Apply to Master’s Programme in Fine Arts

August 2021 applications. How to apply, admissions criteria and information about studying at the Academy of Fine Arts.

NB. Please note that these application instructions are from 2021. The next application period for the studies leading to a Master of Fine Arts degree will be in August 2022. We will publish the application instructions in spring 2022.

Application period and basic information

  • Application period: from 11 August 2021 to 25 August 2021, 3:00 p.m. (local Finnish time)
  • Degree: Master of Fine Arts
  • Length of studies: 2 years
  • Language of degree: Finnish, Swedish or English
  • Start of studies: January 2022

Applications to the master’s programme in Fine Arts at the University of the Arts Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts will be submitted through Studyinfo.fi web portal.

Link to the application form at Studyinfo.fi

Admission criteria

The selection of students to the master’s degree programme is based on the applicant’s suitable educational background and language proficiency as well as their demonstrated ability in fine arts and suitability to undertake the studies leading to the degree of Master of Fine Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts. The applicant must also have sufficient experience of working in the field of fine arts. This experience will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis during the admissions procedure.

The first phase of the admissions procedure focuses on the applicant’s eligibility to apply. The applicant will be deemed eligible if i) they have a suitable educational background or an educational background which the Academy of Fine Arts considers to be sufficient for undertaking the studies included in the master’s degree programme, ii) they have demonstrated their language proficiency according to the Academy’s requirements on time, and iii) they have submitted all their advance assignments within the schedule set by the Academy.

The second phase consists of an assessment of the applicant’s artistic ability and suitability to undertake the studies leading to the Master of Fine Arts degree based on the advance assignments submitted by the applicant. The applicant’s experience in activities pertaining to fine arts will also be assessed in this phase.

Some of the applicants will be invited to take part in an interview, which comprises the third phase of the admissions procedure. In the third phase, the applicants will be evaluated based on the advance assignments and the interview. The decisions on student admissions are based on the following criteria: i) the applicant has demonstrated sufficient artistic ability, ii) they have been deemed suitable for undertaking the studies leading to a master’s degree at the Academy of Fine Arts, and iii) they have sufficient experience in activities pertaining to fine arts.

During the admissions procedure, the applicant’s ability in fine arts is assessed according to several criteria. These include, for example, the applicant’s ability to express themselves, their originality, and their ability to improve. The suitability for undertaking the studies leading to the Master of Fine Arts degree at the Academy of Fine Arts will be assessed according to the following criteria, among others: the applicant’s motivation, their ability to learn new things and their ability to analyse their own artistic practice. The evaluation of the applicant’s prior experience of working in the field of fine arts is based on evidence of e.g. the applicant’s long-term artistic activities, participation in projects in the field of fine arts and the organisation of art exhibitions and corresponding events.

Applying for transfer from another university

Applicants who are refugees or in a refugee-like situation

Educational background

General eligibility

According to the Universities Act (558/2009, 37§), a person is eligible to apply for the studies leading to a master’s degree in higher education (Master of Fine Arts) if they have completed a relevant bachelor’s degree awarded by a university or a university of applied sciences or a relevant degree programme outside of Finland, which in that country grants eligibility to undertake studies at the corresponding level in higher education. The Academy can also decide to accept applicants who have not been awarded a relevant degree if they are deemed to have sufficient knowledge and skills required for the studies. The University can require a person accepted as a student to take supplementary studies to acquire the skills necessary for the MFA studies.

Educational background required for eligibility in the master’s degree admissions in fine arts:

  • A bachelor’s degree in fine arts, visual arts or arts and design awarded either by a Finnish or a foreign university.
  • A bachelor’s degree awarded by a university of applied sciences which provides the necessary background for master’s studies in fine arts: Bachelor of Culture and Arts, degree programmes in fine arts or design.
  • Other education: The Academy of Fine Arts will assess the knowledge and competence which the applicants have acquired in different fields on a case-by-case basis.

Language proficiency

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

In the first application phase, all applicants must prove their proficiency in the language in which they have chosen to undertake their studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, i.e., either Finnish, Swedish or English. All applicants need to prove their language proficiency in accordance with the requirements set by the Academy. If the applicant has chosen to undertake their studies in Finnish or Swedish, they do not need to provide proof of their proficiency in English.

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

A certificate of a completed language test must be handed in during the first phase of the application process.

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).

A certificate of a completed language test must be handed in during the first phase of the application process.

