Apply to the degree programme in Global Music (Bachelor + Master)

Admissions guide to the 5.5-year Global Music programme.

You may apply to Global Music on any main instrument or voice, including traditional instruments from around the world. You may also apply with a focus in pedagogy or composition. 

Admissions schedule 2022

  • Application period: Send your application in Studyinfo portal between 5 January 2022 8 am EET and 19 January 2022 3 pm EET
  • Submit required attachments and possible advance assignments at latest 26 January 2022 3 pm EET
  • Sibelius Academy confirms your eligibility to apply at latest 25 February

A preliminary schedule of the entrance examinations will be published in January 2022.

  • Applicants demonstrating their language skills with a language skills certificate: Submit your test result certificate at latest 20 May 2022 3 pm EET
  • Sibelius Academy publishes admissions results 3 June 2022
  • Confirm your study place at latest 15 July 2022 3 pm EET:
    • Officially accept your study place
    • Register for the academic year
    • Conditionally admitted applicants: Submit the required degree certificate
    • Students who are required to pay tuition fees: Pay your tuition fee
  • Waiting list procedure ends 2 August 2022 3 pm EET
  • New students’ studies begin in August 2022

Who can apply?

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

In addition, a person who completes the required background education after the end of the application period, but no later than 15 July 2022 at 3 pm EEST is eligible to apply. In that case, the admission decision is conditional until the applicant submits a certificate of the completed degree. If the applicant fails to submit the certificate by said deadline, the study place will be cancelled.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other exceptions to eligibility

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

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

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

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

Language requirements

The language of tuition in the Global Music programme is English. You must demonstrate your language proficiency in English by the given deadline.

How to apply

Submit your application in the spring’s first joint application period from 5 to 19 January 2022 by 3 pm EET in the Studyinfo portal.

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

Supporting documents

Submit the supporting documents via the Studyinfo portal as PDF files by 3 pm EET on 26 January 2022. If the documents are not in Finnish, Swedish, or English, append a translation by an authorised translator into one of these languages.

Documents required from all applicants:

  • Degree certificate of the background education and a transcript of study records
    If you complete your degree after the end of the application period, it is adequate to submit the degree certificate by 3 pm EEST on 15 July 2022.

    In case of a foreign degree, the Sibelius Academy may request clarification on the degree’s status within the awarding country’s education system.
  • Certificate demonstrating language proficiency
    If you demonstrate your language proficiency based on your previous studies, the degree certificate or its appendix must clearly indicate the language in which the degree was completed. The degree demonstrating language proficiency must be completed by 3 pm EEST on 15 July 2022.
  • Official proof of identity
    Append a copy of your passport, EU identity card or Finnish driving licence to your application.

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

  • A document exempting from tuition fees
    If you apply to study in English, you will be liable to pay tuition fees unless you submit a document indicating that you are exempt.

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

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

Advance assignments

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

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

Entrance examinations

You can be invited to the entrance examinations if:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Individual arrangements in the entrance examination

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

Global Music entrance examination

The entrance examination has three stages. The first and second stages are conducted remotely. The third stage will be held on site at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland.

In all stages the Entrance Examination Board may listen to only a section of the programme prepared.

First stage: Advance assignments

Submit the following advance assignments to the Sibelius Academy Admissions Office via the Studyinfo portal no later than 26 January 2022, 3 pm EET (Finnish time): 

  1. Curriculum Vitae 
  1. Motivation letter in English (max. 2 pages), including: 
  • Description of your musical and educational background 
  • Description of your reasons for wanting to enter the programme 
  • Description of your long-term professional goals 
  1. One or more short video excerpts (5 minutes maximum total) representing a range of relevant skills. This must include footage of performance skills related to your musical tradition or unique form of musical expression, with optional excerpts from teaching situations, workshops etc. 

All advance assignments provided must state your name and the degree programme you are applying for.

NOTE! A link to the instructions will be added in December 2021.

The Entrance Examination Board will invite a select group of the applicants to the second stage of the entrance examination based on the advance assignments. 

Second stage

The second stage of the entrance examination consists of three parts, which are held live online, via a remote connection.   

Part 1 (Performance) 

Perform pieces of your own choice that demonstrate your own tradition, musical background, or form of musical expression. This may include traditional and/or contemporary pieces. Your own compositions may also be included as part of this programme.  

The performance should last 10–15 minutes and may be solo or with accompanying musicians or backing track. You must provide your own accompanying musicians and backing track if required. You may perform on more than one instrument/voice.  

