The University of Art and Design Helsinki

- responding to the economic and cultural challenges of the new millennium

The University of Art and Design Helsinki - responding to the economic and cultural challenges of the new millennium
Degrees offered by the University of Art and Design UIAH
Academic degrees available in design in Finland
The Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree
The Master of Arts (MA) degree
Supervision of studies and counselling
The Doctor of Arts (DA) degree
Degree programme in Art Education
Degree programme in Film and Television
Degree programme in Graphic Design
Degree programme in Design for Theatre, Film and Television
Degree programme in Photography
MA - Master of Arts in New Media
Degree programme in Ceramics and Glass (Craft Design)
Degree programme in Spatial and Furniture Design
Degree programme in Textile Design
Degree programmes in Fashion Design
Degree programme in Product and Strategic Design
Degree programme in Applied Art and Design
MA - Master of Arts in Pallas Fine Arts
Something about the student life
Terms and holidays
The student union
Sports and exercise
Health services
The funding of studies
General information on the selection of students
Selection of applicants for the Bachelor of Arts degree
Selection of applicants for the Master of Arts degree
Evaluation of test assignments
Evaluation procedure for DA studies
Applications and the yearly intake of students
Entrance test schedule
A few facts about Helsinki and Finns

Welcome to Finland and to the University of Art and Design UIAH Helsinki!
Application forms for bilateral agreement studies
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Directions for application   Note! The deadline for the MA-programmes is already 28 of February 2003
Application forms for Erasmus/Socrates studies
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Application for NON-DEGREE STUDIES 2003-2004
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Application for MASTER OF ARTS STUDIES 2003
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Application for DOCTOR OF ARTS 2003-2004
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UIAH, the University of Art and Design Helsinki, has approximately 1,500 students in various degree programmes and a staff of 400 teachers. We work in facilities renovated in the former Arabia ceramics factory, renowned in the history of Finnish design. Over 200 international students, in the MA degree and in various exchange programmes and representing some thirty nationalities, are admitted each year.

The University is situated in a scenic location overlooking an inlet of the Gulf of Finland. The building is full of studios and laboratories. State of the art information technology, efficient communications and a wide range of technical equipment and facilities give our students excellent opportunities for creative work focusing on the future. Close links and collaboration with industry and other universities and institutes of higher education significantly expand the range and scope of education and training at UIAH. In the future UIAH will be the creative core of a major centre of applied arts, a city of art and design to be built in the Arabianranta area in collaboration with Hackman, one of the leading names in contemporary Finnish design. In the autumn of 1995 the Helsinki Pop and Jazz Conservatory moved into the area, followed in 1999 by the Helsinki Polytechnic, STADIA. In the turn of the millennium we saw the completion of Lume, a National Centre of Research and Training in audiovisual media, in facilities located i mmediately next to the old factory building. Lume is also an active cultural centre. The new portals currently under construction will bring a number of firms and companies specialising in information technology, design and culture to the area.

The University of Art and Design offers a wide variety of training to designers and professionals in the fields of communication, environmental, cultural and design management film, stage design, photography and visual arts, art teachers and researchers. Training and education in new media at our Media Lab strengthen our grip on the new interfaces of art and technology. The Lume Media Centre offers excellent opportunities for study and research in film, television and scenography. The recently established Designium Centre for Innovation in Design makes it possible to apply skills in practical collaboration with companies, and the Virtual University will introduce a completely new study environment of learning focusing on research.

We seek to give all our students a sound grounding in skills and expertise, and the communicative and interpersonal abilities and entrepreneurial spirit necessary for employment, success and creative endeavour in one's chosen field. The University's ARABUS, Business Incubator Centre is a good growth environment for students and graduates aiming to set out in business.

Welcome to the University of Art and Design, a dynamic, future oriented and multi-faceted institution of design of the new millennium. It is your thirst for knowledge, your will and your desire to learn that will chart the course of your career. We encourage all our students to develop their own personalities with ambition and enthusiasm.

Professor Yrjö Sotamaa, Rector


Degrees offered by the University of Art and Design UIAH

When applying for admission to UIAH each new student chooses from among twenty-four degree programmes. However, opportunities for study are not limited to the programmes alone. Students can add courses offered by the other departments, other Finnish universities and by over a hundred international institutions of higher education with which UIAH officially collaborates. Study and training abroad are important aspects of contemporary education and its processes of internationalisation. A growing number of joint European degree programmes are also becoming available.

All students accepted into the University of Art and Design are entitled to complete the MA, Master of Arts degree, after the due completion of the BA, Bachelor of Arts degree. Following the MA degree, the student may apply for post-graduate education in art and design provided by the various doctorate schools at UIAH.

The degree of Doctor of Arts can be completed in conjunction with other European universities of art and design.

The University of Art and Design is among the most highly recognised experts of their respective fields. Alongside a relatively small permanent staff, the University employs hundreds of instructors and visiting lecturers. The faculty also includes many renowned international artists and designers.

The degree system of UIAH permits students to complete lower and higher-level academic degrees as basic studies and post-graduate degrees following the basic-studies stage.

The extent of studies is defined in credits. One credit is equivalent to approximately 40 hours of study. This includes independent work in addition to exercises, lectures, other instruction or guided studies. Academic degrees in design also require a total of 4 credits of foreign language studies.


Academic degrees available in design in Finland:


In terms of ECTS (European Credit Transfer System), 1 credit at the BA degree level is equivalent to 1.5 ECTS and at the MA level to 2 ECTS.

Studies are conducted on a full-time basis at UIAH. They consist of lectures, projects and independent work carried out by the student. Teaching and instruction are generally provided for small groups and students are also given individual tutoring. Part of the studies are compulsory, while some courses are optional or freely chosen. Students may also complete part of their studies abroad at universities and institutes of higher education officially collaborating with UIAH.

Most of the teaching and instruction is given in Finnish. Some individual courses and seminars are also held in English. Tutoring and counselling can also be given in English. For foreign MA students, we recommend studies in the Finnish language during the first year. The University of Helsinki Language Centre organises language courses for foreign students.

