Master's Programme in Design for Theatre, Film and Television - Costume Design


Master of Arts.
More information.


120 ECTS

Field of Study:

Art and Design


2 years, full-time


An appropriate Bachelor´s degree or an equivalent qualification.
More information.

Tuition fees & scholarships:

Yes, for non-EU citizens.
More information

Language of Instruction:

Finnish (Swedish) or English
More information.

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

The Official Finnish Tourism Association (with one pair of Lapikkaat and a pulla purse), MA student project selected for the Tribes exhibition, Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space - PQ15, photograph by: Sabrina Notarfransisco.

Would you like to study Costume Design at the forefront of the field? Are you interested in exploring costume from a practice-based perspective that stimulates the mind towards new concepts and ideas? Do you want to be part of international events for the field of costume? The Costume Design Major of the Master’s Programme in Design for Theatre, Film and Television aims at creating the future professionals for the field of costume design, supporting the development of a dynamic artistic vision and a research-oriented approach for the performing arts and the film and media creative industries.

Goal of education

The Costume Design Major of the Master’s Degree Programme in Design for Theatre, Film and Television focuses on the students’ personal development in artistic practice, through creative enquiry and collaboration, theoretical and critical thinking, and aims at their professional competence as costume designers in projects for screen and the performing arts. The studies are continuously enriched and updated by new design practices, new technologies and cutting-edge research in the field.

A student who graduates from the Master’s Degree Programme is able to:

  • Demonstrate a detailed knowledge and understanding of costume within contemporary creative practice in live and media-related performance.
  • Take an active role as costume designer in artistic productions in diverse fields of the performing arts, in film, television and other camera- and media-based projects, as well as in creative projects within a broader performance context.
  • Experiment on new concepts for the creation of costumes, initiate and propose new artistic ideas in costume design in various time and space contexts.
  • Explore his/her artistic potential and develop a personal artistic vision in costume design.
  • Reflect on prior learning and develop new working methods by returning to the core issues of costume design enquiry through a research-centered approach.
  • Master diverse artistic processes and technologies for media and live performance productions, applying and extending artistic and design skills and specialist knowledge in costume design.
  • Work as a creative team member in artistic explorations and productions.
  • Lead and motivate the team that collaborates in the realisation of the costume designs.
  • Investigate existing film, media and performance design traditions and provide critical and creative input that pushes the boundaries of costume beyond traditional roles in contemporary culture and practice.
  • Reach a level of proficiency where further external or doctoral studies in costume design can be undertaken.

More about the language of instruction

The language of instruction in the Master’s Programme in Design for Theatre, Film and Television is Finnish. However, in the major of Costume Design, a large 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

The major studies in Costume Design enhance the development of the student’s artistic expression and conceptual thinking, and expand his/her creative, professional and technical skills and competency as a visionary costume designer. The student has the possibility to experiment on advanced concepts for costume design in special areas of performance and media, and to reflect and respond to artistically demanding productions through the design and creative processes of costume design.

The studies include entrepreunial aspects, time and budget management skills, training in developing collaborative artistic work and in communicating ideas to a technical team. If interested, the student can focus on the history, theory and research of costume, and enrich his/her research skills. The learning is based on a practice-led research approach, where the students’ personal strengths and interests are taken into consideration in planning the content of the studies. The studies are organised in collaboration with the Master’s Programme of Film and Television and with the University of the Arts/Theatre Academy, as well as with external institutions, individual artists and professional companies.

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

Career opportunities

The student is supported to plan his/her own future path from the beginning of the Master studies with personal study plans (PSP) and individual guidance, which continues during the courses and seminars. The interests and strengths of each student are encouraged and complemented with minor and optional studies.  Each student is offered a possibility to focus on a specific area within the performing arts or the film and television professional field or any other performance context involving costume. The field of artistic practice for a costume designer is very broad and includes all kinds of live performance (theatre, opera, dance, circus, opening ceremonies and special events, and performance art), film, television and other screen and media projects, commercials and promotional events, festivals and celebrations. The structure of the studies in cooperation with other programmes and individuals provides a unique opportunity for networking and collaboration with professionals from other fields, opening the potential for new cooperation in the future. It is also possible to focus on the theory and research of the agency of costume in performance, and later undertake doctoral studies.


Costume designer, costume concept artist, costume supervisor, costume advisor, costume expert, teacher/educator in costume design, costume theorist, costume researcher, costume curator


The students are encouraged and supported to participate in international study exchanges and work placements abroad, as well as in major international events and projects such as exhibitions, festivals, and competitions. International visiting lecturers contribute frequently to the programme. The studies are also enriched and updated by the international mobility of the teaching and technical staff. The English language is predominantly used in teaching and supervision.

Admission procedure

Applicants for the Master’s Programme Design for Theatre, Film,and Television; Costume Design apply in the Master’s level admissions in the field of Art and Design.  The prerequisite for admission to the major in Costume Design is a bachelor’s degree in the same field or in a relevant field of study, or equivalent skills and knowledge. In addition, the applicants are expected to demonstrate artistic experience in the field of costume design.

Student selection takes place by means of a two-stage entrance exam. Some applicants are eliminated between the two stages.  Application materials to be delivered: required application documents, a portfolio of artistic work, a motivation letter and a CV. In the motivation letter, the applicants are expected to demonstrate a desire to develop a personal vision and expression in costume design and an interest in developing their professional skills, artistic enquiry and critical thinking. The applicants can write their motivation letter in Finnish or in English. Based on the application materials some applicants may be invited to an interview. If necessary, the applicants are requested to present more examples of their work in the interview. There is no other entrance examination.

Page content by: | Last updated: 20.12.2017.