School of Arts, Design and Architecture

School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Studies and programmes

The Aalto School of Arts, Design and Architecture is a Nordic leader in higher education for design, fashion, games, media, architecture, film, art education and art. We produce world-class research in art education, design and design thinking, digital media and visual culture, urban planning and architecture.
Woman sewing fabric at the School of Arts, Design & Architecture

Application periods 2020—2021

  • Master's Programmes: 1 December 2020—4 January 2021
  • Bachelor's Programmes in English: 7 January—20 January 2021
  • Bachelor's Programmes in Finnish and Swedish: 17 March—31 March 2021

Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture offers 23 MA programmes and two MSc programmes, most of which can be completed in English. In addition, the school participates in two cross-disciplinary MA programmes with other Aalto schools (Creative Sustainability and International Design Business Management), as well as the Urban Studies Programme in combination with the University of Helsinki, which offers an MSc degree in Architecture and one in Landscape Architecture.

We educate students to be global citizens, contributing to their communities with imaginative, collaborative, compassionate and unconventional approaches to some of the most pressing challenges facing the world today.

Read more about our programmes below and take a look at our student and alumni stories!

Bachelor level studies in English

Apply to our Bachelor Programme in Design on 7 January—20 January 2021.

The Bachelor’s Programme in Design prepares students for designing future products, services and systems in a creative and critical manner. Design as a concept is no longer linked to purely physical objects but digital experiences and abstract concepts as well, enhancing its power to shape the world. 

Design thinking female

Bachelor's Programme in Design

The Aalto School of Arts, Design and Architecture is one of the most prestigious design schools in the world and the leading design school in Northern Europe. The Bachelor’s Programme in Design prepares students for designing future products, services and systems in a creative and critical manner. Design as a concept is no longer linked to purely physical objects but digital experiences and abstract concepts as well, enhancing its power to shape the world. Thus, students are given the freedom to define themselves as designers, each finding their own ways of working and direction when exploring problems, developing solutions and forming opportunities.

Study options

Master's programmes in the Department of Art

Apply to our Master's Programmes on 1 December 2020—4 January 2021.

The Department of Art educates and prepares professionals in the fields of art education, visual culture, curating, and contemporary art. 

Nordic Master in Visual Studies and Art Education (NoVA)

Please note! This programme is not available during the application period 2021-2022

Nordic Master in Visual Studies and Art Education (NM NoVA) is a double degree program between Aalto University (Finland) and Aalborg University (Denmark) in which students achieve a comprehensive understanding of Nordic practices and traditions in art education, visual culture, and cultural work. Through NM NoVA education, you will acquire relevant practical and theoretical competencies in art, education, and culture for working in cross-cultural and international environments. NM NoVA graduates will be able to respond to the demands of the changing world, where cultural, artists and pedagogical practices and professions are finding new ways and methods for meaning-making, interaction and creative solutions.

NoVA study options

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

ViCCA 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.

The ViCCA prograne

Master's programmes in the Department of Architecture

Apply to our Master's Programmes on 1 December 2020—4 January 2021.

The Department of Architecture educates critical thinkers who accept their responsibility to research and design a socially, culturally and ecologically sustainable built environment.

Master's Programme in Urban Studies and Planning, MSc in Landscape Architecture

Please note! This programme is not available during the application period 2021-2022.

Cities provide enormous economic, technical and cultural opportunities, but they are also places of social conflicts and segregation as well as environmental and health problems. The magnitude of such challenges implies that no single field of research or profession can tackle them alone.

Urban Studies and Planning

Master's programme in Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Interior Architecture - Interior Architecture

Interior architecture addresses the close human scale of space and furniture to create meaning and value to people and organisations, and to transform and renew the everyday living environment. Dealing with the design of immediate interior and exterior environments, interior architecture requires understanding on human culture, needs and aspirations, the bodily experience and senses, and the spatial, material and technological means to meet these. A skilled interior architect is capable of integrating diverse elements into functional and experiential design solutions that exceed the users’ and clients’ expectations and are socially, environmentally and economically sustainable.

The programme educates interior architects with a distinct design personality. It comprises studies on spatial design and furniture design. Concrete design assignments form a major part of education. The studies emphasise advanced practical design skills combined with conceptual and strategic design thinking and research-driven design. Students are encouraged to expand the frontiers of the discipline by addressing systems level problems and societal challenges across the scale of built environment.
Students graduated from the programme are eligible to work as professional interior architects.