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree
The objective of training for this degree is to give the student the theoretical, intellectual, artistic and practical skills necessary for professional work in the field of art and design and the ability to independently carry out tasks requiring design expertise. This level of training also contains the basic aspects of research in the field of design. It will give the graduate the ability to follow developments in the field and to pursue further studies leading to the Master of Arts degree.

The degree consists of basic-level and subject studies related to the field of the degree programme. The basic-level studies comprise arts subjects, the history of art and design, the basics of design, related research, methods, methodology and language studies. The subject-specific studies consist of courses on the grounds of professional practice, related methods and main themes. As minor subjects the student may choose suitable subject studies from other degree programmes at UIAH, or offered by other institutes of higher education in science or the arts in Finland or abroad.

The completion of the BA degree is subject to submitting a portfolio, a collection of study projects in which the student presents a diverse and wide range of works of his or her own choice from the whole period of study.

The Master of Arts (MA) degree
The purpose of training and education at this degree level is to give the student the theoretical, intellectual, artistic and practical skills necessary for professional practice in the field of art and design, the ability to carry out demanding tasks requiring design expertise on an independent basis, the ability to engage in independent creative work, supplementary education in the field of design, and studies leading to the DA degree.

The Master of Arts degree can be completed in two ways. The degree programme in Art Education comprises 180 credits, requiring five years of study. The students of the basic-level training course in Art Education are selected directly for the MA degree programme. The degree programme consists of basic-level, subject-specific and advanced studies.

Other studies leading to the MA degree at UIAH consist of the BA degree or corresponding studies (120 credits) and 60 credits of advanced studies that can be completed in two years. The advanced studies consist of studies specific to the subject of further study, the methodology of research in the field of art and design and a diploma work involving a production, design or research. A student who is accepted into the 60-credit MA degree programme may be required to complete additional studies. If a student working for the MA degree has not previously completed the language studies required for the BA degree s/he must complete these studies in addition to the 60 credits required for the MA degree. UIAH may also rule that the student is required to complete further studies in addition to those of the MA degree programme.

Supervision of studies and counselling
The department staff of the various departments provide counselling in matters related to the content of studies and the practical aspects of study. The permanent members of the faculty have weekly consultation periods for students. Personal faculty tutors for students are appointed on a yearly basis. The student can consult his/her tutor on the progress of studies, personal learning processes and choices concerning studies. The tutor will assist the student in drawing up a personal plan of studies and will support the student in carrying out his/her studies as planned. The departments also have student tutors whose task it is to instruct and guide new students in the practical matters of the departments.

The Doctor of Arts (DA) degree
The Doctor of Arts studies are composed of a doctoral dissertation and study courses of 40 Finnish credits. The study programmes are tailored individually to each student. Please note that most of the courses organised by the UIAH are taught in Finnish, but most of the conferences organised by the UIAH are held in English.

In a doctoral dissertation, the student demonstrates superior knowledge of the discipline of study as well as competence in conducting independent ground-breaking research, developing new artistic research methods or products which satisfy high artistic standards. The student is to present and analyse methodology, frame questions, describe her/his own personal development as it grows through the research, and proportion her/his own working to the broader context of her/his field of research. A dissertation has to have a value in the context of developing knowledge about design and crafts.

A dissertation forms a unity that promotes the artistic and scientific development of the student. It can be a research or several researches handling the same problem entity. In this case it must be published as a book or otherwise (for instance electronically). A dissertation can also be an art production, a series of art productions meaningfully connected to each other, or a product development project. In this case, a written thesis is to be included, which is in a dialogic and analytic relation to the art productions or product development project. The written thesis must be suitable for publication.


Degree programme in

Art Education

The degree programme of the department of Art Education trains students to become art teachers in the comprehensive schools and high schools, in basic-level art education and in professional art education. The degree programme permits the completion of the BA, MA and DA degrees. Students who already have experience in the field of art education can apply for the supplementary studies.

The department has its own doctorate school. Multicultural art education and the department are involved in the nationwide Syreeni project studying marginalisation in school communities. The department is currently engaged in a research project investigating the formation of professional identity as a means of art education.

A completely new challenge for the department is training to be developed for a web environment aimed to provide a means for achieving professional qualifications for formally unqualified art teachers in sparsely settled and outlying areas. The department thus wishes to improve the quality of art education on a nationwide level and to help provide equal opportunities for children and young people to gain basic visual skills regardless of their home region.

Art teachers graduating from the department are given pedagogical, artistic and research-related basic skills in visual expression, knowledge of art, media criticism and art-based environmental education.

Pia Lång, MA student, Finland:
"It seems hard to outline my comprehensive-school art teacher's conception of art, even though this should be considerably easier now than as a teenage. I remember wondering why my teacher had so little in- terest in what we did. I had the impression that she was somewhat in the role of the underdog. Of course she could have been explicitly following her own philosophy of education, which would explain the unrestrained atmosphere in the classroom. And maybe she also didn't want to force her own concept of art on us, or make it explicit.

I read an article on art education in which a research took up the issue of the teacher's power. Where is the line between the teacher's remarks, guidance and interference with the student's own work? This is an interesting and important question! As a teacher, I prefer to hang about behind the backs of my pupils, waiting for questions, or posing them. This may derive from my own schooldays, when I was left wanting to hear advice, questions and in general real interest in what I did. The article left me thinking if I had fed the children too much of my own conception of good work and moved with my words over that magical boundary - in the opposite direction as my o riginal teacher."


Degree programme in

Film and Television

The degree programme in film and television consists of the following disciplines:

Directing, Screenwriting, Editing Sound and Sound Design, Cinematography, Documentary and Production. The objectives of the department are similar to those of national European schools of cinema or film academies. Operating at the tertiary level, it permits the completion of post-graduate degree and is thus responsible for developing the field of film and television at the national level. As a classical school of film, the department, however, has the prime task of training capable filmmakers. Training at the department focuses on the main professional tasks in the film industry, the education of individuals responsible for the artistic aspects and production of films. The main emphasis has in recent years been on developing the professional training of film script writers and producers alongside the traditional tasks of director, cinematographer, sound designer and editor.

