Master's Programme in Film and Television - Cinematography


Master of Arts.
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120 ECTS

Field of Study:

Art and Design


2 years, full-time


An appropriate Bachelor´s degree or an equivalent qualification.
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Tuition fees & scholarships:

Yes, for non-EU citizens.
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Language of Instruction:

Finnish (Swedish) or English
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Organising school/s:

School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Organising department/s:

Department of Film, Television and Scenography

Application period:

2017-12-15 - 2018-01-24


Goal of education

In Master’s Programme in Film and Television, major in Cinematography, the student deepens his/her vocational competence to achieve a greater mastery of the overall artistic, production and technical entity of his/her professional area in various film, TV and advertising productions. A student of cinematography has a wide-ranging mastery of artistic means of expression, cinematography methods and challenging technical concepts, equipment and work methods. In addition, the student becomes familiar with both the cinematographer’s changing role and also the use of new artistic and technical working methods and technologies along with innovative research connected with them.

The goal of education is to reinforce the student’s personal strengths and development in line with personal artistic vision, deepen cooperation skills with others responsible for artistic film work, and provide the skills needed for independent research work.

More about the language of instruction

The language of instruction in the Master’s Programme in Film and Television, major in Cinematography is Finnish. However, part of the courses are taught in English. The degree can be completed in English.

More information about the languages of instruction at Aalto University.

Education content

During the education, the student’s personal vision is strengthened with a focus on artistic-technical cinematography competence and cooperation skills.

The job description of a cinematographer is reinforced and deepened in extensive master’s study modules and workshop exercises, both in Finland and internationally and by means of courses on vocational technology and artistic expression. The education is mainly based on practical learning by doing, work in small groups, personal guidance and dialogue-based interaction. During the studies, the student is introduced to all phases of preliminary planning in cinematography and artistic and production cooperation in film and television productions.

For further details on the education content, see the study guide for the academic year of 2017-2018.

Career opportunities

A cinematographer with an MA is able to work as the person with artistic responsibility in demanding drama, documentary and advertising films. A graduate of the major in Cinematography is able to work as a cinematographer in a feature-length drama film, documentary film, television or advertising film.  Cinematographers also work as instructors in the field at universities of applied science and media institutions.

Although the goal of education is to primarily produce professionals with strong personalities for the film industry, it also encourages students to apply for further studies and lifelong learning.

Cinematographers are mainly employed as freelancers in film, television and audiovisual productions. Cinematographers are also suited to work in various phases of digital post-production and effects work and in designing and realising virtual scenography.

Recommended minor subjects for students of cinematography include directing, film editing, graphic design, digital and virtual scenography and digital modelling.


Students are encouraged to complete part of their studies in international exchange programmes or internships. International visiting teachers and students enrich the teaching and help students network.

Students’ internationalisation and networking are supported by participation in domestic and international festivals, where students gain a deeper understanding of and learn more about the profession of cinematographer. The major in Cinematography also focuses on cooperation between different film schools and student exchange at the workshop, course and student meeting level.

Admission procedure

Applicants for the Master’s Programme in Film and Television; Cinematography apply in the master’s level admissions in the field of Art and Design. Key admission criteria when selecting students for the major in Cinematography are originality, storytelling ability, initiative, patience, communication and social skills, group work skills, stress tolerance, the ability to accept feedback, readiness for analytical thinking and openness to learning, spatial, temporal and conceptual perception ability, visualisation skills in design, mastery of the technical realisation process, general film and art history, a knowledge of the traditions and modern trends in the field, and the ability to think in a critical and analytical manner.

Page content by: | Last updated: 20.12.2017.