Part 2 (Interactive Playing) (10 – 15 mins) 

Using improvisation, you are asked to interact and contribute creatively in real time to musical material sent to you as audio files. No written music will be used.  

Interact with the audio files sent to you using the following steps (there will be 2 audio files): 

  1. Listen to the recording once without playing along. 
  2. Play the recording a second time. This time play along by contributing and interacting in your own way. 
  3. Play the recording a third time. Play along once more by contributing and interacting in your own way. This time keep playing on your own when the recording stops and create your own solo improvisation inspired by the recording. 

Part 3 (Interview) 

A short discussion will be held with you and the Entrance Examination Board. During the discussion you are asked to outline your motivation for wanting to study global music and any longer-term goals. The Board may also ask other questions as needed. 

The Entrance Examination Board will invite a select group of the applicants to the third stage of the entrance examination based on the second stage performances. 

Third stage

The third stage of the entrance examination is held live in person, in Helsinki, Finland. You must attend the third stage in person.  

Part 4 (Interactive tasks, group workshop, and discussion) 

Part 4 consists of a series of interactive tasks, a group workshop, and group discussion with other Global Music applicants. The workshop will involve work away from instruments, including body percussion, voice work, improvisation, and group tasks. In addition, the interactive tasks and group workshop may involve work with instruments as required.  

Part 5 (Listening Test and written Essay)

Part 5 involves a listening test, as well as a handwritten essay in English on a given topic. 

Entrance examination assessment

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

In addition, Global Music has its own programme-specific admissions criteria:

Key evaluation criteria in the advance assignment (stage 1) includes the following: 

  • Clarity of reasons and motivation for wanting to study global music and work in an intercultural environment as stated in the letter of motivation 
  • Clarity of long-term goals 
  • Level of core musical skills presented in the video / audio examples 
  • Presence of a unique musical identity (traditional, contemporary, or other) displayed in the video / audio examples 

Based on your performance in the second and third stages of the entrance examination, the Entrance Examination Board will assess your present skills and your motivation for studying within the aims of the curriculum and structures of a university environment. Key assessment criteria include:  

  • Instrumental / vocal / performance skills and quality of expression 
  • Presence of a unique core artistic identity (traditional, contemporary, or other)  
  • Listening, communication and interaction with musicians from diverse backgrounds during the interactive tasks  
  • Ability to adapt to the different tasks, as well as your ability to work collaboratively within a group. 
  • Ability to clearly articulate reasons for wanting to study in the Global Music programme and longer term aims and hopes 
  • Level of awareness and understanding of the intercultural environment and concept of community engagement 
  • Level of listening skills and ability to articulate your thoughts and ideas in verbal and written forms 

The Entrance Examination Board also takes into consideration the formation of a diverse student ensemble. 

Scoring of the entrance examination

All parts of the entrance examination will be graded. The first stage scores do not affect the applicant’s final score. Only performances in the second and third stages are considered.  

In the final scores, the parts of the entrance examination are weighted as follows:  

  • The performance audition, ensemble playing and interview (parts 1, 2 and 3) amount to a total of 75 % 
  • The interactive workshop and discussion amount to a total of 20 % 
  • Listening test and essay amount to a total of 5 % 

Admissions results

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

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

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

Announcement of results

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

Feedback

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

Rectification procedure

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

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

More information about the rectification process can be found here.

Accepting the offered study place and starting your studies

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

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

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

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

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

Questions or comments?

Global music: Info and question ses­sion for applicants on 7 December

Join an info session for prospective Global Music applicants, hosted by Nathan Riki Thomson, head of the Global Music Department. More information is available on this page.

You can contact us via e-mail at siba.admissions@uniarts.fi.

The Sibelius Acad­emy Ad­mis­sions Chat 23 November

What is it like to study at the Sibelius Academy and live in Helsinki? Join our admissions chat to find out! There are two sessions available on Youtube at 12 pm (UTC+2) and 8 pm (UTC+2). Links are available on this page.

Ask and apply!

Want to study at Sibelius Academy but don’t know how to get started?

Use this link to listen to the audio recording of our admissions chat from November 2020:

Click here if you wish to read the text version instread of listening to the audio recording.

You can also watch our fall 2019 edition of the admissions chat in Uniarts Helsinki’s YouTube channel. In this video members of our staff and students answer your questions about the Sibelius Academy in English.

Read more about the programme