Aalto Learning Centre Interior

Master's Programme in Urban Studies and Planning, MSc in Architecture

"A diverse group of students with different backgrounds is inspiring. Every teacher has a different expertise and some different perspective to bring to the discussion, and the topics we learned broadened my knowledge of the city from very different perspectives”

Urban Studies and Planning

Master's programme in Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Interior Architecture - Architecture

Architecture is technical and artistic, it is a social art and also an artful science. Architecture is about creating spaces for all types of human activities. To be a successful architect, you should be able to see problems from different perspectives, which forms the basis for the broadness of the degree. At the Aalto Architecture programme your scientific and artistic thinking will be developed, aiding you in designing buildings and cities for a sustainable future while promoting health and well-being and enriching lives aesthetically.

Masters degree in Architecture

Master's programmes in the Department of Design

Apply to our Master's Programmes on 1 December 2020—4 January 2021.

The Department of Design educates front-line design professionals and visionaries for established, changing and emerging fields of design.

Master's Programme in Design - Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design

The Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design study option prepares the students to proactively and creatively tackle future global socio-technical challenges and innovate new sustainable and culturally inclusive design solutions for the global field of textiles and fashion. The studies educate designers equipped with the knowledge, skills and attitude for the future needs of fashion and textiles as creative force.

naytos_hq_26_edit_fi_fi.jpg

Master's Programme in International Design Business Management - Master of Arts

IDBM is a pioneering and renowned study programme that truly embodies the vision of Aalto by integrating design and technology with global business development. Through transdisciplinary teamwork and real-life business challenges provided by our prominent industry partners, the programme prepares students as the next generation of creative professionals. IDBM is uniquely positioned as the only programme offered in all six schools of Aalto, allowing programme graduates to earn a Master’s degree in either business, design or technology. Students graduating from the School of Arts, Design and Architecture will complete and be awarded a Master of Arts (MA) Degree in International Design Business Management (IDBM).

IDBM students at IDBM Impact showcasing a digital solution

Master's Programme in Creative Sustainability - Master of Arts

The Master’s Programme in Creative Sustainability (CS) provides a multidisciplinary learning platform in the fields of design, business, and materials and chemical engineering. Sustainability is an increasingly relevant design perspective as designers are expected to contribute to innovative solutions and to critically examine different framings of sustainability concerns. For students in design, the Creative Sustainability Master’s Programme provides skills and knowledge to promote sustainable development through creative design practice.

Creative sustainability students studying

Master's Programme in Design - Contemporary Design

What alternative materials can best replace plastic? How can traditional crafts be merged with contemporary design? What kind of products do we need in our changing society? The studies in Contemporary Design are driven by concrete, real-world needs. Students receive support not only to build their creative and professional confidence, but also to expand their thinking beyond conventional limitations, adopting an experimental design mindset.

Iittala Experimental Design Process

Master's Programme in Design - Collaborative and Industrial Design

The studies in Collaborative and Industrial Design (CoID) focus on design's role in society. Students develop skills enabling them to work as design experts and leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators in a range of roles within industry, business, communities, education, and public sector.

Aalto-yliopisto A Grid / Photo: Unto Rautio

Master's programmes in the Department of Film, Television, and Scenography

Apply to our Master's Programmes on 1 December 2020—4 January 2021.

Education in the Department of Film, Television, and Scenography draws on artistic and pedagogical traditions, passing it on creatively and developing new forms of expression. During the education, students are familiarized with artistic processes, teamwork, historical and critical thinking, observations and interpretations of reality.

Master's Programme in Film and Television - Costume Design

Are you interested in studying Costume Design at the forefront of the field? Would you like to explore costume from a practice-based perspective that stimulates new concepts and ideas? Do you want to be part of international costume-related events? 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.

Costume Design

Master's Programme in Film and Television - Production Design

The major in production design involves training artistic designers who are responsible for the visual, operational and production entity of a film production. The aim of the education is to find and enhance the student’s personal artistic vision, to extend his/her professional competence and/or specialisation and to provide skills needed for doctoral studies. Along with broad-ranging professional skills, the goal is to obtain the ability to develop the student’s own field in a creative and independent manner. Master’s degree students are expected to work independently and to play an active role in planning their studies.

Film Producing

Master's Programme in Film and Television - Cinematography

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.

