Apply to Degree Programme in Fine Arts (Bachelor + Master)

How to apply, admissions criteria and information about studying at the Academy of Fine Arts

Student admissions to the degree programme in fine arts, spring 2021: results of the 1st phase

NB. The guidelines regarding the 2nd phase of the admission (admission course) have been updated (March 16, 2021)

NB. There will be changes to the admissions process for the degree programme in Fine Arts (the 5.5-year programme leading to bachelor’s and masters’ degrees) in the spring of 2021. The work portfolio and the motivation letter will already be submitted electronically during the application period in January.

Please see “How to apply” below for more information about the different phases of the admissions process.

Length and language of studies

  • Application period: 7/–20/1/2021 at 3:00 p.m. (local time in Finland)
  • Duration of studies: 5.5 years (3.5 + 2 years)
  • Language of degree: Finnish, Swedish or English

Uniarts Helsinki’s admissions are part of the Finnish Joint application for higher education. Applying takes place via Studyinfo.fi. Application period is 7 -20 January 2021 (at 3:00 p.m.).

Admission criteria

An applicant can be accepted to undertake studies in the degree programme leading to Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Fine Arts if they:

  • demonstrate ability in the fine arts, are oriented towards the fine arts, and have an aptitude for the studies included in the degree programmes for bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Academy of Fine Arts,
  • have the necessary educational background required for the studies,
  • have demonstrated their language proficiency in the manner specified by the Academy.

All applicants who have the required educational background, and who have provided acceptable proof of sufficient language proficiency, will be deemed eligible to apply. The applicant can also be deemed conditionally eligible based on a certificate of previous studies if the education required for eligibility is assessed to be completed by the time the applicant accepts the study place.

In the first phase, the applicant’s ability in the fine arts, their orientation towards the fine arts, and their aptitude for studying in the degree programme leading to bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Academy of Fine Arts are assessed by examining the application, which must have been submitted within the application period, the applicant’s motivation letter and work portfolio.

In the second phase (admission course), the applicant’s ability in the fine arts, their orientation towards the fine arts, and their aptitude for studying in the degree programme leading to bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Academy of Fine Arts are assessed by examining the application, which must have been submitted within the application period, the applicant’s motivation letter and work portfolio, as well as their work samples and the work they produce during the admission course.

The applicant’s ability in the fine arts and their orientation towards the fine arts will be assessed by evaluating the applicant’s self-expression, originality, and ability to improve. The applicant’s aptitude for the studies leading to bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Academy of Fine Arts will be assessed by e.g. the following criteria: their motivation to undertake the studies, their capacity to learn, and their ability to reflect on their own artistic practice.

Applying for transfer from another university

Applicants who are refugees or in a refugee-like situation

Educational background

According to the Universities Act (558/2009, 37§), a person is eligible to apply for studies leading to a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in higher education if they have:

  1. passed the examination referred to in the National Matriculation Examination Act (672/2005) (a matriculation examination, an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma, a European Baccalaureate (EB) diploma or an international Reifeprüfung-/Deutsche Internationale Abitur examination) (RP/DIA);
  2. been awarded a vocational upper secondary qualification, a further vocational qualification or a specialist vocational qualification in accordance with the Vocational Education and Training Act (531/2017); or
  3. completed a qualification abroad which in the awarding country gives eligibility for the corresponding level of higher education.

A person is also eligible to apply to study at the University of the Arts Helsinki if they have:

  • completed a Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education degree (AICE);
  • been granted the right to undertake studies in Finland in order to pursue a University degree; or
  • if they have completed a University degree in Finland or a degree that corresponds to a bachelor’s degree or a higher degree abroad.

Applicants can also be considered as eligible if the Academy deems them otherwise to have sufficient knowledge and skills for the studies.

Language proficiency requirement

To pursue degree studies in fine arts at the Academy of Fine Arts, the student must have sufficient proficiency in either Finnish, Swedish or English.

All applicants must prove their proficiency in the language in which they plan to complete their degree, i.e. either Finnish, Swedish or English.

The applicant must prove their language proficiency in accordance with the requirements set by the Academy of Fine Arts.

The applicant may, under exceptional circumstances, be deemed conditionally eligible regarding language proficiency. An applicant may be considered conditionally eligible if their prior studies constitute proof of sufficient language proficiency, but the education has not been completed by the end of the application period (e.g. applicants who are about to complete their matriculation examination in the spring or who have not yet completed their bachelor’s degree). In such cases, the applicant must provide the Academy with a basic education certificate or a study certificate of the prior education along with the projected graduation date. The prior education must be completed by the time the applicant accepts the study place in order to be accepted as proof of language proficiency. If the applicant has been deemed conditionally eligible regarding language proficiency, they must provide the Academy with the necessary certificate prior to accepting the study place, or they cannot be accepted as a student.

If the applicant demonstrates their language proficiency by a language proficiency test, they must submit a certificate proving their proficiency during the application period as part of their application.

