Study options

Nordic Master in Visual Studies and Art Education (NoVA)

Please note! This programme is not available during the application period 2021-2022. Applying for the studies starting in 2023 will be possible during the application period 2022-2023.

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

Degree:

Master of Arts (Art and Design)

Application period:

2.12.2019 – 3.1.2020

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 has closed

Please note! This programme is not available during the application period 2021-2022. Applying for the studies starting in 2023 will be possible during the application period 2022-2023.

Major description

Graduates of the Nordic Master in Visual Studies and Art Education will be able to:

1.    Apply and assess theories and practices of contemporary art education, communication studies, visual design, and digital visual culture when working with different audiences and stakeholders.

2.    Initiate, plan, carry out, and critically evaluate artistic, educational, and entrepreneurial projects in cross-cultural, international, and transdisciplinary environments.

3.    Lead and support cultural, artistic, and educational development work with different institutions, stakeholders, and partners.

4.    Identify, analyse, and suggest solutions for complex issues through practices of creative problem-solving, critical thinking, and arts-based methods.

5.    Reflect and re-evaluate past and present practices in Nordic ecosystems of art, education, and visual culture.

6.    Recognize and cultivate socially, culturally, and environmentally responsible practices in art, education, entrepreneurship, and digital culture.

7.    Partake in developing, evaluating, and expanding the professional domains of art, education, and visual culture in contemporary societies.

 

Language(s) of instruction

English

 

Content of the studies

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, students acquire relevant practical and theoretical competencies in art, education, digital communication, 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.

NM NoVA offers a mix of problem-based and student-centred, hands-on experience with theoretical and practical studies in art, education, digital communication, and entrepreneurship. The key content areas of NM NoVA studies are:

•    Visual and Digital Culture and Communication Developed in the Nordic region
Students explore creative and critical approaches to design and art making, coupled with a deep responsibility for openness, caring, and equality. Students learn about social and cultural competences in ICT & online communication and engage in developing creative approaches to online education.

•    Contemporary Approaches to Nordic Art Education and Learning
Students learn about Nordic approaches to art and education, specifically emphasizing democracy, egalitarianism, socially just pedagogical skills and practices, human rights, and social and cultural sustainability.

•    Project management, Administration, and Entrepreneurship
Students acquire skills in project management, administration, finance, and entrepreneurship in cultural and educational contexts. Students engage with project-driven and problem-oriented teaching as well as collaborative and participatory learning.

These areas of study are integrated in joint courses (both online and in person) between Aalto University and Aalborg University and in project modules where students work with external stakeholders and partners.

The program is open for international students.

 

 

Content of the studies

NoVA students engage in a variety of learning and teaching methods, including in-person, on-line, and whole group pedagogy, at home and host universities (during possible exchange studies), and at retreats and Nordic seminars. Learning by doing and problem-oriented approaches are integrated with practical and theoretical e-learning based activities. Contact teaching is a combination of lectures, seminars, peer working and student presentations, using multimodal approaches: texts, images, audio, and different physical and digital interfaces and communication.

Through courses on visual culture, social theory, pedagogy, research competences, for example, students investigate the practices of looking, seeing and being seen. NoVA students explore how digital technologies affect perception and how vision is constructed. Students research visual events to understand the relationship between institutions, the media, society, and the economic sphere.

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.

More information in the study guide for the academic years 2018-2020.

Tracks within the study option

The first year of studies is relatively similar for all NM NoVA students. During the second year, students do one semester long exchange that will prepare them for writing their thesis work. When beginning their second year of studies, students may choose from the following three study tracks:

1)    Long Internship: In this study track, students spend most of their exchange semester in an internship and use the internship as the basis for their thesis work. This track suits students who are interested in developing context-specific expertise in art, education, digital communication, and/or entrepreneurship.

2)    Short Internship: In this study track, students use their exchange semester to combine short internship with elective courses. This might mean, for example, organizing workshops or social media practices to test out their educational, artistic, communicational, or entrepreneurial ideas that the student examines further in their thesis. This track suits students who are interested in emerging theories and practices in art, education, information studies, and entrepreneurship.

3)    Practicing Research Work: In this study track, students utilize their exchange semester to further develop the theoretical framework of their thesis by working with relevant faculty projects at the partner university. This study track suits for students interested in continuing their studies in doctoral education

 

Career opportunities

NM NoVA graduates will have strong intercultural understanding, experiences, and knowledge of educational, digital communication, and cultural practices and theories in Nordic countries. This cross-cultural study offers work opportunities both nationally and internationally in different art, educational, and visual communicational areas, institutions, organisations, communities, art and culture projects, and companies. Students may direct themselves toward teaching, producing, 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.

