Study options

Master's Programme in New Media - New Media Design and Production

Would you like to explore the exciting opportunities new digital technology opens to communication, interaction and expression – and find a career where you can utilise your creativity? New Media Design and Production is a major subject within the Master’s Programme in New Media, focusing on art and design in interactive media. The education is project-oriented, combining practice with theory. You can focus on dynamic visualisation, art & culture, interaction design and interactive & generative storytelling. The programme is fully taught in English, and your master’s thesis can be written in Finnish, Swedish or English.
Department of Media prototyping

Degree:

Master of Arts (Art and Design)

Application period:

1.12.2020 – 4.1.2021

Language of instruction:

English

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 1.12.2020 09:00 (UTC+2)

Scholarships and Tuition Fees

Study objectives

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 Design and Production major brings together a multicultural group of students with very versatile skills and backgrounds. They all share the same passion of exploring the opportunities that new digital technology, such as artificial intelligence and social media, opens for communication, interaction and art. By tailoring the degree according to their interests and choosing from a wide variety of focus areas including media art and culture, interaction design, physical computing, and interactive narratives, the graduates of the programme have unique competences to take on new and emerging professions within the broad spectrum of the new media industry.

Upon graduating from the Master’s Programme in New Media – New Media Design and Production, graduates will have:

  • The ability to understand the complex demands and dynamics of the modern media landscape. Graduates understand the fragmented and complex nature of various forms of digital media and concepts such as information manipulation. They have gained a profound knowledge of how technology shapes business, communication and self-expression.
  • Skills for creative collaboration, concept development, design and realisation. Graduates have strong interpersonal skills and they are able to do creative work as part of culturally diverse and transdisciplinary teams.
  • Human-centric approach to digital innovations. Graduates are skilled in anticipating consumer values, translating them into product and service offerings and keeping humans at the center of the design process.
  • Both broad understanding across disciplines and in-depth skills in a specialisation area of their choice. Graduates have the benefits of both breadth of knowledge and specialisation. Possible specialisation areas include interaction design and user-experience design, physical computing, 3D animation, as well as interactive storytelling.
  • Critical thinking skills. Graduates are able to critically analyse and develop established design traditions.
  • The ability to extend their professional competence. Graduates embrace lifelong learning as the field is ever-evolving and new technologies emerge.
  • An in-built sustainable approach to their profession. Graduates see planetary health, society and people as the starting point for successful design.

Study language(s)

In the Master’s Programme in New Media – New Media Design and Production the language of instruction is English.

Postgraduate study option

The Master’s programme in New Media – New Media Design and Production at Aalto is considered a great foundation for doctoral studies and for further pursuing an academic career.

Content of the studies

The New Media Design and Production major is run in parallel with the MA in New Media programme’s other two majors, Game Design and Production and Sound in New Media. All New Media majors have compulsory joint courses in the beginning of their studies where they are introduced to the Department of Media as well as media art and culture as an integral part of society. Students should also compile their Personal study plan, including which specialisation areas they wish to focus on. The courses in the New Media Design and Production major fall under the key themes of:

  • New Media Art and Culture
  • New Media Design and Technology

Students can choose to further specialise in some of the following areas:

  • 3D Animation
  • Physical Computing and Digital Fabrication
  • Storytelling and Interactive Narratives
  • Virtual Reality (VR)

Topics

By nature, studies in new media emphasise emerging fields and practices as well as related tools and technologies for communication, creative production and distribution. The topics deal with some of the most burning questions of our time, such as how artificial intelligence is changing creative industries and society as a whole.

Sustainability is deeply integrated into the studies – students evaluate and familiarise themselves with different fabrication processes such as 3D printing, examine material manufacturing processes through critical lenses, and come up with new, innovative design methods.

To give concrete examples of some of the topics covered in the programme, below is a selection of five courses from the programme’s extensive curriculum:

  • Introduction to Creative Coding (3-6 ECTS)
  • Introduction to Media Art and Culture (3-5 ECTS)
  • Media and the Environment (3-6 ECTS)
  • Embodied Interaction (6 ECTS)
  • Generative and Interactive Narratives (3-5 ECTS)

Methods

The education is project-oriented, combining practice with theory. The project modules emphasise interdisciplinary and collaborative work, while individual skills are developed in the tools and skills modules, in workshops, and through tutored studio work.

Academic communication and writing are a part of the studies, and more research courses can be chosen if the student is planning to become a researcher. Students and researchers are encouraged to network internationally and have the option to spend a part of their studies abroad through any of our exchange programmes.