For decades, the department of Film and Television at UIAH has been the country's leading institute to train the makers of domestic feature films. In the future, this role will heightened even more as the department will have the use of the necessary studio facilities and equipment. Studies at the department of Film and Television consist of the history and theory of film, cross-disciplinary education, and systematic professional training for the respective artistic or production-related tasks. Most of the studies are in the form of film projects, involving work in a responsible or assistant capacity.

A considerable amount of basic art education is a compulsory part in the curricula. Post-graduate studies in the field of film are offered within the university by the Elomedia (Doctorate School in Audiovisual Arts). Further development of the study structure and the process of interrelating productions into curricula are on their way. Enhancing co-operation with the Department of Design for Theatre, Film and Television and the new media specialised Media Lab is part of the future of the department as well. The department has actively participated in the Cilect triangle project.

Students at the Department of Film and Television are visually and narratively gifted young people, who have the inter-personal skill required by the collaborative nature of film production and prior experience lending support to studies in the chosen major subject.

Alli Haapasalo, BA student, Finland:
"Many people say that film directing can't be taught. I believe it can. I have during my first one and a half years at the Department of Film and Television studied directing the actor, screen writing, cinematography, sound design, editing, documentary and production. All of it to be able to direct films. You see: I can't make any vision, plan or idea happen if I don't know and understand the means. The same way my colleagues having other majors study the basics of every field in film making. Films are made in co-operation; co-operation only succeeds by trust and respect; trust and respect can be achieved by understanding the others' work. That wasn't actually taught to me; I figured it out while directing a short film. The point: the philosophy of film making can't be given to us students. But the ingredients by which we make our own perspectives are offered. The school gives us tools for working with film, for finding the contents and for developing a film making philosophy of our own. What we as students can do is listen, choose, try, go right or wrong, find out -learn."


Degree programme in

Graphic Design

The degree programme familiarises students with the broad field of graphic design. The programme offers courses in arts subjects in the areas of graphic design, book design, marketing communication and electronic publication design, among others. Studies seek to explore the different forms of visual communication. In addition to artistic and professional subject studies and exercises, students also participate in a seminar on applied research with related study projects.

Studies for the BA degree provide basic skills for various professional tasks in graphic design, book design, layout design, packaging design, information design, animation and audiovisual design. They are a solid basis for working life and for further studies leading to the MA degree.

MA - Master of Arts
Students are required to have the necessary methodological skills for scholarly and art-related research. The degree programme seeks to deepen the professional responsibility of graphic designers for maintaining the quality of visual design culture in our environment. The internationally oriented students of the programme will expand their collaborative skills with both the industrial and the cultural sectors; obtain experience in design combining history, global responsibility and the needs of society with high visual standards and creative analytical thought.

The MA degree programme consists of advanced-level studio and theoretical studies, study projects, optional studies, participation in a diploma work seminar and a diploma work. The studio studies are divided among six different areas of graphic communication from which the student compiles his or her own programme. A personal study plan drawn up at the beginning of the studies is composed according to the student's particular research interests and special skills. The study process emphasises cooperation among different departments and contacts with society at large, for example with the business and industrial sectors. An international dimension is provided by study periods abroad and the department's considerable number of foreign students. The personal study plan can also include studies at other departments of UIAH and in other institutes of higher education where applicable. The faculty seeks to link studies with research projects in its areas of expertise.

Nene Tsuboi, MA student, Japan:
"I decided to study in Finland because I wanted to find something new of myself and I was very interested in Marimekko's textile design! During my study in UIAH, I realised that daily life is so exciting, there are plenty of material that I can use for my work. Nature, people, food, bar, and harbour… they inspired me a lot. After graduation I will try many things, illustration, book design… but stage by stage. And the most important thing in my study is other people, because I would never do design or artworks for myself."


Degree programme in

Design for Theatre, Film and Television

A set and a production designer is responsible for the total visual appearance of a theatrical performance, film or television programme together with the director and other artistic staff. Stage design primarily involves working with space, narrative, materials, forms, colours and lights. This profession calls for good observational and ideational skills, the ability to conceive of space and to design it three-dimensionally, and skills in dramaturgical thought. As a collective art-form, stage design requires not only the above skills and abilities but also inter-personal and teamwork skills. Professional work requires knowledge of the basics of theatre, film and television technology and production processes. The stage designer is also responsible for supervising the realisation of visual design solutions in the workshop, on stage and in the studio.

Studies involve a continuous close contact with working life. The student will assist a professional stage designer and carry out at least one independent design project, in addition to studies in minor subject studies abroad or in other institutes of higher education in art.

MA - Master of Arts
The purpose of the degree programme is to deepen the student's artistic expertise in stage design for theatre, film and television and to lay the basis for post-graduate studies. The MA degree consists of advanced studies and is intended for students who already have basic skills in design for theatre, film or television.

Students in the department's degree programme are capable of conducting a spatial and dramaturgical thought in addition to creative problem solving and having the freedom to express themselves and defend their ideas. Teamwork skills are of great importance in the stage designer's profession.

Tanja Bastamow, MA student, Finland:
"The best ideas usually come through interaction with other people and the surroundings. The Department of Design for Theatre, Film and Television made it possible for me to meet interesting people and to discover new ways of working. The world is changing and the stage designer's job is becoming more diverse. In order to discover new levels of narrative and to produce fascinating visual experiences it is important to preserve one's own open-mindedness, curiosity and above all one's desire for adventure - to boldly go where no man has gone before!"


Degree programme in


The BA degree in photography provides basic-level studies for various careers in photography. In addition to providing a command of equipment and materials, the department seeks to reinforce the abilities of students with regard to their own artistic conceptions. The training provided by the department gives students the ability to engage in independent work, the basis of advanced studies. Study at the department calls for the ability to conceptualize and solve problems related to visual expression and communication.

