering (hardware and/or software oriented applicants with e.g. electronic engineering, digital hardware, or embedded systems backgrounds)
  • information (and communication) technology
  • informatics
  • information systems science
  • or a related area.

Supplementary Studies

The contents of formally eligible applicants’ previous degrees do not always correspond to the academic level of the programme. Therefore admitted students can be advised or required to complete additional, Bachelor level studies while studying for the Master’s Degree. These studies are not part of the Master’s Degree and may extend the targeted study time. The extent and contents of the supplementary studies are defined individually for each student when a personal study plan is formulated in the beginning of the studies. The amount of required supplementary studies cannot exceed 60 ECTS.

Rolling Admission Deadlines

For the MDP in Software engineering there is a rolling admission for studies starting either in January 2020 or late August 2020. The application periods are 15 September – 15 November 2019 and 7 January – 15 May 2020 correspondingly. The application can be supplemented during 14 days after the application period has expired. Once an application is complete, a decision will be given within one month. A supplementation request for an incomplete application will be sent only once. The rolling admission process is terminated as the yearly quota of the programme is full. Decisions about the scholarships award will be given only after the expiry of the application period. The right to study always starts in the beginning of the term (1 Jan or 1 Aug) and tuition fee must be paid in whole terms.

Application Evaluation

Annually 25 students are admitted to the Master’s Degree Programme in Software Engineering. 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
  • possible answers to the optional questions included in the application
  • possible interview

It is possible to have only one Bachelor’s or Master’s study right at the Faculty of Science and Engineering. Therefore, when accepting an offered study place, the student will lose any previous BSc. or MSc. study right at the Faculty of Science and Engineering.


Erkki Sutinen Head of Windhoek Campus, Professor (University of Turku)