Most courses at the Academy of Fine Arts are taught either in Finnish or in English. Students are entitled to use Finnish and Swedish during courses both orally and in written assignments, unless explicitly stated otherwise in the curriculum, or if this is not possible because of the way in which the teaching is organised.

Demonstrating proficiency in Finnish

Applicants may demonstrate their proficiency in Finnish in the following ways:

  • Basic education, an upper secondary qualification, or other qualification that gives eligibility for higher education completed in Finnish (passing grade in Finnish as a mother tongue or Finnish as a second language [S2] in the school-leaving certificate)
  • Finnish as a mother tongue or Finnish as a second language (S2) test of the Finnish matriculation examination completed with a minimum grade of approbatur (A)
  • Finnish as the second national language test of the Finnish matriculation examination completed on the advanced syllabus level (A-level language) with a minimum grade of eximia cum laude approbatur (E)
  • Finnish as the second national language test of the Finnish matriculation examination completed on the intermediate syllabus level (B-level language) with a grade of laudatur (L)
  • A university degree or a university of applied sciences degree:
    • with Finnish as the language of instruction; or
    • which includes a written thesis completed in Finnish for at least a bachelor’s degree or a maturity test completed in Finnish at a higher education institution
    • with Finnish as the major subject; or
    • which includes core and intermediate studies (60 ECTS cr/ 35 cr according to the old Finnish credit system) in the Finnish language completed at a higher education institution; or
    • which includes a language test or language studies in Finnish completed as part of the degree at a higher education institution, demonstrating oral and written skills in Finnish (as the second national language), with a minimum grade of ‘good’.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
    • minimum grade of 2 in a Finnish language test on level A (literature / language and literature / literature and performance): or
    • minimum grade of 3 in a Finnish language test on level B
    • minimum grade of 2 in A1 Finnish or minimum grade of 3 in A2 Finnish in the International Baccalaureate programme completed before 2013
  • European Baccalaureate (EB) Diploma
    • passing grade in Finnish as the L1 language (minimum grade of 4); or
    • minimum grade of 5 in Finnish as the L2 language
  • Reifeprüfung (RP) or Deutsches Internationales Abitur (DIA) diploma completed at Deutsche Schule Helsinki
    • passing grade (minimum grade of 4) in the written test in Finnish as the mother tongue; or
    • minimum grade of 8 in the oral test in Finnish as the mother tongue; or
    • minimum grade of 5 in Finnish as a second language (S2)
  • National Certificate of Language Proficiency in Finnish (YKI) awarded by the Finnish National Agency for Education
    • all subtests of the test completed on level 3 (reading comprehension, writing, listening comprehension, speaking)
    • alternatively, a passing grade (different test occasions may be combined) in a minimum of three subtests of the test on the highest level (levels 5 and 6)
  • Civil Service Language Proficiency Certificate demonstrating oral and written skills in Finnish
    • completed on level ‘satisfactory’
  • A passing grade in Finnish studies completed at Kulkuri School of Distance Education, corresponding to the basic education syllabus

Demonstrating proficiency in Swedish

Applicants may demonstrate their proficiency in Swedish in the following ways:

  • Basic education, an upper secondary qualification, or other qualification that gives eligibility for higher education completed in Swedish (passing grade in Swedish as a mother tongue or Swedish as second language [S2] in the school-leaving certificate)
  • Swedish as a mother tongue or Swedish as a second language (S2) test of the Finnish matriculation examination completed with a minimum grade of approbatur (A)
  • Swedish as the second national language test of the Finnish matriculation examination completed on the advanced syllabus level (A-level language) with a minimum grade of eximia cum laude approbatur (E)
  • Swedish as the second national language test of the Finnish matriculation examination completed on the intermediate syllabus level (B-level language) with a grade of laudatur (L)
  • A university degree or a university of applied sciences degree:
    • with Swedish as the language of instruction; or
    • which includes a written thesis completed in Swedish for at least a bachelor’s degree or a maturity test completed in Swedish at a higher education institution; or
    • with Swedish / Scandinavian languages as the major subject; or
    • which includes core and intermediate studies (60 ECTS cr/ 35 cr according to the old Finnish credit system) in the Swedish language / Scandinavian languages completed at a higher education institution; or
    • which includes a language test or language studies in Swedish completed as part of the degree at a higher education institution, demonstrating oral and written skills in Swedish (as the second national language), with a minimum grade of ‘good’.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
    • minimum grade of 2 in a Swedish language test on level A (literature / language and literature / literature and performance); or
    • minimum grade of 3 in a Swedish language test on level B; or
    • minimum grade of 2 in A1 Swedish OR minimum grade of 3 in A2 Swedish in the International Baccalaureate programme completed in 2013
  • European Baccalaureate (EB) Diploma
    • passing grade in Swedish as the L1 language (minimum grade of 4); or
    • minimum grade of 5 in Swedish as the L2 language
  • National Certificate of Language Proficiency in Swedish awarded by the Finnish National Agency for Education
    • all subtests of the test completed on level 3 (reading comprehension, writing, listening comprehension, speaking)
    • alternatively, a passing grade (different test occasions may be combined) in a minimum of three subtests of the test on the highest level (levels 5 and 6)
  • Civil Service Language Proficiency Certificate demonstrating oral and written skills in Swedish
    • completed on level ‘satisfactory’
  • Test named ‘Test i svenska för universitetsstudier’ completed in full in Sweden, with a passing grade in all sections of the test
  • A language proficiency test, organised by a Finnish higher education institution independently (or in cooperation), demonstrating that the applicant’s Swedish skills correspond to level B2 (e.g. language tests organised by Hanken and Åbo Akademi).

