Design for the Performing Arts (degree programme)

From our university, you will graduate as a professional in spatial design with the capability to carry out a broad range of activities in the field of performing arts.

Actor sitting in a chair at a performance stage setting, large colourful balloons above their head.

Why study here?

The degree programme in Design for the Performing Arts will be transferred from Aalto University to the University of the Arts Helsinki (Uniarts Helsinki) from 1 August 2021. At Uniarts Helsinki’s Theatre Academy, scenography is treated as a versatile area of art and design that is linked to contemporary performance. The community of people from different fields of education and the studies interwoven with performance activities offer scenography students an excellent environment that supports artistic development and teamwork skills.

Content and objective of the programme

The degree programme in Design for the Performing Arts provides students with the competence to work as a scenographer in theatre and dance productions, as well as other types of performing arts, and to apply their competence in this diverse and developing field of art. The studies prepare the students for future work as a designer in theatre and art institutions, and in various process-based, cross-disciplinary artistic and applied projects, as well as in the area of extended scenography, such as museum and exhibition design, events, games and installation art.

In performing arts, the role of the scenographer is to be responsible for the visual and functional solutions of the performance space. Scenographers base their designs on their own artistic vision and the joint experiments, solutions and objectives of the artistic working group. In addition, scenographers’ tasks include cooperation with several professional groups responsible for each production.

The goal of these diverse artistic, technical and academic studies is to provide high-quality artistic skills, good knowledge of material and digital design tools, ability to work as part of a team, and competence in independent, critical thinking. In addition, the studies familiarise the students with the traditions and current practices of performing arts and scenography, and provide them with an understanding of the possibilities of artistic research in the field.

The degree programme in Design for the Performing Arts emphasises artistic cooperation and is carried out in close cooperation with other degree programmes in the fields of theatre and dance, especially lighting and sound design.  


Our teachers are experienced experts in their own field. In addition to our permanent teachers, other top experts regularly visit the degree programme.

Applying to the programme

Applications for the degree programme in Design for the Performing Arts are accepted annually, and for the master’s studies every two years.

Uniarts Helsinki is one of the most sought-after places to study in Finland. Browse the admissions statistics from previous years.

Doctoral studies

After graduating, you will have the opportunity to apply for doctoral studies and to complete, for example, a doctoral degree in art, specialising in either artistic, scientific or applied doctoral studies. 

At Uniarts Helsinki, doctoral education in the field of scenography is provided by the Performing Arts Research Centre Tutke.

You can apply to

Degree Programme in Design for the Performing Arts

  • bachelor’s and master’s (5 years)
  • master’s (2 years)

Target degree

Master of Arts (Art and Design)


Theatre Academy


Finnish, Swedish Read more about language skill requirements

Tuition fee

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

Application period

Next possible time to apply is in January 2022. Studies begin in August 2022.

No admission to master’s studies in 2022.

Persons in charge

Liisa Ikonen

Max Catalogue: Students and alumni