Degree Programme in Dramaturgy

The five-year degree programme in dramaturgy is divided into bachelor’s studies, which take three years, and master’s studies, which take two years. After graduating from the degree programme in dramaturgy, you can work in a variety of roles in the fields of performing arts and writing: as a playwright, scriptwriter, performance artist, deviser, or dramaturge. You can also create your own multi-professional role from a combination of these and other fields. In the two-year master’s programme you will learn to grasp extensive artistic entities, and analyse and reflect upon art and your own artistic work.   


The broad idea of dramaturgy and its possibilities in the current and future fields of art and society is the starting point for the master’s studies. The core of the programme is built around questions about art and theatre, a commitment to artistic processes and the   practical work at the stage. Dramaturgy is seen as a mixture of elements, as the logic behind a work or event, as more of a question than as a perfect  completed system.  The master’s programme in dramaturgy includes both writing and devising. Theatre is the focus of the studies, but you will become familiar with other media as well.



You will not graduate for a specific job profession from the degree programme in dramaturgy; instead, your interests and choices during the programme will define the focus of your studies. After graduating from the degree programme in dramaturgy, you can work in many roles: as a playwright, scriptwriter, performance artist, deviser, dramaturg, or researcher within theatre and other performing arts, or as a screenwriter.


The focus of this study is drama and dramaturgy, which, during your study, as diverse and changing phenomena. Dramaturgy is in dialogue with theatre, other forms of art, and society.


Via a living, critical world view and a thorough knowledge of the traditions of drama and theatre, the dramaturgic and dramatic approach will enable you to create works and events that develop and make visible contemporary dramatic, aesthetic, and ideological notions.


In the degree programme in dramaturgy, you will commit to art and interactive study with your peers. You will strive for an open, questioning, and dialogic environment and for courage to encounter the challenging questions of theatre, art, and society with a creative and critical mind. You will need to put up with feelings of incompleteness, insecurity, and imprecision, and perhaps learn to utilise them in your work. The connection between theory and practice is emphasised. During your studies, you will start from small-scale exercises and progress towards larger entities that imply more independent work. Exercises are the basis of your study.


In addition to the students' personal growth as artists, the studies offered by the degree programme in dramaturgy emphasise the communal and hybrid nature of theatre. The majority of modules are based on studying together in the form of shared stage studies or small scale performances staged with students from the other programmes. The objective is to help future theatre artists build their professional networks and to look for and create common topics, forms, methods, and vocabularies.


You are required to possess the respectful interactive skills necessary in group work. In the programme, you will explore your personality and identity as a member of a working group. During your studies you will work together with students of acting, directing, choreography, dance, sound and lighting design, cinematic art, theatre and dance pedagogy, scenography, and costume design, as well as with theatres, the two University of the Arts Helsinki academies, and other stakeholders, especially in the field of arts.


The Language of Teaching and Degree is Finnish. Most of the teaching is in Finnish. However, student has the right to use written or spoken Swedish in teaching and study attainments, unless it is otherwise stated in the curriculum or the character of the teaching makes it impossible.

Master´s programme in dramaturgy

Master´s programme in dramaturgy

After graduating from the master’s programme in dramaturgy, you can work in many roles: as a playwright, scriptwriter, performance artist, deviser, translator, or researcher within theatre and other performing arts, or as a screenwriter. You can be employed in reading and commenting on the work of your colleagues or in a combination of all these roles. 


As a graduate from the dramaturgy programme, you will be capable of versatile and independent thinking and artistic work. In the programme, you will learn to create dramas and performances that develop and make visible contemporary dramatic, aesthetic, and ideological notions. You will also acquire skills for developing your individual artistic characteristics and research-oriented attitude. You will also qualify for doctoral study. Furthermore, you will learn to grasp extensive artistic entities and work independently as well as analyse and reflect upon your own work. You will learn to perceive your work in a larger context of art, culture, and society. In the master’s programme in dramaturgy, you will become a skilled professional and a creative artist and/or researcher and learn to produce new content and methods that will renew and challenge the fields of theatre and other performing arts.


 In the master-level studies, you will return to the central questions of drama and/or dramaturgy with a questioning mind, utilising your existing experience, knowledge, and skills. You will acquire a deep understanding of dramaturgy and drama, their history and current situation, and learn to perceive the possibilities and practices of drama and dramaturgy and their creative interpretation. You can specialise in either writing or devising for the contemporary theatre.


