Kaisa_2012_3_photo by Veikko Somerpuro

17.3.2020 at 09:00 - 6.4.2020 at 23:59



Master's Programme in Data Science is responsible for the course.

The course belongs to the Data Science methods / Basic Studies in Data Science module.

The course is available to students from other degree programmes.

Prerequisites in terms of knowledge

Programming skills in one or more languages (python recommended; R will probably be helpful), basic familiarity with command-line interfaces (such as Linux/Unix shell)

Prerequisites for students in the Data Science programme, in terms of courses


Prerequisites for other students in terms of courses


Recommended preceding courses


The students will acquire familiarity with the basic concepts of data science. They will be able to describe the importance of data science in science, in the society, and in business. Students will also be able to characterise the different roles of a data scientist, and understand the skills required by them.

The students will be able to distinguish between different kinds of data (e.g., statistical, structured, unstructured), and identify challenges related to big data (e.g., volume, velocity, veracity) and data governance (privacy, ethics, legal issues).

The students will learn to identify the problems and tasks involved in the life-cycle of a Data Science project, including data collection, data preprocessing, data management, data analysis, presentation, and operationalisation (end-user point of view). They will be able to store and access different kinds of data using suitable database and data management tools, implement conversions between different data formats, and to control the accessibility of privacy-sensitive data.

The various goals of statistical modelling and machine learning, from exploration and data mining to validation and decision-making, and approaches suitable for them will be introduced. The students will be able to choose an appropriate machine learning setting (unsupervised, semi-supervised, supervised) and to evaluate the pros and cons of different approaches (for example, linear regression, deep learning, or decision trees).

The students will be able to present the results of a data science project by means of reports and visualisations so that they can be used as a basis of operationalisation.

Recommended time/stage of studies for completion: 1st semester

Term/teaching period when the course will be offered: may be offered in the autumn or spring term or both. Typically in the autumn in period I

Basic concepts of Data Science, including:

  • data science in science, society, business
  • different kinds of data (statistical, structured, unstructured, big data, ...),
  • jobs of a data scientist

The life-cycle of a Data Science project:

  • data collection
  • data preprocessing, "wrangling" (data formats, XML, statistical data, ...)
  • data management (databases, accessibility, sharing, governance, ethics, privacy)
  • exploratory data analysis: summary statistics
  • presentation, visualisation
  • operationalisation (end-user point of view)

The literature and other materials (both required and recommended) will be specified each year.

Students are required to complete exercises and projects.

The assessment and grading of the course is based on completed exercises, one or more exams, and/or projects.

Due to current COVID-19 situation general examinations in lecture halls are cancelled. You can check the completion method from the course page or contact the teacher to ask about alternative completion methods. - - - General exams last 3 hours and 30 minutes. Renewal exam (marked with "(U)") is the first general exam after the course and also a renewal exam of course exam(s). In a renewal exam the points student has earned during the course are taken into account. Exams marked with "(HT)" are allowed only to students who have completed the obligatory projects or other exercises included in those courses. Exams marked with "(HT/U)" are renewals to students who have completed the obligatory projects during the course. General exams might cover different area than the lectured course. Check the course web page and contact the responsible teacher if in doubt.

  • The course will be offered in the form of contact teaching
  • Possible attendance requirements will be decided each year
  • The completion of the course is based on exercises, one or more exams, and/or projects