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Master’s programme in sustainability now offers specialisation in Accessibility and Diversity in Digital Services

Published on 8.12.2023
Tampere University
Student looking at a mobile phone
Tampere University will offer an all-new Accessibility and Diversity in Digital Services study programme from autumn 2024 onwards. The programme adds a new specialisation option in the Master's Programme in Sustainable Societies and Digitalisation, one of the world’s rare sustainability master’s programme focusing on societal sustainability and taught in English. Application starts on 13 December.

The new Accessibility and Diversity in Digital Services (ADDS) master’s programme responds to heavy demand emerged in recent years among businesses, other organisations as well as students. The Master's Programme in Sustainable Societies and Digitalisation, offered by Tampere University since 2021, was the world’s first full master’s programme immersed in societal sustainability, accessibility and diversity in particular.

Head of Programme, Professor Markku Turunen says that accessibility and diversity now merit their own specialisation option alongside the other two on offer, Sustainable Digital Life and Artificial Intelligence for Sustainable Societies. He notes that accessibility is one of the sub-elements of sustainability.

"In the Accessibility and Diversity in Digital Services programme, we are providing versatile education for future accessibility professionals. The demand comes from real life, most notably the ICT industry, but it penetrates all sectors. Awareness and tools are needed in all industries where digital services are produced or used, and it also covers content production. The range is thus very wide," Turunen says.

Hot potatoes and working life connections

The Accessibility and Diversity in Digital Services programme will enable students to learn how to understand the diversity of users and ways of using digital systems, how to evaluate accessibility of existing systems, and how to take accessibility into account in design.

The programme is meant for applicants interested in digital accessibility in its various forms. The focus is on digital accessibility, but it also takes physical accessibility into account.

"In practice, our studies are largely project-based and implemented together with partner organisations. Students carry out realistic and topical research and design projects throughout their studies and connect their theoretical and methodological knowledge to them. The idea is to analyse scientifically interesting topics in projects and theses while also providing practical output and benefits to our partners," Turunen says.

The programme’s multidisciplinary approach is owed to esteemed teachers from various fields. Head of Programme, Professor Turunen is himself an experienced accessibility and sustainability enthusiast who works in the intersection of computer science, human-computer interaction and media technologies.

"In addition to expertise, our staff also bring great enthusiasm to the programme, each from our own perspective. In fact, I find enthusiasm to be one of the key elements for staff and students alike. Our accessibility courses have proven wildly popular, so we are now really happy to provide a full programme around this theme. Accessibility experts are in great demand, so the momentum is there."

Accessibility and Diversity in Digital Services

Application begins on 13 December 2023 and ends on 3 January 2024. A total of 30 places of study are on offer. The studies will begin in autumn 2024.

Further information on the study programme:
Sustainable Digital Life, Sustainable Societies and Digitalisation

Learn more about the themes of the programme in advance by joining a taster course on accessibility or the Introduction to Sustainable Digital Life course at DigiCampus.