Specialisation Programme in Public Art

The two-year Specialisation Programme in Public Art will be offered in January 2022. Learn more about the programme and its goals. Teaching language in this programme is Finnish.

Opiskelija katsoo teosta taidenäyttelyssä.

The purpose of the specialisation programme is to train art experts whose diverse skill set allows them to tackle development tasks and projects in public art, construction, and urban planning. The specialisation programme offers professionals in the arts sector versatile opportunities to deepen and expand their competence in various areas of public art. The programme also develops students’ preparedness to pursue multidisciplinary cooperation, creative urban and regional planning, art coordination and consultation tasks and production of expert services.

Who can participate? 

The programme is aimed at arts professionals who have completed a master-level degree or acquired their competence through work. Visual artists, curators, designers, (landscape) architects and town planners are some examples of professionals who have a suitable educational and professional background for the specialisation programme. Selected students are required to have a master-level degree in the arts and relevant work experience needed for developing the field.

Goals of the programme

The programme aims to:

  • Deepen and expand students’ expertise in public art, e.g. in carrying out projects related to public building and urban planning, understanding the role of commissioned art in the development of environments and urban landscapes, and in integrating art as part of municipalities’ and regions’ development strategies.
  • Familiarise students with aspects of construction processes and urban planning and help them gain an overall picture of the competence needed in understanding agreement practices, taxing, calls for tender and copyright issues.
  • Deepen students’ understanding of the opportunities that art provides for social changes and birth of new operational cultures.
  • Deepen students’ preparedness to engage in multidisciplinary cooperation with various experts in demanding and large-scale construction projects.
  • Deepen students’ competence to provide and develop expert services in their own field, e.g. in the context of art consultations.

About the studies

The Specialisation Programme in Public Art comprises 40 ECTS credits. One ECTS credit is equivalent of approximately 27 hours of work. Studies consist of modules that are completed by all participants (30 cr) as well as a development project that is linked to the student’s personal line of work (10 cr).

Central themes of the programme:

  1. Possibilities of public art and the Percent for Art principle, operator networks and central operating principles
  2. Curating and producing of art projects
  3. Cooperation of producers, artists, architects and other operators and designers, areas of responsibility and development of multi-professional cooperation
  4. Project management and leadership skills, comprehensive planning, scheduling and management of demanding projects
  5. Funding for art acquisitions and various public art projects, the range of funding models, art consultation and development of art expert services

Teaching methods

Teaching methods used in the Specialisation Programme in Public Art are varied, as students learn through both contact teaching and remote teaching, as well as through peer group work and independent work, and they also complete a development project at their own workplace or in some other context. Mentoring, peer learning and learning by doing are important aspects in students’ professional development.

All selected participants will work on a specific public art development project in their own field during their studies in the programme. Students are guided by professional experts, and they also work on their projects together with fellow students in the group. Everyone’s development projects are presented at the end of the programme.

Students’ own active participation, peer learning and peer development are key elements in the studies.

Assignments are linked to the demands of the working life and students’ personal expertise development. It is possible to complete the programme alongside work.

Teachers of the programme are top experts in public art working in the partner universities or in organisations and businesses in the field of public art.

The programme is organised collaboratively with universities in the fields of arts. The programme is coordinated by Uniarts Helsinki, and studies are organised in collaboration with the School of Arts, Design and Architecture at Aalto University and the Faculty of Art and Design at the University of Lapland.

The programme will also potentially lead to a joint publication in public art. Previously when this specialisation programme was offered, it resulted in a publication titled Julkisen tilan taiteen tilasta – Puheenvuoroja julkisen taiteen konteksteista. Read the publication in the Taju database (in Finnish).

Teaching schedule

Teaching will begin in January 2022 and end in December 2023. Two-day contact teaching sessions alternate with remote studies. Contact teaching usually takes place between 9:00-16:00.

There will be five two-day contact teaching days in 2022, as well as in 2023.

The exact dates will be announced in autumn 2021. Preliminary teaching schedule:

  • Year 2022: January 2 days, March 2 days, May 2 days, September 2 days and November 2 days
  • Year 2023: January 2 days, March 2 days, May 2 days, September 2 days and November 2 days

There will also be a selection of 2-3 guest lectures and seminars via Zoom per each academic term (about 3-4 hours per Zoom session), and the instructors will be experts in public art or artists from Finland or abroad.

Expenses and teaching locations

The programme is offered free of charge to its students. Participants pay for their own travel and meal expenses during their participation in teaching. Most of the contact teaching periods will take place in Helsinki in Uniarts Helsinki’s facilities and in Espoo at Aalto University. On-site teaching may also include 1–2 visits to the University of Lapland in Rovaniemi.

The specialisation programme is funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The specialisation programme is organised to fulfil the universities’ newly-assigned mission of continuous learning, which supports the competence development of arts professionals with a master’s degree and their exploration of job opportunities in the ever-evolving arts sector.

How to apply

The application period for the specialisation programme will run from 18 June to 29 October 2021. The application period will end on 29 October 2021 at 15:00. Applications are submitted using an application form. Students are admitted to the programme based on their application (educational background and job experience), motivational letter and preliminary plan for a development project. Admissions results are announced to applicants by 26 November 2021 with an email to the address that they have given in their application. Students must confirm their acceptance of admission no later than on 17 December 2021 in writing by email to sirke.pekkila@uniarts.fi and maikki.vierumaki@uniarts.fi.

We request to receive applications primarily through the application link. If you choose to mail or deliver a physical copy of your application, it must arrive no later than on 29 October 2021 at 15:00 in the address Uniarts Helsinki Registry, Helsinki Music Centre, Mannerheimintie 13a, 00100 Helsinki. Entrance is through the Sibelius Academy’s doors of the Helsinki Music Centre on Töölönlahdenkatu.

Read the application instructions (in Finnish).

Further information

Project Manager Sirke Pekkilä, Uniarts Helsinki’s Open Campus, tel. 050-5262 004 sirke.pekkila@uniarts.fi

Planning Officer Anu Falck, Uniarts Helsinki’s Open Campus, tel. 050-4065 034 anu.falck@uniarts.fi

Project Coordinator Maikki Vierumäki, Uniarts Helsinki’s Open Campus, tel. 050-309 1695, maikki.vierumaki@uniarts.fi

Admissions guide

Application instructions for this programme haven't been published yet.

Application languages

Finnish Read more about the language skill requirements

Supervising teacher

Project manager Sirke Pekkilä
Tel. 050 5262 004


Open Campus