Focus areas of the studies
Visual culture developed in the Nordic region
This incorporates exploring creative and critical approaches to design and art making, coupled with a deep responsibility for openness, caring, and equality.
Critical pedagogy with social and cultural awareness
This stems from aspects of the highly valued Nordic education systems, emphasising democratic societies, egalitarianism, socially just pedagogical skills and practices, human rights and social and cultural sustainability.
Digital technologies in learning
Social and cultural competences in ICT & online communication are included to the programme as content and as pedagogical methods.
Contemporary art education
This includes project and problem oriented teaching, and collaborative and participatory based learning based on contemporary methods, and theories of art, pedagogy, and mediation.
Project management and administration
Engaging with communities, institutions and productions provide practical experience in project management, administration, entrepreneurship and finance of cultural and educational initiatives.
NoVA courses are mapped around three concepts: sights, sites, cites. Throughout the NoVA programme, students focus on the significance of “sight” in relation to theories, practices, and networks of visual studies. With the concept of ”site”, students investigate the geo-political and pedagogical dimensions of space, place, the public sphere, and private realms. And, students are provided with opportunities to critically reflect upon previous experiences and knowledge as well as generate new knowledge through “citational” practices that draw upon existing social and cultural texts, theories, artworks, and research.
More information in the study guide for the academic years 2020-2022.
If you wish to make inquiries concerning the new curriculum, please contact nova-arts(at)aalto.fi.
Studying in another Nordic university for one or two semesters is recommended. Alternatively, domestic or Nordic internship is a valuable study-option that provides students with hands-on experience in Nordic work life.
The current NoVA programme was developed in collaboration with three Nordic universities: Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Finland, Aalborg University, Department of Communication and Psychology, Denmark and Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design, Sweden.
Each university has significant experience and capacity with art and/or media education at the national level. Competences between and among institutions offer a broad range of areas of study, including critical pedagogy and social and cultural awareness; contemporary art education, digital technology, and ICT; project oriented, collaborative, problem-based, and participatory-based work; sustainable development; intercultural and social entrepreneurship; and double perspective - combining theory and practice.
Nordic Visual Studies and Art Education (NoVA) is an independent Master’s programme in the Department of Art at Aalto University – School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Nordic partner universities cooperate in teaching (joint online studies), exchange program, and by organizing seminars and study trips.
Students that graduate from NoVA will have strong intercultural understanding and experiences, and knowledge of teaching practices and theories in different Nordic countries. Students may direct themselves toward teaching, producing, project work, designing, guidance, and consultant tasks on different levels of schooling, or in the fields of art and visual and media culture, social sectors and corporate life. The degree alone does not qualify as teacher competency.
NoVA programme provides students with project management and entrepreneurship training and through elective studies (e.g. Nordic internship); students are able to deepen their expertise in relation to their background education and interest areas. Through NoVA, students are prepared for doctoral studies and for the possibility to continue their research profession.