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Master's Program in Art and Media - Sound in New Media

Aalto University
2 years
Full time
Master's degree
Scholarships available
On campus
Fall 2022
Aalto University

About this program

Master's Program in Art and Media - Sound in New Media

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.

Admission requirements

You are eligible to apply in master's admissions if you have a bachelor’s degree. The bachelor's degree must be equivalent to 180 ECTS credits or three years of full-time study. The degree must give eligibility to apply for master’s degree studies at university in the awarding country. The awarding higher education institution has to be a recognised part of the official national education system of the country. It has to be accredited as a degree-granting higher education institution by the country where it is located or by a relevant international organisation (such as UNESCO).

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

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Program content

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.

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.


For non-EU/EEA citizens: €15000/year


Degree: Master of Arts (Art and Design)

Credits: 120 ECTS

Study objectives

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. 

Continuing studies

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

Career paths

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.

About this institute

Aalto University

Aalto University is a multidisciplinary community of bold thinkers, where science and art meet technology and business. We are committed to identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an innovative future....

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Contact info

Aalto University

Otakaari 1B
02150 Espoo

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