Film_Cinema

Master's Programme in Film and Television - Film Directing

Master’s program in Film and Television, major in Film Directing in Elo Film school Finland strengthens the student’s capacity to generate and develop cinematic ideas, storybuilding and narration skills in addition to developing the director’s personal cinematic style and directorial identity.

Directing

Master's Programme in Film and Television - Film Sound Design

Create the soundtracks for the hit films of tomorrow - our sound design programme will equip you with the skills and theory you need as a professional sound designer and sound engineer in all areas of film production. You'll learn how to think about sound in terms of dramatic composition and to understand sound and space. Students will also gain a deeper appreciation for the dynamics of a full-length film production process and develop management and communication skills. Theory and history lessons lend a deeper knowledge of the traditions and modern trends in film.

ääni2

Master's Programme in Film and Television - Film Editing

The aim of the MA degree is to develop the student into an expert of viewing and seeing, a storyteller and an artist.

filmklippning 2

Master's Programme in Film and Television - Film and Television Producing

The goal of the Master’s Programme in Film and Television, major in Film and Television Producing, is to deepen the student’s skills in their chosen direction – towards independent audiovisual entrepreneurship, a research or development project in the film producing field, a deeper understanding of artistic leadership or some corresponding advanced competence planned together with the student. Some courses offered as part of the programme combine the teaching of production, screenwriting and film directing with the goal of enhancing the students’ competence in television drama.

Film Producing

Master's Programme in Film and Television - Screenwriting

The aim of the Master's Degree Programme in Screenwriting for Film and Television is to strengthen the student's individual expression, skills in writing for film and the abilities required in artistic and production-related process work and group work. Master’s students become familiar with the central theoretical questions in the field and its research.

Screeningwriting

Master's Programme in Film and Television - Documentary Film

The goal of the major in Documentary Film is to form innovative, critical, and analytical documentary filmmakers for both the national and international arenas. The students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the history and conventions documentary filmmaking. Moreover, the program will encourage students to engage future perspectives of documentary filmmaking as a storytelling, art and research form.

Students will be able to develop their artistic and research skills through creative enquiry, practice and collaboration. They will be able to combine practical mastery and conceptual thinking, increasing their professional competence and situating them at the forefront of the documentary filmmaking field.

dok

Master's programmes in the Department of Media

Apply to our Master's Programmes on 1 December 2020—4 January 2021.

The Department of Media is a key contributor to the artistic and research scene in both Finland and abroad. Shaping the future of the field of media through academics, we provide education to future game changers.

Master's Programme in Art and Media - Visual Communication Design

The Master’s Programme Art and Media Visual Communication Design (VCD) major is an international learning community committed to investigating new modes of action within visual communication. As a critical response to the contemporary conditions, the studies enable you to reconsider the established notions of graphic design. The major supports you in rethinking and redefining your own design practice, in order to situate it in wider societal and environmental frameworks. By providing the competence areas of information design, visual narratives, and type & written language, the curriculum encourages you to turn your design practice towards the public and the sustainable, and towards multiple and diverse knowledge domains. The VCD major provides you time and space to redefine your individual design approach, with continuous backup from community, collaboration, and peer learning. The studies support you in this with a combination of theory and practice.

Visual Communication Design

Master's Programme in Art and Media - New Media

In a technology-saturated world, it is indispensable to understand and study the impacts that technology has on individuals, organisations and society. The New Media major brings together a multicultural group of students with very versatile skills and backgrounds. They all share the same passion of exploring the opportunities and challenges that new and emerging digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence and extended reality, open for communication, art, and design.

Department of Media prototyping

Master's Programme in Art and Media – Game Design and Development

Game Design and Development is a multidisciplinary major that offers a unique mix of technical and artistic aspects of game development. The major produces visionary, out-of-the-box thinkers who have the ambition to push the boundaries in the world of game design. Using a project-based, hands-on with minds-on approach, the major in Game Design and Development cultivates a strong community of students from highly diverse backgrounds. Students can apply for the major with any Bachelor’s degree, and accepted students include programmers, 3D artists, animators, creative writers, architects, and even psychologists.

Climbing wall

Master's Programme in Art and Media - Sound in New Media

The aim of the Major in Sound in New Media is to explore, discover and comprehend the emerging digital technology and its aural impact in society; to find and exploit the possibilities it opens to acoustic communication, sonic interaction and new interfaces for musical expression and to evaluate, understand and deal with the challenges it poses to art, design, and creative production in the auditory domain.