MA - Master of Arts in Art Oriented Photography
The basic objective of MA-level degree programme is to develop and deepen the student's own artistic expression and photographic thinking. The students produce complete visual bodies or sets of material indicating their ability to pose questions in relation the technical, expressive and communicative levels of their work. The degree programme operates in the form of lectures, seminars, exercise projects and workshops led by Finnish and foreign teachers. Study at the Department of Photography calls for independent planning and initiative.

Toni Kitti, BA student, Finland:
"I am in my last year of the BA programme. It has been hard work particularly in the third year and almost everyone does outside work alongside their studies. There's enough to do 24 hours a day for months if you only have the energy. One is driven by one's own artistic ambition and the lure of money, because for some reason we students of photography are a sought-after workforce in the market for photography in Helsinki. Might it be because we're still relatively cheap?

For me, photography is number one because of its industrial finish and texture. I hate the fragile mark of the hand. I want to put my pictures into the eternal cycle facilitated by technology, in which a picture of me will live on long since I've turned to dust or ashes. Of course, you can approach photography from many angles and you come across that in your studies. There are all kinds of assignments and you have to come up with a great for each one in a terrible hurry. Fortunately, the hurry is compensated by the fine spirit of our class, which is really the best thing that I've got from this school. It's interesting to follow one's own development and that of your fellow students, how everyone develops their own style of photography: a "hand" independent of cold technology that you often hear about in painting. Welcome to learn more wonderful things about photography!"


MA - Master of Arts in

New Media

The mission of the Media Lab is to explore, discover and comprehend the new digital technology and its impact on society; to find and exploit the possibilities it opens to communication, interaction and expression and to evaluate, understand and deal with the challenges it poses for design.

The information society with its converging media is a complex environment that requires an interdisciplinary approach to design. This is reflected in the co-operative education and research projects of the Media Lab.

Within UIAH the Media Lab plays an active role in strategic planning and integration of matters relating to interactive media. An especially close co-operation is underway with the UIAH 's departments of Film and Television and Design for Theatre, Film and Television relating to Lume, the National Centre for Media Research and Development, opened in January 2000.

The Media Lab has established strong collaboration between other universities and the new media industry. It also operates within the international NMC (New Media Centers™) network.

The Media Lab has a limited space for cross-disciplinary studies in design in new media and participation in study projects for MA and post-graduate students from disciplines that relate to new media including other areas of design, arts, computer science, communication, cognitive science, sociology etc.

The study focus of the Media Lab is on design for the information environment, a theme that encompasses both strategic information-related design and the design of content formats for digital media. As specific areas of interest the Media lab probes the possibilities of interactive television and other forms of broadband audiovisual media and the development of user-friendly information interfaces for the public sphere. The MA degree programme focuses on design for interactive digital media. The education is project-oriented, combining practice with theory, hands-on with minds-on. The project modules emphasise interdisciplinary and collaborative work, while individual skills are studied in the tools & skills modules, in workshops and through tutored studio work.

During the programme, students specialise according to their personal skills and motivation. Their future professional profiles relate to the various fields of new media design: interface design, interaction design, information design, interactive narrative, game design, software design, media management and digital animation. So far the employment rate after graduation has been 100%.

Leena Saarinen, MA student, Finland:
"My tongue goes always numb when someone asks me about things one can do in the Media Lab. We do design and think about Internet, games, multimedia, usability, CMC, HCI, ITV and interactive everything but telling that would be understating things. Things go so much beyond that in here. It is about culture, people, communication, technology, art. It is about understanding infrastructure and processes and the mechanisms of power behind them. It is about having right values that we then as a multidisciplinary team can implement to design something for humans rather than users. At a very personal level the Media Lab is place where I finally can utilise and challenge all the knowledge, skills and creative potential that I have. In this era, defined as both networked and fragmented, it is nice to belong somewhere and to feel whole."


Degree programme in

Ceramics and Glass

Degree programme in Ceramics and Glass provides Finland's highest level of training in ceramic and glass design. This education differs from that of corresponding schemes at vocational institutes and polytechnics because of its wide range of theoretical studies and research orientation. It is also important to note that the Doctor of Arts degree can also be completed at the department.

The particular strengths of the department are its pedagogically and professionally high-standard faculty, a growing number of cooperation projects and well-equipped facilities meeting international requirements. Study for the BA programme is conducted primarily in groups arranged according to yearly courses or in project teams.

The BA degree programme in ceramics and glass emphasizes basic skills and knowledge of the techniques and materials of ceramic and glass design, and of related production and manufacturing methods.

The studies leading to the BA degree consists of design, arts, theory, skill-related and technical subjects. Art studies are combined with studies in ceramics and glass to form a whole involving both expertise in materials and artistic expression. Students learn a command of design skills and processes through exercises and topical collaborative projects. The objective is to achieve a versatile range of basic skills needed in professional practice in these fields.

Studies at the department call for independent work, a critical attitude, skills in written expression and the ability to analyse and develop matters both independently and in groups.

Eeva Jokinen, MA student, Finland:
"I feel that our department has broken down the traditional concept of studio ceramics, training us to become a versatile professionals in design and applied art specialising in ceramic materials.

For a few years now I have been involved in two research projects to develop new glazing solutions whose adoption will contribute to preserving global ecological balance and will thus have direct impact on the total well-being of people. There are ecological choices everywhere, but most of them are made well before the product reaches the consumer. Therefore the designer and manufacturer bear a great responsibility. We are entering a new era in which the tale of a product, its methods of production and manufacture are integral parts of the aesthetic of an object. Environmental-friendliness is a surplus value that at least now still seems to be some kind of "eco-elitism", but I believe that it will soon be an everyday matter in the future. I am interested in applying the results of material studies not only in artefact design but also in building ceramics, tiles and other surface elements. Ceramics is a warm and earthy material that can be used to create ambience and unique solutions for interior and public surfaces, among other uses."