Demonstrating proficiency in English

Applicants may demonstrate their proficiency in English in the following ways:

  • General education completed in English in an EU or EEA country or in Switzerland, the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand
  • University degree or a university of applied sciences degree completed in English in an EU or EEA country or Switzerland, the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand
  • University or a university of applied sciences degree completed in Finnish or Swedish in Finland, which includes foreign language studies in English in accordance with the decree 794/2004 or 1129/2014
    • Foreign language studies in English that are included in an incomplete Finnish university/university of applied sciences degree, as well as studies completed in some other manner, can also be approved, provided that the studies comply with the decree. In this case, the applicant must send a transcript of study records to Uniarts Helsinki along with a copy of the degree requirements of the higher education institution in question or some other document that states which language studies are required for the degree.
  • English test of the Finnish matriculation examination completed in the advanced syllabus level (A-level language) with a minimum grade of magna cum laude approbatur (M)
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
    • diploma completed in English
    • passing grade in the English test (literature / language and literature / literature and performance) on level A; or
    • minimum grade of 5 (good) in the English language test on level B
  • European Baccalaureate (EB) Diploma
    • passing grade in English as the L1 language; or
    • minimum grade of 7 in English as the L2 or L3 language
  • A Reifeprüfung diploma (Deutsche Schule Helsinki) can be used as proof of sufficient language skills if the applicant has received a passing grade in the written level A English test (or an equivalent result in Deutsches Internationales Abitur) or a minimum grade of 8 in the oral level A English test
  • Certificate of a completed language test approved by Uniarts Helsinki
    • TOEFL (IBT)
      • Total score: 73
    • IELTS (Academic)
      • Overall Band Score: 5.5
    • Cambridge English C2 Proficiency (CPE): accepted grades are A, B, C and Level C1
    • Cambridge English C1 Advanced (CAE): accepted grades are A, B, C and Level B2
    • Cambridge English B2 First (FCE): Accepted grades are A, B, C and Level B1.
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic)
      • Total score: 43
    • National Certificate of Language Proficiency (YKI) in English awarded by the Finnish National Agency for Education
      • all subtests of the test completed on level 3 (reading comprehension, writing, listening comprehension, speaking)
      • alternatively, a passing grade (different test occasions may be combined) in a minimum of three subtests of the test on the highest level (levels 5 and 6)

Online tests of the aforementioned language test organisers are also suitable demonstrations of language proficiency (e.g. TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition, IELTS Indicator).

IELTS, TOEFL and PTE test results are valid for two years from the test date. The test result must be valid in the year in which the applicant is applying to the university so that it can be considered proof of the applicant’s proficiency in English. Cambridge and National Certificate of Language Proficiency results are valid indefinitely.

The Academy shall only accept language proficiency tests arranged by the aforementioned organisations.

How to apply

The 5.5-year degree programme in Fine Arts is part of the January joint application process for higher education (application period 7–20/1/2021). It is possible to apply for a study place in a maximum of 6 degree programmes. These programmes do not need to be listed in any particular order. The applicant can accept only one study place.

The University of the Arts Helsinki does not have a separate quota for first-time applicants in the admissions. The Academy of Fine Arts does not issue points for the applications, appendices, work portfolios, work samples and admission course work for those applying to the 5.5-year programme.

Application phases:

1st phase: Electronic application form and appendices (work portfolio and motivation letter)

Application period: 7/1–20/1/2021 at 3:00 p.m. The applicant fills in an electronic application form and submits it during the application period. The application is submitted to Study.info.fi webpage. The applicant must submit the application form with all the required appendices. The appendices include documents related to the applicant’s educational background and language proficiency as well as their motivation letter and work portfolio. It is possible to amend the appendices until 27/1/2021 at 3:00 p.m.

The applicants will receive an e-mail notification of their eligibility to apply by 19/2/2021. The applications, work portfolios and motivation letters of all applicants who have been deemed eligible to apply will be evaluated, and some of the applicants will be invited to take part in the admission course on the basis of this evaluation.