Structure

Overall, the Master’s Programme in New Media – New Media Design and Production comprises a total of 120 ECTS credits. The two-year programme consists of:

  • Advanced major studies (60 ECTS)
  • Elective studies (30 ECTS)
  • Master’s thesis (30 ECTS)

Personal Study Plan (PSP)

The Personal Study Plan (PSP) is a practical tool to define a student’s own study path, compiling an optimal selection of courses that are aligned with the student's interests and programme requirements. PSP is also a useful tool for students to keep track of their studies. At best, it shows where students are with their studies and sets concrete milestones for them to follow.

For further information on studies, see Study Guide 2020-2022.

Internationalisation

The New Media Design and Production major provides an excellent basis for an international career. A significant number of the department’s applicants, students, teachers and researchers are from abroad, and all of the courses are taught in English. Students and researchers are encouraged to network internationally and have the option to spend a part of their studies abroad through any of our exchange programmes.

Aalto University is international by nature, welcoming thousands of degree and exchange students from abroad every year. These students join the diverse Aalto community not only through studies but also via multiple free time events, celebrations and extracurricular activities around the campus. Active tutoring programs and support services work hard to help international students integrate into the Nordic culture and feel at home in Finland.

Career opportunities

Our graduates have an excellent basis for an international career. Their future professional profiles relate to the various fields of new media design and research, including interface design, interaction design, information design, interactive storytelling, new media production, media art and design, software design and digital animation. As the field of digital media is in constant motion, graduates often get to define completely new roles in organisations. Novel titles and responsibilities are expected to emerge in the future.

Aalto University has well-established career services to support students’ employment in Finland and abroad. Thanks to the flexible curriculum, many Aalto students work already during their studies and guarantee themselves entry positions before graduation. There is also a very active entrepreneurship community at Aalto, working as a springboard for founding a company.

Multidisciplinary opportunities

The Department of Media’s Media Lab is often referred to as “Micro-Aalto” due to the number of different disciplines merging into a unified Master’s programme. The Master's Programme in New Media is situated at the intersection of arts, design and technology – bringing together talents from these different fields. This spontaneous environment sparks new ideas, gathers enthusiasts around them and gives birth to friendships, networks, and sometimes even startup companies. The programme also has close co-operation with the other Aalto Schools as well as with some of the leading international art schools.

Programme-specific Admission Procedure and Evaluation Criteria

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 New Media - New Media Design and Production will be evaluated based on the following criteria.

Phase I

Artistic and/or design practice

Assessed area

Demonstrations of artistic and/or design work or assignments

Admission requirements

 

Required documents:

  • Portfolio

What are we looking for?

  • Demonstration of your professional and personal artistic, design, academic and/or technical practice.
  • Demonstration of critical thinking, skills, and competence in one or more fields related to new media.

Method of demonstrating competence

Portfolio

 

Relevance of previous studies

Assessed area

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

Admission requirements

 

What are we looking for?

  • The applicant is expected to have completed their previous studies in the field of arts, design, media or technology.
  • Applicants with a background in some other field should demonstrate their competence and suitability to the study-option through the other requested documents.

Method of demonstrating competence

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

 

 

Suitability

Assessed area

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

Admission requirements

 

Required documents:

  • Motivation letter

What are we looking for?

  • Motivated applicants who demonstrate existing skills, development potential, and genuine interest to the field of new media.
  • Commitment to studying full-time in an international and transdisciplinary group of students.
  • Good communication skills demonstrated in the motivation letter.

Method of demonstrating competence

Motivation letter

 

Other areas of competence

Assessed area

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

Admission requirements

 

Required documents:

  • Curriculum vitae

What are we looking for?

  • Work experience in the field of new media, art, design, or technology.
  • Artistic experience: exhibitions, grants, and residencies.
  • Achievements, competitions, publications
  • Non-formal education in the field of new media

Method of demonstrating competence

Curriculum vitae

 

Phase II

Artistic and/or design practice

Assessed area

Demonstrations of artistic and/or design work or assignments

Admission requirements

 

Required documents:

  • Portfolio (already provided in phase I)
  • Creative Assignment
  • Written Assignment

What are we looking for?

  • Demonstration of your professional and personal artistic, design, academic and/or technical practice.
  • Demonstration of critical thinking, skills, and competence in one or more fields related to new media.