Degree programme in

Spatial and Furniture Design

The curriculum provides students with the basic skills and knowledge of spatial and furniture design. An important aspect of the training process is to support the student in developing his or her own artistic and architectural overall conception. Functionality serving human needs is one of the starting points of design. Expertise in production and material techniques is also an aspect of training. Requirements for successful design work are a command of design methods and matters related to the programming of work. Related to these requirements are skills in presenting design with suitable graphic, visual and computer-assisted means, and as scale, form and prototype modes in addition to written and verbal presentations. The students are required to present all their exercise projects at critique seminars held at the end of each course period.

Sense of proportion, form, colour and materials is emphasized as a general facility for design work in addition to developing the ability to design and conception of space, constructive skills and imagination. The main areas of teaching and instruction are conceptualization of space and form, materials, the methodology of design and the history of art, exterior and interior architecture, and furniture design. The studies focus on developing an overall artistic and architectonic concept and on strengthening practical design skills.

MA - Master of Arts degree programmes in spatial design and furniture design
The objective of the MA degree programme is to provide the student with advanced skills and knowledge in his or her chosen speciality in either spatial or furniture design. The curriculum places special weight on the student's analytical and innovative ability to solve demanding problems in the sphere of product and environmental design. We train designers capable of combining social needs and responsibility with a creative interpretation of contemporary aesthetic concepts and the skilled use of production methods.

The MA degree programmes involve intensive course periods. The main methods are lectures, extensive exercise projects, with counselling, critiques, essays, written studies and excursions.

Training in spatial design focuses on the ever-changing design needs of tomorrow's society through the acquisition and internalisation of knowledge, versatile working methods, the conceptualisation of space, an understanding of structures, urban development and building renovation and the student's own interpretations. A command of the methods of the planning and design process is a core objective of the curriculum. Training in furniture design familiarises the student with the conceptualisation and design, with contemporary methods, of industrially produced sets of furniture that are durable in all respects and reflect a distinct concept.

Jørund Ek, MA student, Norway
"Living abroad is a generous situation in the sense that it offers a new country as well as my own from a different perspective. My stay in Finland has given me experiences beyond the professional studies at the Department of Interior Architecture and Furniture Design. I brought home the best of Finnish culture when I built a sauna in my village in Norway. I have always lived on the coast. The ocean, the beach and the 400 metre rock walls have taught me something about space and scale, and the dramatic lights in the north have influenced my works in other ways. This source of memories stimulates my imagination which is perhaps needed even more after I finish my studies. What is most important for a designer, is that he believes in his vision and has the urge and ability to fulfil it. The school has for me been a playground to exercise this. (My practical background is visible in the philosophy. In my field it means that a chair should be comfortable to sit on!) We do things differently because we are from different cultures - and that is a good thing! Of cultural likeness I have found that the straightforward attitude suits me, and the rich language is good to know just because not so many people speak it."


Degree programme in

Textile Design

The curriculum of the textile department familiarises students with textile, colour and material design. Among other subjects, it includes studies in weaving, knitteds, printed fabrics, textile art and the history of textiles. Teaching and instruction in well-appointed studios with state-of-the-art equipment. In the various study programmes the professional image of the textile designer is approached from the perspectives of industrial textile design, the design of art textiles, applied arts and research. Technology-related subjects link design to realisation and further the student's command of his or her field.

The students of textile design are rich in ideas and they are capable of conceptualising wholes and entities in addition to having an interest in colours and materials. Graduates from the department work as designers for industry, commerce and communications and as artisans.

MA - Master of Arts in Textile Design
The curriculum of the MA degree programme in textile design is divided into three areas focusing respectively on art, research and industrial-commercial considerations. Moreover, the students can include in their degrees minor subjects from other departments of UIAH or other universities in accordance with their personal study plans. Part of the studies can also be carried out in international exchange programmes.

The diploma work, marking the end of studies, can have an artistic or research focus, or it can be industrial in emphasis as a production realised in association with an outside commissioning party. The degree programme trains students to work as industrial designers, freelance designers and artists, as private entrepreneurs or in commerce, communications and research.

Hannaliisa Hailahti, BA & MA student, Finland:
"There is no point in doing unpleasant things in art or design. I face enough those in everyday life. When creating something you can do things you fancy of. I get kicks out of this fabulous opportunity. This is most true in teamwork with friends. HIKI - our design product - stands for four broad-minded and high spirited surface designers from UIAH. We design surfaces on various objects and create new formats for common goods."


Degree programme in

Fashion Design

Graduates of this degree programme are designers with the artistic and intellectual abilities and skills for successfully managing the varied design and coordination projects and tasks of their professional field. The curriculum provides the student with a thorough knowledge of developing a high-standard product of the clothing industry in both aesthetic and ergonomic terms. In addition to clothing and pattern design, the students are familiarised with fashion design, the history of fashion, pattern-making, materials and marketing. Part of the curriculum involves collaborative projects among different degree programmes and participation in international exchange programmes. The students of this programme are well-trained individuals both conceptually and practically with good command of visual expression and presentation.

MA - Master of Arts in Fashion Design
Depending on the personal choice the curriculum can be divided into three different areas: product design, a commercial perspective or research. The student is also entitled to include minor subjects from other departments at UIAH or other universities in accordance with his or her specific plan. The curriculum consists of large thematic wholes involving design and research carried out both independently and in small groups of students. Part of the curriculum can also be studied in international exchange programmes. The diploma work can be a production, design or a research project that can also be realised in association with an outside commissioning party. The degree programme provides the student with a broad range of professional expertise and know-how in communications, commerce and research.

Vesa Kemppainen, BA student, Finland:
"We dress every day. People want to underline their own personality and state of mind with the way they dress; the array of styles is endless. The capricious changing of fashion as people seek variety ensures never-ending work for fashion designers. And every morning when we look into the wardrobe we have to say: "And again there's nothing to wear".