2nd phase: Admission course and work samples

The admission course will be organised on 3/5–7/5/2021 in Helsinki. All applicants who are accepted to the admission course will receive an invitation on 8/4/2021. The applicants are asked to bring 3 original works included in their work portfolios to the admission course as work samples.

The more detailed entrance examination arrangements will be determined based on the prevailing pandemic situation. More detailed information on how the entrance examination will be arranged will be available later, on 16 March 2021 at the latest.

Announcing the results: 2/6/2021

The study place must be accepted by 16/7/2021 at 3:00 p.m. at the latest.

1. phase: Electronic application and appendices (work portfolio and motivation letter)

The application period opens on 7/1/2021 and closes on 20/1/2021 at 3:00 p.m. Please fill in the electronic application form and submit it during the application period at Studyinfo.fi.

It is possible to amend the appendices until 27/1/2021, 3:00 p.m.

The application must include the following appendices, which are submitted electronically via Studyinfo:

  • A document demonstrating the required educational background (see Admission criteria, Educational background)
  • A document demonstrating the required language proficiency (see Admission criteria, Language proficiency)
  • Motivation letter
  • Work portfolio

All documents must be in Finnish, Swedish or English. If the copies of diplomas or transcripts of study records are written in another language, the applicant must have them translated by an authorised translator.

Please check the acceptable ways of proving the required educational background and language proficiency from the Admission criteria.

NB. Before you submit your application, please check that you have uploaded all the necessary attachments to your application and that all of your application details are correct. Remember also to check the integrity of your uploaded files and that they work the way they are supposed to. Please submit your materials via Studyinfo,fi system as early as possible. It can take up to hours to upload larger files if there is a lot of traffic in the system. We recommend that you upload your materials to the system well before the final deadline so that you have time to access user support in case of technical problems.

The applicant’s eligibility to apply will be assessed after the application period and the amendment period for the appendices has concluded. All applicants who have the required educational background and who have provided proof of their language proficiency according to the requirements and within the schedule set by the Academy, and who have submitted all the required appendices (motivation letter, work portfolio) with their application, will be deemed eligible to apply. Applicants will be informed of their eligibility on 19/2/2021. The applications, work portfolios and motivation letters of all applicants who have been deemed eligible to apply will be evaluated, and some of the applicants will be invited to take part in the admission course on the basis of this evaluation.If you have not been contacted by the Academy of Fine Arts after 19/2/2021, please be in touch with the admissions services (kuva.admissions@uniarts.fi).

Applicants can apply for rectification of the admission decision from Uniarts Helsinki under the Universities Act (558/2009), section 82. The purpose of a written request for rectification is to give the applicant the possibility to appeal and request for rectification if there is a reason to believe that there has been an error in the decision-making process. The rectification procedure is not intended as a means for receiving feedback or asking for further information about the admissions process.

How to request for rectification

Motivation letter

In the motivation letter, you should reflect upon the following points:

  1. What is your personal relationship with the visual arts and your experience in making fine art?
  2. Why are you applying to study at the Academy of Fine Arts?
  3. Introduce one of the works included in your work portfolio and provide a description of your working process

The length of the motivation letter should not exceed 2 pages (A4, line spacing 1.5), and the letter must be submitted as a single (1) PDF file. The maximum file size is 500 MB.

Please name the file according to the following model: lastname_firstname_motivationletter

Work portfolio

The pictures included in the work portfolio are intended to serve as an introduction to the applicant’s artistic practice. A separate assignment is not given for preparing the content of the work portfolio.

The applicant can include a maximum of 8 works in the portfolio. Each works presentation may consist of 1–3 pictures. The maximum size of the portfolio is 20 pages.

Please note that if the applicant is invited to the admission course in May, which comprises the second phase of the application process, they will be asked to bring 3 of the works included in the work portfolio to the admission course (see 2. phase: Admission course and work samples).

The applicant’s name and contact information must be marked on the cover or title page of the portfolio. Detailed information of the works must be provided in the portfolio. These include the work’s name, size, technique and production date. If there are specific technical requirements pertaining to the presentation of the works, the applicant must state this clearly.

The admission jury will not consult the applicants’ personal websites or open any links included in the application. The work portfolio should only include pictures. The applicant is not allowed to include moving image or audio samples to the portfolio. Audio and moving image works must be submitted as a separate file.

The work portfolio must be submitted as a single (1) PDF file. The maximum file size is 500 MB.

Please name the file according to the following model: lastname_firstname_workportfolio

Moving image and audio art works as part of the work portfolio

In addition to submitting a work portfolio of pictures, or in place of the picture portfolio, the applicant can submit a file that includes an overview of moving image or audio art works.

The applicant can submit one (1) file that includes an overview of moving image or audio works, with a total running time of maximum 5:00 minutes (edited from a single work or several works). Maximun file size is 500 MB.

If the work in question is a multimedia or online work, the applicant must edit a demo based on moving image. The admission jury will not consult the applicants’ personal websites or open any links included in the portfolio.

