Study options

Sound in New Media - Art and Media, Master of Arts (Art and Design)

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
Ilpo Jauhiainen & Petteri Mäkiniemi (composers): "Music for Pan Sonic tribute Concert" From left to right: Petteri Mäkiniemi, ginette, Jaani Helander, cello, Ilpo Jauhiainen, granular synthesiser, Heikki Nikula, bass clarinet | Photo: Maarit Kytöharju


Master of Arts (Art and Design)

Application period:

1 Dec 2021 – 3 Jan 2022

Language of instruction:



2 years, full-time


Relevant Bachelor's degree

Field of study:

Art and Design


120 ECTS

Organising school:

School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Tuition fees:

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


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. Furthermore, the major aims at developing artistic and design thinking, enriching the attractiveness and communicative and aesthetic qualities of applied sound and music.

In a technology-saturated world, it is indispensable to understand and study the impacts that technology has on individuals, organisations and society. The Sound in New Media major brings together a multicultural group of students with very versatile skills and backgrounds. By tailoring the degree according to their interests and choosing from a wide variety of areas, the graduates of the major have unique competences to take on new and emerging professions within the broad spectrum of the field. These areas include sound and music computing, sound art and auditory culture, sonic interaction design, artificial intelligence applied to sound design and music, game audio and acoustic branding. The pioneering work of our alumni is an undisputed manifestation of the impact of the major within the aforementioned areas.

The major also aims to provide a supportive and constructive environment for artistic, technical, and professional development. An environment where learning from failures is just as important as learning from successes. The students are encouraged to step outside of their comfort zones and get familiar with a variety of tools and skills, to understand the characteristics of auditory media. These tools and skills include creative coding, physical computing, digital fabrication, sonic interaction design, extended reality, generative composition methods and other emerging technologies.

After completing the programme the graduates of the Sound in New Media major should be able to:

· Understand the complex demands and dynamics of the contemporary auditory domain. Graduates understand the fragmented and complex nature of various forms of digital media and technology, and their aural impact on the society.

· Describe and analyse how technology shapes sound art, design, acoustic communication, and self-expression.

· Apply a human-centric approach to digital design. Graduates are skilled in anticipating user values, translating them into product and service offerings and keeping humans at the center of the design process.

· Use broad understanding across disciplines and in-depth skills in specialisation areas of their choice. Graduates have the benefits of both breadth of knowledge and specialisation. Possible specialisation areas include sonic interaction design, physical computing, game audio, sound art, extended reality, as well as acoustic branding.

· Apply their skills in 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.

· Apply their technical knowledge and skills in sonic arts and sound design to create new experiences, services, and other creative productions. Graduates are skilled in not just using but also developing state-of-the-art tools for sound art and design.

· Extend and develop their professional competence throughout their career. Graduates embrace lifelong learning and curiosity to learn new skills, as the field is ever-evolving and new technologies emerge constantly.

· Understand and respect cultural diversity. Graduates understand that different cultures and traditions as well as social circumstances and conditions have a great impact on our auditory environment.

· Apply an in-built sustainable approach to their profession. Graduates see planetary health, society and people as the starting point for successful design.

Language of instruction

The language of instruction is English. Students can write their Master’s Thesis in English, Finnish or Swedish.

Tuition fees and scholarships

Aalto University’s tuition fee for master’s programmes taught in English is 15 000 euros per academic year. Tuition fees apply to citizens of countries other than those of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

Aalto University has a scholarship programme to support non-EU/EEA citizens who study in a fee-charging degree programme. The scholarship may cover 100% or 50% of the tuition fee.

More information on tuition fees and scholarships at Aalto University is available at the Scholarships and Tuition Fees webpage.

Structure of studies

The education is project-oriented, combining practice with theory, hands-on with minds-on. The course modules emphasise interdisciplinary and collaboration, while individual skills are developed in intensive workshops, and through tutored studio work. Each student creates a Personal Study Plan (PSP), which defines their own study path, consisting of optimal selection of courses aligned with the student's interests and the degree requirements of the major.

The first year is dedicated to program- and major-specific studies, and during the second year a wide selection of other courses and minor subjects is available to choose from, in addition to completing the Master’s Thesis. Research methods and academic writing are a part of the curriculum, and more research courses can be chosen if the student is planning to become a researcher.

Sound and Physical Interaction research group (SOPI) provides a strong research practice and approach to Sound in New Media studies. SOPI research group is involved in managing the major in multiple ways, including developing syllabus and execution of new courses, providing students opportunities for collaboration through its international academic and artistic networks and facilitating students’ Master’s theses.

For further information on studies, see Study Guide 2022-2024

Master's Programme in Art and Media




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

The Sound in New Media 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 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 the exchange programmes offered by Aalto University.

Further study opportunities

Graduates of the Sound in New Media major are eligible to apply to continue their studies at doctoral level.

Career opportunities

The graduates of the Sound in New Media major have unique competences to take on new and emerging professions within the broad spectrum of the field, including sound and music computing, sound art, sonic interaction design, virtual and audio augmented reality, game audio and acoustic branding. The graduates of the major are able to follow professional paths within the creative industries, as independent artists, designers or entrepreneurs, as well as in public sector organisations. Furthermore, a few of our MA graduates work in academic institutions as researchers, lecturers and professors in Finland and abroad.

Research focus

Sound and Physical Interaction research group (SOPI) focuses on the emerging role of sound in designing new ways of interactions in digital environments. It includes the design and implementation of novel interfaces for digital media, communication, audio-visual production, music and interactive art with a focus on embodied engagement in interaction. The research builds on ideas from real-world physical interactions in digital environments, audio-tactile augmentation, embodied interaction, smart technologies and new interfaces for musical expression.

Co-operation with other parties

In terms of pedagogy and general learning objectives the Sound in New Media major has a lot in common with the Major in New Media and the Major in Game Design and Development. Furthermore, we have close collaboration with the University of the Arts Helsinki, especially with the Sibelius Academy. Majority of our students take courses from the Sibelius Academy Department of Music Technology, and these studies can be included to the MA degree. In other schools of Aalto University our closest partners are the Department of Signal Processing and Acoustics, as well as the Master’s Programme in Information Networks. Furthermore, a lot of grass-root collaboration is taking place with all departments of Aalto ARTS.

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Study-option-specific Admission Procedure and Evaluation Criteria 2024

Applicants meeting Aalto’s general eligibility criteria for master's studies will be evaluated and ranked according to the evaluation criteria decided in advance for each study option. The applications to Master´s Programme in Art and Media - Sound in New Media are evaluated based on the following criteria:

Contact information

Learning Services at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture

For enquiries regarding programme-specific application documents orstudies in the programme, please contact Aalto ARTS Learning Services.

[email protected]

Admissions Services

For enquiries regarding the application process, obligatory application documents or English language proficiency, please contact Admissions Services.

[email protected]

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