Master's Programme in Visual Cultures, Curating and Contemporary Art


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.

Tuition fees & scholarships:

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

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Organising school/s:

School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Organising department/s:

Department of Art

Application period:

2017-12-15 - 2018-01-24

Publication of Results:



Visual Cultures, Curating and Contemporary Art (ViCCA) is a two-year transdisciplinary Master’s Programme which explores emerging knowledges and practices at the intersections of visual cultures, curating and contemporary art. We facilitate students to develop and contextualize their own practices within and in between these contexts. The programme is open to artists, curators, scholars and practitioners with different backgrounds and experience, who are looking for opportunities to understand, challenge and shift the paradigms of contemporary art and the world around us.

Goal of education (Learning outcomes)

ViCCA explores art in new contexts. Central for the program are the new and emergent professional practices, which are born and developed in the new spaces of cultural production. In the program art making and new professional agencies are explored within the broadened field of visual cultures.

In ViCCA theory and practice are tightly interwoven and emphasis is put on developing each student’s artistic, curatorial and theoretical thinking. The programme offers great opportunities to develop research abilities and a sense for artistic and critical thinking. Learning from each other’s different professional backgrounds also plays an important role in the programme.  The program offers the chance to broaden one’s professional identity and to create new ways of working, and new forms of professionalism.

The learning outcomes:

  • Students have a wide understanding of contemporary and emerging artistic practices, relevant theories and international discourses in the field of visual cultures
  • Students are able to engage in open research processes, learning to combine theoretical knowledge and practices with concrete artistic or curatorial projects
  • Students learn to contextualize their work in relation to different professional fields and social and cultural phenomena.
  • Students will gain tools to work and experiment in their chosen field in visual cultures, curating and contemporary art.
  • Students will have comprehensive research and writing skills, which helps them to prepare also for doctoral studies

Education content

ViCCA is based on the combination of the fields of visual culture, curatorial practice and contemporary art. The educational aim of the programme is to intertwine these fields in new ways and to find fresh new possibilities and practices. The program also offers an opportunity to develop, deepen and recontextualise one’s prior skills and knowledge.

Visual cultures is understood in a wide sense, as a versatile range of practices and phenomena. The focus in contemporary arts is in new practises that include artistic understanding on issues related to space, environments and social contexts studied from multiple perspectives. Through our multidisciplinary approach we encourage students to explore new forms of artistic practice and collaboration with other fields. Curating and mediating are explored as a path for reflection and acting, learning and organizing in art institutions and the public sphere.  We aim to explore possibilities to understand, challenge and shift the paradigms of contemporary art and the world around us.

Studying in ViCCA consists of theoretical studies, artistic workshops, experimental laboratories, concrete projects, excursions and a thesis. Theoretical and artistic studies are seen as responding critically and engaging with the current practices of arts, curating and mediating in the field of contemporary art.

The program’s pedagogical models are based on shared expertise and exploratory learning and are applied in order to create an open conversational and dialogic space and community for learning and acting.

The program offers its student a broad variety of possible minor studies, which are available in the School of Arts, Design and Architecture and the other schools of Aalto University. Including studies or a minor from other disciplines of Aalto (design, media, business, technology…) as a part of one’s studies in ViCCA is strongly encouraged as it opens up new professional career paths.

Career opportunities

The students graduating from the programme can build their own creative positions and professional agencies in the multi-faceted, constantly changing and multi-disciplinary world. Students can deepen their own artistic, curatorial or theoretical practice and the students who have a background outside of visual culture and contemporary art can enrich their own fields of expertise with a new point of view – and a broad array of new methods of working with it. Beside the cultural and art field graduates can be employed also in universities and other sectors in society, working as experts in multidisciplinary groups of professionals.

Students that graduate from the program can also work in a variety of already existing professions in the field of arts and culture, such as art museums, galleries, artists’ associations, art and culture projects or initiatives, and foundations or trust funds.


The program is international and the main language of teaching is English. The program is well connected to international networks, which are constantly built up and developed. Through these networks students have a possibility to do internships abroad or to study a part of their diploma in other countries with the help of exchange agreements. The program hosts visits by international professionals and organises seminars, field trips and excursions abroad as part of the studies.

Admission procedure

Applicants for the Master’s Programme in Visual Culture, Curating and Contemporary Art (ViCCA) apply in the Master’s level admissions in the field of Art and Design. The students are selected through a two-part examination, of which portfolios form part 1, and interviews/presentation part 2. Criteria for selection are skills, background knowledge and experience, and the relevance and compatibility of applicant’s aims in regards to the curriculum of the programme.

Page content by: | Last updated: 20.12.2017.