Human-Computer Interaction specialists make information technology interesting, useful, and enjoyable. Today information technology is an essential part of everyday life and almost every single product and service, and making it user friendly is more important than ever. Whether you want to reinvent mobile phones, design the next generation social media, or use information technology to empower people with disabilities, expertise in Human-Computer Interaction is crucial.
Why this programme?
The Master's Programme in Human-Computer Interaction in Uppsala presents unique opportunities to combine a social science perspective on human-computer interaction with thorough knowledge of best practices in user research and evaluation, and interaction design methodology. The programme offers in-depth knowledge of human-computer interaction and a look ahead at recent developments in technology.
What you can expect from the programme
You will learn methods, tools, and principles for design of IT interfaces, artefacts, and services;
You will study how people use information technology, understand how they feel about it, and how they appropriate it for their own purposes;
You will design in teams, together with people with different backgrounds, skills, and goals;
You will learn how to involve the users in the design process;
You will investigate and understand ethical and sustainability issues in IT design;
You will reflect on the development of IT products and services from a sociological and psychological perspective.
Your skill as an interface designer will depend on the theoretical foundation this programme gives you. It helps you understand why some interfaces work and others don't, and why the situation may be exactly the reverse in a different situation or with a different group of people.
To provide challenging and relevant practice throughout the programme many courses are based on project work, and there is opportunity for internships both in academia and industry.
After graduation you will be capable of working with all aspects of interaction design and usability, from analysis and requirements gathering to the design and implementation of interactive artefacts, user interfaces, and IT services. You will have expertise in a range of methods for evaluating systems under development as well as studying their use.
The programme leads to a Master of Social Science (120 credits) with Human-Computer Interaction as the main field of study.
What made you choose this programme and specialisation?
When I chose Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), I admittedly took a leap of faith. Before applying, fresh out of my Bachelor’s in Computer Science, I just had a vague idea of what the field encompassed and I was clueless about academia altogether. I like to define myself as a “jack of all trades”, someone that has dabbled in many different activities and who is driven by curiosity and a desire for knowledge. I felt like HCI and I were similar in this aspect, not really bound to a single discipline but drawing from an interdisciplinary pool of knowledge in order to produce something new.
What made you choose Uppsala University?
Uppsala has a top-tier university that is an international hub for students coming from all over the world. I fell in love with the concept of living in a university city, away from busy metropolises and surrounded by nature. Before making a choice, I had researched many other programmes across Europe; however, the HCI programme at Uppsala University had the outcomes that matched my learning goals for this specialisation.
What are the best things about your Master’s programme?
I really appreciated the professors' openness to dialogue and the way they treat students as peers; I would go as far as to say that this is the strongest point of the whole education.
I have met people I became close to and from whom I learned so much. Everyone brings skills and knowledge they acquired throughout their studies and work experience, and the resulting group projects have yet to cease to amaze me in their creative nature and level of detail.
How would you describe the atmosphere in class and on campus?
The campuses I have studied at were bustling with student activities. On campus, I could see many groups of students working on their exams or course projects. It was a rather motivating sight and, although it might get a little too crowded in some locations, there are quiet study rooms available.
In class, lectures were usually very dynamic. Teachers always allowed for questions to be asked, and sometimes for students to discuss in small groups. I could define the atmosphere in class as friendly, welcoming, and stimulating.
What do you hope to do after you graduate?
I’m already looking for jobs in the industry. My dream is to one day become a professor, but I think that my academic experience needs to be balanced with industry experience. Therefore, I’m looking at relevant positions, such as: UX Researcher, UX Designer and UX Engineer.
What advice do you have for other students interested in applying for the same programme?
If you love reading and a research-oriented approach to this field, this programme is for you! Be curious! Ask questions! Never be scared to talk to teachers; they are very open to dialogue and discussion of any kind.
I wish you the best of luck with your studies and to collect many valuable and rewarding experiences at Uppsala University!
The first three semesters in the Master's Programme in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) are organised into blocks of 15 credits each. The first semester provides an overview of human-computer interaction. It covers the theories, scientific methods both quantitative and qualitative, and practical knowledge. The second and third semester includes elective courses.
During the second semester you can choose courses covering interface development, design and design perspectives, or ethical and organisational perspectives.
Semester three offers courses in subjects related to human, technology and organisation, social media, inclusive design and practice, etc.
The last semester is devoted to your 30-credit Master's thesis. This thesis work can, for example, take place within an existing research project at the department, be written as a part of a design internship at a company, or deal with an HCI related field or topic that you choose.
The courses in the Master's Programme in Human-Computer Interaction are given in the form of lectures, seminars, and practical assignments. Active participation in seminars is expected and sometimes compulsory, and many courses use this as their major form of examination. On a seminar, you present your ideas and discuss with your classmates regarding a course book or other study material that you are required to read before the seminar; while the teacher usually only moderates the discussion. The aim is to develop critical thinking and collaborative skills. All the students are expected to be active participants in all forms of discussions.
Lab space is available for creative work, innovation, critical sessions, development and user studies.
A significant part of the knowledge will be acquired through practical (individual and group) work. Practical fieldwork with tasks based on reality is used to complement the lectures and seminars. When doing group works, you will need to complete them together with your classmates. This way, you learn from each other and you train to be a team player. The skills will help you to raise up in your future career.
The programme is taught in Uppsala and the instruction is in English.
As an expert in the usability of IT systems, you will be in demand on the labour market and have many job opportunities; both in Sweden and around the world. Graduating from the Master's Programme in Human-Computer Interaction offer you very good opportunities for employment in a variety of sectors. According to the Swedish Public Employment Service, the UX labour market in Sweden is good and expansive. Our broad education provides you with many opportunities after graduation.
Our previous students now work, for example, as:
User Experience (UX) Designer
User Interface (UI) Designer
Examples of employers in Sweden include:
Some previous students are also doing their PhD studies, for example, at Uppsala University, KU Leuven in Belgium, or Lancaster University in the UK.
Career support During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career. Learn more about UU Careers.
Below you will find the details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and tuition fees. For information on how to apply and what documents you need to submit, check the application guide. For this programme, besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit two programme-specific documents: 1. a summary of your Bachelor's thesis or equivalent; 2. a statement of purpose.
Requirements: Academic requirements A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. Also required is 30 credits in IT-related fields of study.
Language requirements Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6. This requirement can be met either by achieving the required score on an internationally recognised test, or by previous upper secondary or university studies in some countries. Detailed instructions on how to provide evidence of your English proficiency are available at universityadmissions.se.
Students are selected based on:
an overall appraisal of previous university studies;
a summary of previous thesis or other relevant work (1 page); and
a statement of purpose.
Well documented knowledge of object-oriented programming techniques is considered an important merit. Tuition fee-paying students and non-paying students are admitted on the same grounds but in different selection groups.
If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.