What is it like to study at the University of the Arts Helsinki?

Read more about our teaching practices, the role of artistic activities as part of the studies, and the facilities that are provided for you as a student.

Tailored and high-quality instruction

Our learning environment promotes a genuine dialogue within the community and supports your growth into an independent expert and artist. Flexible curricula, one-to-one guidance and independent artistic work are the core aspects of studies at the University of the Arts Helsinki (Uniarts Helsinki). Group instruction, workshops, field trips and different projects create a sense of community, while individual instruction focuses on developing your own special talent and independent thinking, encouraging you to push the boundaries of art. Individual instruction at Uniarts Helsinki emphasises an open dialogue and a low hierarchy between students and teachers. 

Teachers with world-class expertise

Uniarts Helsinki’s teachers are distinguished artists and experts in their respective fields. Several Finnish and international lecturers and teachers also visit the academies every year. Through their expertise and professional networks, your teachers will introduce you to the field of arts in Finland and abroad and help you build an excellent professional basis for working as an independent artist.

Artistic activities

Uniarts Helsinki’s selection of joint studies and artistic activities give you versatile skills needed as a professional and provide you with fresh perspectives on collaborative arts projects. The university’s joint studies give you tools to understand the different aspects and work methods of your own artistic field and to compare the phenomena of knowledge, research and art with a critical eye.

The artistic activities are a medium of instruction and offer students contacts with society, the field of arts and the arts audience in general. These exhibitions, concerts and performances set the pace for your studies and give you memorable experiences, starting from your first year of studies until the year when you graduate. Through your personal artistic projects, you will anchor your own work in the contexts of art and society, where artists may adopt multi-faceted roles and profiles.

Artistic activities may be experimental in nature and entail even spontaneous initiatives, such as productions utilising urban space. During your studies, you will get the chance to participate in collaboration projects and projects involving public art.

International student life

As a student of Uniarts Helsinki, you will be part of a distinctly international community. A total of 15% of our bachelor’s and master’s degree students, 23% of our doctoral students and 10% of our teaching and research staff come from outside of Finland. In addition to our permanent teaching staff, our degree programmes regularly host international top experts who come for a visit to lead master classes, thematic workshops, special courses and projects. 

You can also include an international mobility period to your degree, for example by going abroad as an exchange student or a trainee. During your studies, you can also participate in a master class, residency period, workshop, exhibition or festival that takes place abroad.

Read more about Uniarts Helsinki’s international projects

A supportive university community

Our goal is to support you in your journey of strengthening your independent artistic expression, because the diversity of our students enriches all of our lives. We hope to create a safe environment where you get to experiment with ideas, make mistakes, fulfil your goals, and reflect on your own growth as an artist. This kind of atmosphere requires a strong sense of community, which in turn requires the establishing of joint codes of conduct – one obvious guideline is that we do not condone harassment of any kind.

In order for Uniarts Helsinki to operate successfully as a community where its students and staff members get to work with a sense of peace and security, all of its members must treat each other with respect. There will surely be differences of opinion from time to time, but we encourage everyone to discuss them openly.

If students are subjected to harassment or some other problematic situation, they can approach anyone in the staff and talk about the matter with them. All staff members have the responsibility to provide help and take the matter forward, if necessary.

Work facilities, equipment and materials

Academy of Fine Arts

Emphasis is laid on individual, one-to-one instruction that takes place in the student’s studio or the common studio and work facilities. All students have their own work station assigned for them for their independent artistic work that they can access 24/7, every day of the year. You can apply for various grants to cover the material and exhibition costs related to your studies. 

The Academy of Fine Arts has two professionally equipped galleries in central locations in Helsinki: Exhibition Laboratory and Project Room. The galleries regularly serve as the venues for exhibitions and events related to the Academy of Fine Arts and its studies, including the annual MFA Degree Show with the name Kuvan Kevät, which is the main event of the year. Exhibitions are also organised in galleries owned by the academy’s various partners.

Students of the Academy of Fine Arts can apply to the academy’s residency programmes in Berlin and New York. There is also a residency run by KuvAn residenssi ry Association on the Utö Island, which offers a peaceful work environment for the academy’s students and alumni.

Sibelius Academy

As a Sibelius Academy student, you can book facilities of your own department as well as the classrooms that are in shared use between the departments and use them for studies, practice and study-related performances. Apart from certain restrictions, you also have the right to book recording studios and performance halls for your own use.

The Stage and Studio Team is in charge of providing you with professional amplification, recording and lighting services at your performances. The Team maintains and develops the lighting and sound systems of the concert halls and the Sibelius Academy’s recording studios in cooperation with the Department of Music Technology.

The Sibelius Academy has an instrument loan service for students and teachers and a collection of a bit over 200 instruments. No fee is charged for the loan, and the maximum loan period extends to the end of the ongoing academic year. The loan service is located in the same premises as the Instrument Workshop that serves students and staff members in questions related to the maintenance of instruments. You can also come to the workshop and work independently on your own projects under the guidance of the staff. The Workshop also offers courses on the making of instruments and related knowhow and maintenance.

Theatre Academy

You can book rehearsal halls at the Theatre Academy for practice purposes, and there are five performance halls available for your artistic activities. There are also rehearsal and dance halls that can be used for performances.

The Theatre Academy’s Producer Team and Technical Production Team support your artistic activities. The main task of the Producer Team is to take care of the licensing, copyright, contracts, budgeting, scheduling and internal communications for all study and research-related productions.

The expertise of the Stage, Props and Wardrobe Team is at your disposal when you prepare your performances. They will plan, prepare, acquire and modify the props and costumes for all Theatre Academy productions. Lighting and sound designers, on the other hand, plan and create the lighting and sound designs for the productions at the Theatre Academy.

University of the Arts Student Union (ArtSu)

University of the Arts Student Union (ArtSU) is the community and interest and service organisation for students at Uniarts Helsinki. The student union is a self-governing community subject to public law, and all bachelor’s and master’s degree students at Uniarts Helsinki are automatically its members. Doctoral students, exchange students and students completing non-degree pedagogical studies for teachers are also welcome to join the student union, and the total number of members in ArtSU is about 1,800.

The purpose of the student union is to act as a tie between its members and promote their sense of community, promote the interests and rights of students at Uniarts Helsinki as well as on a national level, and provide services and benefits that assist students in their daily life. We welcome all Uniarts Helsinki students to join the student union activities – read more on our website at www.taiyo.fi!