Accepted format for video

  • file format: mp4, avi, wmv
  • maximum file size: 500 MB
  • H.264 compression

Accepted format for audio

  • file format: mp3, wma, wav
  • maximum file size: 500 MB

You can use the free HandBrake software for converting and packing.

The name of the applicant must be clearly stated in the submitted file. All information pertaining to the work (name, technique, year) can be specified either in the file or in connection with the work portfolio.

Please name the file according to the following model: lastname_ firstname_movingimage_audio

2. phase: Admission course and work samples

NB. The guidelines regarding the 2nd phase of the admission (admission course) have been updated (March 16, 2021)

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the organisation of the 2nd phase of the spring 2021 student admissions to the 5,5-year education in fine arts will change from what has been communicated earlier in our admissions guide. The admission course will not take place in the premises of the academy in Helsinki. The 2nd phase will be arranged remotely in the form of interviews conducted through a remote connection and an assignment given and completed remotely. The 2nd phase of the admission process will take place in the week reserved originally for the admissions course, that is between May 3rd and May 7th, 2021.

Applicants invited to the 2nd phase will be personally informed by e-mail on April 8, 2021, about the practicalities regarding the admission course. Applicants invited to the 2nd phase are asked to reserve this time for work on the admissions course remote assignment and interview.

The names of the applicants accepted to the admission course will be made public on 8/4/2021. All applicants selected to the admission course will be sent an e-mail notifying them of the admission course, and their names will be published on the Uniarts.fi website if they had authorised the publication of their name in the application form.

Applicants who are not invited to the admission course will also be notified of the decision by e-mail. If the Academy of Fine Arts has not contacted you after 8/4/2021, please contact the Admissions Services (kuva.admissions@uniarts.fi).

The more detailed entrance examination arrangements will be determined based on the prevailing pandemic situation.More detailed information on how the entrance examination will be arranged will be available later, on 16 March 2021 at the latest.

The admission course will be held in Helsinki. The admission course starts on Monday, 3/5/2021 and ends on Friday, 7/5/2021. The course includes daily work from c. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The course will conclude a little earlier on Friday.

The applicants must bring the equipment they need to the course (drawing and painting equipment at the minimum). Outside assistance is not allowed during the admission course.

In the admission course, the applicants will work on specific assignments whose topics change each year. You can find examples of the assignments from previous years later in this document.

All the works produced during the admission course, as well as the work samples brought by the applicants, will be photographed. Performances will be filmed. The documented materials shall only be used for the purposes of the admission process.

The applicants can claim the works they had created during the admission course after the results of the admission have been announced on 3–4/6/2021 at 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. All works that remain unclaimed shall be disposed of.

The applicants are not insured by the Academy of Fine Arts, and they take part in the admission course on their own responsibility. The Academy of Fine Arts shall not be accountable for any accidents or loss of personal possessions during the admission course.

An applicant who is under the influence of alcohol, acts in a disturbing, violent or threatening way, or puts another person’s life or health at risk may be removed from the admission course.

Individual arrangements in the entrance examination

Work samples

The applicant must bring 3 original art works that were included as part of the work portfolio to the admission course. If the works are large in size or they are otherwise hard to move, the applicant can bring in photographs or other illustrative materials. Please note that the applicants must be personally able to bring all the original works to the admission course and to collect them on their own at the conclusion of the course.

The applicants must bring the work samples to the admission course on the first day of the course and collect them on the final day. The work samples will be photographed during the admission course. The photographed materials shall only be used for the purposes of the admissions process. The invitation to the admission course includes separate instructions concerning the work samples, as well as a form for itemizing the works.

Insuring the work samples

The Academy is not responsible for the sample works and will not insure them. The Academy is not liable for any possible damage to the works. If the applicant wants to insure their work, they must do so at their own expense.

Announcing the results

The results of the student admissions will be published on the website of the University of the Arts Helsinki on 2/6/2020. The published list will include the names of all the accepted students who had authorised the publication of their name in the application form. After this date, the applicants can make enquiries concerning the admission results by calling the Academy of Fine Arts Admissions Services (+358 50 44 88 540).

The Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts Helsinki will send an e-mail to the applicants accepted as new students and those on the stand-by list after the announcement of the results. Some e-mail clients may treat our messages as spam, so please check your spam folder as well.

Feedback

The Admission Jury will only provide feedback to applicants who took part in the 2nd phase of the admission, that is the May admission course, and were not accepted as students. Feedback will only be given by request, and information about how to ask for feedback will be sent to the applicants after the results of the student admissions have been published. Other applicants will not be given feedback during the admission process or after its conclusion.

Appeals

Applicants can apply for rectification of the admission decision from Uniarts Helsinki under the Universities Act (558/2009), section 82. The purpose of a written request for rectification is to give the applicant the possibility to appeal and request for rectification if there is a reason to believe that there has been an error in the decision-making process.

The rectification procedure is not intended as a means for receiving feedback or asking for further information about the admissions process.

