Human-Computer Interaction curriculum brings together computing, interaction design and cognitive psychology. It offers a research-based approach to designing interactive, software and technical systems.
Our programme enables you to shape the world through what you design.
We welcome students with a wide variety of background. Human-Computer Interaction programme's team favours everyone who is interested in improving the way technology is made available to people and intertwined with their lives. We gladly welcome:
The Human-Computer Interaction programme is an internationally accredited two year Master's programme (120 ECTS), fully in English, offered by the Tallinn University’s School of Digital Technologies.
The aim of the HCI programme is to prepare specialists, equipped with knowledge and skills for designing meaningful technology. You will undertake interdisciplinary courses, projects and research from the disciplines of design, technology, and cognitive psychology. The programme is organized in layers, from a very solid core to flexible of electives allowing you to fine-tune your education.
Our lectures and seminars usually take place on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, every second week during the semester, but lab work can be pursued every day as our labs are open 24/7. Occasionally some courses are organized in shorter, more intensive study cycles, or delivered via the Internet, as web-based courses.
And if you would like to have a go at how we approach academic life and HCI, take look at our Experimental Interaction Design and Research Methods in HCI courses in Tallinn Summer and Winter Schools. It is an opportunity to get acquainted with Tallinn University and our team before committing to the long-term relationship we are sure you will never regret.
Current research topics
Trust has shown to be a key factor influencing user uptake and acceptance of technologies. Despite the increase in interest in trust research and its stated importance in HCI, prior research has mainly focused on understanding its role in human to human interactions mediated through technology. The ongoing and rapid technological developments have made it necessary to move beyond studying trust relationships between people mediated by information technology and to focus on studying the relationship of the user with the digital artefact itself. We recognise that HCI as a discipline lacks a focused body of knowledge on trust and there is a lack of theoretically grounded and robust instruments for quantifying trust.
- Neurophysiological Art
This area combines computer science, neuroscience, engineering, design, performative arts and biohacking. We are working on a specific type of interactive theatre where the audience and the actors can communicate through brain and neural computer interaction (BNCI) interfaces using multimodal sensors and actuators.
- Body-Centric Interactions
The goal of the work in this area is to bring together knowledge from the domains of kinesiology, personal informatics, embodied cognition, behavior psychology, human-computer interaction, and learning sciences into a united framework to be used to improve one’s well-being.
- Design Theory and Methodology
The work in this area focuses on the fuzzy front-end of the design development process through an exploration of design research methods and reasoning about their applicability in HCI projects.
This is your chance to become a well grounded Human-Computer Interaction specialist, able to act as a scholarly design researcher, a knowledgeable interaction designer, or a discerning user experience professional. It’s an opportunity to mould your future, our future, and study in the most E of all countries, Estonia.
Not only will you be able to systematically go from an idea, opportunity or challenge, to a technology-based solution, you will also be able to do it based on sound theoretical grounds. You will:
- Combine computational thinking with design thinking
- Integrate academic and practitioner perspectives
Our programme starts with a sound and thorough introduction to the field of Human-Computer Interaction, moves on to a semester long integrated interaction design project and rounds up with topics such as:
- Ambient and ubiquitous computing
- Physiological and affective computing
- Perception and attention
- Cognition and emotion
The capstone is your master thesis. Research-based, practice-base, many configurations are possible but surely it will be a in-depth experience.
Study support facilities
The studies take place in one of the most modern university buildings, which was designed by Ignar Fjuk Architectural Office and was opened in 2013.
The main facilities are our Interaction Design and User Experience Labs. Here you can find all you need to bring your ideas to life and to further your knowledge in the field:
From simple audio and video recording equipment to a full set of Wi-Fi and RF-enabled NeuLog sensors (for recording electrodermal activity, electrocardiogram, pulse, temperature, etc.), an Emotiv headset, a static Mirametrix eye-tracker, a set of Tobii eye-tracking glasses, Empatica wristbands, Muse headbands and a couple of Nautilus wearable BCI systems, and of course, all the software to process it all (NVivo, Mathematica, E-Prime, etc.)
Both labs are dedicated to research and to support this programme and as a student in this program, you are 24/7 access to these facilities.
Further, studies also take place in the school’s:
Software Development Lab, featuring dedicated software development environments and tools
Hardware and Robotics Lab, featuring a wide range of possibilities for physical prototyping, including a 3D printer
Virtual Reality and Games Lab, featuring virtual reality and game development hardware and software
The students are also able to use the vast and diverse information resources (including electronical) of the Tallinn University Academic Library.
Take a walk around our campus via the virtual tour!
- Completed Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent
- Proof of English Proficiency
Please see the complete overview of admission and application requirements for Master's level applicants.
- Motivation to study in the specific field, including a vision of the possible ways of applying gained knowledge and experience in the future.
- Research interests within the scope of the HCI group´s current research activities that would help in eventually assigning a Master thesis supervisor.
- Background and/or previous experience in computer science, design, behavioral or social sciences.
Application Procedure and Deadlines
Tallinn University will begin accepting new applications from January 2020 onwards.
Applicants are assessed based on:
1. Letter of motivation
Letter of motivation (up to 1 page) clearly explaining your motivation for applying to the programme, the focus of your research work and your potential Master’s thesis topic.
The motivation letter should be submitted as a link to a Google Document by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. A PDF version of the motivation letter should be submitted through DreamApply.
The portfolio should provide an overview of your previous experience and skills on an academic and professional level. The portfolio can include videos, pictures, sketches, 3D visualizations and graphic or interactive presentations.
- Up to 5 individual works with a brief description.
- The individual pieces of work should represent and identify the best skills the candidate has.
- A piece’s description should include a short summary and relevant background information.
- In cases when a piece of work has been created by a team, the candidate should clearly explain their contribution.
The portfolio should be submitted as a link to a Google Slides presentation by e-mail to email@example.com.
The interview with the admission board is conducted in English. Each candidate is assigned a 20 minute time slot. The order of the interviews is arranged through email.
During the interview the candidate must introduce themselves and provide an overview of:
- The previous academic and work experience as related to HCI (2 minutes)
- A selected project from the portfolio, providing an in-depth reflection on the process of creating this project, identifying the strengths and shortcomings (15 minutes)
- The motivation to study in the Master’s programme and introduce a possible Master thesis topic (3 minutes).
Applicants are evaluated based on:
- Relevance and excellence of academic background
- Relevant professional experience and training
- The submitted statement of research intentions
- Technical and/or design skills
- English language skills