Music Theory (major subject)

Gain the competence to work in expert duties requiring a profound knowledge of music.

Tietokone, kuulokkeet ja paperisilppua pöydällä

Why study here?

You’ll gain the competence to work in expert positions requiring a profound knowledge of music in one of the best performing arts universities of the world. The studies prepare you to engage in discussion within the music community and in society at large. Graduates of the programme work in demanding roles of music expert and music pedagogue, for example as teachers, journalists, researchers and musicians.

Content and objective of the programme

Essential to music theory majors are skills in harmony and voice leading, music analysis and instrumentation, as well as instrument studies. As a bachelor’s student, you will also study aural skills and music history. During your master’s studies, you will deepen your understanding of music research and gain more knowledge of your personal research field.


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 visiting teachers on a regular basis. Many of our teachers are also esteemed researchers.


Applicants who are applying to study either composition or music theory as a major subject are evaluated in different admission groups. You can apply for both major subjects during the same year. The programme will require you to have higher preparedness in music theory and aural skills in comparison to other programmes at the Sibelius Academy as well as an extensive knowledge of western music. Applicants who are pursuing composition as a major are also expected to have creative musical skills.

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

Doctoral studies

It is possible to complete a doctoral degree at the University as a third-cycle degree. After graduating as a master, you’ll have the option to apply for doctoral studies in music and specialise in research-oriented doctoral studies or applied doctoral studies. 

You can apply to

Degree Programme in Composition and Music Theory, major subject: music theory

  • 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 2023. Studies begin in August 2023.


Minna Holkkola
Department Head

Lauri Suurpää