Folk music, bachelor and master

Study at an internationally leading folk music degree programme and become a music professional.

Opiskelijat soittavat kansanmusiikkia

Why study here?

Our degree programme in folk music is the leading education provider in its field when it comes to student volumes, frequency of activities, international reputation, selection of degree opportunities and the fame of the graduated artists. The programme offers you a range of different paths to becoming a professional in folk music.

About the studies

At the core of the studies are your personally tailored study plan, the relationships that develop between you and the teachers, and individual guidance.

Our learning environment promotes genuine dialogue and your growth into an independent expert and artist.

Bachelor’s studies

While instrument and ensemble studies are the core of the bachelor’s studies, it is also vital that you acquire theoretical skills. The versatile course selection also includes, for example, studies in folk dance and instrument building.

You will delve into the nature of memorisation-based musicianship and acquire skills in different forms of improvisation. You will also learn how to use archives and other sources as material for song writing that is inspired by research. You will acquire the skills needed to form your personal artistic vision and learn how to reflect on it orally and in writing.

Master’s studies

As a master’s student, you can direct your focus in instrument studies, pedagogy or research. After completing a master’s degree, you will have a profound understanding of the playing and singing styles in old and contemporary folk music. You will also know how to apply concepts that are central to the history, aesthetics and research of folk music.

You can also choose courses organised by the other two academies of Uniarts Helsinki and complete so-called joint studies that are available for all students.

Versatile career opportunities in music

After graduating, you will have a wide range of career options and can work as a musician, composer, pedagogue, researcher, community musician, and entrepreneur. You can also work in expert and developer duties in different organisations or socially engaged contexts and in various roles in multi-artistic productions. Depending on your interests, you can specialise in creative musicianship, pedagogy or research. 


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 licentiate and a doctoral degree at Uniarts Helsinki as a third-cycle degree. After graduating with a master’s degree, you can apply for doctoral studies in music and specialise in research-oriented, artistic or applied doctoral studies.

Find out more

Besides instrument studies, ensemble playing is also integral to the programme. The largest ensemble is the Sibelius Academy Folk Big Band (FBB) that consists of 30–40 folk music students and teachers. As a student, you will have the opportunity to join the band’s activities. 

The Degree Programme in Folk Music regularly releases recordings, study materials and theses that can be browsed online at page.

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 come from outside the EU and EEA countries. Read more about tuition fees

Supervising teacher

  • Sirpa Lahti

    Head of Department, Folk music, Sibelius Academy
    Part-time teacher, Folk music, Sibelius Academy
    Part-time teacher, Joint studies, Open Campus


Sibelius Academy

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