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

Spring 2022 application period. How to apply, admissions criteria and information about studying at the Academy of Fine Arts.

Length and language of studies

  • Degree programme: Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts (3.5 + 2 y.)
  • Application period: 5–19/1/2022 at 3:00 p.m. (local time in Finland)
  • Duration of studies: 5.5 y. (3.5 y. for bachelor’s + 2 y. for master’s degree)
  • 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: 5–19/1/2022.

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.

The applicant will be deemed eligible to apply if they have the required educational background, they have provided acceptable proof of sufficient language proficiency, and they have submitted the required advance assignments in accordance with the schedule set by the Academy. The applicant can 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 admission process, the applicant’s ability in fine arts, as well as their orientation and aptitude for studying in the degree programme leading to bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Academy of Fine Arts will be assessed. In the first phase, the assessment is based on the application and the advance assignments, which the applicant must have submitted by the close of the application period. In addition to these, the applicant’s work samples and their work during the admission course will be assessed in the second phase of the admission process.

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.

Educational background

You can apply for studies at the Academy of Fine Arts leading to a bachelor’s and a master’s degrees in fine arts if you have:

  1. passed a Finnish 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
  3. completed a qualification abroad which in the awarding country gives eligibility for the corresponding level of higher education;
  4. completed a Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education degree (AICE);
  5. if you have completed a university degree in Finland or if you have completed a degree abroad that corresponds to a bachelor’s degree or a higher degree; or
  6. if you have been granted the right to undertake studies in Finland in order to pursue a university degree.

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

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

The applicant must prove their language proficiency in accordance with the requirements set by the Academy of Fine Arts and during the application period. An applicant cannot be deemed as eligible to apply if they have not provided acceptable proof of their language proficiency.

How to apply

You can apply to the education leading to Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts degrees (3.5 y. + 2 y.) in the national joint application procedure for higher education in January (application period: 5/1–19/1/2022). It is possible to apply for a study place in a maximum of six 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 applications and their appendices will not be graded during the admission process, nor will the works which the applicant produces during the admission course, or the work samples they bring to the admission course.

Application phases:

1st phase: Electronic application form and appendices

Application period: 5/1–19/1/2022 at 3:00 p.m. The applicant fills in an electronic application form and submits it via Studyinfo.fi during the application period. The application appendices include documents related to the applicant’s educational background and language proficiency as well as the advance assignment, which consists of a motivation letter and work portfolio. It is possible to amend the appendices until 26/1/2022 at 3:00 p.m.

Applicants will receive an e-mail notification of their eligibility to apply by 21/2/2022. The applications of those 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.

2nd phase: Admission course and work samples

The admission course will be organised on 2/5–6/5/2022 in Helsinki. Applicants who are accepted to the admission course will receive an invitation on 7/4/2022. The applicants are asked to bring 1-3 original works included in their work portfolios to the admission course as work samples.

Announcing the results: 3/6/2022

The study place must be accepted by 15/7/2022 at 3:00 p.m. at the latest.

Applying for transfer from another university

Applicants who are refugees or in a refugee-​like situation

1st phase: Electronic application and appendices

The application period opens on 5/1/2022 and closes on 19/1/2022 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 26/1/2022, 3:00 p.m.

The application must include the following appendices:

  • A document demonstrating the required educational background (see Admission criteria, Educational background)
  • A document demonstrating the required language proficiency (see Admission criteria, Language proficiency)
  • Advance assignment (see instructions further below)

Please check the acceptable ways of proving the required educational background and language proficiency from the admission criteria. If the copies of diplomas or transcripts of study records are not in Finnish, Swedish or English, the applicant must have them translated by an authorised translator.

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. Please submit your materials via Studyinfo 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. If you run into any problems, be sure to contact the academy’s admissions office before the closing of the application period or the deadline for amending appendices. Late submissions will not be considered.

The applicant’s eligibility to apply will be assessed after the amendment period for the appendices has concluded. Applicants who have the required educational background and who have provided proof of their language proficiency according to the requirements and who have submitted all the required appendices with their application, will be deemed eligible to apply. Applicants will be informed of their eligibility on 21/2/2021. The applications of those 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.

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

Advance assignment

The advance assignment consists of two parts:

1) a motivation letter and

2) a work portfolio.

Please see below for the instructions for the advance assignment and the accepted file size and format. If you fail to submit the advance assignment on time, or in an accepted format, your application will be rejected. No further instructions or a model for the advance assignment shall be provided.

Submit the advance assignment as a single PDF file. The total length of the assignment must not exceed 11 pages (motivation letter: 1 page; work portfolio: 10 pages).

Accepted file format: PDF. Maximum file size: 100 MB. Name the file according to the following model: Lastname-Firstname-Advanceassignment

Motivation letter

Discuss the following points in brief in your motivation letter:

  1. Explain why you are applying to study in the 5.5-year degree programme in fine arts
  2. Your personal relationship with the visual arts and your experience in making fine art
  3. Provide a brief account of one work included in your work portfolio and explain the process of making it

The maximum length of the motivation letter is 2,500 characters, including spaces.

Work portfolio

The pictures included in the work portfolio are intended to serve as an introduction to the applicant’s practice in the field of fine arts. The content of the work portfolio is not thematically restricted.

The applicant can introduce a maximum of 8 works in the work portfolio. Each work can be represented by 2 pictures at most. The work portfolio must not exceed 10 pages in length. Please provide information about the artworks, such as their name, size, technique, and production date, next to the work. If there are specific requirements pertaining to the presentation of the work, make a note of this in the portfolio. The admission jury will not open any additional links, including those leading to the applicant’s personal website, that are included in the application.

If the applicant is invited to the admission course organised in May, they will be asked to bring samples of 1–3 works included in their work portfolio (see 2nd phase: Admission Course and Work Samples).

If the applicant wishes to introduce also works of moving image, sound art, or media art, they can, in addition to the picture portfolio, submit one (1) moving image or audio file that includes an overview of moving image works, audio works, or media art. Please include a media file in your application only if the nature of the art works presented requires so.

The total running time of the sample must not exceed 5 minutes in length. Accepted file format: MP3 (audio) or MP4 (video). Maximum file size: 500 MB. Name the file according to the following model: Lastname-Firstname-Movingimage-Audio.

Please include your name in the media file. Information about the art works presented can be added to the file (e.g. screen credits) or to the picture portfolio (PDF file). You can use the free HandBrake software for converting and packing the file if needed.

2nd phase: Admission course and work samples

Applicants who have been accepted to the admission course will also receive an invitation by e-mail on 7/4/2022. Applicants who are not invited to the admission course will also be notified of the decision by e-mail.

The admission course will be held in Helsinki. The admission course starts on Monday, 2/5/2022 and ends on Friday, 6/5/2022. The course includes daily work from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The course will conclude 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.

All works produced during the admission course will be photographed and performances will be filmed. The documented materials shall only be used for the purposes of the admission process.

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 during the admission course

Work samples

The applicant must bring 1-3 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. 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.

Announcing the results

The results of the student admissions will be published on the website of the University of the Arts Helsinki on 3/6/2022. The published list will include the names of all the accepted students who had authorised the publication of their name.

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.

Rectification request

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 offered study place must be accepted no later than 15/7/2022 by 3:00 p.m.

If the applicant has been deemed 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.

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 the ‘one study place per term’ provision).

One study place per term provision

Enrolment for the first year of studies

Enrolment for the first year will take place on the same occasion when the applicant accepts the study place. 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 fees and sholarships

Uniarts Helsinki will charge an annual tuition fee of 5,000 euros from non-EU and non-EEA students studying in a bachelor’s or a master’s degree programme in English. The tuition fee will remain the same as long as the student has a valid right to study.

Uniarts Helsinki has a scholarship programme, which may grant relief from the full tuition fee to students who are liable for payment. The applicant liable for payment must mention in the application form if they wish to apply for a scholarship to cover the annual tuition fee if they are accepted as a student.

Degree programmes at the Academy of Fine Arts in 2022

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 (tuition in English), which leads to a Master’s degree in Fine Arts, and the Bachelor’s programme in History and Theory of Contemporary Art (“Nykytaiteen historian ja teorian kandidaattiohjelma”, tuition 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.

The student admissions to the Academy of Fine Arts are organised each year: the application period for educations leading to bachelor and master’s degrees in fine arts and bachelor’s programme in arts is in January, while the application period for the 2-year master’s degree programmes in fine arts is in August. In 2022, the Academy of Fine Arts will accept a maximum of 64 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. A maximum of 10 new students will be accepted to the degree programme of History and Theory of Contemporary Art, which leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree. A maximum of 5 new students will be accepted to the Praxis Master’s Programme in Exhibition Studies.

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 (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.

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.

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, 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.

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 in the 5.5-year education in fine arts 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 bachelor’s degree.

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.

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.

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