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

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

Mas­ter of Fine Arts’ ad­mis­sions 2020: in­vi­ta­tions to in­ter­views

Application period and basic information

  • Application period: between August 12, 2020, 8.00am and August 28, 2020, 3.00pm (local Finnish time)
  • Degree: Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
  • Length of studies: 2 years
  • Language of degree: English
  • Start of studies: January 2021

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

Praxis – Master’s Programme in Exhibition Studies

The Praxis programme develops students’ thinking regarding the surrounding society as well as the exhibition and mediation of art. The goal is to understand the art world and its underlying forces and to establish different types of active work roles in the arts. 

The Praxis – Master’s Programme in Exhibition Studies is an English-language degree programme and the language of tuition is English. All applicants must prove their proficiency in English when applying in the manner defined by the academy. During their studies, students may also complete parts of their studies or their thesis in Finnish.

The Praxis programme students are educated together with art students. Praxis trains art professionals whose work and ideas reflect how the roles of a mediator of art, curator and artist are combined through the public exhibition of art. The goal of the studies is to train professionals to take on the many responsibilities in the field of art; experts who use their skills and knowledge in critical, innovative ways.

The Praxis studies offer both the basics of theory and philosophy of art and the practices of public exhibition of art. During the Praxis studies, students get the chance to work with artists in different kinds of spaces where art is exhibited, such as exhibition spaces, the public space, catalogues and digital environments. Instruction in the Praxis programme has a contact with instruction in Exhibition Studies and Spatiality 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 Master’s programme places special emphasis on small-group teaching, which is implemented in collaboration with various actors in the field of art.

Teaching in the Praxis Master’s programme is based on the understanding that contemporary art and artistry are constantly changing and reacting to the changes in society. The teachers of the Master’s programme are established artists, researchers and curators, who are actively involved in a variety of expert functions. The programme will also invite guest teachers from abroad to share their expertise with the students. The guest teachers will give lectures, organise thematic workshops and special courses, and provide personal guidance to the students. They will also share their expertise by supervising and examining the students’ theses.

The two-year programme (120 crs) selects new students every other year.

Admission criteria

In addition to having a suitable educational background and required language proficiency, the applicants to the Praxis Master’s Programme are evaluated on the basis of their interest in art and and theoretical thinking, their activities in the field of fine arts and their suitability to undertake the theoretically-oriented studies leading to the Master in Fine Arts degree at the Academy of Fine Arts.

Prior activities in fine arts may include e.g. curatorial work, artistic research, literary work or work as a producer. The applicant’s suitability to undertake the studies leading to the Master in Fine Arts degree are evaluated according to the following criteria, among others: motivation, ability to learn, ability to analyse one’s own work and a readiness to develop.

In the first phase, the applicants are evaluated on the basis of 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 second phase, the evaluation is based on an interview. The applicant may also be asked to provide further proof of their skills for evaluation. In the first phase, emphasis is placed on the motivation letter, where the applicant explains why they wish to study at the Praxis Master’s Programme.

Applying for transfer from another university

Applicants who are refugees or in a refugee-like situation

Educational background

According to the Universities Act (558/2009, 37§), the following degrees make an applicant eligible to apply for studies leading only to the Master of Fine Arts degree: an eligible Bachelor’s degree, 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 University can require a person accepted as a student to augment their qualifications to acquire the skills necessary for the MFA 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 requirements

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.

All applicants must provide proof of their proficiency in English in the first application phase in accordance with the requirements of the Academy of Fine Arts, University of the Arts Helsinki.

Demonstrating proficiency in English

The following applicants do not need to submit an English language test certificate, but they are required to append a degree certificate that proves their proficiency in English to their application:

• Applicants, who have obtained their general education (basic education, upper secondary education, matriculation examination, vocational degree) or completed a university degree taught 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 (English) must be mentioned in the degree certificate or its attachment, in the transcript of study records, or some other official document issued by the institution in question. In order for the applicant’s general education to be accredited as proof of language proficiency, it must be completed by 26 November 2020.

• Applicants who have completed a university or a university of applied sciences degree taught in Finnish, Swedish or English in Finland. A degree completed in Finnish or Swedish must include foreign language studies in English in accordance with the decree 794/2004, which must also be stated in the degree certificate / attachment.

The University of the Arts Helsinki also accredits foreign language studies in English completed in Finland for a university degree in accordance with the decree as proof of language proficiency even if the applicant’s degree is still incomplete. In this case, the applicant must send a transcript of study records to the University of the Arts Helsinki along with a copy of the degree requirements of the university in question or some other document that states which language studies are required in the degree.

Applicants who have not 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.

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

  • 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 with;
    • passing grade in the English test (literature / language and literature / language 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 (or an equivalent result in Deutsches Internationales Abitur) completed at Deutsche Schule Helsinki:
    • passing grade in the written level A English test; 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 = Internet Based test)
    • Total score: 92 (IBT)
  • IELTS (Academic)
    • Overall Band Score: 6.5
  • Cambridge CAE/CPE (CAE = Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English, CPE = Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English)
    • Grades accepted: A, B, C
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic)
    • Total score: 59

IELTS, TOEFL and PTE test results are valid for two years from the test date. Cambridge results are valid indefinitely. 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 of the Master’s Admission is divided into two phases. In the first phase, the applicant will complete the application form at 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 dean will make the final decision on admissions based on the interviews and, if necessary, additional demonstration of ability.

Points are not issued for the applications, appendices or interviews.

