Master’s Degree Programme in Live Art and Performance Studies - Admission Criteria

Degree: Master of Arts (Theatre and Drama)
​Length of Study: 2 years
Language of Study and Degree: English


Live Art and Performance Studies (LAPS) is a two year English-language Masters Degree Programme at the Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki that focuses on Artistic Research. It is one of very few Masters programmes in the world at the intersection of Performance Studies and the practice of Live Art/Performance Art.

A. Methodologies of Live Art /Performance Art Practice & Theory

B. Methodologies of Performance Studies & Critical Writing

C. Optional Studies

D. Individual and Collaborative Research

E. Master's Thesis Project

                      + Artistic Thesis

                      + Written Thesis

The LAPS programme provides an interdisciplinary approach to Performance Art / Live Art and Performance Studies.

The lecturers, mentors, visiting artists and theorists in the programme provide diverse approaches to the field including, but not limited to: visual cultures, gender studies, performance philosophy, performative research, embodiment, community-based practices, anthropology, mediated performances, performative writing or the political theory of performance and activism. The wide range of these approaches are largely determined to provide a practical and theoretical tools for the students in the context of performance studies and artistic research after the post-humanist turn.


LAPS is constructed around rotating 1-to-1 mentorships, and includes group seminars in areas of core knowledge. Seminars are held during days or evenings. They include lectures, workshops, classes, visiting artists and theorists, performances and productions, and reading-writing groups.1:1 mentoring is continuous, matching each student with a variety of mentors during the first year. This process of information-sharing during the first year leads during the second year to the selection of a Supervisor and the production of a two-part thesis that includes public performance(s) and a substantial text. Each student presents her/his thesis work in a self-organised workshop or seminar to the public. The completed thesis combines research, practice, theory and reflection.  



We are looking for six individuals from a variety of cultures and continents, who are willing to undertake new research in the combined fields of Live Art/Performance art and Performance Studies.

In 2014 LAPS was re-designed to be a programme focused on the methodologies of artistic research. The programme is especially appropriate for mature and self-directed individuals who already have a practice and life experiences that they may wish to explore through live and mediated performance. Moreover, the programme will be focused on collaborative practices with the students from other programmes from the University of The Arts, and especially from the Theatre Academy.

The programme combines critical thinking with practice-led research, and seeks to flesh out the synergies between research and practice. The objective is to enable and empower the participants to develop and activate new knowledge in performance and theory. The focus is on the diversity of approach to the actual meaning of ‘performance’, in our contemporary context. The applicants may already have a foundation in Live Art or Performance Art but are now interested in Performance Studies and want to develop their discursive research skills alongside their artistic practice. Or they may have already carried out research in another field in the humanities, but want to focus more on the embodied practices or performative research, for instance. Therefore, professionals from wide range of fields, including people from the non-academic or activist backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Helsinki is a vibrant city with a substantial population of international students attending several local universities, and an increasing population of economic migrants and refugees. It is a centre for technological innovation, the arts, architecture and the humanities. Situated on the Baltic Sea, the city is surrounded by forests, islands, wetlands, fractal coastlines available for installation and performance. English is now widely spoken along with Finnish and Swedish, and several other languages. The international students will be quickly introduced to the respective scenes to LAPS studies, and will find their place in the wider artistic community in Helsinki and Finland.


Admission Criteria


A person is eligible to apply for the two-year Master’s Degree Programme in Live Art and Performance Studies (LAPS) if he/she has experience related to a field of art and has completed:

  1. BA-level university degree in art or another applicable field (e.g. Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science).
  2. an applicable degree in art in a university of applied sciences
  3. a corresponding BA (Bachelor) -level foreign degree, which in the country in question confers eligibility for corresponding higher education studies


  4. the applicant has acquired sufficient knowledge and competence based on studies, artistic activity and work experience, acknowledged by the Theatre Academy. This admission criteria is intended for applicants who have not completed their undergraduate degree or have completed other university-level studies in the field of art (e.g. Open University studies).
    ​In this case, the applicant must have a minimum of 60 ECTS credits in higher education studies. These studies may include higher education studies in a field of art, or studies that support this field of art. In addition to the 60 ECTS credits in higher education studies the applicant is to have strong artistic experience. The applicant is required to submit the portfolio to show the above-mentioned artistic experience.

The applicant’s eligibility will be assessed based on the applicant's application and certificates.

We also consider artistic activities or full-time activity in an art related occupation or work in a field related to art. The adequacy of artistic activities and work experience will be assessed by the Committee based on the applicant's Application.

Each applicant will be assessed individually. Any contextual issues necessary for the Selection Committee to make a fair assessment should be explained in the Application Letter.

The selection to the Master’s degree programme is conditional for those applicants who have not completed a Bachelor’s degree or another applicable lower university degree at the time of the selection process. These applicants must deliver a certificate of completed Bachelor’s studies or other applicable first-cycle university degree to Admission Services by 8 July 2019 at 3:00 p.m. (Finnish time); otherwise, their conditional admission will be cancelled. The conditional decision does not concern applicants who are selected based on their studies, artistic activity and work experience.