Method of demonstrating competence

Portfolio and study-option-specific assignments

 

Suitability

Assessed area

Applicant’s further suitability to the study option, motivation, and commitment for studies/communication skills/ assessment of second-phase assignments

Admission requirements

 

Suitability is evaluated based on the interview and the holistic evaluation of the application.

 

What are we looking for?

  • Motivated applicants who demonstrate existing skills, development potential, and genuine interest to the field of new media.
  • Commitment to studying full-time in an international and transdisciplinary group of students.
  • Good communication skills demonstrated in the interview.

Method of demonstrating competence

Interview

 

Other areas of competence

Assessed area

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

Admission requirements

 

Required documents:

  • Curriculum vitae (already provided in phase I)

What are we looking for?

  • Work experience in the field of new media, art, design, or technology.
  • Artistic experience: exhibitions, grants, and residencies.
  • Achievements, competitions, publications
  • Non-formal education in the field of new media

Method of demonstrating competence

Curriculum vitae

 

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 applications are evaluated based on the following criteria

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

Only the applicants who fulfill the requirements and 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

  • Artistic and/or design practice
  • Suitability/Interview
  • Other areas of competence

Final Selection

The final selection decisions will be made based on the evaluation conducted in phase II.

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:

Phase I

  • Motivation letter
  • Portfolio or work examples
  • Curriculum vitae

Motivation letter

Applicants must write a motivation letter of a maximum of 4000 characters in length, explaining why they wish to apply to the study-option in question, what their particular interests are in the field, and what their hopes and expectations are regarding studies at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture. The letter should explain the applicant’s personal strengths, areas of interest, artistic and design visions and artistic objectives.

The lack of this application document will adversely affect the evaluation of your application.

Portfolio or work examples

Applicants should submit a professional or personal portfolio that demonstrates the applicant’s artistic, design and/or technical practice.

We understand that many of our applicants come from a technical background and may not have an artist or design portfolio as such. Work examples from more technical or personal creative projects are also welcome. We are not just interested in your professional work, but also about your passion projects, ideas, experimentations, and hobbies. Please provide some context for the evaluators how to interpret each work – is it professional work, class project, work-in-progress, personal hobbyist project etc. Clearly mention your own role for each work sample.

The portfolio can be submitted as a .pdf file that contains the actual work samples or as a .pdf file that contains a URL to a portfolio website. The pdf portfolio should be limited to a maximum of 10 pages. Feel free to include links for videos, interactive content, or further information for each work sample.

Maximum size of the Portfolio is 1.0 GB. Name the file Portfolio-lastname-firstname.pdf. If your portfolio contains password protected video links, include the password(s) in your portfolio. If a portfolio is not uploaded to the online application form by the deadline, the application will be rejected.

The lack of this application document will adversely affect the evaluation of your application.

Curriculum vitae

Applications must include the applicant’s CV (.pdf file) indicating personal information, educational background, work experience, exhibitions, publications and articles, awards and grants, study trips and positions of trust.

The lack of this application document will adversely affect the evaluation of your application.

Phase II

  • Portfolio or work examples (provided in phase I, details during the interview)
  • Assignment 1 (creative task)
  • Assignment 2 (written task)
  • Curriculum vitae (provided in phase I, details during the interview)

Phase II consists of an interview, evaluation of the applicant’s portfolio, and two assignments. The details of the assignments will be provided after phase I.

Portfolio

The portfolio should already be submitted in Phase I, but it will be re-evaluated during Phase II. The applicant will present some examples of their portfolio in detail during the interview.

Assignments

  1. Creative task that evaluates the applicant’s artistic and design practice.
  2. Written task that evaluates the applicant’s quality of reflection and argumentation as well as the use of the provided source materials.

The assignments are evaluated separately before the interview, but they are not discussed during the interview itself.

Curriculum vitae

The curriculum vitae should already be submitted in Phase I, but it will be re-evaluated during Phase II.

Phase II interview

Applicants that proceed to phase II are invited to a 20-minute interview where 10 minutes is reserved for general interview questions and 10 minutes for discussing the applicant’s portfolio.

A batch of students representing a variety of skills, backgrounds and talents are selected every spring. Grounds for the selection of students is based on a holistic review of the application, including proven artistic/designer talent, motivation and personal development potential as well as the applicant's academic history, cultural activities and previous activities in the field of new media. Deciding factors are demonstrated talent and suitability within the desired field of study. The holistic suitability evaluation will be based on the interview and the submitted documents.

Language of application documents

The application documents must be written in English, Finnish or Swedish.

Applying to master’s programmes

The application period will open 1.12.2020 09:00 (UTC+2)

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