Demonstrating proficiency in English

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

  • General education (basic education, upper secondary education, matriculation examination, vocational degree) completed in English (with English as the language of instruction) 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 (with English as the language of instruction) 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 (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.

A certificate of a completed language test must be handed in during the first phase of the application process.

How to apply

The admission procedure to the Master’s degree programme in Fine Arts consists of three phases. In the first phase, the applicant completes the application and submits the required appendices and advance assignments via the national web service www.studyinfo.fi.

The application form for the Master’s programme in Fine Arts will be accessible from 11 August to 25 August, 2021, 3:00 p.m. (local Finnish time). All required appendices and advance assignments must also be submitted within the application period. If the application or any of the advance assignments are submitted after the conclusion of the application period, they will not be processed or accepted. Applications sent by e-mail or by other means will not be processed.

Some of the eligible applicants will receive an invitation to take part in an interview. The final results of the Master’s admissions will be made public on 10 November, 2021. The offered study place must be accepted latest by 24 November 2021 at 3:00 p.m. (local Finnish time). Points are not issued for the applications, appendices, portfolios, or interviews.

First phase: electronic application and advance assignments

The application period begins on Wednesday 11 August 2021 and ends on Wednesday 25 August 2021 at 3:00 p.m. Finnish time.

During the application period, fill in an electronic application form at www.studyinfo.fi. The link to the application form will be made available in the online admission guide by 11 August 2021 at the latest.

Link to the application form at Studyinfo.fi

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

1) Document demonstrating that the applicant has the necessary educational background to undertake studies in the Master’s degree programme

2) Document demonstrating that the applicant has the required language proficiency

3) Advance assignments (motivation letter, résumé/CV, and work portfolio)

Use the form to fill in your personal details, educational background, the language which you are applying with and the subject area you are applying to. Please attach all required attachments as PDF files (language proficiency certificate, school certificate, potential eligibility for a tuition waiver programme (if you are applying to study in English), as well as all the advance assignments).

Please mark down the subject area which you are applying to in your application (only one subject area can be selected). The subject areas are sculpture, painting, printmaking, and time and space arts. The admission jury may suggest that the applicant be placed in a subject area different to that of the applicant’s own preference after the advance assignments have been evaluated in the second phase of the assessment.

1) Demonstrating your educational background

The applicant must append a document to the application which indicates that they have the necessary educational background required for studying in the Master’s degree programme: (see: Admission criteria)

  •  A degree certificate and a transcript of record of a completed university degree (a scanned copy of the original document or an authenticated copy)

         or

  • A certificate of student status and a transcript of record of ongoing studies. Applicants who will graduate latest by 24 November, 2021, must append a certificate of student status to the application, which shows the estimated graduation date and the language in which the degree has been completed. The certificate of student status must be appropriately stamped and signed by the education institution.

         or

  • Another document which shows that the applicant has the necessary educational background which the Academy can use to assess the applicant’s skills and knowledge.

The degree certificate and the transcript of record must show the structure and contents of the studies completed by the applicant in order for the Academy of Fine Arts to be able to assess whether the applicant’s educational background meets the eligibility criteria for the Master’s degree programme in Fine Arts. If the structure and contents of the studies at the education institution which awarded the prior degree are not specified sufficiently clearly in the degree certificate or the transcript of record, the applicant can attach a separate report which explicates them more precisely.

All certificates and transcripts of records are to be translated by an authorised translator, if they are in a language other than Finnish, Swedish or English.

2) Demonstrating language proficiency

The applicant must append to the application a language proficiency certificate of the language in which they are applying to study. The grade of language proficiency in the certificate must meet the proficiency requirements as determined by the Academy (see Admission criteria). Applicants who demonstrate their language proficiency by taking a language test accepted by the Academy of Fine Arts must append a certificate of the completed language test to the application prior to the conclusion of the application period. The language test must be completed prior to the conclusion of the first phase of the admissions. Language proficiency can only be demonstrated in the manner determined by the Academy, and other evidence of language skills cannot be taken into consideration in the admissions process.

3) Advance assignments (motivation letter, résumé/CV, and work portfolio)

The applicant must attach the following advance assignments required by the Academy of Fine Arts into the application form:

  • Motivation letter. Describe your artistic practice and explain why you wish to undertake master’s studies in fine arts, why these studies are relevant to you just now, and what you would like to include in your studies. The motivation letter should not be longer than 3,000 characters (including spaces). The motivation letter can be written in Finnish, Swedish, or English. File format: PDF.
  • Résumé/CV (with personal information, education, work experience, exhibitions, publications, awards, grants, and study trips). The résumé/CV can be written in Finnish, Swedish, or English. File format: PDF.
  • Work portfolio. Guidelinesfor the portfolio can be found below. Please read them carefully.

