Apply to the master’s programme in Global Music
Admissions guide to the 2.5-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.
[Update 2 Dec. 2023: Changed the dates for the second and third stage of the entrance examination.]
Admissions schedule 2023
- Application period: Send your application in Studyinfo portal between 4 January 2023 8 am EET and 18 January 2023 3 pm EET
- Submit required attachments and possible advance assignments at latest 25 January 2023 3 pm EET
- Sibelius Academy confirms your eligibility to apply at latest 17 February 2023
- Second and third stage 21–23 March 2023
- Applicants demonstrating their language skills with a language skills certificate: Submit your test result certificate at latest 28 March 2023 3 pm EEST
- Sibelius Academy publishes admissions results 6 April 2023
- Confirm your study place at latest 14 July 2023 3 pm EEST:
- 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 1 August 2023 3 pm EEST
- New students’ studies begin in August 2023
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 14 July 2023 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.
Master’s degree (2.5 years)
A person who has completed at least one of the following is eligible to apply:
- A lower university degree in music (Bachelor)
- A university of applied sciences degree in music
- A foreign degree or qualification in music that provides eligibility for corresponding higher education studies in the awarding country
- A lower university degree in another field and, additionally, higher education studies in music.
Some programmes may have other background education requirements in addition to those above.
The Sibelius Academy may require that a person admitted to study towards a master’s degree complete complementary studies of a scope equivalent to a maximum of one year of studies in addition to the minimum number of ECTS credits required by the degree programme in order for them to attain the skills required in the training. In principle, complementary studies must be completed in the first year of study, and they must be included in the student’s personal study plan. The applicant is informed of the complementary studies required of them in connection with the admission decision. Such complementary studies must be mentioned in the programme’s admissions proposal.
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 you have completed a higher education degree at Sibelius Academy, you 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 on the rule of one study right can be found here.
The language of tuition in the Global Music programme is English. You must demonstrate your language proficiency in English by the given deadline by submitting an accepted document demonstrating your language skills or by demonstrating your language skills in the entrance examinations.
How to apply
Submit your application in the spring’s first joint application period from 4 to 18 January 2023 by 3 pm EET in the Studyinfo portal.
Click here to read instruction on how to fill the application form. Please note that registration in the Studyinfo portal is not needed for filling in the application form.
Submit the supporting documents and any advance assignments in accordance with the instructions provided.
Submit the supporting documents via the Studyinfo portal as PDF files by 3 pm EET on 25 January 2023. 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 14 July 2023.
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 14 July 2023.
You will NOT need to submit a certificate of your prior education or language proficiency if they are based on one of the following:
- You have completed the Finnish matriculation examination in 1990 or later.
- You have completed a Finnish vocational upper secondary qualification in 2017 or later.
- You have completed a Finnish further vocational qualification or specialist vocational qualification in 2018 or later.
In the above cases, we will receive your information from the electronic qualification register. If necessary, the Sibelius Academy will ask you for further information by e-mail.
Applicants applying for an entrance examination which includes sections that are organized remotely or by video recording shall also be required to:
- 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. For more information on tuition fees, see Tuition fees and scholarships.
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 25 January 2023 3 pm EET. 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).
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.
You can be invited to the entrance examinations if:
- you have submitted an electronic application form and the required attachments at Studyinfo portal, and
- 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. 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 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. All stages will be conducted remotely.
In all stages the Entrance Examination Board may listen to only a section of the programme prepared.
First stage: Advance assignments
Submit the following pre-examination assignments to the Sibelius Academy Admissions Office via the Studyinfo portal no later than 25 January 2023, 3 pm EET (Finnish time):
- 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. You must be visible in all videos.
- Curriculum Vitae
- 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
- Optional sample of previous written material, e.g., studies or research
All advance assignments must state your name and the main subject you are applying to.
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. Information on the results of the first stage will be sent by email.
The second stage of the entrance examination is held live online via a remote connection and consists of five parts. It is held between 21 and 23 March 2023.
Part 1: Performance (10–15 minutes)
Perform music of your choice, which demonstrates your own tradition, musical background, or unique form of musical expression. The performance may include traditional and/or contemporary pieces. Your own compositions may also be included as part of this programme.
The performance may be solo or with accompanying musicians or backing track. You must provide your own accompanying musicians and backing track if required.
Part 2: Leading (10–15 minutes)
Lead a Global Music student through the process of learning or contributing to a small piece of music. This may be just a small taste of a musical idea or concept and does not have to result in a finished piece of music. The musician will be provided for you via live video link, and you will use musical material of your own choice.
The Board will observe your communication and pedagogical skills, including your ability to facilitate the process of collaborating with a global music student.
Part 3: 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.
Part 3 is done by ear and no written / notated music will be used.
Part 4: Interview (10 minutes)
A short discussion will be held between 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. You will also be asked about your ideas for the focus of your field trip and master project. 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. Information on the results of the second stage will be sent by email.
The third stage of the entrance examination consists of two parts, which are held live online, via a remote connection between 21 and 23 March 2023.
Part 5: Interactive workshop (60–90 minutes)
Part 5 consists of an interactive workshop and discussion in a group, made up of other Global Music applicants. The workshop will involve work away from instruments, including body percussion, voice work, improvisation, and group tasks. In addition, the workshop may involve group work using instruments as required. The Entrance Examination Board will observe your ability to adapt to the different tasks, as well as your ability to work collaboratively within a group.
Part 6: Written Essay (90 minutes)
Part 6 will involve a written 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 criteria in the advance assignment (Stage 1) evaluation 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
The Examination Board will assess your suitability for education and a career in music based on all aspects of the entrance examination. 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 lead / facilitate a process in an intercultural environment
- Ability to clearly articulate reasons for wanting to study in the Global Music programme and longer term aims and goals
- 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 on a scale of 0 to 25 points. The first stage scores do not affect the applicant’s final score. Only performances in the second stage are considered.
The parts of the entrance examination are weighted as follows:
- The performance audition, interactive playing, leading, and interview (parts 1, 2, 3 and 4) amount to a total of 75 %
- The interactive workshop and discussion amount to a total of 20 %
- Essay amounts to a total of 5 %
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.
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.
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?
You can contact us via e-mail at email@example.com.
If you have any questions, please check first if your question has been already answered on our frequently asked questions page. This page will be updated constantly. Please check it regularly to see if new questions have been answered. Please note that in principle we do not explain the entrance examination assignments. The instructions are in the admissions guide.
If you have any questions regarding student life at the Sibelius Academy or in Helsinki, you can contact our Student Ambassadors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sibelius Academy Admissions Chat
What is it like to study at the Sibelius Academy and live in Helsinki? How do you apply to the Sibelius Academy? To find out answers to these questions please watch the recording of our 2022 Admissions Chat event that was organized on 24 November 2022 from Youtube by following the link below.