Study plan for MAMN-INFVI Visualization, spring 2023

Name of qualification

Master of Science in Informatics - Visualization

ECTS Credits

Two years of full-time study, where the normal workload for a full-time student is 60 credits for one academic year.



Language of Instruction




Objectives and content


After studying this programme, a candidate with a Master's degree in Informatics specializing in Visualization will have substantial knowledge and advanced skills in visualization, computer graphics and interactive techniques as well as substantial skills in related programming. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of visualization, the students are also given an introductory overview of specialized areas such as medicine, biology, or the geosciences. In their Master's programme, the students are given a thorough introduction to scientific working principles, e.g., taking state-of-the-art research into account and presenting their own work.


Visualization is a field of emerging relevance in computer science with many areas of application. Advanced computer graphics are used to convey insight into large, complex data sets. The data sets result from various measurements, e.g. from medical 3D scanners, seismic/sonar measurements, or computer simulations (e.g., computational fluid dynamics), or from complex modelling, such as modelling of dynamic systems by means of differential equations. Visualization deals with the interactive study and analysis of data and the presentation of results. Prominent examples of visualization are volume display of medical 3D images, the visualization of the air flow around cars and aeroplanes, and the visualization of large hierarchical data structures, such as the filing system on a computer.

Required Learning Outcomes

A candidate who has completed his or her qualifications should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The candidate

  • Can explain the basic principles of computer graphics and visualization in the context of informatics
  • Can apply various approaches to visual analysis and/or scientific visualization of practical problems
  • Can describe appropriate visualization solutions to various application scenarios
  • Can find and make use of related (scientific) work when solving a practical problem
  • Can explain the principles of programming, in particular also GPU programming


The candidate

  • Can design solutions to basic informatics problems in computer graphics and visualization
  • Can demonstrate problem solving according to scientific working principles
  • Can work with data of different kinds
  • Can design computer programs for data analysis and scientific computing
  • Can communicate effectively

General competence

The candidate

  • Can classify visualization and computer graphics techniques
  • Can advocate a particular solution
  • Can communicate a given solution
  • Can organize and structure a particular problem solving approach in a team environment

Admission Requirements

The master's programme builds on a bachelor's degree from the Department of Informatics, or a bachelor's degree and at least 80 ECTS of Mathematics and Informatics/Computer science.

Bachelor's degrees from UiB that qualify:

  • Bachelor's degree from Department of Informatics, UiB (BAMN-BINF, BAMN-DSIK, BAMN-DTEK, BAMN-DVIT, BATF-IMØ, BAMN-INF)
  • Bachelor's degree in Information and Communication Technology (IKT) with at least 15 ECTS (at least two courses for at least 7,5 ECTS each) of elective Mathematics
  • Bachelor's degree in Cognitive Science (BASV-KOGNI) with specialization in Informatics
  • Bachelor's degree in Artificial Intelligence (BASV-AIKI) qualifies, if you have at least 80 ECTS of Mathematics and Informatics/Computer Science. Out of these 80 ECTS, at least 40 ECTS must be in Informatics/Computer science, and at least 15 ECTS must be in Mathematics. One course in Statistics can count towards Mathematics (except STAT100). MNF130 and equivalent counts as Informatics. INF-courses and INFO-courses with credit reduction towards INF-courses count as informatics.

Bachelor's degrees that qualify

  • Bachelor's degree in Computing from HVL (Western Norway University of Applied Sciences)
  • Bachelor's degree in Information Technology from HVL
  • Bachelor's degree in Communication Systems from HVL

Other bachelor's degrees might qualify if you have at least 80 ECTS of Mathematics and Informatics/Computer Science. Out of these 80 ECTS, at least 40 ECTS must be in Informatics/Computer science, and at least 15 ECTS (at least two courses with 7,5 ECTS each) must be in Mathematics. If both INF100 and INF109 are part of the Bachelor's degree, the applicant will only get credits for INF100. One course in Statistics can count towards Mathematics (except STAT100). MNF130 (and equivalent) counts as Informatics.

For international self-financing applicants:

The Master's programme is not available for international applicants residing outside of the Nordic countries, the European Union/EEA and Switzerland.

You also need to document:

Recommended previous knowledge

A strictly required prerequisite is an education corresponding to a Norwegian Bachelor degree in informatics or computer science. Profound skills in programming in at least one programming language are expected. Interests in other science domains or industrial areas are very welcome. It is strongly recommended to take course INF250 in the Bachelor programme. Mathematics equal to MAT105/MAT111 is recommended.

Compulsory units

This Master's programme consists of two components: Coursework of 60 credits and an individual research project (Master's thesis) of 60 credits.

Courses: In order to successfully complete this Master's programme, the following courses must be passed: INF250 (it's strongly recommended that INF250 is already taken during the Bachelor studies), INF251, INF252, INF319, and INF358 (INF234 is also compulsory as for all Master programmes in Informatics).

Further courses, which complete the 60 credits of coursework in this programme, are elective and should be chosen in agreement with the supervisor.

