Apply to Doctoral programme of artistic research in performing arts

Application instructions for 2021 admissions.

Application instructions 2021

Application period 31 August – 12 October 2020.

New doctoral students

The University of the Arts Helsinki’s Theatre Academy will admit a maximum of 8 (eight) new doctoral students to commence studies starting in the autumn term 2021 and leading to the degree of Doctor of Arts (Theatre and Drama), Doctor of Arts (Dance) or Doctor of Arts (Art and Design) in the Doctoral Programme of Artistic Research in Performing Arts. The application is to be submitted in electronic form in the Studyinfo service. The links to the online application forms at Studyinfo work once the application period starts.

Doctoral studies and research at the Theatre Academy are organised by the Performing Arts Research Centre (Tutke). Performing Arts refer to the disciplines represented at TeaK: acting in Finnish and in Swedish, directing, dramaturgy, lighting design, sound design, design for the performing arts (by the educational responsibility at TeaK from 1 August 2021), writing, dance, dance performance, choreography, dance and theatre pedagogy and live art and performance studies. Doctoral studies and research carried out at Tutke are defined as artistic research. As stated in Tutke’s mission and vision 2017-2020, artistic research is academic, multidisciplinary and collective research realised in the medium of art. Graduates from the Doctoral Programme of Artistic Research in Performing Arts are artist-researchers with a doctoral degree of Doctor of Arts (Theatre and Drama), Doctor of Arts (Dance) or Doctor of Arts (Art and Design).

During the doctoral studies the doctoral student carries out an artistic research project on a topic of his or her choice and acquires the skills and knowledge of an artist-researcher. As experts in their field, artist-researchers develop and regenerate the arts, create art, research and teach art. The students engage in a comprehensive and critical dialogue with society. They create art and produce information, knowledge, and insights based on art-related practices that can also be applied outside of the arts. Doctoral training develops the artist-researchers’ ability to apply their skills as artists, researchers, teachers, and experts in their field.

The scope of the doctoral degree is 240 cr: doctoral research 180 cr, and studies in research skills 60 cr including some contact teaching. Applicants are advised to carefully read the Curriculum 2021-2026 of TeaK’s doctoral programme. [Note! The link to the curriculum has been replaced on Sept 16. If you have familiarized with the curriculum before that through this link, you might have studied the current curriculum 2017-2021. Please revisit the curriculum 2021-2026.] Courses are offered in both Finnish and English, and excellent skills in English are therefore recommended, and essential for applicants planning to complete their doctorate in English. The doctoral degree can be completed in Finnish or English.

Tutke provides its doctoral students with limited financial support for doctoral research projects. Tutke hosts no less than 6 (six) fixed term salary-paid doctoral trainee positions. When they become open, doctoral students can apply for them in accordance with the recruitment announcements. Doctoral students are encouraged to proactively apply to appropriate external parties for doctoral research funding.

Admission criteria 

Eligibility

Applicants can be admitted to doctoral studies if they have completed one of the following:

  • an applicable higher university degree
  • an applicable higher degree at a polytechnic or university of applied sciences
  • an applicable degree outside of Finland permitting one to enrol in similar university studies in the country of the degree.

An applicant who is deemed by the University to have sufficient information and knowledge required for the studies can also be admitted as a doctoral student. The University can oblige doctoral students to undertake necessary courses to attain required skills (Universities Act 24 July 2009, 558/2009, section 37).

Language skills

In order to be admitted to Tutke’s Doctoral Studies Programme in Artistic Research in Performing Arts, the applicant must have sufficient language skills in Finnish, Swedish, or English. The applicant must demonstrate the language skills with prior studies or a language certificate.

Demonstrating proficiency in Finnish 

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

  • A certificate proving that the applicant has completed their general education in Finnish. The applicant must have completed their basic education, upper secondary level degree or other degree that gives eligibility for higher education in Finnish (passing grade in Finnish as a mother tongue in the school-leaving certificate) OR have received a minimum grade of approbatur (A) for Finnish as a mother tongue in the Finnish matriculation examination (Finnish).

OR 

  • A certificate proving that the applicant has completed a university degree or a university of applied sciences degree in Finnish

The official language of the degree must be mentioned on the degree certificate or its appendix, in the transcript of study records, or some other official document issued by the institution in question. In order for the degree to serve as proof of language skills, it must be completed by the end of the deadline that is specified for the delivery of certificates in the admissions criteria and that applies to applicants who are admitted under certain conditions. 


