Study options

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
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Degree:

Master of Arts (Art and Design)

Application period:

1.12.2021 – 3.1.2022

Language of instruction:

Finnish
English
Swedish

Duration:

2 years, full-time

Eligibility:

Relevant Bachelor's degree

Field of study:

Art and Design

Credits:

120 ECTS

Organising school:

School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Tuition fees:

For non-EU/EEA citizens, €15000/y (Master’s studies)

The application period will open 1.12.2021 09:00 (UTC+2)

Applying to master’s programmes

Study objectives

The aim of the master’s studies is to increase the depth of the student’s knowledge and preparedness to work in sound design. Through course modules and increasingly demanding exercises, students will acquire an ever deeper understanding and firmer grasp their own artistic, production and technical area of the profession. 

A sound designer and sound engineer gains a comprehensive knowledge of the practices, means of artistic expression, technical equipment and theoretical concepts in his/her own field. A key goal of the education is to further develop the student’s talents and personality, impart additional technical and artistic skills and basic knowledge of the field and its history, and develop management skills and a research work skills.

Essential skills to be learned are audiovisual dramaturgical and content thinking in cinematic expression, the ability to understand sound and space, management skills, communication and cooperation skills, sound design and managing the dramaturgical concept and technical realisation process for a feature-length film, a deeper knowledge of the traditions and modern trends in his/her field, and the ability to think critically and analytically.

After graduating from the master’s programme, a sound designer has a mastery of the overall artistic and technical process of sound design – from preliminary planning to the finished film. During the studies, the student becomes familiar with all phases of recording, sound work and sound design in a feature-length film and artistic and with production cooperation in film and television productions.

The goal of the education is to impart a capacity to pursue further studies.

Language of instruction

The language of instruction in the Master’s Programme in Film and Television, major in Film Sound Design is Finnish. However, part of the courses are taught in English. The degree can be completed in English.

Career opportunities

A graduate from Film Sound Design is able to work in positions of artistic responsibility in feature-length and documentary films.

The goal of the education is to provide the preconditions needed for further studies in the field and lifelong learning.

Sound engineers and sound designers are mainly employed as freelancers and entrepreneurs in film, television, game, advertising film and other television productions.

Titles

Sound designers and/or specialisation within the film industry as desired

Education content

Master’s studies in the major in Film Sound Design emphasise the student’s independent effort in forming his/her study path. The focus is on seminars and workshops investigating special features of film sound. The student learns to different theories of film and its sound design and participates in investigative workshops that often form larger course modules.

Students learn about sound designer and sound engineer work by means of increasingly demanding exercises. The education is mainly based on practical learning by doing, work in small groups, personal guidance and dialogue-based interaction. The aim of teaching is to support the student in developing his/her personal strengths and artistic vision.

The education may contain studies with students from other fields of art. Practice productions provide the opportunity to study sound design and recording practices and practice group work and management skills. Students are encouraged to take minor studies, particularly from teaching offered in the Film Editing and Documentary Film majors and from the courses offered by Sibelius Academy.

Studies in the master's programme include departments joint courses (30 ECTS) which are obligatory. These courses deal with entrepreneurial and working life skills, analytical skills, and provide research skills.

For further details on the education content, see the curriculum for 2020-2022.

Internationalisation

Visiting teachers and students from abroad enrich both the education and student networking opportunities. Students majoring in sound design periodically get the chance to attend Masterclass events, whose visitors have included some top names in the field, like veteran sound designers Nicolas Becker and Martín Hernández. Students may also complete some of their studies abroad in foreign exchange programmes.

Through international symposia, students gain a fuller overview and deeper understanding of the profession as well as new opportunities for multinational networking.

Programme-specific Admission Procedure and Evaluation Criteria

What we look for in an applicant?

We expect the applicant to have a good competence, corresponding to the level of a Bachelor’s degree, in the field of Film Sound Design in relation to the artistic, production and technical implementation of the film. We also expect life experience, education, curiosity, boldness, an open mind and the ability to constantly observe and analyse the surrounding reality.

Study-option-specific evaluation criteria in 2022 Master’s admissions

Applicants meeting Aalto’s general eligibility criteria for master's studies will be evaluated and ranked according to the evaluation criteria that has been decided in advance for each study option. The applications to Master's Programme in Film and Television - Film Sound Designwill be evaluated based on the following criteria:

 

Phase I

 

Academic performance

What is evaluated

Grades of the previous degree(s) and pace of studies

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

Studies that are equivalent to BA degree studies of Film Sound Design at the Department of Film, Television and Scenography, Aalto University

Method of demonstrating competence

Transcript(s) of records, degree certificate(s)

 

Artistic and/or design practice

What is evaluated  

Demonstrations of artistic work

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

Skills in the field of Film Sound Design in relation to the artistic, production and technical implementation of the film. In addition, the admission criteria include creativity, boldness, originality, imagination, motivation, communication skills, the ability to work in a group, the ability to understand and organise the relationship between sound and image, and the ability for sound thinking in storytelling.