The standard plan for this Master's programme is as follows (note that for this standard plan, it is assumed that INF250 was taken during the Bachelor studies):

1. semester autumn: INF234, INF251, INF358

2. semester spring: INF319, INF252, Thesis

3. semester autumn: Elective course, Thesis

4. semester spring: Thesis

Several variations of this standard plan are possible, including:

  • If students did not take INF250 during their Bachelor studies, INF250 should be taken in the 2nd semester (instead of INF319, which then should be taken in the 3rd semester instead of the elective course)
  • If students did also take INF251 during their Bachelor studies, then another elective course should be chosen in agreement with the supervisor (and INF319 may be taken in the 1st semester)
  • If students start in spring and if they took INF250 during their Bachelor studies, then courses INF252 and INF319 should be taken during the 1st semester and INF251, INF358, and INF234 during the 2nd semester. The thesis project would then span the entire 3rd and 4th semester.
  • Further variations are possible in agreement with the supervisor.

In principle, courses are organized in a logical order. More advanced courses build upon more basic courses.

To successfully complete this Master's programme, students need to pass six courses (of which one should be taken during the Bachelor studies).

The following courses need to be passed, either in the Bachelor's or Master's programme:

INF250 Foundations of dataoriented visual computing (during the Bachelor programme)

INF251 Computer Graphics

INF252 Visualization

INF234 Algorithms

INF358 Seminar in Visualization

INF319 Visualization project

INF250: This course focuses on the foundations for data-intense informatics projects, in particular projects involving visual computing. Those foundations include the necessary mathematical basis (more from a user's point of view) as well as programming foundations.

INF251: This course is an introduction to the field of computer graphics and it is targeted at students at the beginning of the Master studies (or at the end of their Bachelor studies). It conveys an important technical and theoretical basis for the studies of visualization.

INF252: This course is an introduction to the field of visualization. It includes the visualisation of volume data (e.g., medical), vector and tensor data (flows), and abstract data (for ex., databases). It is the central course for the UiB Master study programme in informatics with focus on visualization.

INF234: The course includes advanced methods for design and analysis of discrete algoritms. A central theme in the course is how to cope with NP-hard problems, for example on restricted input, or via approximation algorithms, randomized algorithms or parameterized algorithms. The course also introduces tools to handle input that changes during the course of an algorithm.

INF358: This course teaches scientific work principles in the research field of visualization. Students are introduced to the basic methods, tools, and data types in visualization and learn how to research the state of the art in existing scientific literature. Furthermore, the course teaches fundamental principles of scientific working including written and oral dissemination and peer-review.

INF319: This course is about realizing a programming project in visualization. A programming project should be specified, designed and implemented. This has to be planned and agreed upon mutual agreement of a student with the supervisor.

The study plan should be finalized in agreement with the supervisor to provide a good basis for the Master's thesis project.

Recommended electives

10 ECTS in the Master's programme are elective and have to be chosen in agreement with the supervisor.

MAT262 Image Processing is recommended.

Sequential Requirements, courses

The recommended sequence of the courses in the programme can be found under the heading "Compulsory units".

Study period abroad

You can plan study periods abroad in consultation with your supervisor as a part of the master agreement.

Teaching and learning methods

The Master's thesis is an independently scientific work, under supervision of an academic supervisor.

A combination of teaching methods is used in the various courses, mainly lectures and groups. You may find more information in the course description.

The Master's thesis in Visualization is a research-related piece of practical work. It requires that the student has obtained substantial knowledge within the research field of visualization. The Master's thesis project has three stages. The first part is literature research, i.e., the familiarization with the research topic, state-of-the-art review, and a detailed design of the planned thesis also including a time schedule. The second and largest part is the realization of the project solution, usually by programming, i.e., the core part of the thesis where the hypothesis, the scientific aspect is experimentally validated. The last part is the dissemination of the scientific outcome in the written form.

During the 1st semester the student establishes contact with a supervisor from visualization. Together with the supervisor a subject for the thesis is specified and a schedule is made with an outline of courses and milestones in the thesis work. The setup of the Master thesis is a project with workload equivalent to 60 study points. The project (the normal 60 ETCS one) has to be delivered within the two years' time frame of the Master's programme.

Assessment methods

Then final step in the programme is an oral examination. The examination is held when the master's thesis is submitted, evaluated and approved.

The most common assessment methods in the courses are written and oral examination. The assessment methods for each course are described in the course description.

Grading scale

At UiB the grades are given in one of two possible grading scales: passed/failed and A to F.

The master thesis will be graded A to F.

The grading scale for each course is given in the course description.

Diploma and Diploma supplement

The Diploma, in Norwegian, and the Diploma Supplement, in English, will be issued when the degree is completed.

Access to further studies

To be eligible for admission to the Doctoral education (PhD) the candidate must have completed a master's degree.

To qualify for the Doctoral education (PhD) at UiB the average grade for the master's thesis, the Master's degree and the bachelor's degree should be at least C.

In order to get enrolled you have to be granted a fellowship for doctoral training.


After finishing this Master's programme in Visualization, students have many opportunities to continue. In general, they are well suited for any IT-related employment. Candidates are especially well trained for R&D in visualization and computer graphics. Typical jobs are CAD and GIS system development, development of medical workstations, design and development of software for visual analysis and exploration of data from industry (e.g., oil and gas industry, fishery, or automobile design). Candidates gain also knowledge for the game development, development of 3D modeling systems and business graphics, graphics hardware programming, and user interface design on any type of devices from mobile phone displays to immersive virtual reality environments.


The programme will be evaluated according to the quality assurance system of the University of Bergen.

Programme committee

The programme committee is responsible for the academic content, the structure and the quality of the programme.

Administrative responsibility

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences by the Department of Informatics, holds the administrative responsibility for the programme.

Contact information

Please contact the academic adviser for the programme if you have any questions:


Phone: + 47 55 58 42 00