Applicants may demonstrate their proficiency in Finnish also with a university degree or a university of applied sciences degree, if they have completed, at minimum, a written thesis for a bachelor’s degree or a maturity test in Finnish at a university or a university of applied sciences. Uniarts Helsinki also counts a certificate proving that the applicant has studied the Finnish language as a major subject at a university or a university of applied sciences as proof of language proficiency. The same applies to core and intermediate studies (60 ECTS cr / 30 cr according to the old Finnish credit system) in Finnish completed at a university or a university of applied sciences. Language proficiency test or language studies in Finnish completed as part of a degree at a higher education institution may also be regarded as proof of language proficiency, if the student has received a minimum grade of ‘good’ for oral and written skills in Finnish (as a second national language). 

Applicants who haven’t received their general education in Finnish or haven’t completed a degree at a higher education institution in Finnish may demonstrate their language skills in the following ways: 

  • Finnish as a second language test of the Finnish matriculation examination
    • minimum grade of magna cum laude approbatur (M) (B2 skill level)
  • 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) 
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
    • minimum grade of 2 in a Finnish language test on level A (literature / language and literature / literature and performance) 
    • minimum grade of 5 in a Finnish language test on level B (B2 skill level) 
    • minimum grade of 2 in A1 Finnish OR minimum grade of 5 (skill level B2) or 3 (skill level B1) 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) 
    • minimum grade of 7 in Finnish as the L2 language (B2 skill level) 
  • 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 
    • minimum grade of 8 in the oral test in Finnish as the mother tongue 
    • minimum grade of 8 in Finnish as the second language (B2 skill level) 
  • National Certificate of Language Proficiency in Finnish (YKI) awarded by the Finnish National Agency for Education 
    • all subtests of the test completed on level 4 (reading comprehension, writing, listening comprehension, speaking) (B2 skill level) 
  • Civil Service Language Proficiency Certificate demonstrating oral and written skills in Finnish  
    • completed on level ‘good’ (B2 skill level) 
  • 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: 

  • A certificate proving that the applicant has completed their general education in Swedish.

The applicant must have completed their basic education, upper secondary level degree or other degree that gives eligibility for higher education in Swedish (passing grade in Swedish as a mother tongue in the school-leaving certificate) OR have received a minimum grade of approbatur (A) for Swedish as a mother tongue in the Finnish matriculation examination.   

OR 

  • A certificate proving that the student has completed a university degree or a university of applied sciences degree in Swedish

The official language of the degree must be mentioned on the degree certificate or its appendix, in the transcript of study records, or some other official document issued by the institution in question. In order for the degree to serve as proof of language skills, it must be completed by the end of the deadline that is specified for the delivery of certificates in the admissions criteria and that applies to applicants who are admitted under certain conditions.

Applicants may demonstrate their proficiency in Swedish also with a university degree or a university of applied sciences degree, if they have completed, at minimum, a written thesis for a bachelor’s degree or a maturity test in Swedish at a university or a university of applied sciences. Uniarts Helsinki also counts a certificate proving that the applicant has completed a degree at a higher education institution with Swedish language / Scandinavian languages as the major subject as proof of language proficiency. The same applies to core and intermediate studies (60 ECTS cr / 30 cr according to the old Finnish credit system) in Swedish / Scandinavian languages completed at a higher education institution. Language proficiency test or language studies in Swedish completed as part of a degree at a higher education institution may also be regarded as proof of language proficiency, if the student has received a minimum grade of ‘good’ for oral and written skills in Swedish (as a second national language) . 

Applicants who haven’t received their general education in Swedish or haven’t completed a degree at a higher education institution in Swedish may demonstrate their language skills in the following ways: 

  • Swedish as a second language test of the Finnish matriculation examination  
    • minimum grade of magna cum laude approbatur (M) (B2 skill level) 
  • Swedish as the second national language test of the Finnish matriculation examination completed in 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 in the intermediate syllabus level (B-level language) with a grade of laudatur (L) 
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma 
    • minimum grade of 2 in a Swedish language test on level A (literature / language and literature / literature and performance) 
    • minimum grade of 5 in a Swedish language test on level B (B2 skill level) 
    • minimum grade of 2 in A1 Swedish OR minimum grade of 5 (skill level B2) 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) 
    • minimum grade of 7 in Swedish as the L2 language (B2 skill level) 
  • National Certificate of Language Proficiency in Swedish awarded by the Finnish National Agency for Education 
    • all subtests of the test completed on level 4 (reading comprehension, writing, listening comprehension, speaking) (B2 skill level) 
  • Civil Service Language Proficiency Certificate demonstrating oral and written skills in Swedish 
    • completed on level ‘good’ (B2 skill level) 
  • 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 the higher education institution independently (or in cooperation), demonstrating that the applicant’s Swedish skills correspond to level B2 

