Research & Art

Aalto Doctoral Programme in Arts, Design and Architecture

The Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture offers an international doctoral programme for those seeking careers in art, design, film, media or architecture. The special feature of the programme is that the dissertation can also include art or design productions.
Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Fabric

Department of Art, Department of Design, Department of Film, Television and Scenography and Department of Media offer doctoral studies for Doctor of Arts degree. The normative time to take the degree for full-time doctoral students is four years.

The main purpose of doctoral education at the Aalto Doctoral Programme in Arts, Design and Architecture is to teach the doctoral candidate how to create new knowledge through scientific and artistic methods and theories. During the research and studies, you will learn what it takes to be a professional academic researcher.

Doctoral studies provide skills and tools to apply knowledge and to create new scientific knowledge, including the ability to use research methods. In the field of arts, doctoral candidates should be able to independently create methods, products or performances that meet high artistic standards. They are also expected to publish scientific results in peer-reviewed publications and to disseminate the results on scientific fora.

Doctoral candidates are expected to gain professional expertise on how to produce such syntheses and critical assessments that are required to solve complex problems in research and innovation and in other areas of society. They also possess versatile written and oral communication skills. Doctoral candidates should work responsibly with respect to ethical and sustainable considerations. Their work in the scientific community should follow responsible conduct of research.

Structure of degree

The Doctor of Arts and Doctor of Science (Architecture) degrees consists of general research studies, studies in the field of research, studies supporting the research work, and a doctoral dissertation which means four years of full-time studies.

Content of studies

Doctoral education is often an apprentice in close collaboration with your thesis advisor(s) and supervising professor. If studying full-time, you will spend 3-4 years working intensively on research topic, and complete this with your intellectual piece of work, i.e., doctoral dissertation. Along the road, you will be involved with theory courses, seminars, conferences, group activities, teaching undergraduates, possibly building your artistic components and supportive tasks needed to make your department and research group able to operate.

More information and the programme study plan are presented in Into.

Departments of School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Department of Architecture

We train professionals to design human-centred environments.

Student teamwork at Aalto University. Image: Unto Raunio

Department of Art

The Department of Art educates and prepares professionals in the fields of art education, visual culture, curating, and contemporary art. The department is recognized internationally for high-quality artistic and art pedagogical activities, scholarship, and research.

The art piece Railtrack Songmaps by Lucy Davis, a hanging mobile, is exhibited

Department of Media

The Department of Media is an academic community of approximately 500 students and 80 staff members. We conduct research and provide education in Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral programmes across a broad range of subjects and themes.

Media Lab Demo Day

Department of Film, Television and Scenography

The Department of Film, Television and Scenography ELO is Finland's only university-level film school.

Filming. Image by Unto Rautio.
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