In the master's programme in dramaturgy, you will mainly study independently. The core of study consists of your artistic projects and your discussions with the professor and other supervisors.


You are encouraged to go on work placements and international student exchange, and to participate in international collaborations. In the master’s programme and in collaboration with other degree programmes and units, you will expand your professional skills by specialising in performing arts, writing, contemporary theatre, dance and choreography, music and moving image. Courses and workshops on, for example, devising, documentary theatre, translation, children’s theatre, and radio plays are available on a regular basis.

Comparative Dramaturgy and Performance Research

Comparative Dramaturgy and Performance Research

Master’s Degree in Comparative Dramaturgy and Performance Research, 120 credits


Master’s degree studies in Comparative Dramaturgy and Performance Research are arranged in connection with the degree programme in dramaturgy.




The programme is an international collaboration project that presently includes Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt, Université Libre in Brussels, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre in Paris and KHiO, the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. A student enrolled in the MA programme in Comparative Dramaturgy and Performance Research in Finland will complete a minimum of one semester as an exchange student in e.g. one of the schools participating in the project; in other words, at least a fourth of studies will take place in the form of study exchange. It is also possible to spend a total of one academic year as an exchange student, in one or several locations.


The comparative dramaturge engages with such dramaturgical, process-based work occuring in the field of performing arts that is not limited simply to the dramaturgy of the text but also covers other areas of performance (e.g. movement, lighting, sound, costume, space, audience participation). Comparative dramaturgy not only comprises the understanding of a single work of art or event, but also that of a larger context: the environment and different interconnections (examples of such contexts may include performing art, the city, the different seasons) and the ability to think and operate on a scale extending further than a single artwork – for instance within the framework of a repertoire, festival, or network.


The aim of master’s degree studies in comparative dramaturgy and performance research is for graduates to possess a diverse understanding of dramaturgy as well as the ability to engage in cooperation that exceeds the boundaries of different fields of art, nations and working cultures. The programme is research-based and enables different individual combinations of practical and theoretical competence. Approximately half of studies are theoretical in orientation and half are practical. In addition to the artistic and theoretical approach, studies strive towards a comprehension of the organisation and production side of various performing art contexts, as well as the interfaces between performing art and other art forms and areas of life.


For whom?


The programme will be implemented a second time 2019-2021, with 1-3 students admitted. Prospective students may come from a large variety of backgrounds and fields of education – what matters is a passion for performance and performing arts, discourse and collaboration (also international) – as well as enthusiasm for the analytical and theoretical approach. The study languages are Finnish and English.


Each participating school offers its own distinct perspective on dramaturgy and performance. The degree programme in dramaturgy is currently participating in this collaboration by way of an exchange structure, meaning that students admitted here will graduate with a master’s degree in theatre and drama from Uniarts Helsinki’s Theatre Academy.


When & Where?


Comparative dramaturgy and performance research constitute a two-year study unit. Students spend one year at their own degree programme in Helsinki, and either one semester or an entire academic year at one or two of our collaboration partners’ degree programmes.  Foreign studies take place in the form of student exchange and occur during the spring of the first year and/or the autumn of the second year.


The Helsinki section of studies takes place at the degree programme in dramaturgy at the Theatre Academy of Uniarts Helsinki. A majority of studies are implemented in collaboration with other degree programmes. In addition to the degree programme in dramaturgy, cooperation partners include e.g. the degree programmes in directing and choreography and the MA programme in Live Art and Performance Studies (LAPS). Each student of comparative dramaturgy plans out his or her own study path together with the professor. Studies are full-time and attendance is mandatory.


Professor in Dramaturgy Katariina Numminen is responsible for the study programme. She teaches the programme together with lecturers of the degree programme in dramaturgy (Maria Kilpi and Tuomas Timonen) and Nora Rinne, a full-time teacher of comparative dramaturgy.


Additional information: Professor Katariina Numminen,


Student in our partner university? Interested in an exchange? Contact coordinator Jaakko Hannula for more information.



Degree Programme in Dramaturgy admits new students every spring. Auditions are organized in May.


The next application period of the Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki is in January 2019.


Please note that this programme does not offer teaching in English.



All University of the Arts Helsinki e-mail addresses are in the form firstname.lastname (at)


Otso Huopaniemi


Maria Kilpi


Tuomas Timonen


Planning Officer
Susan Josipov


Department Secretary 
Laura Vehmasto