Supplementary studies to achieve the necessary level of competence may be required of a student who has been admitted to the Academy, at the discretion of the LAPS Selection Committee. The maximum amount of supplementary studies is 30 credits. Admitted students will be informed of any additional studies required of them in the letter of acceptance and the announcement of admission results.


Language Requirements

The language of study and degree in the Master’s Degree Programme in Live Art and Performance Studies is English.

In order to be admitted as a degree student at the University of the Arts Helsinki, applicants must have command of the language of instruction used in the programme. They must demonstrate their skills with a language certificate or prior studies.

In addition, the Selection Committee assesses the applicant’s language skills during entrance examinations through written and practical assignments and interviews.

Having sufficient language skills is, in principle, a requirement in order to be eligible to apply, and it ensures that the applicant has demonstrated educability and suitability for university-level education and has the communication skills needed as a student.

The ability to read and comprehend and apply difficult theoretical texts is essential in this programme.

Applicants must provide proof of sufficient language skills by the end of the application period (23 January 2019 at 3 p.m., however no later than 30 January at 3 p.m.

If applicants wish to use prior studies as proof of their sufficient language skills but haven’t yet completed the degree (e.g. applicants whose BA degree is incomplete at the time of application), they must send out a degree certificate of completed studies along with a statement about the estimated time of graduation.


Demonstrating proficiency in English for programmes taught in English

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

  • Certificate of education completed in English in an EU or EEA country, the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand


  • Certificate of a university degree or a university of applied sciences degree completed 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 must be mentioned on the degree certificate or its appendix, 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 counted as proof of language proficiency, it must be completed by the end of the deadline for submitting certificates. The deadline is stated in the admissions criteria and applies to those who have been selected conditionally.


  • Certificate of a university or a university of applied sciences degree completed in Finnish, Swedish or English in Finland
    (NOTE: 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/appendix.

Uniarts Helsinki also counts foreign language studies in English that are completed in Finland for a university degree/university of applied sciences degree, as well as studies completed in some other manner, as proof of language proficiency even if the applicant’s degree is still incomplete, 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.


Applicants who haven’t received their 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:

  • Minimum grade of magna cum laude approbatur (M) in the level A English test (advanced syllabus) included in the Finnish matriculation examination
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma:
    o   diploma completed in English;
    o   a passing grade in the English test (literature / language and literature / language and performance) on level A; or
    o   minimum grade of 5 (good) in the English language test on level B
  • European Baccalaureate Diploma:
    o   passing grade in English as the L1 language; or
    o   minimum grade of 7 in English as the L2 or L3 language
  • A Reifeprüfung diploma can be used as proof of sufficient language skills if the applicant has received
    o   a passing grade in the written level A English test
    o   a minimum grade of 8 in the oral level A English test
  • Certificate of a completed language test approved by Uniarts Helsinki
    o   TOEFL (IBT = Internet Based Test, PBT = Paper Based Test)
    -  Total score: 92 (IBT), 580 (PBT)
    o   IELTS (Academic)
    -  Overall Band Score: 6.5
    o   Cambridge English C2 Proficiency (CPE): accepted grades are A, B, C and Level C1
    o   Cambridge English C1 Advanced (CAE): accepted grades are A, B, C and Level B2
    o   Cambridge English B2 First (FCE): Accepted grades are A, B, and C.
    o   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.

Applicants should submit interim results of language tests by email to Admissions Services to ensure that the results arrive by the deadline; receipt of the official results by post from the test organisation may take weeks.


Annual Tuition Fees for Studies in English

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 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 the 2019 student admissions of the Theatre Academy of Uniarts Helsinki, tuition fees will apply to applicants applying to one of our English-speaking degree programmes;

  • Master’s Degree Programme in Live Art and Performance Studies
  • Master’s Degree Programme in Choreography
  • Master’s Degree Programme in Dance Performance

The fee cannot be charged to a citizen of a Member State of the European Economic Area, 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 EC 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

You are exempted from paying tuition fees if you 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.

Applicants who are liable for payment due to their nationality must use the application form in the Study info portal to notify whether there are abovementioned grounds that would apply and release the applicant from payment. The applicant in question must provide the necessary documents that prove release from liability for payment and submit them to the admissions office by the end of the deadline. 

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


Tuition fee waivers

Uniarts Helsinki has introduced a scholarship programme for students who are liable for payment in the form of tuition fee waivers, which aims to promote student recruitment and provide financial support for students who need it. Applicants should note that the university does not offer any scholarships for living expenses.

Applicants who are liable for payment must also state on the application form if they want to apply for a scholarship from Uniarts Helsinki to cover the annual tuition fee if they get accepted. Students may apply for the scholarship using a separate form. 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. All new degree students who are liable for payment and have applied for the scholarship will be awarded a tuition fee waiver of EUR 2,500 (50%) on their first academic year.

