Apply to Praxis Master’s Programme in Exhibition Studies (Master of Fine Arts)

August 2022 application period. How to apply, admissions criteria and information about studies. Next application period for the Praxis Master’s Programme in Exhibition Studies is in August 2024. We will publish the application instructions in spring 2024.

Application period and basic information

  • Application period: from 10 August to 24 August 2022, 3:00pm (local Finnish time)
  • Degree: Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
  • Length of studies: 2 years
  • Language of degree: English
  • Start of studies: January 2023

Applications to the Praxis Master’s Programme in Exhibition Studies will be submitted through Studyinfo.fi web portal.

Praxis – Master’s Programme in Exhibition Studies

The goal of the Praxis programme is to educate art professionals into active roles in society as curators, mediators, facilitators, thinkers, and practitioners taking responsibility for and reacting to urgent contemporary issues. They are aware of the frameworks of cultural production and implementing new strategies and practices, which are based on social and environmental understanding. The goal of the studies is to train professionals who use their skills and knowledge in critical and responsible ways.

The Praxis studies offer the basics of art theory and the practice of exhibition studies. The students are given the opportunity to participate in formulating the focal topics of the programme together with the teachers. At the core of the programme is the appreciation of different forms of knowledge production, and of interests and abilities brought in and shared by the students with diverse backgrounds. We encourage candidates with wide-ranging or varied experiences in different walks of life to apply, and we welcome applications from people from underprivileged backgrounds.

Instruction in the Praxis programme is connected to exhibition studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, in which the contexts of exhibiting and experiencing art from the perspectives of cognitive, social, and civic engagement activities are extensively addressed. The Praxis students learn together with contemporary art students in joint courses and projects. The programme places special emphasis on small-group learning, implemented in collaboration with various actors in the field of art.

Praxis programme is based on the understanding that contemporary art and curatorial practices are constantly changing and reacting to the changes in society. The teachers and guests are established art practitioners; curators, researchers, thinkers, and artists, who are actively involved in diverse positions in society. Visiting specialists at the Academy of Fine Arts give lectures, organise workshops and special courses. They also supervise and examine the students’ theses.

The 2-year programme (120 study credits) selects new students every other year. The Praxis programme is an English-language degree programme. All applicants must prove their proficiency in English when applying. During their studies, students may also complete parts of their studies or their thesis in Finnish

Admission criteria

In addition to having a suitable educational background and required language proficiency, the applicants to the Praxis master’s programme are evaluated based on their vision of future roles of art practitioners, their interest in art, and ability in theoretical thinking, their activities in the field of arts and their suitability to undertake the theoretically oriented studies leading to a master’s in fine arts degree at the Academy of Fine Arts.

Prior activities in fine arts may include, for example, curatorial work, artistic research, literary work, or work as a producer. Diverse experience is appreciated. The applicant’s suitability to undertake studies leading to a master’s in fine arts is evaluated according to the following criteria, among others: motivation, ability to learn, ability to listen, ability to analyse one’s own work, and a readiness to develop.

In the first phase, applicants are evaluated based on their application and the required appendices (motivation letter, CV). If the applicant has submitted a portfolio, which is optional, it will also be evaluated. In the first phase, emphasis is placed on the motivation letter. In the second phase, the evaluation is based on an interview as well as the application and appendices. The applicants may also be asked to provide further proof of their skills for evaluation.

Applying for transfer from another university

Applicants who are refugees or in a refugee-like situation

Educational background

You can apply to studies leading to a Master of Fine Arts degree if you have:

  • an eligible Bachelor’s degree; or
  • an eligible polytechnic Bachelor’s degree; or
  • an eligible foreign education entitling the applicant to apply for equivalent university studies.

The academy can also decide to accept applicants without a degree if they deem the applicant to possess suitable cognitive and practical skills for the studies. The academy can require a person accepted as a student to augment their qualifications to acquire the skills necessary for the Master’s studies.

Eligible applicants have a degree in a field such as fine arts, art history, aesthetics, philosophy, social sciences, cultural politics, or cultural management.

The Academy of Fine Arts will determine whether the applicant has the necessary background required for eligibility on a case-by-case basis.

Language proficiency requirement

In order to be deemed as an eligible applicant, all applicants must provide proof of their proficiency in English in the first application phase in accordance with the requirements of the academy.

The language of instruction in the Praxis Master’s Programme in Exhibition Studies is English. If the student so chooses, they may complete part of the studies as well as their thesis project in Finnish.