At our department we practice how to make the world swirling around us into an endless store of ideas from which we can develop functioning solutions for designing clothing. The designer has to anticipate things, with his or her mind a couple of years ahead of everyone else. We practice presenting our ideas to other people by drawing, writing or verbally. We also seek to make as much as possible of our design for in doing so we come across solutions that one would never think of on paper. At the same time we can also see what can be realised as the final products. It is said that fashions are cyclical and that everything that can possibly be invented has already been invented. It's true that people take influences from the past, but they never return in precisely the same form. There's always some fashion design who's looking at existing products with new eyes and in a questioning mode."


Degree programme in

Product and Strategic Design

The BA degree programme in Product and Strategic Design provides skills for carrying out tasks involving several areas of expertise, a command of the methods needed in design assignments and a grounding in the history and theory of design.

The degree programme seeks to produce professionals capable of interaction and having a solid personal designer identity based on an artistic conception and knowledge of culture.

The command of design skills and processes is learning through supervised exercise projects. The curriculum also contains know-how necessary for the designer's profession. The content problems that are the themes of the exercises are approached in the metal and woodwork workshops or with computer-assisted design methods. The curriculum also provides excellent opportunities for international student exchange.

Traditional industrial design projects involve consumer goods, machinery, equipment and electronics products, working environments, public transport vehicles, and special furnishings for urban space. Design projects have also expanded into the areas of interactive interfaces and the design of services.

MA - Master of Arts in Industrial Design
Students in the degree programme in Industrial design can choose among the areas of product design, strategic design and design management and the usability of smart products. The MA degree curriculum emphasises design skills in addition to developing conceptual abilities and providing a deeper understanding of business practices. Along with design skills, the degree also provides an ability to operate in executive and managerial positions in the field of design.

The purpose of the degree programme is to develop the student's intellectual, artistic and methodological abilities and teamwork abilities. Training in industrial design emphasizes strategic, user-centred and cultural perspectives in addition to sustainable development. Studies are characterised by intensive courses, multidisciplinary teamwork, information technology and an international aspect, as well as projects involving outside companies and actors. The department has a dynamic and developing researcher community producing new information and specialist courses and providing an opportunity to participate in research projects. The degree programme is also a basis for post-graduate studies.

Asmo Noronen, BA student, Finland:
"Industrial design is ubiquitous. Most people never come to think that every single object, from a paper clip to a railway engine, has been designed by someone. The interesting thing about this field is the wide range of subjects. The next project can lead to just about anything; you may have to study the needs of a particular group of people or sector of industry, or create a completely product for a user group whose existence has not been noted before. Or you are faced with a completely artistic project resulting in a completely non-commercial and unique object or event.

There is the continuous challenge of rethinking things in a new way. To give rein to your imagination and to imagine the future. One must boldly question everything that exists and dare to try everything. You have to be the madman with the wildest ideas. These challenges are also the reason why it's interesting to work in this field!

Even though industrial design has great impact on the artefactual environment of large numbers of people and accordingly a great deal of responsibility, this field shouldn't be taken too seriously, because undue seriousness in a creative field such as this will only lead to mediocrity and boring compromises. It is important to bear in mind for whom we are designing and to consider what the final users of the product really want. People already have things in quantity. The profession of industrial designers exists because there is also a desire for quality and continually for something new."


Degree programme in


(Former degree programmes in Craft Design and Ceramics and Glass)

The degree programme in Applied Art and Design aims to develop and deepen the design skills acquired by students at the BA level and leads to define the aims of their work in design within a broader cultural, business and product-development related operating environment.

Lasting two years and comprising 60 credits, the programme consists of studies leading to the higher-level Master of Arts degree. The core of the programme consists of the joint studies of all the MA programmes of the Faculty of Design, studies specific to the degree programme, auxiliary or minor subject studies, and a submitted final or diploma work.

The purpose of the MA degree programme in Applied Art and Design is to provide the skills necessary for independent work as a design professional in the fields of culture, arts promotion and concept marketing.

Studies in the degree programme typically involve multidisciplinary group projects and international aspects. Project and studio work are central training and teaching methods intended to develop the ability of students to react to changes in society and the needs of consumers. There is also the objective of developing the conceptual and research-related abilities and skills of students for producing and utilizing necessary information.

The most important part of the degree programme is an independent diploma work (of six months duration), in which connection the student is assisted in recognizing the personal assets and abilities on which s/he can base his/her professional profile and future employment.


Degree programme in

Craft Design

The degree programme in Craft Design is one of the two MA programmes offered by the Department of Product and Strategic Design. Its objective is to deepen and further the student's artistic, theoretical and methodological knowledge and skills concerning crafts and applied arts as part of our intellectual and economic culture. At the beginning of his or her studies the student prepares a personal goal-oriented plan of studies in association with the faculty member responsible for the degree programme.

The most important forms of study are extensive art and design oriented projects, seminars, written studies and critique sessions. It is important to develop the student's own design philosophy, to construct one's own network of operation and to have an inquisitive and innovative relationship with design and culture. Avenues of advanced study are applied arts, small series of products made in studios, unique pieces and research.

The students in the Product and Strategic design and Craft Design degree programmes can apply to complete two minor subjects programmes involving cooperation with other universities: IDBM, International Design Business Management, is a programme in which students form working groups among different universities and complete studies at each other's institutes of learning. The programme is produced by UIAH, the Helsinki University of Technology and the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration.

The Usability School is a new interdisciplinary programme involving four institutes of higher education. The curriculum and students are assembled from the fields of design, computer technology and cognitive sciences. The Usability School is jointly produced by UIAH, the Helsinki University of Technology, the University of Helsinki and the University of Tampere.

Cindy Kohtala, Master of Arts, Canada:
"When I decided to continue my studies at UIAH, it was just as important to me to meet fellow designers and students as it was to improve my craft and workshop skills. Not only did I learn from watching others with various skills and backgrounds, but I developed a network of contacts and potential subcontractors for the tasks I couldn't perform myself. My activities now range freely from organising group exhibitions to informally discussing design and culture in the student bar; from designing and making consumer products myself to formally analysing the ecological impact of our chosen profession."