Demonstrating proficiency in English 

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

  • Certificate of general education completed in English in an EU or EEA country, the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand

OR 

  • Certificate of a university degree or a university of applied sciences degree completed in English in an EU or EEA country, the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand

The official language of the degree must be mentioned on the degree certificate or its appendix, in the transcript of study records, or some other official document issued by the institution in question. In order for the degree to serve as proof of language skills, it must be completed by the end of the deadline that is specified for the delivery of certificates in the admissions criteria and that applies to applicants who are admitted under certain conditions. 

OR 

  • Certificate of a 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

Uniarts Helsinki also counts foreign language studies in English that are completed in Finland in accordance with the above-mentioned decree and included in a university degree/university of applied sciences degree as proof of language proficiency. 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. 

Applicants who haven’t received their general education in English or haven’t completed a degree at a higher education institution in English in one of the above-mentioned countries can demonstrate their language skills in the following ways: 

  • 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: 92 (B2 skill level) 
    • IELTS (Academic) 
      • Overall Band Score: 6.5 (B2 skill level) 
    • 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, and C.  
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 
      • Total score: 59 (B2 skill level)

IELTS, TOEFL and PTE test results are valid for two years from the test date. Cambridge results are valid indefinitely.

General selection criteria of the University of the Arts helsinki

In order for an applicant to be admitted into the doctoral programme, the key selection criteria are

  • the artistic and research-oriented importance, relevance, and feasibility of the applicant’s research plan
  • artistic and/or art pedagogic and/or research merits and/or professional experience within the arts
  • research merits and abilities for independent research
  • the applicant’s commitment to persevering in the studies at the doctoral level and dedication to the completion of the doctoral studies in accordance with the degree requirements
  • the connection of the research plan to the disciplines and/or research profile of the University of the Arts Helsinki
  • the availability of relevant supervision at the three academies of the University of the Arts Helsinki for research presented in the applicant’s research plan.

Tutke specific selection criteria

  • The applicant’s research plan shall be linked to the disciplines represented at the Theatre Academy.
  • The research plan shall be compatible with the Curriculum 2021-2026 of TeaK’s doctoral programme [Note! The link to the curriculum has been replaced on Sept 16. If you have familiarized with the curriculum before that through this link, you might have studied the current curriculum 2017-2021. Please revisit the curriculum 2021-2026.] and Tutke’s mission and vision 2017-2020, and it shall be executable in the context of the Theatre Academy.
  • The applicant shall show strong artistic experience in the above mentioned fields of performing arts represented at the Theatre Academy. In this application round, applications are also invited for the doctoral education in the specialist options of design for the performing arts, and writing. Education in writing started at the Theatre Academy on August 1, 2019, and education in design for the performing arts will commence August 1, 2021.
  • The applicant shall show an ability to work both independently and in groups and a long-term commitment to creative artistic research.

Applying

The online application complying with the application instructions must arrive at the Theatre Academy by the deadline of 4.00 p.m. on October 12, 2020 (EEST Helsinki time). The application shall be submitted in the Studyinfo service. The application must include an online application form and appendices in an electronic format filled in within the portal Studyinfo.fi. The application can be submitted in Finnish, Swedish, or English. Note: Applications or parts of an application that are posted/sent by post, couriered, submitted in person or sent per email will not be accepted.

The application must include the following attachments:

  • Online application
  • Research plan (maximum of 3.000 words)
    • ​The research plan must include a comprehensive description of the research idea, its context and realization. The plan must include descriptions of the research elements (see the Curriculum 2021-2026 of TeaK’s doctoral programme) [Note! The link to the curriculum has been replaced on Sept 16. If you have familiarized with the curriculum before that through this link, you might have studied the current curriculum 2017-2021. Please revisit the curriculum 2021-2026.] the planned doctoral research comprises, as well as its planned schedule. A preliminary list of references for the research must also be appended, as well as a preliminary study plan and a preliminary funding plan.
  • Abstract of the research plan (a maximum of 400 words)
  • Curriculum Vitae (maximum of 3 pages)
    • The CV must include personal data (including year of birth), prior education, artistic and/or pedagogic experience, publications and other merits that the applicant deems profitable for doctoral study. Scanned copies of degree certificates and the language proficiency certificates must be appended to the application. If the degree is completed outside of Finland, a clarification of the educational system in the country in question and the level of completed education in this system is required in Finnish, Swedish, or English as an appendix.
  • A short portfolio of the applicant´s key artistic activity (corresponding to a maximum of 10 pages and/or 30 minutes audio-visual material)

Only materials uploaded to the Studyinfo service will be evaluated. Links pointing to external websites or repositories will not be considered.

