Doctoral Programme of Artistic Research in Performing Arts

Deepen your expertise and become an artist-researcher at the Theatre Academy.

Sharing Silence installaatio

Why study here?

Doctoral studies at the Performing Arts Research Centre (Tutke) enable you to deepen your skills as an artist, researcher, pedagogue, and expert in all fields of Uniarts Helsinki’s Theatre Academy. We offer an inspiring research community, great international networks, and competent teachers. Artist-researchers develop and renew arts and engage in a diverse and critical dialogue with various actors in society.

About the studies

Artist-researchers produce practice-based knowledge, expertise and understanding that can be used and applied both in the arts and in other fields of society. Tutke’s doctoral students conduct multidisciplinary artistic research. Artistic and pedagogical practice is seen as a way of thinking and understanding, not as something that needs to be explained. Doctoral students learn to articulate, conceptualise, and theorise their practice-based artistic knowledge and questions that arise from it.

Degree structure

Graduates from the doctoral programme are artist-researchers with a Doctor of Arts (Theatre and Drama), a Doctor of Arts (Dance) or a Doctor of Arts (Art and Design) degree. Doctoral education is available in the following programmes: performance art, dance art, choreography, acting in Finnish, acting in Swedish, directing, dramaturgy, lighting design, sound design, theatre pedagogy, and dance pedagogy.

The scope of the doctoral programme is 240 credits: the doctoral research is worth 180 credits and supporting studies (that are mainly carried out during the first two years of studying) are worth 60 credits. Doctoral students must be present during the seven weeks of instruction that are held approximately every four weeks. Instruction is provided mainly in English. Most courses are organised in cooperation with the doctoral education provided by Uniarts Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts.

Completing the doctoral degree requires four years of full-time studying. Tutke has limited possibilities to offer financial support to its doctoral students for artistic productions and conference travel. Tutke annually employs doctoral students in salaried employment relationships, the application periods of which are announced on the Uniarts website. Doctoral students are encouraged to apply independently for extra funding from different sources.

Doctoral research

The doctoral dissertation is worth 180 credits. It includes 1–3 artistic components (that will be pre-examined) and written commentary. Each doctoral student is usually assigned two supervisors with the highest expertise in their field.

The artistic components can be pedagogical or performance projects, workshops, demonstrations, or exercises. Doctoral students must demonstrate that they are able to address research questions through the means of art and produce new information.

The aim of the commentary is to make doctoral students contemplate observations, experiences, and problems that arise from the artistic components. The commentary can take many forms depending on the dissertation’s nature. In their commentary, doctoral students must state the subject and method of the research, describe new insights they have gained, and identify the research tradition of their study.

Each dissertation is assessed in terms of the doctoral student’s expertise and ability to conduct independent research, produce new information, communicate clearly, and participate in analytical discussions.


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


Next admission period in September 2022. Application instructions will be published in June 2022 at the latest.

Further information about admission process

Contact information for the doctoral programme

    • Leena Rouhiainen

    • Professor, Teatterikorkeakoulu, Theatre Academy
    • +358400792093
    • Hanna Westerlund

    • Coordinator, Opetuksen suunnittelupalvelut Teatterikorkeakoulu, Theatre Academy
    • +358504758948
    • Stefano De Luca

    • Coordinator, Opetuksen koordinointipalvelut Teatterikorkeakoulu, Theatre Academy
    • +358503426296

You can apply to

Doctoral Programme of Artistic Research in Performing Arts

Target degree

Doctor of Arts (Dance or Theatre and Drama)


Theatre Academy


English, Finnish, Swedish

Tuition fee

There are no tuition fees in the doctoral programme.

Application period

Next admission period in September 2022. Application instructions will be published in June 2022 at the latest.

Persons in charge

Leena Rouhiainen

Max Catalogue: Students and alumni