Method of demonstrating competence

Work examples

 

Relevance of previous studies

What is evaluated

Content and quantity in relation to the applied study-option-specific requirements

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

Studies that are equivalent to BA degree studies of Film Sound Design at the Department of Film, Television and Scenography, Aalto University

 

Applicants without a previous degree or with a degree from another field are taken into account.

Method of demonstrating competence

Transcript(s) of records, degree certificate(s)

 

 

Suitability

What is evaluated

Applicant’s further suitability to the study option, motivation, and commitment for studies/communication skills.

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

Skills in the field of Film Sound Design in relation to the artistic, production and technical implementation of the film. In addition, the admission criteria include creativity, boldness, originality, imagination, motivation, communication skills, the ability to work in a group, the ability to understand and organise the relationship between sound and image, and the ability for sound thinking in storytelling.

Method of demonstrating competence

Motivation letter

 

 

Other areas of competence

What is evaluated

Work experience and other acquired knowledge/achievements e.g. publications, non-formal education, competitions.

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

Experience in film sound design (recording, sound work, sound design)

Method of demonstrating competence

Curriculum vitae, filmography

The study option does not consider recommendation letters.

 

Phase II

Suitability/interview

What is evaluated

Applicant’s further suitability to the study option, motivation, and commitment for studies/communication skills

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

Skills in the field of Film Sound Design in relation to the artistic, production and technical implementation of the film. In addition, the admission criteria include creativity, boldness, originality, imagination, motivation, communication skills, the ability to work in a group, the ability to understand and organise the relationship between sound and image, and the ability for sound thinking in storytelling.

Method of demonstrating competence

Interview

 

What we look for in an applicant?

We expect the applicant to have a good competence, corresponding to the level of a Bachelor’s degree, in the field of Film Sound Design in relation to the artistic, production and technical implementation of the film. We also expect life experience, education, curiosity, boldness, an open mind and the ability to constantly observe and analyse the surrounding reality.

Evaluation process

The applicants will be first evaluated based on Aalto’s general eligibility requirements. Applicants meeting the general eligibility criteria for master's studies will be evaluated and ranked according to the evaluation criteria that has been decided in advance for each study option.

The selection process for applicants who meet the general eligibility criteria comprises of two phases: 

Phase I

In Phase I, the applicants are evaluated based on the following criteria

  • Academic performance
  • Artistic and/or design practice
  • Relevance of previous studies
  • Suitability/motivation letter
  • Other areas of competence

Only the applicants who fulfill the requirements/are ranked highest in the preliminary evaluation will be invited to phase II in the selection process.

Phase II

In Phase II, the evaluation is based on the following criteria

  • Suitability/interview

After the evaluation conducted in Phase II, the best applicants will be selected based on the joint evaluation from Phases I and II.

Some of applicants are invited to the second phase. Those selected for the interview may be given 1-2 assignments to be submitted electronically a couple of days before the interview. The invitation to the second phase is sent to the applicants at latest seven days in advance.

After the evaluation conducted in Phase II, applicant’s scores from Phases I and II are added together. Applicants will be ranked according to this joint score, and the highest-scoring applicants will be admitted.

Study-option-specific documents requested

The documents requested from all applicants are listed on the Aalto University website (https://www.aalto.fi/en/study-at-aalto/applying-to-masters-programmes). In addition, applicants to this study-option are requested to provide the following study-option-specific documents:

CV

The application materials must include a CV that contains your personal details, education, work experience, awards and grants, study trips and positions of trust.

Applicants without a previous degree or with a degree from another field are taken into account. The study option does not consider recommendation letters.

Work examples

Include in your CV downloadable links to a maximum of three samples of your work (on Vimeo, YouTube or the equivalent) with a combined viewing time of 30 minutes or less.

If your work examples include password protected video links, include the password(s) in your CV.

Study plan / motivation letter

Write a study plan or letter of motivation of maximum 4000 characters in length explaining your reasons for applying to this area of specialisation and telling of your particular interest(s) in the field as well as your goals and expectations for the studies to be completed at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Describe your specific strengths and areas of interest, goals, artistic vision and other aspects of your work.

Additionally, the applicant should write a report on technical, artistic and collaborative process behind one of the films linked to the CV. The report should not exceed 2000 characters.

Language of application documents

The application documents must be submitted in Finnish (Swedish) or English.

The application period will open 1.12.2021 09:00 (UTC+2)

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