Master’s studies

Master Programme in Human-Computer Interaction 2018/2019

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Human-Computer Interaction specialists make information technology interesting, useful, and enjoyable. Today when information technology is an essential part of almost every single product and service, designing it well is more important than ever. The Master Programme in Human-Computer Interaction will give you as a student the theory and practice required to design well-functioning and innovative information technology interfaces, artefacts and services.

Why this programme?

Whether you want to reinvent mobile phones, construct advanced tools for professionals, invent the next Facebook or empower people with disabilities, expertise in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is crucial.

You will learn:

  • methods, tools, and principles for the design of IT interfaces, artefacts and services.
  • to study people when they use information technology, understand how they feel about it, and how they appropriate it for their own purposes.
  • theory, so that you are able to 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 design in teams, together with people with varying backgrounds, skills, and goals. Most importantly, you will learn how to involve the very people who will be using your design, to reflect on the development of IT products and services from a psychological and sociological perspective.
  • to investigate and understand ethical and sustainability issues in IT design.
The HCI programme in Uppsala is a collaboration between two departments: the Department of Informatics and Media and the Department of Information Technology. This presents unique opportunities to combine a sociological and psychological foundation for human-computer interaction with thorough knowledge of best practices in interaction design methodology, and a look ahead into the most recent developments in information technology.

To provide challenging and relevant projects throughout the programme, we cooperate with leading IT companies and organisations that help formulate course projects. Many courses are based on project work, where our industrial partners provide us with genuine and relevant projects.


The programme leads to a Master of Social Science (120 credits) with Human-Computer Interaction as the main field of study. After one year of study it may also be possible to graduate with a Master of Social Science (60 credits) with Human-Computer Interaction as the main field of study.


Courses within the programme

The three first semesters in the Master Programme in Human-Computer Interaction are organised into blocks of 15 credits each. The last semester is devoted to a Master’s thesis project. The second and third semester also includes some selectable courses.

First semester
Quarter 1

The first course block is focused on teaching the basic theories and practices of human-computer interaction (HCI). The block combines theory with best practice, and gives hands-on experience of what it means to design and develop in a team.

Quarter 2
This course block is devoted to scientific methodology in HCI and goes deeper into usability and user experience, and the art of studying and evaluating interfaces.

Second semester
Quarter 3

This course block is devoted to interface design methods, processes, and tools.

Quarter 4
This course block takes a broader view on interaction design, looking at embodied interaction, the interaction between humans and IT systems in complex situations, and organisational, ethical and sustainability issues in IT system design.

Third semester
During this semester you will indicate your further specialisation through choosing from a range of selectable courses.

Fourth semester
During the fourth semester, you will carry out an exam project in the form of a 30 credits Master’s thesis.

Learning experience

The courses in the Master Programme in Human-Computer Interaction are organised around lectures and seminars as well as practical assignments. Lab space is available for creative work, innovation, critique sessions, development and user studies. Active participation in seminars is expected and sometimes compulsory, and many courses use this as their major form of examination.

A significant part of the knowledge will be acquired through practical (individual and group) work. Practical fieldwork with authentic tasks is used to complement the lectures and seminars.

The program is offered in Uppsala. Instruction is in English.


As an expert in the usability of IT systems you will have many job opportunities. 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.


Master Programme in Human-Computer Interaction

120 credits

Autumn 2018 - 100 % - Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application Deadline: 2018-01-15

Enrolment Code: UU-M2221 Application

Language of Instruction: English

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
All applicants need to verify English language proficiency. This is normally attested by an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS with the following minimum scores:

  • IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
  • TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90
  • Cambridge: CAE, CPE
Exemptions for students from certain countries.

Selection: Students are selected based on:

  • a total appraisal of quantity and quality 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.


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.

Application Fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 60000

Tuition fee, total: SEK 240000

Contact and further resources

Department of Informatics and Media

Ekonomikum (plan 3), Kyrkogårdsg. 10

Box 513, 751 20 UPPSALA

Telephone: 018-471 1011 018-471 1010

Fax: 018-471 7867


For programme-specific information, please contact the study counsellor at the department.

Telephone: +46 18 471 10 70

For general information about Master's studies at Uppsala University, please send an email to: