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Apply to degree studies in Vocal Arts (Bachelor + Master)

Admissions guide to the 5.5-year programme in Classical Music Performance (Vocal Arts as a main subject).

Degree studies with Vocal Arts as a main subject are a part of the Classical Music Performance programme.

Next application period

The next application period for this programme is scheduled for early January 2024. The admissions guide will be updated on this page in November 2023.

Admissions schedule 2023

  • Application period: Send your application in Studyinfo portal between 4 January 2023 8 am EET and 18 January 2023 3 pm EET
  • Submit required attachments and possible advance assignments at latest 25 January 2023 3 pm EET
  • Sibelius Academy confirms your eligibility to apply at latest 24 February 2023
  • General music skills test 20 April 2023
  • Second stage 9 to 12 May 2023
  • Applicants demonstrating their language skills with a language skills certificate: Submit your test result certificate at latest 17 May 2023 3 pm EEST
  • Sibelius Academy publishes admissions results 2 June 2023
  • Confirm your study place at latest 14 July 2023 3 pm EEST:
    • Officially accept your study place
    • Register for the academic year
    • Conditionally admitted applicants: Submit the required degree certificate
    • Students who are required to pay tuition fees: Pay your tuition fee
  • Waiting list procedure ends 1 August 2023 3 pm EEST
  • New students’ studies begin in August 2023

Who can apply?

A person with the background education required for the degree programme in question and sufficient language skills may apply for studies.

In addition, a person who completes the required background education after the end of the application period, but no later than 14 July 2023 at 3 pm EEST is eligible to apply. In that case, the admission decision is conditional until the applicant submits a certificate of the completed degree. If the applicant fails to submit the certificate by said deadline, the study place will be cancelled.

The Sibelius Academy may, at its discretion, also accept a temporary certificate issued by the educational institution if it indicates that the applicant has completed all studies required for the degree and will receive the degree certificate later.

Sibelius Academy will check every applicant’s eligibility before the entrance examination.

Students are admitted to the Sibelius Academy based on their performance in the entrance examination. Certificate-based admissions or quotas for first-time applicants are not in place.

Combined bachelor’s and master’s degrees (3 + 2.5 years)

A person who has completed at least one of the following is eligible to apply:

  • The Finnish Matriculation Examination
  • An International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma
  • A European Baccalaureate (EB) diploma at a European School
  • A Reifeprüfung or Deutsches Internationales Abitur (RP / DIA) diploma
  • A Finnish vocational upper secondary qualification, a further vocational qualification, or a specialist vocational qualification defined under the Act on Vocational Education and Training
  • A foreign degree or qualification that makes you eligible for corresponding higher education in the awarding country
  • A Cambridge Advanced International Certificate (AICE)
  • A degree at a Finnish higher education institution or a degree abroad corresponding to at least a bachelor’s degree.

In addition, a person who has been granted the right to study in a university in Finland is eligible to apply.

Other exceptions to eligibility

The applicant cannot apply for both 5.5-year and 2.5-year programmes of a single major subject or main instrument in the same year. However, if the applicant submits an application to both programmes, the Sibelius Academy will

  • take account of the application for the 2.5-year programme if the applicant is eligible for it, or
  • take account of the application for the 5.5-year programme if the applicant is not eligible for the 2.5-year programme.

If the applicant has completed a higher education degree at the Sibelius Academy, they cannot apply for the same main subject again, or the same main instrument in the case of Classical Music Performance.

The student admission for bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes applies to applicants who do not have a valid right to study at Uniarts Helsinki at the beginning of the applied right to study, with the exception of persons who have the vice rector’s permission to complete two degrees simultaneously. A degree student registered at Uniarts Helsinki may apply for a change of right to study within the Sibelius Academy or between academies. There are separate instructions for applying for a change of the right to study and for applying for a permission to complete two degrees simultaneously. More information about the rule of one study right can be found here.

Language requirements

The languages of tuition in the Classical Music Performance programme are Finnish, Swedish, and English. You must demonstrate your language proficiency in one of the abovementioned languages by the given deadline. However, the majority of group tuition at the Sibelius Academy is provided in Finnish or English.

How to apply

Submit your application in the spring’s first joint application period from 4 to 18 January 2023 by 3 pm EET in the Studyinfo portal.

Click here to read instruction on how to fill the application form. Please note that registration in the Studyinfo portal is not needed for filling in the application form.

Submit the supporting documents and any advance assignments in accordance with the instructions provided.

Supporting documents

Submit the supporting documents via the Studyinfo portal as PDF files by 3 pm EET on 25 January 2023. If the documents are not in Finnish, Swedish, or English, append a translation by an authorised translator into one of these languages.

Documents required from all applicants:

  • Degree certificate of the background education and a transcript of study records
    If you complete your degree after the end of the application period, it is adequate to submit the degree certificate by 3 pm EEST on 14 July 2023.

    In case of a foreign degree, the Sibelius Academy may request clarification on the degree’s status within the awarding country’s education system.
  • Certificate demonstrating language proficiency
    If you demonstrate your language proficiency based on your previous studies, the degree certificate or its appendix must clearly indicate the language in which the degree was completed. The degree demonstrating language proficiency must be completed by 3 pm EEST on 14 July 2023.

You will NOT need to submit a certificate of your prior education or language proficiency if they are based on one of the following:

  • You have completed the Finnish matriculation examination in 1990 or later.
  • You have completed a Finnish vocational upper secondary qualification in 2017 or later.
  • You have completed a Finnish further vocational qualification or specialist vocational qualification in 2018 or later.

In the above cases, we will receive your information from the electronic qualification register. If necessary, the Sibelius Academy will ask you for further information by e-mail.

Applicants applying for an entrance examination which includes sections that are organized remotely or by video recording shall also be required to:

  • Official proof of identity
    Append a copy of your passport, EU identity card or Finnish driving licence to your application.

Applicants to programmes organised in English are also required to submit:

  • A document exempting from tuition fees
    If you apply to study in English, you will be liable to pay tuition fees unless you submit a document indicating that you are exempt. For more information on tuition fees, see Tuition fees and scholarships.

Refugees, persons in a refugee-like situation and asylum seekers:

If you are unable to submit documentary evidence of your degree, you may still be deemed eligible to apply. Submit a reliable report on the completed degree that grants you eligibility to apply and an additional report explaining why the documents are not available. In addition, submit an official decision on your refugee status (asylum decision or residence permit based on protection, or a proof that such an application is pending). Submit the required documents by email to the Admissions Office by 25 January 2023 3 pm EET. The Sibelius Academy will make a decision on your eligibility based on the submitted report. Applicants with refugee status must provide proof of their language skills required for the studies in one of the ways specified in the selection criteria (in Language requirements).

Advance assignments

Any advance assignments are mentioned in the target programme’s admissions criteria. The advance assignments must be submitted as attachments to the application.

The advance assignments must clearly state the applicant’s name and the programme to which they relate. Do not submit any other advance assignments than the ones requested. Upload the materials to the Studyinfo portal as early as possible. Large files may take several hours to upload if there is a lot of traffic in the system.

Entrance examinations

You can be invited to the entrance examinations if:

  1. you have submitted an electronic application form and the required attachments at Studyinfo portal, and
  2. the Dean of the Sibelius Academy deems you eligible based on the submitted documents.

The implementation of the entrance examinations for each programme is described in the programme’s admission criteria. The entrance examination schedules of separate programmes may overlap. If the applicant has applied for multiple programmes, they must choose which examinations they attend in case of overlaps.

A programme’s entrance examination may consist of several stages and contain multiple sub-tests. If the applicant does not participate in all of the examination’s compulsory sub-tests, they cannot be admitted as a student.

The Sibelius Academy will send applicants instructions for participation in entrance examinations in the entrance examination invitation. The exact times for individual entrance examinations are confirmed at the latest in the morning of the entrance examination day. Individual examination times cannot be changed except for compelling reasons not attributable to the applicant. Such reasons include the matriculation examination (or a corresponding event) and an accident or sudden illness (a medical certificate is required). In such cases, the examination time can only be rescheduled within the limits of the Entrance Examination Board’s working timetables.

The entrance examination is a closed event attended by the applicant, the Entrance Examination Board and the agreed assistants (for example, an accompanist, a training choir, a board assistant or the applicant’s assistant). Entrance examinations may not be recorded.

If you wish to cancel your participation in the entrance examination, notify the Sibelius Academy Admissions Office by email as soon as possible.

Individual arrangements in the entrance examination

If you require individual arrangements in the entrance examination because of a sensory or physical disability or other corresponding reason, more information on individual arrangements can be found here.

Vocal Arts entrance examination

The entrance examination consists of advance assignments completed remotely and a second stage held on site at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. The entrance examination also includes a general music skills test. 

Arias and lieds must be sung in the original language and from memory. Arias must be performed in the original key. Baroque arias are sung in the written or sounding original key with piano accompaniment. A versatile programme is recommended. The same compositions cannot be performed in different stages of the entrance examination. All assignments must be accompanied. The applicant must use the pianist provided by the university.

First stage: advance assignments:  

Submit the following first stage assignments for assessment via the Studyinfo portal by 25 January 2023, 3pm EET (Finnish time):

1) CV (max. length one A4-page), answering only the following questions: 

  • Your name 
  • A list of previous music training (subject, teacher, when the subject(s) was/were studied, school) 
  • A list of level performances/examinations (subject, level, date attained, grade, and school)
  • A list of previous courses and qualifications in music theory or other relevant subjects (subjects, grade, teacher, school) 
  • A description of any other musical activities or practices in which you have been involved (e.g. teaching, participation in orchestras, choirs, operatic societies etc.)  

2) Motivation essay (max. length one A4-page): “Why do I wish to study Vocal Arts?” 

3) Video recording on which you must perform: 

  • A freely selected classical solo song with piano accompaniment 
  • A freely selected aria from an opera or oratorio/cantata  

The video recording must have been filmed no earlier than on 1 July 2022. The material must be accompanied by information on the compositions performed and the date of the recording. 

You must sing facing the camera so that your face is visible at all times. The video must not be shot from too far away. You must be fully visible in the frame. An individual piece must be recorded as a continuous and unedited take. However, not all pieces need to be recorded in the same session.

Based on the scores given for the first stage, the Board will invite some of the applicants to the second stage of the entrance examination. Information on the results of the first stage will be sent by email.

Second stage 

The second stage will be held on site at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki between 9 and 12 May 2023.

Second stage programme: 

  • A classical solo song with piano accompaniment in your native language 
  • An aria from an opera, oratorio or cantata 
  • A freely selected and performed text passage (monologue or similar) performed in your native language from memory, with a maximum duration of 3 minutes 
  • A practice situation testing your musical abilities (possible sheet music provided in advance) 
  • Assignments on stage expression skills  
  • Interview 

In the vocal assignments the applicant must use the accompanist provided by the Sibelius Academy. 

Submitting the sheet music: 

Submit a list of the programme you will perform in the second stage of the entrance examination and the sheet music for the programme by email no later than 31 March 2023 ( The sheet music must be submitted in the key they will be performed in (all works must be performed in their original language, the arias must be performed in their original keys). The sheet music must be submitted as PDF files of good quality, the entire song as a single file. Include your name, the study programme you are applying for as well as possible cuts, cadenza and other deviations from the sheet music. Also indicate on the sheet music who composed the work if it is not evident from the sheet music itself. In addition, bring the sheet music, printed and taped, to the second stage of the entrance examination.

The contents or the order of the programme cannot be changed after the programme and sheet music submission deadline.  

General music skills test

In addition to the main instrument or main subject exam, the entrance examinations for the 5.5-year degree programme will include a general musical skills test. The test will be organized remotely on 20 April 2023 at 10:30 a.m. or 6:30 p.m EEST.

You must select the desired test time using an electronic registration form no later than 7 days in advance. A link to the form will be sent to the applicants by e-mail in February in connection with the notification of the eligibility decision. The maximum duration of the test is two hours. Each applicant only participates in the examination once, even if they apply for more than one option.

The tests can be used to assess, for example, the ability to read music, understanding of musical concepts (keys, harmony, cadences, intervals, time signatures and time values), perception and writing of notes based on hearing music, and knowledge of the history of Western art music. Be prepared to write a short text in the test in which you comment on your strengths and development areas in terms of structural awareness of music.

Below are model assignments that give the applicant an idea of the level of competence required in the test. Individual task types may vary. The applicants will be informed of the more detailed implementation of the test at latest two weeks before the test by email. Click here to see the model assignments.

The examiners of the general musical skills test will give the selection board an opinion on the applicant’s prerequisites for completing the studies in accordance with the curriculum within the target time and the possible need for remedial studies. The selection board will take the opinion into account as part of the overall assessment in the final phase of the entrance examination. Only applicants who have made it to the final stage of the entrance examination will be assessed.

The results of the general musical skills test and the text written in the examination can be used as part of the assessing the starting level of applicants selected as students. If the selected applicant does not demonstrate sufficient capabilities for university-level general music skills studies, they are obligated to complement their competence with remedial studies. Further information will be provided in the acceptance letter. Remedial studies must be completed before the actual general music skills courses.

The test will be held in the language in which the applicant has applied for a study place.

Entrance examination assessment

Applicants’ performance in the entrance examinations is assessed by programme-specifically appointed Entrance Examination Boards. The boards assess the knowledge, skills and capabilities of each applicant and their capacity to complete the degree studies within the normative duration for the completion of a degree. The assessment takes account of how the applicant’s previous education and experience reflects in their competence and assesses their competence in relation to the objectives set in the curriculum.

In addition, the Entrance Examination Board for vocal arts will assess the applicant’s vocal material and capacity for artistic expression. The Board also assesses the applicant’s abilities as a soloist, their musical talent, technical and expressive capabilities, artistic development potential and ensemble skills. 

Based on the applicant’s motivational letter and interview, the Board will assess the applicant’s written and oral expression skills, ability to express their motivation and goals, realistic conceptions related to the profession and general study skills. 

The skills, educability and suitability for the field demonstrated by the applicant in the entrance examinations are assessed in all areas. 

Entrance examination grading

The Board will assess the applicants’ performances in both stages on a scale of 0 to 25 points. The points in the second stage are based on an overall assessment of the applicant’s entrance examination performances in both stages. The score for the second stage will remain the applicant’s final score.

Admissions results

The boards rank the applicants of each programme based on their entrance examination score. The final decision on students admitted to the programmes and those placed on the waiting list is made by the dean of the Sibelius Academy.

A study place is offered to highest scoring applicants who meet the selection criteria. Applicants ranked behind the admitted students may be placed on a waiting list in the order of their score. The waiting lists are either programme-specific or group-specific if there are several groups in a single programme. A study place will become vacant and can be offered to an applicant on a waiting list only if one of the applicants admitted to the same degree programme (or group) chooses not to accept the study place, or if someone who has been conditionally admitted fails to submit the necessary documents by the end of the deadline.

If there are no applicants who meet the admissions criteria, some programmes may choose not to admit new students. If a specific degree programme does not admit any new students, applicants to that programme cannot be placed on a waiting list.

Announcement of results

Admission results, including the names of the applicants who have given the permission to have their names published online, will be published on the Uniarts Helsinki website. In addition, each applicant can view their situation in the Studyinfo portal. Admitted applicants and those placed on the waiting list are informed of the results by email.


Applicants may request feedback on their entrance examination performance. The feedback provides the applicant with information on how the evaluation criteria stated in the admission criteria were applied in the assessment of their entrance examination. Instructions for requesting feedback will be published on the Uniarts Helsinki website in connection with the publication of the admission decision.

Rectification procedure

If you believe that the Sibelius Academy has acted contrary to its admission criteria, you can request for rectification to the student admission decision from the Sibelius Academy in writing within 14 days of the publication of the admission results.

The rectification procedure is not intended as a means for receiving feedback, asking for further information about the admission or requesting unjustified re-evaluation. Instructions for submitting a request for rectification will be published on the Uniarts Helsinki website in connection with the publication of the admission decision.

More information about the rectification process can be found here.

Accepting the offered study place and starting your studies

An offer of admission can be accepted either via the Studyinfo system or by filling in the confirmation form attached to the letter of acceptance and by delivering it to the admissions office. You must accept your study place by the given deadline. If the confirmation arrives late, it will not be considered.

Accepting an offer of admission is a binding choice, which cannot be changed or cancelled later on.

You must also register as attending at the Sibelius Academy before the academic year begins – more information will be sent to you along with your acceptance letter.

First-year studies begin in mid-August with an orientation period that is compulsory for all new students.

More information on accepting the offered study place and starting our studies at the Sibelius Academy can be found here

Questions or comments?

You can contact us via e-mail at

If you have any questions, please check first if your question has been already answered on our frequently asked questions page. This page will be updated constantly. Please check it regularly to see if new questions have been answered. Please note that in principle we do not explain the entrance examination assignments. The instructions are in the admissions guide.

If you have any questions regarding student life at the Sibelius Academy or in Helsinki, you can contact our Student Ambassadors at

The Sibelius Acad­emy Ad­mis­sions Chat

What is it like to study at the Sibelius Academy and live in Helsinki? How do you apply to the Sibelius Academy? To find out answers to these questions please watch the recording of our 2022 Admissions Chat event that was organized on 24 November 2022 from Youtube by following the link below.

Read more about the programme