Give names to your files according to the following instructions before sending them in. The name of the attachments shall follow the format: surname_firstname_filename (an example: smith_john_researchplan). Do not use scandics (ö, ä, å) or special characters in the file names. 

The accepted format for moving image and the accepted audio and video formats are:

  • A digital file, in H264 compression (maximum file size 1 G)
  • Audio: mp3, m4a, aiff, wma, wav, aac
  • Video: mpeg, mpg, mp4, mov, avi, wmv, m4v, vob

The research plan must comply with the guidelines on the responsible conduct of research by the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity. The research plan provided by the applicant may be checked for plagiarism on the Turnitin plagiarism detection platform. 

When writing a research plan, the following questions may be helpful:

  • What do you want to research, and what is your research question?
  • How do you want to research, and how do you plan to implement your research?
  • Why do you want to research this topic?
  • Why is this topic relevant now?
  • How is your personal artistic or art-pedagogy-related background connected with your research topic?
  • How is your research connected to the traditions of your field?
  • What methods will you apply in your research or develop for your research?
  • What are the artistic elements of your research and how do they answer your research question?
  • What are the conceptual and theoretical starting points of your research?
  • What kind of results will the research produce? 
  • How does the research develop the art field it represents?
  • What is the societal relevance of your research?

Complete and submit an online application with all appendices on the Studyinfo service. 

When you have submitted your application, you will receive a confirmation email for your application. In technical problems related to the Studyinfo service, contact teak.doctoral.admissions@uniarts.fi Please remember to reserve enough time for the process, as the application deadline is definite.

Admission procedure

  • 31 August 2020: The application period starts
  • 12 October 2020 at 4.00 p.m. (EEST Helsinki time): The application period ends
  • November 2020: 1st stage – The admission board’s members who are Tutke’s faculty choose the applicants to be interviewed on the basis of their applications
  • 25–26 November 2020: 2nd stage – Applicants accepted to the second round are interviewed
  • December 2020: The admissions board decides who to invite to the third round and notifies the applicants
  • January 2021: 3rd stage – The research plans of the applicants invited to the third round are further developed and supervised as agreed
  • 25 January 2021: The applicants submit their upgraded research plans
  • March 2021: The Research Council of the Theatre Academy makes the decision on the new doctoral students based on the proposal of the admissions board and the professors in artistic research
  • 1 April 2021: Admission results are published

It is a good idea to book time for yourself to revise the research plan from December 2020 to February 2021.

The admissions are the responsibility of an admissions board, which consists of professors, lecturers, and researchers at the Theatre Academy.

The admissions procedure has three stages. In the first stage, the admission board’s members who are Tutke’s faculty choose the applicants to be interviewed on the basis of their applications. During the interviews (second stage), the selected applicants have a possibility to expand upon their plans for artistic research and their artistic work. In the third stage, the selected applicants develop their research plans with support from assigned supervisors. After the third stage, the admissions board discusses the applicants on the basis of the supervisors’ statements, and the professors in artistic research make a proposal to the Theatre Academy’s Research Council concerning the candidates to be admitted to the doctoral study programme. The Research Council makes the final decision on the admissions.

Announcement of the results

The admissions results will be announced on Thursday, 1 April 2021 on the University of the Arts Helsinki’s website for the applicants who have given their consent on the application form for publishing their names. Successful candidates will receive an email from the Academy of Fine Arts after the publication of the results.

Appeal request

An applicant who is dissatisfied with the admissions decision by the Dean is entitled to submit a written request to review the application within 14 days of the announcement of the decision. The appeal request must be submitted in writing to the University of the Arts Helsinki’s registry.

How to submit an appeal request and what to include

The request must be submitted to the registry within 14 days after the publication of the admissions decision. Requests for appeals are sent at the sender’s own risk. If you submit the appeal request by email, write the name of the appropriate academy on the subject line. The name and contact details of the appellant and the statement, as well as the grounds for the request must be included

Contact information for the registry:

University of the Arts Helsinki Registry
P.O. Box 38 / Töölönlahdenkatu 16 C
FI-00097 University of the Arts Helsinki
kirjaamo@uniarts.fi

Further information

Read more about the doc­toral pro­gramme of artis­tic re­search in per­form­ing arts online

Email: teak.doctoral.admissions@uniarts.fi