Composition, bachelor and master

Come and study in an internationally esteemed composition programme and pursue a career as a professional composer with extensive knowledge of music.

Mies säveltää pianon ääressä

Why study here?

You will be able to study composition at one of the best performing arts universities inthe world. You will gain the competence to work in expert roles requiring a profound knowledge of music. The studies prepare you to engage in discussion within the music community and society at large. Graduates of the programme have diverse career opportunities. Besides working as a composer, common career paths include, among others, becoming a teacher, musician and writer.

Content and objective of the programme

Composition studies, harmony and voice leading, music analysis and instrumentation form the core of the Composition programme. As a bachelor’s student, you will complete instrument studies and learn about aural skills, music history and electroacoustic music. As a master’s student, you will focus on deepening your professional expertise and completing studies that support your personal identity as a composer.

You can also choose courses organised by the two other Uniarts Helsinki academies and complete joint studies that are available to all students.

Applicants who want to study composition and music theory as a major subject are evaluated in different admission groups. You can apply for both major subjects during the same year. We will require you to have better basic knowledge in music theory and aural skills than the other programmes at the Sibelius Academy as well as good knowledge of western music. Applicants who are pursuing composition as a major are also expected to have creative musical skills.


Our teachers are some of the best experts in their respective fields. In addition to the permanent teaching staff, the programme welcomes top international professionals as guests on a regular basis. 

Sibelius Junior Academy

This instrument is part of our Junior Academy, a national programme, which prepares young music students for studies in a higher education institution. In addition to studies in either a major subject or a main instrument, you will study ensemble playing, structural awareness of music and other subjects offered by the Sibelius Academy.

Doctoral studies

You can complete a doctoral degree at Uniarts Helsinki as a third-cycle degree. After graduating with a master’s degree, you’ll have the option to apply for doctoral studies in music and specialise in artistic or applied doctoral studies. 

Lecture series Aikamme musiikkia

The lecture series Aikamme musiikkia (Talks about the music of our times) has a long history in the Department of Composition and Music Theory at the Sibelius Academy. Every week, a new contemporary composer, musician or artist visits to talk about their music and work. The lectures are held in the Auditorium of the Helsinki Music Centre on Thursdays, and are open to the public.

Student experiences

Admissions guide

Target degree and length of study

Master of Music (MMus)
5,5 years

Application period

Next possible time to apply is in January 2024. Studies begin in August 2024.

Application languages

English, Finnish, Swedish Read more about the language skill requirements

Tuition fee

Annual tuition fee €5,000 for students studying in English and who come from outside the EU and EEA countries.
Read more about tuition fees

Supervising teacher

  • Minna Holkkola

    Lecturer, music theory, Composition and music theory, Sibelius Academy
  • Veli-Matti Puumala

    Professor, composition, Composition and music theory, Sibelius Academy


Sibelius Academy

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