Demonstrating proficiency in English

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

  • 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)
  • General education (basic education, upper secondary degree, or vocational degree) completed in English (with English as the language of tuition) 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 marked as the language of tuition in the diploma or transcript) in an EU or EEA country or Switzerland, the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
    • diploma completed in English
    • passing grade in the English test (literature / language and literature / literature and performance) on level A
    • 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
    • minimum grade of 7 in English as the L2 or L3 language
  • A Reifeprüfung diploma (from 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
      • Uniarts Helsinki also accepts MyBest Scores for the Toefl test if the results of all sections of the test are valid in the same year as when the applicant applies to studies
    • IELTS Academic
      • Overall Band Score: 6.5
    • Cambridge English C2 Proficiency (CPE): The accepted grades are A, B, C and Level C1
    • Cambridge English C1 Advanced (CAE): The accepted grades are A, B, C and Level B2
    • Cambridge English B2 First (FCE): The accepted grades are A, B and C.
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic)
      • Total score: 59
  • The International Certificate (PTE General): The accepted tests are Level 5 (C2), Level 4 (C1) and Level 3 (B2).
    • National Certificate of Language Proficiency (YKI) in English awarded by the Finnish National Agency for Education
      • all subtests of the test completed on level 4(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.

  • Exchange students can also demonstrate their sufficient English skills with the following language studies that they have completed during their exchange period at Uniarts Helsinki:
    • Courses in English leading to skill level B2 (English 1 and/or English 2; minimum scope of 2 credits, the courses include both written and oral exercises)
    • Exchange students also have the possibility to demonstrate their proficiency by participating in an English language proficiency test during their exhange period at Uniarts Helsinki, and more detailed instructions are available from language teachers.

How to apply

The admission procedure of the Master’s Admission is divided into two phases. In the first phase, the applicant will complete the application form at Studyinfo.fi and submit the required appendices to the Academy. The application jury will select applicants for interviews based on the applications and appendices of the eligible applicants.

The second phase consists of applicant interviews. The applicants may also be asked to provide further proof of their skills for evaluation.

The results of the Master’s admissions will be made public on 9 November 2022. Points are not issued for the applications, appendices, or interviews.

First phase: electronic application

The application period begins 10 August 2022 and end 24 August 2022 at 3:00 pm Finnish time.

During the application period, fill in an electronic application form at www.studyinfo.fi.

In the application form, please select “Praxis – Master’s Programme in Exhibition Studies” as the programme you are applying to. The application should be completed in English.

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

Copies of certificates and transcripts of records of completed studies and any other certificates to which you wish to refer. Also attach an account of the structure and content of the studies included in a Bachelor’s degree or a degree from a university of applied sciences / polytechnic university (issued by the awarding institute) if the information is not included in the certificate.

Applicants who will graduate by November 23, 2022, 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.

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) Document demonstrating that the applicant has the required language proficiency

Copy of the documents demonstrating the applicant’s language proficiency (see Language Requirements). NB! Applicants who have completed their Finnish Matriculation Examination in 1990 or thereafter do not need to provide certificates to the Admissions Services, as the information of their matriculation examination can be found in the admission register.

3) Advance assignments (motivation letter, CV/résumé)

Motivation letter. In their motivation letter, the applicant describes their views about artistic activities in society and elaborates upon their goals in working in the field of art. The motivation letter should specifically explain why the applicant wants to pursue studies in the Praxis Master’s Programme at the Academy of Fine Arts. The applicant should also mention which themes or areas of interest would be the most important ones in their future studies. The motivation letter should be no longer than 8,000 characters (with spaces) and it must be written in English. File format: PDF. Maximum file size: 100 MB. The name of the attachment shall follow the format: lastname_firstname_praxis_motivationletter.

CV/résumé. The CV should include the applicant’s contact information and information about the applicant’s education, work experience, exhibitions, publications, awards, grants, and study trips. The CV must be written in English. File format: PDF. Maximum file size: 100 MB. The name of the attachment shall follow the format: lastname_firstname_praxis_cv.

Optional portfolio. If the applicant so wishes, they may include an additional optional portfolio that presents their work. The maximum length of an optional portfolio is 10 pages. File format: PDF. Maximum file size: 100 MB. Portfolios that exceed the aforementioned limitations will not be considered. The name of the attachment shall follow the format: lastname_firstname_praxis_portfolio.

The application with all required appendices 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 required documents and advance assignments prior to the conclusion of the application period or if they have only submitted some of the required assignments.

The Academy of Fine Arts will not accept any late applications or applications not submitted through Studyinfo.fi.

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 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, they have demonstrated their language proficiency in a way determined by the Academy, and they have submitted the required advance assignments (CV/résumé, motivation letter) within the schedule set by the Academy.

All applicants will be informed by e-mail of their eligibility to apply on 15 September 2022. The Academy will only evaluate the advance assignments of applicants who have been deemed as eligible to apply.

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

Second phase: interviews

The second phase will be carried out between 24 October and 1 November 2022. In addition to attending an interview, the applicants may also be asked to provide further proof of their skills for evaluation.