How to request for rectification

Accepting the study place

The admitted new students can accept a study place using the Studyinfo service, or with the notification included in the letter of acceptance; the latter must be submitted to the Admissions office of the University of the Arts Helsinki. The study place must be accepted no later than 16/7/2021 by 3:00 p.m.

If the confirmation arrives late, it will not be considered. The confirmation of acceptance is binding and irrevocable, and it cannot be cancelled. If you want to give up your study place after first accepting it, you are still considered to have accepted the study place for the semester in question (for more information, see ‘one study place per term’ provision).

If the applicant has been defined as conditionally eligible in the first phase of the admissions process, they must submit a degree certificate which proves that they will have the required educational background or language proficiency by the time they accept the study place.

Enrolment for the first year

The enrolment instructions are sent to new students together with the material on being accepted to study.

Registering as absent for the first year of studies

Tuition fee

Uniarts Helsinki will charge an annual tuition fee of 5,000 euros from non-EU and non-EEA students studying for a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in a foreign language. In Uniarts Helsinki’s admissions, tuition fees apply to applicants applying to study in English. The amount of the fee will stay the same for the duration of your studies. The amount of the tuition fee is confirmed on a yearly basis.

The fee cannot be charged to a citizen of a Member State of the European Economic Area (EEA), or to a person who is entitled to the same treatment as EU citizens under a treaty signed by the European Union and its Member States with a third party or to a family member of the above-mentioned individuals. Nor can it be charged to a person with an EU Blue Card, a continuous or permanent residence permit or a long-term resident’s EU residence permit issued to third-country nationals as referred to in the Aliens Act, or to a family member of the above-mentioned individuals. The definition of persons regarded as family members is based on the Finnish Aliens Act.

Exemption from tuition fees

You are exempted from paying tuition fees if you have one of the following documents:

  • Passport (or identity card) to indicate the citizenship of EU/EEA/Switzerland
  • EU Blue Card in Finland
  • Continuous residence permit card in Finland (Type A permit)
  • EU Family Member’s Residence Card in Finland
  • Permanent residence permit card in Finland (Type P permit)
  • EU residence permit for third-country citizens with long-term residence permit card in Finland (Type P-EU permit)

Temporary permit cards and passports must be valid at least until the studies start.

In addition, the fees will not concern those non-EU/non-EEA students who:

  • study in degree programmes taught in Finnish or Swedish
  • have started their studies before autumn 2017
  • are exchange students
  • are enrolled in doctoral or PhD level studies and research

Please check the FAQ of the Studyinfo website whether or not you are required to pay tuition fees. For more information about tuition fees in general, see Finnish Immigration Service. Please note that students from non-EU/non-EEA countries have to apply for residence permits, which are issued based on documents of available funds (appr. EUR 7,000/year).

If you are liable for payment due to your nationality, you must use the application form in the Studyinfo portal to notify whether there are any above-mentioned grounds that would apply and release you from payment. You must provide the necessary documents that prove release from liability for payment and submit them to the admissions office by the deadline confirmed for submitting the attachments related to the joint application procedure.

If your liability to pay the fee changes after the application deadline, you must contact the admissions office immediately.

Scholarships

Uniarts Helsinki has a scholarship programme for students who are liable for payment in the form of tuition fee waivers.

If you are liable for payment, you must state on the application form if you want to apply for a scholarship from Uniarts Helsinki to cover the annual tuition fee if you are admitted as a student. A separate form is used to apply for the scholarship.

  • The scholarships are granted for one academic year at a time based on the students’ applications
  • The scholarships are either 50% or 100% tuition fee waivers
  • New tuition fee paying degree students who have applied for the scholarship will be granted a tuition fee waiver of EUR 2,500 (50%) on their first academic year
  • The scholarships are personal to the applicant to whom they are awarded, and there is no reserve list system in the scholarship programme
  • The decisions on scholarships cannot be appealed against.

If you are awarded a scholarship, you will be notified of the decision personally at the same time as you receive the admission results. Students who are liable for payment have the right to apply for scholarships during the normative duration of their studies. The scholarships are applied for and the decisions regarding scholarships are made annually.

The annual tuition fee must be paid before a deadline that is confirmed on a yearly basis. The application process for a residence permit can only begin after the annual tuition fee has been paid. Uniarts Helsinki recommends students to pay the annual tuition fee as soon as possible after they receive the notification of their admissions. Students are required to pay the annual tuition fee in order to register for attendance and complete studies, and to obtain a residence permit.

Tuition fees and scholarships

Admission course assignments 2010–2020

Please note that only the admission course has a given assignment. The work portfolios an applicant sends to the Academy in the application phase or work samples they provide during the admissions course can be anything; a separate assignment is not given.