MA - Master of Arts in

Pallas Fine Arts

The Pallas Fine Arts degree programme was launched in 1994. The underlying concept of the programme is the interdisciplinary nature of art and the links between art and science. The objective is for the student to develop his or her visual expression and art-theoretical thinking and to combine them with previously acquired professional, artistic or theoretical capabilities. The programme of Pallas trains multidisciplinary, versatile and theoretically aware graduates for the fields of design, research and art.

At the beginning of his or her studies the student prepares a personal study plan together with a faculty member of the department. The plan lays down the studies in visual arts, art history and theory that the student is required to complete. The curriculum consists of major subject studies in expression in the visual arts, art history and theory and of free choice studies in minor subjects at UIAH or other institutes of higher education.

The Department of Art is not only a place where you can take part of courses in fine arts, art history and theory, it is also the meeting point of all the UIAH students without the boundaries of the disciplines or institutions. The students work together by drawing, painting, sculpturing, printmaking on different levels and with several techniques. On the lectures they learn about art and design history, art theory, colour theory, philosophy, culture etc… The international students enjoy an expression of artistic freedom and dialog. The fine art teachers are contemporary artists working working effectively in the Finnish art society. With the five professors (art history, painting, sculpture, visual composition, environmental arts), three lecturers (drawing, colour, printmaking), a senior lecturer in design history and theory and researcher in aesthetics the staff of the department is one of the largest both in size and depth in the university.

Matti Uusikylä, MA student, Finland:
"I entered the Pallas programme after graduating from the Lahti Institute of Art in 1999. In my training I want to make use of my theoretical and professional skills as a visual artist. For me, art is a lifestyle rather than any rigid way of making pictures. I want to move in different areas of the arts to find new views and techniques for my own expression. I find painting, however, to be the dearest genre of art for me. When painting I can always return to the roots of my art, to colour, forms and images of the internal and external worlds. The most important thing for me in art is to continually admit that one is never complete - I am a changing person in a changing world, and I can never say that I have made a totally complete work of art. If I regard my works as finished, I deny myself the opportunity for change and internal growth. This ongoing process of change - growth within myself and in my works - is supported by the Pallas programme."


Something about the student life

Terms and holidays
The academic year consists of two terms, Autumn and Spring terms. The Autumn term is from the beginning of September to the mid of December and the Spring term is from the beginning of January to the end of May. We have about three months Summer holidays and about three weeks Christmas holiday. Every Autumn and Spring term, there is a week of independent student work called "green week". During the green week departments may have exhibitions, open door days offer special courses or projects.

The student union
The board of TOKYO attends to serious matters such as students' rights, the standard of training and education etc. The student union stages also parties, celebrations, dances and outings.

Membership in the TOKYO student union of UIAH is mandatory for all degree students (obligatory for DA students). The membership dues are paid annually and all members of TOKYO are automatically members of the National Union of Finnish Students. The membership card provides discounts on coach and train tickets, on entrance fees to museums and galleries and at certain shops. Meals at low prices are available for students at Meccala, UIAH's canteen, and in corresponding canteens at other universities and institutes of higher education.

TOKYO's closest associate is the legendary Kipsari, the students' own bar operating in the basement of UIAH. Kipsari is a place with a laid-back mood and its interior is a complete opposite to the rest of the school. It is an important centre of social life at UIAH. At the beginning of term students hold parties with live music in Kipsari with doors open to everyone. From time to time international delicacies are also made and served in Kipsari.

Sports and exercise
UIAH does not yet have its own sports facilities. The University of Helsinki and the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration hold beginners' and advanced courses in various sports in addition to providing guided training and exercise. These courses are also available to students at UIAH.

Health services
Students of UIAH are entitled to low cost health care, dental and mental health services at the students' own health centre. Foreign students, however, are advised to take out separate insurance in their own countries in case of serious illness.

It is difficult to find reasonably priced student housing in the Helsinki metropolitan area. UIAH students can apply for housing via the HOAS (The Foundation for the Student Housing in Helsinki Region) organisation. The available flats and apartments are generally unfurnished. Rents vary from € 150 to 220 per month.

The funding of studies
Finnish Students at UIAH mostly fund their studies through a Finnish state study grant and a study loan. Long-term employment is not recommended during the full-time study stage. Foreign students must arrange the financing of their students prior to arriving in Finland.

The prime role of the Library is to serve education and research at UIAH in the areas of design, art education and visual communication. As a public research library, we also respond to demands for information from outside our own organization. The Library's collections contain books, periodicals, slides, videotapes and written studies and theses produced at UIAH. Library users also have access to CD-ROM databases and multimedia CD-ROMs. Contact tel. +358 9 7563 0240,


General information on the selection of students

Persons with a working knowledge of Finnish or Swedish can apply for study leading to the BA degree. Most of the courses are in the Finnish language. Students can apply for entry into only one degree programme.

Selection of applicants for the Bachelor of Arts degree
Students for the three year BA programmes and the five year basic-education programme in Art Education are selected directly into their respective degree programmes. The entrance test is in three stages with selection of applicants between each stage.

The first stage consists of an evaluation of preliminary assignments submitted together with the application form. Basing on the preliminary assignments, a number of applicants will be invited to the second stage of the entrance test. This and the third stage are held at UIAH in Helsinki.

The assignments of the entrance test are given in Finnish or Swedish. Interpreters may not be used in the entrance test. Basing on test assignments given in the second part of the entrance test, a number of applicants will be invited to the third stage. The final decisions on approval and entry are given in mid June.

Selection of applicants for the Master of Arts degree
The separate application form and instructions contains information on the degree programmes available to non-Finnish or Swedish speaking foreigners. Applicants can apply for only one degree programme.

The entrance test for the two year programmes leading to the MA degree is in two stages. The first part consists of the evaluation of the sample portfolio (not applicable to the MA in New Media programme), study plan and possible assignments completed beforehand. On the basis of the first stage, a number of applicants will be invited to the second stage of the entrance test.