The applicants who are accepted to the second phase of the admission receive an invitation to an interview by e-mail on 11 October 2022. Applicants who have not been invited to the interview will also be notified of the result by e-mail.

Individual arrangements

If the applicant requires individual arrangements during the interview process because of a sensory or physical disability, illness or other corresponding reason, they must apply for individual arrangements by filling in a separate application (see the link below). The application must be submitted to the admissions office during the application period.

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 9 November 2022, 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.

Feedback

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

Other applicants will not be given feedback during the admission process or after its conclusion.

Appeals

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

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

How to 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 by 23 November 2022 at 3:00 p.m. (local Finnish time) at the latest.

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. If the applicant wishes to cancel their study place after accepting it, they will be regarded as having accepted a study place offered to them during that term (please see the ‘one study place per term’ provision).

If the applicant has been deemed conditionally eligible in the first stage of the admissions process, they must provide a certificate of the completed degree that confirms that they have a suitable educational background when they accept the study place at the latest.

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 fees and scholarships

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

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

Tuition fees and scholarships

Degree programmes at the Academy of Fine Arts in 2022

At the Academy of Fine Arts, students can graduate with a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral degree in fine arts. The Academy also provides instruction in the theoretically oriented Bachelor’s programme in History and Theory of Contemporary Art (“Nykytaiteen historian ja teorian kandidaattiohjelma”, tuition only in Finnish), which leads to a Bachelor’s degree in Arts, and Praxis – Master’s Programme in Exhibition Studies (tuition in English), which leads to a Master’s degree in Fine 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 stage.

The student admissions to the Academy of Fine Arts are organised each year: the application period for educations leading to bachelor and master’s degrees in fine arts and bachelor’s programme in arts is in January, while the application period for the 2-year master’s degree programmes in fine arts is in August. In 2022, the Academy of Fine Arts will accept a maximum of 64 new degree students, of whom 25 will be accepted to the 5.5-year programme leading to a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fine arts, and 23 to the 2-year programme leading to a master’s degree in fine arts. A maximum of 10 new students will be accepted to the degree programme of History and Theory of Contemporary Art, which leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree. A maximum of 6 new students will be accepted to the Praxis Master’s Programme in Exhibition Studies.

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

Praxis Master’s Programme in Exhibition studies (MFA) (120 credits, 2 years)

The goals of the education provided in the Praxis Master’s Programme in Exhibition Studies include:

  • to provide the student with the necessary knowledge for understanding how the world of art and the different operators in the art scene function, as well as the ability to work as an active participant in various roles in the field of art.
  • to develop the student’s thinking in relation to the exhibition and mediating of art and art in society.
  • to offer basic knowledge of the theory and philosophy of art and the practices pertaining to the public exhibition of art.
  • to provide the student with the necessary expertise required in professional work in the field of art in accordance with the principles and practices of
    social and ecological sustainability.
  • to make the student prepared to work in collaboration with artists in various public settings, such as gallery spaces, other public spaces, or digital
    environments, and in project work, such as the preparation of catalogues, for example.
  • to provide the skills and knowledge to work in various functions in the field of art as a professional who can make use of their expertise in a critical and
    meaningful way and who is ready to engage in international collaboration.
  • to provide good communication and language skills that facilitate research, postgraduate studies, and lifelong learning.

If the student has completed their primary education in Finland either in Finnish or in Swedish, or if they have completed their education abroad in Finnish but they have not completed the language courses required for the Master of Fine Arts degree (oral and written skills in the second national language; a foreign language, oral and written skills, 8 cr. in total), they must complete these courses in addition to the studies included in the master’s degree.

The language of the master’s programme is English, and the instruction is also given in English. The student is allowed, however, to complete part of the studies and the thesis project in Finnish, if they so wish.

Personal study plan (HOPS = PSP) will be updated every year with the tutoring teacher and planning officer.

Frequently asked questions

I will get my Bachelor’s 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 Bachelor’s (or university of applied sciences/polytechnic) degree certificate to the Academy of Fine Arts no later than when submitting the notification on accepting the study place, i.e., 23 November, 2022. Please, give us more information on your graduation in your application.

I have already completed a Master’s degree. Can I still apply to a Master’s programme?

Yes, you can apply.

Do I have to state which courses I intend to take in my motivational letter?

You are not meant to write a list of courses, and it would be impossible to name them because you get the syllabus only at the beginning of the term. Your application should state the things you feel are important and interest you in your studies, as well as the things you want to concentrate on and examine more closely; for example, do you want to continue in the direction you have chosen or conquer new areas.

Contact

Academy of Fine Arts of Uniarts Helsinki admissions office
kuva.admissions@uniarts.fi
tel. +358 50 407 0744

Read more about the programme