First phase: electronic application

The application period begins on Wednesday 12 August 2020 and ends on Friday 28 August 2020 at 3:00 pm Finnish time.

During the application period, fill in an electronic application form at

Link to the application form

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 26, 2020, 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)

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 fields of study they consider to be the most important ones. The motivation letter should be no longer than 8,000 characters (with spaces) and it must be written in English. File format: PDF.

CV. The CV/résumé should include personal information, education, work experience, exhibitions, publications, awards, grants and study trips). The CV must be written in English. File format: PDF.

Optional portfolio. If the applicant so wishes, they may include an additional optional portfolio that presents their work. The maximum length of the optional portfolio is 10 pages. The maximum file size is 200 MB. File format: PDF. Portfolios that exceed the aforementioned limitations will not be taken into account.

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 assignments. The Academy of Fine Arts will not accept any applications not submitted through

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 the required advance assignments (CV, motivation letter) within the schedule set by the Academy.

All applicants will be informed by e-mail of their eligibility to apply on 17 September, 2020. 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 21 September, 2020, please be in touch with the admissions services (kuva.admissions(at) 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)

Second phase: interviews

Interviews will be carried out during 26 October 2020 – 4 November 2020. Information about those invited for an interview will be published on 7 October 2020 at 9.00am on the front door of Academy of Fine Arts (Elimäenkatu 25 A, Helsinki, Finland) and on the student admissions site of the University of the Arts Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts for those applicants who have authorised the publication of their name on the website.

The applicants who are accepted to the third phase of the admission procedure are also sent a separate invitation for the interview by e-mail indicating the exact time and place of the interview. Also, applicants who have not been invited to the interview will receive an email.

Special arrangements

If the applicant requires special arrangements at the entrance examination because of a sensory or physical disability or other corresponding reason, he or she must get in touch with the Academy of Fine Arts Admissions Office before the end of the application period. To clarify for the need of special arrangements and the nature of the disability or other condition, the applicant must submit a medical certificate by a specialist or other corresponding expert statement to the Academy of Fine Arts Admissions Office.

To verify a case of dyslexia, a statement by a special needs teacher, psychologist, or a speech pathologist is sufficient. A decision by the Matriculation Examination Board about special arrangements is also sufficient to verify the need for special arrangements.

Documents verifying dyslexia must have been issued within the last five years. Likewise, documents verifying permanent disability, learning disability or illness must have been issued within the last five years. The validity of other documents is decided based on a case-by-case assessment.

Announcing the results

Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts Helsinki will publish its admissions results on 12 November, 2020, on the front door of the Academy (Elimäenkatu 25 A, Helsinki, Finland) and 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) 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. Other applicants will not receive an e-mail/letter informing them of the matter.


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

How to request for rectification

Accepting the study place

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 26 November, 2020, by 3.00pm (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

In the academic year 2020-2021, 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. The amount of the fee will stay the same for the duration of a particular student’s studies.

In Uniarts Helsinki’s admissions, tuition fees apply to applicants applying to study in English.

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 Aliens Act.

Exemption from tuition fees

Students are exempted from paying tuition fees if they have one of the following documents:

  • Passport or identity card to indicate the citizenship of EU/EEA/Switzerland
  • EU Blue Card in Finland
  • Continuous residence permit card in Finland, Type A permit
  • EU Family Member’s Residence Card in Finland
  • Permanent residence permit card in Finland, Type P permit
  • EU residence permit for third-country citizens with long-term residence permit card in Finland (Type P-EU)

Temporary permit cards and passports must be valid at least until the start of studies. If the applicant is liable for payment due to their nationality, they must use the application form in the Studyinfo portal to notify whether there are abovementioned grounds that would apply and release them from payment. The applicant must provide the necessary documents that prove release from liability for payment and submit them to the admissions office by the end of the application period.

If the applicant’s liability to pay the fee changes after the application deadline, they must contact the admissions office immediately.

Tuition fee waivers

Uniarts Helsinki has a scholarship programme for students who are liable for payment in the form of tuition fee waivers. Applicants should note that the university does not offer any scholarships for living expenses.

If the applicant is liable for payment, they must state on the application form if they want to apply for a scholarship from Uniarts Helsinki to cover the annual tuition fee if they are admitted as a student. A separate form is used to apply for the scholarship. A link to the application form can be found in the electronic application at The scholarships are granted for one academic year at a time based on the students’ applications. The amount of the scholarship is 2,500 or 5,000 euros.

If a student is awarded a scholarship, they will be notified of the decision personally at the same time as they receive the admission results. Students who are liable for payment have the right to apply for scholarships during the normative duration of their studies. The scholarships are applied for and the decisions regarding scholarships are made annually.

The annual tuition fee must be paid no later than November 26, 2020, 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.

About the Academy of Fine Arts

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 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 of Fine Arts also runs the Praxis Master’s Programme in Exhibition Studies, which focuses on art theory.

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 Bachelor’s studies.

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.

Degree programmes at the Academy of Fine Arts in 2020

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. Admissions to the Praxis Master’s programme in exhibition studies will also be organised in 2020.

In 2020, the Academy of Fine Arts will accept a maximum of 47 new degree students of whom 25 will be accepted to the 2-year programme leading to a Master’s degree in Fine Arts.

Admissions statistics for the Praxis Master’s programme

 Total number of applicantsAdmitted
In 2013, 2015, 2017 ja 2019 no admission was organisen for the Praxis Master’s Programme.

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/polytechnic) degree certificate to the Academy of Fine Arts no later than when submitting the notification on accepting the study place, i.e., 26 November, 2020. 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.