Petteri Mäkiniemi and Ilpo Jauhiainen Musica Nova 2019 - Sound in New Media

Master's Programme in Art and Media - Photography

A photograph has an all-piercing force in the society and culture, impacting individuals, communities and nations alike. In our image-saturated world, the significance of a powerful photograph hasn’t been lost. If anything, artists and photographers with something to say are needed now, more than ever before. As a student at Aalto University, you will be part of an ambitious and professional community and a learning environment, allowing you to develop your artistic practice and enhance your conceptual and critical thinking.

Photo by Petri Juntunen, called Untitled (Of Clouds and Clocks), 2019. A horse standing in front of clouds in the red-shaded picture.

Doctoral programme in Arts, Design and Architecture

The Aalto School of Arts, Design and Architecture doctoral programme enables you to study at a leading research university in several disciplines, under the supervision of our distinguished faculty.

Aalto ARTS

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. A special feature of the programme is that the thesis can include art or design productions. The Department of Art, the Department of Architecture, the Department of Design, the Department of Film, Television and Scenography and the Department of Media offer doctoral studies for a Doctor of Arts (Art and Design) and a Doctor of Science (Architecture) degrees.

For Application Instructions 2021, please scroll down the page.

Study options

Stories from the School of Arts, Design & Architecture

How it is to study at the School of Art, Design and Architecture? What kind of projects are done during the studies? Who is working at our school? Where did our alumni end up? Check our stories and read more!

Internship in Japan: Working as an Industrial Designer at Mitsubishi Electric

Janne Pärssinen, a master student in Industrial Design, is delighted he had influence on the projects as an intern.

Janne Pärssinen seisoo Mitsubishi Electronicin rakennuksen edessä Japanissa.

Students designed spatial solutions for the new electric boat for Skand

Working on the first, already implemented prototype, young designers were able to outline the real space and proportions of the boat.

Pinta 1 -työssä veneen sisätilaratkaisut ovat avarat ja vaaleat.

Architecture students designed a wooden pavilion in front of the Design Museum

The pavilion is a Finnish-British modern interpretation of a tea house.

Kuva: Mikko Raskinen

Hollywood costume design goes sustainable

A textile artist sees natural materials as the future for costumes in television and film.

Urs Dieker working with wood, kuva Eren Öztekin

Alumna Ksenia Avetisova is a human at the heart of technology

Ksenia Avetisova moves around the virtual world as part of her job, but what brought her to Finland was a live rock gig.

Aallon alumni Ksenia Avetisova katsoo peiliin järven rannalla, kuva: Aleksi Poutanen

Young Designer of the Year 2020 Ervin Latimer wants to highlight minorities

Latimer’s winning work draws on drag culture. Outfits play with the sexes and are adaptable.

vaatemallit seisovat metsän keskellä ja katsovat kameraan

Finnish TV’s Big Brother house facilities are designed for residents, as well as viewers

Aalto University's master's students in interior design created the BB house design.

kaksi naista istuu vaalealla karvataljalla violeteista putkista koostuvan taustan edustalla ja katsoo kameraan

Theses: Threading the needle – together!

Taking care of your clothes is an environmental act, says Marium Durrani. Communal clothing repair workshops are popular around the world and have now landed also in Finland to push against unsustainable fast fashion practices.

Marium Durrani ompelemassa käsin vaatekappaletta, jossa on kukkakuosi.

Fashion Design graduates among finalists in the Designers' Nest competition

Graduates from Fashion Design are once again paving the way for Finnish fashion design with their innovative and unique collections.

three models wearing candle headpieces and capes

Collaboration with Club For Five gave birth to a sonic installation

What does sound look like? How does art sound like? The art installation SOONI examines connections between sound and matter and their impact on well-being.

Kuvassa taideinstallaatio SOONI vaaleassa aulatilassa. Teoksen värikkäät tekstiilit liikkuvat teoksesta kantautuvan äänivirran mukana.

See also

Photo: Unto Rautio

School of Arts, Design and Architecture graduates in working life

School of Arts, Design and Architecture Master's graduates are successful in finding jobs corresponding to their education. On this page you can find information on job titles, job sectors and career development of our graduates.

School of Arts, Design and Architecture
Creativity Unfolded_blogi_visu_Milja Komulainen

Creativity Unfolded (external link)

Aalto University’s blog series Creativity Unfolded focuses on insights linked to creativity in a multitude of ways. Topics include design, technology, media, architecture, film, games, art theory and more. Read and join the conversation.

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