Admissions Guide: Master's programme in Nordic Master in Folk Music (NoFo)

2.5-year education



Fill in the application here: [link to the application in Studyinfo service]

Entrance examination date: Preliminary exam dates are 22.3. (Helsinki) and 15.3. (Stockholm)

For more information about the programme, see: Nordic master in Folk Music (NoFo),



Admissions requirements 2019


Please read also the general admissions requirements before applying!


The same guidelines are followed in the Nordic Master in Folk Music admissions as in other admissions to 2.5-year educations at the Sibelius Academy.

The language of tuition in the Nordic Master in Folk Music (NoFo) programme is English. All applicants to the Nordic Master in Folk Music (NoFo) programme must prove their language skills in English.


Pre-examination assignment

In addition to filling in the application form and delivering the required certificates, you are asked to deliver a short motivation letter – a brief (250 word) description of your musical background, recent musical activities, and musical aims, as well as your reasons for applying to the programme. 

The essay must be submitted to the Sibelius Academy Admissions Office via the Embark system no later than 30 January 2019 (at 3 pm Finnish time). The motivation letter must state your name and the main subject you are applying to. More instructions on using the Embark system will be published in November 2018 on Uniarts Helsinki admissions website. If you fail to provide a pre-examination assignment or if you have not provided it in the required format, you will not get an invitation to the entrance examinations. N.B.! Pre-examination assignments cannot be submitted via e-mail or via the StudyInfo application system!


Entrance examination

On the basis of submitted applications and pre-examination assignments, the Entrance Examination Board will pre-select applicants to participate in the entrance examinations held at each participating institution. Selected candidates will receive an invitation by e-mail, detailing the exact date and time of the entrance examination. N.B.! Applicants not pre-selected by the Entrance Examination Board will not be permitted to take part in the entrance examinations.

The entrance examinations will be conducted at each participating institution, according to its respective rules and guidelines. The Entrance Examination Board will consist both of members who are involved during the entire admission process, as well as local representatives who will join the Board for individual examination sessions held at each institution. All entrance examinations will be conducted in English, in two main parts.

Part 1

You will perform a self-chosen programme of maximum 15 minutes in length, demonstrating your performance skills and artistry. The performance must display your knowledge of a Nordic folk music tradition. The programme can include both solo and ensemble playing. However, it is compulsory to perform at least a part of the programme solo (without accompaniment). Potential accompanying musicians are to be provided by you.

The most important part of the entrance examinations is the self-chosen programme, displaying your artistry and musical skills. The self-chosen programme must demonstrate an acceptable mastery of your instrument(s) or voice, as well as a thorough knowledge of Folk music interpretation in performance.

Upon completion of the first part, the Entrance Examination Board will select the applicants permitted to proceed to the second part.

Part 2

The examinations in the second part will include:

  • Sight-reading (prima vista playing)
  • Aural skills (picking up tunes, rhythms and/or songs by ear)
  • Improvisation / accompaniment in ensemble playing (with accompanying musicians provided by the Entrance Examination Board)
  • An interview in English, during which you will be asked to discuss your aims regarding the programme



The Entrance Examination Board will assess your suitability for education and a career in music based on the entrance examination. The parts of the entrance examination are weighted as follows:

  • Performance audition 75%
  • Discussion and essay 10%
  • Ensemble playing / improvisation 10%
  • Sight-reading (prima vista) 5%