2010

1. Surprising combination.
Combine two things normally not associated with each other. They can be things of whatever status: characteristics of form, concrete things or abstract phenomena. To elaborate: “density” refers to form, a “French horn” is a concrete thing and “xenophobia” is an abstract phenomenon. The distinctions are not clear-cut. A “tulip” and a “fare- well” are concrete things but a “tulip” is more concrete than a “farewell”. yet a “farewell” is less abstract than “xenophobia”. Sameness can be formal, concrete or abstract.

You can combine things of the same or different level, for example an “outcast” with “Friday” or “angular” with “moist”.

Here are some examples from poetry. One of Saila Susiluoto’s poems is called “Rooms of water”. Juhana Vähänen poses the question: What is the equivalent of “rocket launcher” in my everyday surroundings? Karri Kokko has come up with new compound words: a rose loan/moose fingers/scream granny/carousel rust/fixed beast/abstinencetrap.

This exercise measures the ability to associate. In the assessment attention will be paid to how unexpected the combination is and on how interesting the results of the comparison are. Creating is about making unexpected comparisons. Show your ability to create something new by juxtaposing old things.

2. Define place/space and your relationship to it.

3. Following theme in a freely chosen method:
blackwhite
black – white
black, white
black-white
black/white
Even the smallest thing can change the meaning of the whole, e.g. punctuation in the above. Visualize something that depicts different relations and proportions.
4. Your take on society as an artwork.

2011

1. Viivana – On line

2. Light

3. Here

Complete works on at least two (of the aforementioned) themes. use at least two techniques that you can choose freely. At least one of the works must be a drawing.

2012

1. Draw.
Freely chosen tool.

2. Recognize the method you use.
Choose one of your work samples and do it some other way (with regard to the method, atmosphere, etc.).

3. Create a connection.
The teachers in the admission jury will provide more detailed instructions for this assignment orally.

2013

During the admission course, carry out 1–3 of the following assignments. Free choice of medium.

1. Look around

2. A change

3. About sensing

2014

During the admission course, carry out series of works about 1–3 of the following topics

1. Look around you

2. Change

3. Draw (Free choice of medium)

4. Surprising combination

2015

Choose two of the following three assignments and make at least two versions of one of them

1. Quote

Use one or more of the attached quotes as a starting point of your working. (If you make more than one version of this assignment use the same quote for the versions)

2. All around me

3. Bring together!

2016

Use today’s newspaper as a starting point for your project(s)during the admission course. It is important to realize that you do not have to think about this too literally. One can think of the information contained within the newspaper for example but also the newspaper as an object, a subject, a support, as a raw material, as something to be transformed, an historical object, today’s newspaper is tomorrows history, or even the processes that lead to the making of the newspaper itself; the interpretation of this assignment is up to you. This is a starting point, use any media and materials you see fit.

2017

The photos and the text (given separately to the attendees) are the starting point for your work in the admission course. You can use them the way you want, one image, two, or even all of them. You can make one or more works during the admission course based on the given images (and text).

2018

These elements: a sound file (available for listening in the studio), a potato, a water bottle (as a concept), the texts and the map (as a place) are the starting points for your work in the admission course. You can use them the way you want, one element, two, or even all of them. You can make one or more works during the admission course based on the given elements.

2019

The following elements comprise the starting point for your work in the admission course: a sound file (available for listening in the studio), a teabag, a text, and a map (as a location). You can use them any way you like; you can use just one element, several elements, or all of them. You can make either one work or several works during the admission course based on the given elements.

2020 (NB: the admission course in the spring of 2020 was exceptionally organised remotely due to the restrictions pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic)

Make 1–3 works inspired by one or several of the following assignments. Free choice of medium.

Look around

About sensing

Take something. Do something to it. Do something else to it.

Degree programmes at the Academy of Fine Arts in 2021

At the Academy of Fine Arts, students can graduate with a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctoral degree in fine arts. The Academy also provides instruction in the theoretically oriented Praxis – Master’s Programme in Exhibition Studies (no admission in 2021) and, from August 2021 onwards, the Bachelor’s programme in Contemporary art history and theory (in Finnish), which leads to a bachelor’s degree in arts.

Applicants interested in undertaking studies in the fine arts can apply either to a 5.5-year degree programme that leads to a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Fine Arts or to a 2-year programme for a Masters’ degree in Fine Arts.

Applicants who are accepted to study in the 5.5-year programme will select their subject area during the first year of studies. Master’s students will select their subject area in the application phase.

Student admissions are organised annually: in January for the 5.5-year bachelor’s and master’s degree programme and in August for the 2-year master’s programme.

In 2021, the Academy of Fine Arts will accept a maximum of 57 new degree students, of whom 25 will be accepted to the 5.5-year programme leading to a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fine arts, and 24 to the 2-year programme leading to a master’s degree in fine arts. In addition, a maximum of 8 new students will be accepted to the Bachelor’s programme in Contemporary art history and theory (in Finnish)degree programme leading to a bachelor’s degree in arts.