All advance assignments must be submitted prior to the conclusion of the application period. The applicant will not be eligible to apply if they have not submitted the advance assignments prior to the conclusion of the application period or if they have only submitted some of the assignments. The Academy of Fine Arts will only accept advance assignments that have been submitted by the Studyinfo.fi web service.

NB. Be sure to upload the materials to the Studyinfo.fi system on time. Large image and especially video files may upload for up to an hour, if the electronic system is busy or the user’s internet connection is weak. Partially uploaded and/or sent materials will not be evaluated. Make sure that all the materials that you upload and send open and are viewable in the format you wish.

Work portfolio

The work portfolio consists of images, and it is intended to allow the applicant to show and provide samples of their artistic activities. The applicant is allowed to present a maximum of eight (8) works in the work portfolio. This number includes all the works presented in the image portfolio as well as any moving image works and audio works. The image portfolio can include a maximum of three (3) images of a single work. The maximum length of the portfolio is 20 pages in total.

The admission jury will not visit the applicants’ homepages or open any links included in the application.

The applicant must write their name, contact information and the subject area to which they are applying on the first page of the portfolio. The details of the work must be clearly indicated on the portfolio, such as name, size, technique, and year. If there are eg. technical specificities related to the viewing or presentation of your works, indicate this clearly in connection to the works.

In addition to the image portfolio, or in its place, the applicant can submit a moving image or audio file to Studyinfo.fi (see instructions below).

The work portfolio must be submitted as a single PDF file. The maximum file size is 100 MB.

Please name the file according to the following example: lastname_firstname_workportfolio

Moving image works and audio 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). The 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.

The accepted format for video files:

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

The accepted format for audio files:

  • file format: mp3
  • 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.

Eligibility to apply

The applicant’s eligibility to apply will be checked in the first phase of the admission procedure. The applicant will be deemed eligible if i) they have a suitable educational background or an educational background which the Academy of Fine Arts considers to be sufficient for undertaking the studies included in the Master’s degree programme, ii) they have demonstrated their language proficiency in a way determined by the Academy, and iii) they have submitted all their advance assignments within the schedule set by the Academy.

All applicants will be informed by e-mail of their eligibility to apply on 16 September 2021. The Academy will only evaluate the advance assignments of applicants who have been deemed eligible to apply. If you have not been contacted by the Academy of Fine Arts by 16 September 2021, please be in touch with the admissions services (kuva.admissions(at)uniarts.fi). Be sure to also check your junk e-mail folder.

If the applicant is not satisfied with the Academy’s decision, they can submit a written request for rectification within 14 days of the publication of the decision. The request for rectification, together with its justifications, should be submitted as a single PDF file to the registry of the University of the Arts Helsinki (kirjaamo(at)uniarts.fi).

How request for rectification

Second phase: evaluation of advance assignments

In the second phase of the Master’s Admissions of the Academy of Fine Arts, the applicant’s ability in fine arts and their suitability to undertake the studies leading up to the Master’s degree in Fine Arts will be evaluated. The applicant’s experience in activities pertaining to fine arts will also be assessed by evaluating the advance assignments submitted by the applicant (see the assessment criteria under Admission criteria).

The admission jury may suggest that the applicant be placed in a subject area different to that of the applicant’s own preference after the advance assignments have been evaluated in the second phase of the assessment.

Third phase: interview

Based on the advance assignments, some of the applicants will be invited to an interview, which comprises the next phase of the admission procedure.

Interviews will be carried out during 25 October 2021 – 3 November 2021. The applicants who are accepted to the third phase of the admission procedure receive an invitation to the interview by e-mail on 12 October 2021. Applicants who have not been invited to the interview will also be notified of the result by e-mail.

Unless the applicant requests otherwise, the interview will be primarily carried out in the language which the applicant has chosen as the language of study and in which they have proven their proficiency in the first phase of the admission procedure.

In the third stage, the applicants will be evaluated based on the advance assignments and the interview. The successful applicant has shown ability in fine arts as well as suitability to carry out the studies leading up to the Master’s degree in Fine Arts. They also have sufficient experience in working within the field of fine arts (see Admission criteria).

