Design for Theatre, Film and Television - Design for the Performing Arts, M.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • English, Finnish
University rank #190 (WUR) ,
The major in Design for the Performing Arts trains artistic designers who are responsible for the visual, spatial and operational concept for a performance or event. This Design for Theatre, Film and Television - Design for the Performing Arts programme is offered by Aalto University.


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 the skills needed for pursuing doctoral studies. The aim is no longer purely to acquire vocational skills but also an ability to develop one’s field creatively and with initiative. Master’s degree students are expected to work independently and to play an active role in planning their own studies.

A graduate of the Design for the Performing Arts major will be able to:

  • work as a scenographer in demanding productions in the theatres and other areas of performing arts
  • manage the special areas of design for theatre, film and television that were the focus of studies
  • manage broad artistic entities
  • lead and motivate a working group that is implementing the designs
  • deepen his/her artistic expression independently
  • expand his/her competence according to development and new requirements in the field
  • develop new work methods by means of experimental and investigative work
  • renew the field with other people who have artistic responsibility for productions in theatres and other areas of performing arts
  • continue his/her studies in a programme leading to a doctoral degree
Content of the Studies

The Master’s studies continue the BA level teaching by returning to the core questions of scenography with a research-oriented attitude, extending and enhancing the professional skills and knowledge, artistic and technical skills acquired earlier. The student is encouraged to plan his/her individual study path on the basis of personal interests and strengths. All theatre work studies and part of the scenography studies are organised together with the Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki.

This Design for Theatre, Film and Television - Design for the Performing Arts programme is offered by Aalto University.

Programme Structure

Courses included:
  • Research Practices
  • Performing and Screen Arts Theories
  • History of Finnish Performing and Screen Arts Design
  • History and Theory of Modern Scenography
  • Mediated Performance Design
  • Sound and Scenography
  • Performing Objects
  • Exhibition and Installation Design
  • Experimental Scenography Workshop
  • Special Materials and Techniques
  • Projection Techniques

                                                        Detailed Programme Facts

                                                        • Programme intensity Full-time
                                                          • Full-time duration 24 months
                                                        • Credits
                                                          120 ECTS
                                                        • Languages
                                                          • Partially taught in English
                                                          • Partially taught in Finnish
                                                        • Delivery mode
                                                          On Campus

                                                        English Language Requirements

                                                        You only need to take one of these language tests:

                                                        • Minimum required score:


                                                          The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

                                                          Book IELTS
                                                        • Minimum required score (Grade C):


                                                          The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

                                                          Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

                                                        • Minimum required score:


                                                          The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

                                                        • Minimum required score:


                                                          The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

                                                        Academic Requirements

                                                        • Key selection criteria for students in design for theatre, film and television are artistic talent and personality, the capacity for illustrative and spatial understanding, readiness to work in a group and the ability to express oneself. 
                                                        • The main requirement is a bachelor’s degree completed in the field or equivalent knowledge and skills.
                                                        • Student selection takes place by means of a two-stage entrance exam. 

                                                        Some applicants are eliminated between the two stages. Selection is based on application documents, a work portfolio, motivation letter, CV, interview and possible additional samples of work.

                                                        • Artistic level of work samples
                                                        • Motivation regarding advanced studies

                                                        Tuition Fee

                                                        • International Applies to you

                                                          15000 EUR/year
                                                          Tuition Fee
                                                          Based on the original amount of 15000 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
                                                        • EU/EEA Applies to you

                                                          Tuition Fee
                                                          Based on the original amount of 0 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
                                                        We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

                                                        Tuition in bachelor's and master's programmes taught in English from August 2017 onwards are subjected to annual fees for non-EU/EEA citizens. 

                                                        Living costs for Helsinki

                                                        910 - 1400 EUR/month
                                                        Living Costs

                                                        The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


                                                        StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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