Please note that the degree alone does not qualify as teacher competency as it is not a teacher training program.

 

Post-graduate study options

Nordic Master in Visual Studies and Art Education double degree gives students an eligibility to apply for doctoral studies.

Internationalisation

As a double degree Nordic Master, international collaboration and cooperation is a significant part of NM NoVA education. NM NoVA’s student body consists of students from Aalto University and Aalborg University and most of the major specific studies are co-taught between these two universities, both online and in person. In addition, NM NoVA includes a mandatory exchange in the second year of the studies, during which NM NoVA students at Aalto have the opportunity to study at Aalborg and/or do an internship in Denmark and vice versa. Students admitted to NM NoVA must be able to conduct this mandatory semester-long exchange to the partner university during their second fall semester.

 

Focus of the research

Learning and teaching at NM NoVA draws from existing and emerging research on visual and digital culture and communication developed in the Nordic region, contemporary approaches to Nordic art education and learning, and project management, administration, and entrepreneurship.

 

Collaboration

In NM NoVA, students are gradually involved in projects with external stakeholders and partners in order to practice their educational and research skills in real-life situations. These collaborations take place both in Finland and Denmark, and involve cultural institutions, organisations, NGOs, and companies.

Admission procedure and study-option-specific 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 Nordic Master in Visual Studies and Art Education will be evaluated based on the following criteria.

 

Phase I

Academic performance

What is evaluated

Grades of the previous degree(s)

 

What we look for in an applicant?/Admission requirements

We are looking for applicants who demonstrate good academic skills and abilities to conduct both independent and collaborative study projects.

Method of demonstrating competence

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

 

Relevance of previous studies

What is evaluated

Contents and quantity of previous studies compared to demands/contents of study option applied to

What we look for in an applicant?/Admission requirements

We are looking for applicants with a relevant BA level degree or similar skills and motivation to study in Nordic Master in Visual Studies and Art Education

Method of demonstrating competence

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

 

 

Other areas of competence

What is evaluated

Work experience and other acquired knowledge and achievements, non-formal education.

What we look for in an applicant?/Admission requirements

We are looking for applicants who demonstrate a committed interest toward artistic, educational, and/or cultural work.

Method of demonstrating competence

Curriculum vitae

 

 

Suitability

What is evaluated

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

What we look for in an applicant?/Admission requirements

We are looking for applicants who:

 

  1. Communicate their ideas (even emerging ones) clearly and connect them to the study objectives of Nordic Master in Visual Studies and Art Education
  2. Have fresh ideas and new perspectives on art, education, digital culture, and cultural work in the Nordic countries and beyond.
  3. Are interested in exploring new artistic, educational, communicative, and/or entrepreneurial practices in the Nordic countries and beyond.
  4. Indicate their interests in acquiring a double degree Nordic Master diploma.

 

Nordic Master in Visual Studies and Art Education actively encourages applicants from widely diverse backgrounds, both from inside Finland and around the world.

Method of demonstrating competence

Motivation letter

 

 

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 (2) phases: 

Phase I

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

  • Suitability (Motivation letter)
  • Other areas of competence (Curriculum Vitae)
  • Relevance of previous studies (Transcript(s) of records, degree certificate(s))
  • Academic performance (Transcript(s) of records, degree certificate(s))

Only the applicants who fulfil 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

  • Suitability (Interview)

The second phase consists of individual interviews. Interviews will be carried out in person or by telephone/Skype/Zoom/etc. depending on the applicant’s current location. The length of the interviews is 30 minutes.

Applications who fulfil the requirements and are ranked highest in Phase I will be invited to the interview. The invitation to the interview will be sent to the applicants at latest seven days in advance.

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

Motivation letter

Motivation letter, max 4000 characters (excluding spaces) should include a description of personal interests for Nordic Master in Visual Studies and Art Education, including a proposed area of research, aim of study, and professional goals. In particular, the letter should indicate an understanding of opportunities for study a double degree in Nordic Master in Visual Studies and Art Education, what the applicant wishes from the programme and, in turn, what they are interested in bringing into the programme. The applicant’s name, address and phone number and the programme applied for must be indicated clearly on the motivation letter.

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

Curriculum Vitae

Applications must include the applicant’s CV indicating personal data, educational background, and work experience that is relevant to their application. This information may include educational and/or artistic projects, exhibitions, publications and articles, awards and grants, study trips and positions of trust. Applicants should upload their CV to the application system in a single PDF-file before submitting the application.

Language of application documents

All application documents must be submitted English.

NOTE: LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS DIFFER FROM AALTO’S GENERAL LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS (will be added later)

Contact details

Juuso Tervo
Senior University Lecturer
Head of Master's Programme in Nordic Visual Studies and Art Education (NoVA)
[email protected]

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