Individual arrangements

If the applicant requires individual arrangements in the entrance examination because of a sensory or physical disability, illness or other corresponding reason, they must apply for individual arrangements by filling in a separate application. The application must be submitted to the admissions office at the academy in question by the deadline specified for submitting application documents. In the application, the applicant must describe what kinds of individual arrangements are needed in the entrance examination and why these arrangements are necessary.

Individual arrangements in the entrance examination

Announcing the results

Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts Helsinki will publish its admissions results on 10 November 2021, on the University of the Arts Helsinki’s website for those applicants who have authorised the publication of their name on the website. After this, applicants can also enquire about the student admissions results via e-mail (kuva.admissions(at)uniarts.fi) or by phone, by calling +358 50 44 88 540.

All accepted applicants as well as the applicants on the waiting list will be informed of the results by the Academy of Fine Arts by e-mail. Some e-mail clients may treat our messages as spam, so please check your spam folder as well.

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.

A written request for rectification should be submitted within 14 days of the publication of the admission result.

How request for rectification

Accepting the study place

You 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 Student Admissions Service of the University of the Arts Helsinki. The study place must be accepted no later than 24 November 2021 by 3:00 p.m. (local Finnish time).

Notifications that arrive after the deadline will not be considered. The notification regarding accepting a study place is binding and cannot be changed or cancelled.

The ‘one study place per term provision’ applies to joint applications, separate applications and applications to programmes leading to a third-cycle (Licentiate, Doctor’s) degree. (please see the ‘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 provide the certificate of their finished degree proving their education background by very latest when accepting their 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.

Scholarships (tuition fee waiver)

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 annual tuition fee must be paid no later than November 24, 2021, at 3.00pm (local Finnish time). 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.

Tuition fees and scholarships

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 (only 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.

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) (120 credits, 2 years)

The goal of the programme leading to the Master of Fine Arts degree is to provide the student with the necessary prerequisites for independent and demanding artistic work on the basis of the student’s personal talents and areas of interest. The education gives the student the skills and knowledge ready to carry out independent work in the field of fine arts and to make them understand their own activities within the context of contemporary art and society where an artist may work in various roles.

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. The subject area of Joint Studies in Fine Art is responsible for organising the courses which all the students of the Academy are required to complete.

Artistic work and related theory comprise the core of the studies. In addition to coursework in fine arts, students complete courses in exhibition studies and art theory. The degree programme in fine arts offers several courses in English. Approximately 15% of students come from outside Finland, some of them for degree studies and some for exchange studies.

Students are encouraged to take courses from subject areas other than their own, within the limits of their study plan, and to engage in versatile artistic work using different media.

About the Academy of Fine Arts

The Academy of Fine Arts is part of the Univerisyt of the Arts Helsinki (Uniarts Helsinki). 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.

FAQ – Frequently asked questions

I will get my BFA degree in late autumn. Can I still participate in the admission of the same autumn?

Yes, you can. If you are admitted to study, you will have to submit a copy of your BFA (or University of Applied Sciences) certificate to the Academy of Fine Arts no later than when submitting the notification on accepting the study place, i.e., 24 November 2021. Please, give us more information on your graduation in your application.

I have a university degree, but not from the field of fine arts, and have taken many art courses and been actively making art for a long time. Can I apply for the 2-year Master’s degree programme at the Academy of Fine Arts?

The Academy of Fine Arts assesses the knowledge and skills acquired in other fields of education on a case-by-case basis. In addition to applicable education, the applicants must have the necessary background in artistic activities. These activities will be assessed individually during the application process for the Master’s degree programme. Art education and art courses not included in a University or a Polytechnic degree do not typically provide sufficient background for the studies leading up to a Master’s degree in Fine Arts. Please note that you can also apply to a 5.5- year study programme for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Fine Arts, and if you are selected, you may receive credit for some of your earlier studies. The application period for the 5.5-year programme is in January.

I will graduate with my BFA degree later in the autumn. Can I still use my degree certificate as proof of the required language skills (Finnish, Swedish or English) when applying?

Yes, if you will receive your degree certificate latest by November 24, 2021. If you should be accepted as a new student, you must send a copy of your degree certificate to the academy’s admissions office very latest when you accept the offered study place, that is, by November 24, 2021. Please, attach additional information about your expected date of graduation and a transcript of records to your electronic application. Applicants who demonstrate their language proficiency (in either Finnish, Swedish or English) by taking a language test accepted by the Academy of Fine Arts, must append a certificate of the completed language test to the application prior to the conclusion of the application period.

Contact

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

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