The studies at the Academy of Fine Arts cannot be completed remotely in their entirety. Depending on the contents of the course and the current situation, teaching can be organised as contact, remote or hybrid teaching. The students are required to have the necessary technical skills and devices that allow them to take part in remote teaching.

Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts degrees (3.5 + 2 years)

The degree programme in Fine Arts encourages you to find your strengths and your individual means of expression and interests within art. Your growth as an artist is supported by personal supervision and the communal discussion culture within the Academy, and during your studies you will learn the skills that are necessary for working independently in the field of visual arts. You will also learn to understand your diverse roles in the context of contemporary art and society.

In the 5.5 years of study, you will first complete a bachelor’s degree and then a master’s degree. First-year students begin their studies with a course called An introduction to independent artistic work and the subject areas, after which they choose their subject area. The Academy offers teaching in four subject areas: sculpture, painting, printmaking and time and space arts. The Time and Space Arts subject area has three specialisations: moving image, photography, or site and situation specific art.

Artistic work and related theory comprise the core of the studies. In addition to coursework in fine arts, students take courses in exhibition studies, art history, art theory, philosophy, and languages. The degree programme in Fine Arts draws together students with varying linguistic backgrounds, and the instruction at the Academy is organised so that everyone can take part in the same courses. Teaching is regularly offered in English, and approximately 15% of students, both degree and exchange students, come from outside of Finland.

Students are encouraged to take courses from specialisations other than their own, within the limits of their study plan, and to engage in versatile artistic work using different media. One credit (cr) equates the workload of approximately 27 hours. The full-time studies of one academic year correspond to in average 60 credits. The scope of the BFA degree is 3.5 years of full-time studying. The MFA degree can be finished in two years.

About the Academy of Fine Arts

Integral to studies at the Academy of Fine Arts of Uniarts Helsinki are the students’ personal aspirations regarding their curriculum, the relationships that develop between the teachers and the students, and individual guidance. The teachers at the Academy of Fine Arts are distinguished visual artists and experts in various artistic fields.

The Academy of Fine Arts provides students with the capabilities they need to work as free artists. The instruction is based on an awareness of the constant changes, including both domestic and international factors, affecting the contemporary arts and artists. The Academy has a two-tier degree structure. The students first complete the lower university degree and then continue with the higher university degree and can then apply to postgraduate studies.

The history of the education of visual artists at the Academy of Fine Arts dates back to 1848. Graduates of the Academy of Fine Arts work as independent artists. Some of them hold various advisory positions within visual arts and are employed as instructors.

At the Academy of Fine Arts, students graduate with a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctoral degree in fine arts. The subject areas that lead to Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in fine arts are Sculpture, Painting, Printmaking, and Time and Space Arts. Time and Space Arts allow the student to specialise in moving image, photography, or site- and situation-specific art. The Academy also provides instruction in the theoretically oriented Praxis – Master’s Programme in Exhibition Studies and, from August 2021 onwards, the Bachelor’s programme in Contemporary art history and theory (in Finnish), which leads to a bachelor’s degree in fine arts.

The primary languages of instruction at the Academy of Fine Arts are Finnish and English. Students with different native languages study in the same degree programmes, and teachers and students flexibly change between different languages. All mandatory studies are offered in Finnish and English, and it’s also possible to complete credits in Swedish. English-language students are not required to know Finnish, but they are required to complete a mandatory course of Finnish as a second language as part of their studies. In the Praxis – Master’s Programme in Exhibition Studies the language of tuition is English. In the Bachelor’s programme in Contemporary art history and theory, the language of tuition is Finnish.

Subject areas focus on artistic activities and theoretical studies. In addition to courses in fine arts, students complete courses in exhibition studies, art history, art theory, philosophy and languages.

Students are entitled to attend courses offered by subject areas other than their own in the framework of the personal study plan that is individually prepared for each student. The Academy of Fine Arts encourages artistic work in its many forms and the use of various methods. Facilities for independent artistic work are available to all students.

Besides completing the university’s joint studies, Uniarts Helsinki students can also attend courses at the other academies of the university. Moreover, students have the opportunity to collaborate in multidisciplinary productions as part of their studies. International student exchanges at the partnering schools of the Academy of Fine Arts can be included in the curriculum. Several international lecturers and teachers also visit the Academy of Fine Arts on a regular basis.

At the Academy of Fine Arts, the artistic activities are integrated in the studies and offer the students encounters with the field of arts and the public. Public exhibition of art is a way for the students to get their first experiences of the working life that awaits them after graduation.

The goal of the studies is to encourage students to find their own strengths, expression methods and interests within the field of fine arts. Students acquire skills and knowledge that will enable them to work independently as a visual artist and understand their own work as a part of the context of contemporary art and society, where artists may adopt multi-faceted roles and profiles.

Contact

Academy of Fine Arts of Uniarts Helsinki admissions office
kuva.admissions@uniarts.fi
tel. +358 50 44 88 540

Read more about the programme