Students who are awarded a scholarship 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 (2 years in Master’s programmes). Decisions regarding scholarships are made annually.

The annual tuition fee must be paid in connection with the acceptance of a study place no later than 8 July 2019 at 3:00 pm 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 acceptance. Students are required to pay the annual tuition fee in order to register for attendance and complete studies.



Assessment is based on the:

  • Application Letter 
  • Academic qualifications and language proficiency certificates
  • Mid-career level expertise in a field related to LAPS 
  • Applicant’s performance work 
  • Applicant’s demonstrated ability to understand and apply theoretical readings in English to one’s own practice
  • Applicant’s demonstrated ability to write an academic paper

Assessment criteria are:

  • Motivation
  • Exploratory, experimental and conceptual approach to work and ideas
  • Capacity for analytical thought and evidence of critical reflection on one’s own work
  • Interest and capacities to work in collaborative research environments
  • Desire to combine Performance art /Live Art and Performance Studies
  • Interest in research as a methodology for making art
  • Desire to combine theory and practice
  • Suitability for Masters level studies in Live Art/Performance Art & Performance Studies



Student Selections

The selection process occurs in three phases.
Additional assignments may be given during the selection process.
The assignments will be given in English and should be answered in English.


Selection Phases 1-3

The application period is 9 January – 23 January 2019.

Phase 1:

► Complete and submit the online application form by 23 January 2019 at 3 p.m. (Finnish time).

Submit the advance assignment online by 30 January 2019 at 3 p.m. (Finnish time).

Submit certificates and CV online by 30 January 2019 at 3 p.m. (Finnish time).

A decision on the applicant's eligibility will be made before sending out Phase 2 requests. A decision on the applicant's eligibility will be made on week 9 at the latest. Applicants found eligible/ ineligible will be informed of that decision via e-mail.
When eligibility is confirmed there is first elimination based on phase 1 assignment and application. After that, call for phase 2 will be sent for selected.


Phase 2:
The Phase 2 assignment and request for online images and videos with written reflection and analysis of readings will be sent by email by 6 March 2019 at the latest.
Phase 2 assignments are to be submitted online by 3 April 2019 (Finnish time).


Phase 3:
Based on Phase 1 & Phase 2 submissions eligible applicants’ will be invited for an Interview by Skype between 24 and 26 April 2019.


Applicants cannot change the entrance examination times assigned to them.

All applicants will be notified of final acceptance, waiting list or rejection on 6th June 2019.




​1) Complete and submit an online application form (“Fill in application”) at the Studyinfo portal by 23 January 2019 at 3 p.m. (Finnish time).
The electronic application form is available only during the application period 9 – 23 January 2019 at 3 p.m.

Master’s Degree Programme in Live Art and Performance Studies can be found on the Studyinfo portal under the name of: Master’s Admission, Live Art and Performance Studies, Master of Arts in Theatre and Drama (2 yr)

When you have submitted your application, you will receive a confirmation email. The email will include your application number, which you will need for submitting your appendices.


2) Submit Advance Assignment and Appendices via Embark system by 30 January 2019 at 3 p.m. (Finnish time).
The Embark is accessible during 9 – 30 January 2019 at 3 p.m.


Submit via Embark:

  • Advance assignment (Application Letter with proposed Research Plan)
    No further explanation or more detailed information will be available on the advance assignment. The advance assignment should be completed in English.

    Write an application letter which includes a Research Plan, or alternatively, a justification or problem which would form the basis of your studies and your Thesis Project, 2 000 - 2 500 words. Include essential points, questions or problems to be considered and explain why you would like to complete this particular work and research project. This plan is intended as a basis for the development of the Master's thesis. The letter should indicate clearly why the applicant is applying to the LAPS programme at the University of the Arts Helsinki, and what s/he hopes to accomplish during the two years.

  • CV (a list of your education, work experience, and artistic experience)
  • Degree diploma
  • Diploma Supplement (if used at the international institution of higher education in question)
  • A report of the scope of international studies in ECTS credits and their grading on a five-point scale (if a diploma supplement is unavailable)
  • The official transcript of those studies which the applicant wishes to be considered in the application process (e.g., a transcript of the studies leading to the completed degree)
  • Other applicable certificates: knowledge and competence acquired through studies, artistic activity and work experience
  • A certificate of proficiency in English language
  • A portfolio (applicants using the criteria the applicant has acquired sufficient knowledge and competence based on studies, artistic activity and work experience in their application)

The applicant must have the appendices translated by an authorised translator, if they are in a language other than Finnish, Swedish or English.

A manual of how to securely submit admissions material via Embark system.


Applications (application form, advance assignments, appendices) are submitted at the sender’s risk. Applicants are advised to submit the application forms, advance assignments and appendices in good time before the closing of the application period. It can take up to hours to upload larger files if there is a lot of traffic in the system.

Late application forms and advance assignments will not be considered, nor can applications be submitted without the advance assignments. Advance assignments submitted via email are not taken into consideration.

Application documents or appendices cannot be returned to the applicant.