Uniarts Helsinki’s Theatre Academy is a reformer of the performing arts and an inviting research unit. The academy offers training at undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral levels. The academy offers degree programmes in Lighting and Sound Design, Dance, Choreography, Theatre Pedagogy, Dance Pedagogy, Acting, Directing, Dramaturgy, Ecology and Contemporary Performance, and Live Art and Performance. In addition to Acting in Finnish, the academy offers an Acting programme in Swedish.
The Theatre Academy provides the highest education in the performing arts in Finland, training actors (in Finnish and Swedish), directors, dramaturges, lighting and sound designers, professionals in dance (choreographers and dancers), performance artists, dance and theatre pedagogues. The results of the studies are performed on the stages of the Academy’s training theatre. The Academy also works within research in the fields of theatre, dance and performance. At the Theatre Academy, art, performance, training, and research are in constant interaction. Everything starts from training in the practical craft of acting, with the objective is of educating students who are willing to develop in the arts. Our purpose is to provide an extensive general knowledge in the field and to encourage students to pursue analytical, investigative and reflective thinking.
Bachelor's and master's degrees
Bachelor of Arts (Dance)
Master of Arts (Dance)
Bachelor of Arts (Theatre and Drama)
Master of Arts (Theatre and Drama)
The bachelor’s degree (BA) requires 180 credits. The recommended degree completion time is three years. The master’s degree (MA) requires 120 credits. The recommended degree completion time is two years. After completing the master's degree (MA), the student can apply to doctoral study.
Doctor of Arts (Dance)
Doctor of Arts (Theatre and Drama)
Degree Programmes Leading to BA and MA in Theatre and Drama
Degree programmes leading to MA in Dance
The Centre for Joint Studies
The Professors and Degree Programme Heads of the Theatre Academy
How to apply
The Theatre Academy offers 13 degree and master’s programmes. Some programmes do not accept invitations annually. You can check the programmes that are accepting invitations in the admissions guides. The guides are released in October.
Further information on the Theatre Academy’s admissions and programmes is available by phone at +358 50 349 6672 (Monday to Friday, 9.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.) or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
General information about the entrance examinations
General information about the entrance examinations
The examinations are divided into several phases and may include morning and/or afternoon sessions followed by an intermediate elimination. In some programmes, applicants will be notified in the evening whether they will pass to the next round the following day. Some entrance examinations may include an elimination round between the morning and the afternoon sessions. In addition, some entrance examinations include assignments to be prepared at home.
A patient attitude towards the entrance examinations is recommended. Please do not feel discouraged if you are eliminated: This does not mean that you lack talent. As there are very few places for new students, the Admissions Board will have to make very difficult decisions as choosing between numerous talented applicants is challenging. Sometimes it happens that the board interrupts an applicant’s performance. This does not mean that the applicant has failed; instead, the Board may just feel that they have seen enough to assess the applicant's skills.
A number of urban legends are circulating about the Theatre Academy’s entrance examinations. It is recommended that you do not accept anything presented in, for example, an online discussion group as the definitive truth. Each applicant's recollection of the examination is different. The entrance examination focuses on things that are at the core of the degree programme in question.
All applicants will be notified in good time whether they will be invited to the entrance examination. If you receive an invitation, it will contain detailed instructions and advice for the entrance exam.
Studies at the Theatre Academy require a commitment. School days are often long, the studies include a considerable amount of fitness training and all teaching emphasises a thorough knowledge of the theatre and the arts.
The elimination principles in different degree programmes vary, as do the durations of the entrance examinations. If you have applied for two degree programmes, for example dramaturgy and directing, and are accepted to the second round in both, you can continue in both, but it may be impossible because of the examination schedules. In such cases, it is up to you to decide for which programme to choose to continue in the entrance examination process. The entrance examination times cannot be changed.
The numerus clausus is determined annually, but in the recent years there have not been great changes.
In the Theatre Academy’s doctoral programme, you will undertake research into the performing arts that is multidisciplinary, artistic, artist-based, and rooted in art pedagogy. The Theatre Academy’s doctoral graduates are practitioners and researchers committed to the development and renewal of arts and practice, research and teaching. As experts in their fields, they create information and insights based on art-related practices that can also be applied outside of the arts.
The hyperlinks to the shared resources on research are as follows:
Theatre Academy deans
Theatre Academy deans
Dean Maarit Ruikka
Maarit Ruikka has been nominated the dean of the Theatre Academy until August 31st, 2018.
Before she became the dean Ruikka was Professor in Directing at the Theatre Academy. She has directed for municipal theatres, professional theatre groups, radio, dance theatre, and free theatre ensembles. She is a qualified elementary school teacher and studied in the directing programme at the Theatre Academy Helsinki between 1989 and 1992. Ruikka has previously worked as elementary school teacher and as part-time teacher at the Theatre Academy.
Vice-dean Leena Rouhiainen
Leena Rouhiainen is the vice-dean responsible of research. Rouhiainen is also professor of research at the Theatre Academy and director of the Performing Arts Research Centre TUTKE. Rouhiainen holds a PhD in Dance (2003). Her doctoral dissertation discussed, from a phenomenological angle, what being a freelance dancer entails. Her current research interests include artistic research, somatics, bodily knowledge, and the phenomenological approach to research on dancers and performers.
Vice-dean Ari Tenhula
Ari Tenhula has been nominated the vice-dean responsible of teaching until 30th July, 2018. Tenhula is also professor of dance at the Theatre Academy and artistic director of the Moving in November contemporary dance festival. Tenhula’s prolific career as a contemporary dancer and choreographer spans more than 20 years. In addition to his speciality, contemporary dance, he has choreographed several operas, plays, and musicals.
email@example.com, tel. +358 50 430 8664
The Training Theatre
You will not become a master of the stage simply by reading about acting in literature. Instead, you will need to create performances for different premises, in different ways, and with different people. At the Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki, performances are at the core of teaching and research, and they are naturally a part of the degree requirements.
For Theatre Academy students, the Training Theatre (Opte) is a tool of art and research and a place for learning through doing. The Training Theatre is organised as a professional theatre, which is a unique way of staging student performances.
Theatre and dance productions are a vital part of studies at the Theatre Academy. While the stage is a natural setting for our performances, we also put on live productions on squares and street corners, in forests and found spaces, and in large spaces and small spaces. Through their projects, the students apply their knowledge and receive public feedback from an audience, reviewers and teachers. Our Training Theatre offers technical and artistic services for performances and is constructed like a professional theatre.
Students at the Theatre Academy produce about 50 premieres during one academic year. Please click a date on the calendar (kalenteri/kalender) to find the performances on that date. You can book tickets on the Internet at www.uniarts.fi/teakliput
Theatre Academy alumni gather regularly to meet old acquaintances and current students and teachers at various events.
Several degree programmes at the Theatre Academy provide mentoring for students. The mentors are usually alumni, who monitor the mentee’s progress during his or her training and are available for consultation in professional matters.