Live art and performance studies (LAPS), master

This full-time master’s programme in English uniquely combines performance theory and practise.

Three performers in a metro station posing, all wearing tinted eyewear, two facing the camera.
Photographer: Antti Ahonen

Why choose us?

Live art and performance studies (LAPS) is a two-year master’s programme in English that combines critical thinking with experimentation in artistic work and artistic research. We empower you to develop and activate new knowledge of performance and theory. It is one of the very few master’s programmes in the world that focuses on the intersection of performance studies and the practice of live art or performance art.

About the programme

The LAPS programme provides an interdisciplinary approach to performance art or live art and performance studies. This is reflected in the diverse specialisations of our lecturers, mentors, visiting artists and theorists. LAPS is partly constructed around rotating 1-to-1 mentorships. In addition, we organise group seminars in, for example, art criticism, activism and live art.

We combine critical thinking with practice-led research and seek to find synergies between research and practice. Our lecturers, mentors, visiting artists and theorists provide diverse approaches to the field. Their specialisations include, for example, the following: visual culture, gender studies, performance philosophy, performative research, embodiment, community-based practice, anthropology, mediated performance, performative writing, or the political theory of performance and activism. These approaches provide the practical and theoretical tools you need to work in the field of performance studies and artistic research.

We empower you to develop and produce new knowledge about performance and theory. You may already have a foundation in live art or performance art, but are now interested in performance studies and want to develop your research skills alongside your artistic practice. Alternatively, you may have already carried out research in another field in the humanities, but want to focus more on, e.g., embodied practices or performative research. We encourage professionals from a wide range of fields to apply, including people from the non-academic or activist backgrounds.

New curriculum to be launched

Our curriculum is currently being updated. Teaching according to the new curriculum will start in autumn 2024. Please keep this in mind when browsing the current curriculum.


Our lecturers are experienced professionals in their field. In addition to our permanent staff, you will be taught by visiting lecturers, mentors and artists who are specialised in various fields of arts and humanities.


Admission to the programme is organised every other year. 

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

Doctoral studies

A master’s degree allows you to pursue a doctoral degree in the Arts in, e.g., Theatre and Drama. Doctoral studies at Uniarts Helsinki’s Theatre Academy are provided by the Performing Arts Research Centre (Tutke).

Learn more about the programme’s activities

Target degree and length of study

Master of Arts (Theatre and Drama)
2 years


Theatre Academy

Application languages

English 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

Application period

Next possible time to apply is in January 2023. Studies begin in August 2023.

Supervising teacher

  • Tero Nauha

    Professor, Live Art and Performance Studies, Theatre Academy

Ask about applying

Max Catalogue: Students and alumni