Folk Music (degree programme)

Study to become a music professional in a world-class programme leading to a university degree in folk music.

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

Integral to the studies are the student’s personal aspirations regarding their study plan, the relationships that develop between the teachers and the students, and individual guidance.

Our learning environment promotes a genuine dialogue and each student’s 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 students acquire theoretical skills. The versatile course selection also includes studies in folk dance and instrument building, for example. 

You will delve into the essence of memorisation-based musicianship, acquire skills in different forms of improvisation and learn how to use archives and other sources as material for songwriting 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 and 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 the University 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, or 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 international top professionals as guests on a regular basis.


Our University is one of the most sought-after places to study in Finland. Browse the applicant statistics from previous years.

Doctoral studies

It is possible to complete a licentiate and a doctoral degree at the University as a third-cycle degree. After graduating with a master’s degree, you will have the option to 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.

  • Global Choir
  • Siba Folk Big Band

You can apply to

Degree Programme in Folk Music

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

Target degree

Master of Music (MMus)


Sibelius Academy


English, 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.

Persons in charge

Pauliina Syrjälä
Department Head, Lecturer