The second stage of the entrance test may involve an interview of the applicants. If necessary the applicant can be asked to submit further samples of his/her work. S/he may also be required to carry out entrance test assignments prepared by the planning and evaluation board. Information on any further samples of work, entrance test assignments and test dates will be given in connection with informing the applicants of the selection for the next stage. Information will also be given on the practical arrangements of carrying out the set assignments.

Evaluation of test assignments
Grounds for the selection of students are artistic talent, motivation and personal development potential. Deciding factors are demonstrated talent and suitability to the desired field. The selection is based on application documents, a portfolio of sample work (not applicable to the MA in New Media programme), the applicant's plan of study, an interview and possible beforehand assignments, entrance test assignments and additional submitted work.

Each degree programme has its own Evaluation Board to evaluate assignments of applicants. Where necessary, expert members can be added to the board. The extra members are chosen after the first stage of the entrance test according to the interests and focus of the applicants. In the evaluation the portfolio, interview, study plan and possible entrance test assignments and additional submitted work are viewed as a whole and evaluated as either accepted or rejected.

Evaluation procedure for DA studies
The professor in charge of the DA programme evaluates the research plan and prepares a statement to the Research Board. Special attention will be paid to the relations between different parts of the research plan, the content and high quality of the research, the number and duration of possible art/design productions and the applicant's preparedness and capability of development. The professor may ask a statement form experts of the field in question if needed. The professor prepares a statement of admittance or rejection. The supervisor for the dissertation will be appointed.

The Research Board evaluates the research and production plan and the possible portfolio and their unity and makes a proposal of admission or rejection to the Rector of university. The Rector makes the final decisions of the admittance.

Applications and the yearly intake of students
The number of applications for the BA studies (120 credits) in 2001 was 1806 out of which 107 students, 6% was accepted. To the Department of Art Education (180 credits) the number of applicants was 161 out of which, 27 students, 17% was accepted. For the supplementary studies at the Department of Art Education the number of applications was 9, out of which 7 students, 78% was accepted.

The number of applications for the MA programmes (60-100 credits) was 357, out of which 93 students, 26% applicants was accepted.

The acceptance percentage in 2001, to the BA level studies (120 credits) was in the Film and Television Department 6%, the Graphic Design Department 6%, the Department of Design of Design for Theatre, Film and Television 8%, the Department of Photography 3%, the Department of Ceramics and Glass Design 23%, the Department of Product and Strategic Design 15%, the Department of Interior Architecture and Furniture Design 3%, the Fashion Design 5%, and to the Textile Design 10%.

The acceptance percentage in 2001, to the Department of Art Education (180 credit) studies was 17%. The acceptance percentage in 2001 to the MA level studies (60-100 credits) to the Department of Graphic Design 24%, the Media Lab 25%, Department of Design for Theatre, Film and Television 17%, the Department of Photography 18%, the of Ceramics and Glass Design 20%, the Department of Product and Strategic Design 57%, the Craft Design 32%, the Department of Interior Architecture and Furniture Design/Spatial Design 29% and Furniture Design 30%, the Fashion Design 18%, Textile Design 31% and to the Pallas Fine Arts 14%. In 2001 the amount of students in the whole of the university was 1667.

Entrance test schedule:

Entrance test schedule

A few facts about Helsinki and Finns

Helsinki is a 450 year old, busy and modern town that has something to offer for all its' 550 000 inhabitants. Year 2000 Helsinki was European City of Culture. Helsinki's theme was Knowledge, Technology and the Future.

There are several Institutions of Higher Education situated in Helsinki and in the other two towns just outside Helsinki; Vantaa and Espoo. Helsinki is the students' city! Helsinki's cultural supply is extensive, varying from the opera, theatre, concerts and museums to the local happenings such as outdoor concerts and projects started by residents themselves. Of course Helsinki has also very active nightlife. The variety of night clubs, jazz clubs and discos are vast. You will find ethnic restaurants, cultured and alternative dining places.

You can spend your spare time by hiking in some of the several nature reservation areas in islands and beaches that are easily reachable by ferries that leave from the Market square and from the shore of beautiful Kaivopuisto park. Or you can go for hiking or camping to the forest and lake areas that can be reached by busses from Helsinki. Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, or Tallinn in Estonia is easy to visit also by a ferry. The ferries leave everyday and the tickets are not expensive. St. Petersburg in Russia is also within a five hour train ride from Helsinki.

The National Character
Life in Finland has a relaxed and comfortable appeal. Finnish people are fairly straightforward people: they say what they mean and they mean what they say. Comfort is often (although not always) considered more important than looks. At work the athmosphere tends to be informal, first names are used and people dress informally. Equality between sexes has progressed quite a way, both at work and home.

Finns have a special passion for sports which invigorate their patriotic spirit, such as ice hockey and cross country skiing. We also excel internationally in sports that require a special daredevil mentality, like ski jumping and motor racing.

Finns are also crazy about coffee. You will rapidly get used to the fact that when Finns get together for a chat, coffee is invariably part of the scene.

Finns consumption of books is enormous. Going to theatres and cinemas with friend is a habitual way of relaxing in urban areas.

Sauna on the other hand, is something uniquely Finnish; it is like a holy place to us, a shrine. There is an old Finnish proverb to the effect that "if sauna, liquor or tar don't help, the disease must be fatal". In fact, the sauna is where you well come across the Finnish soul.

If anything has moulded the Finnish character, it is the climate. There are four distinct seasons: a cold, dark winter; a short spring when everything seems to explode into life again; a mild and warm summer; and a bright autumn famous for its spectacular colours. This natural rhythm has produced two kinds of Finns. There is the winter Finn. Who stumbles to work in the dark hours of the morning and home again in the dark hours of the evening; who keeps himself to himself, wrapped up in work and study. But the same person then becomes transformed into the summer Finn, who loves to spend the light evenings in the open-air restaurants of the town amid the crowd, or in good company at the summer cottage.

Source: Living in Finland, Centre for International Mobility, CIMO
More information

Railway station - Arabia

UIAH is easy to reach from down town by tram no 6 leading towards Arabia, or by busses 71, 73B, 68,
from the railway station. It takes about 15 minutes by to UIAH.