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Master's Program in Film and Television, Documentary Film

Aalto University
Program overview
2 years
Full time
Master's degree
English, Finnish
Start dates
15,000 EUR

15,000 EUR
Aalto University

Program description

Master's Program in Film and Television, Documentary Film

The Masters in Film and Television, Documentary Film at Aalto University in Finland is an education Program through which students individual creative vision to create a film is refined.

Aalto's 2-year Masters in Film and Television, Documentary Film emphasizes independent development and work of a more theoretical perspective on film aesthetics.

Students learn what is required to become independent film professionals, honing their skills and developing new ones as they plan and create their own documentary films. Students build their knowledge and understanding of the theoretical, artistic, and research-related aspects of the film industry through collaborative seminars, panels, workshops, and feedback discussions.

Students enrolled in this Masters in Film and Television, Documentary Film are encouraged to build connections with artists from other fields within their own school as well as other artistic universities and institutions. Students are required to fully commit to their studies and to develop their own identity as a director.

The language of instruction in the Master’s Programme in Film and Television, major in Documentary Film is Finnish. However, part of the courses are taught in English. The degree can be completed in English.

Admission requirements

Applicants for the Master’s Degree Program in Film and Television; Documentary Film apply in the Master’s level admissions in the field of Art and Design. Students who have already made at least one film that has been publicly presented and thus demonstrated their basic skills as documentary film-makers are selected for Master's Degree studies. Gifted students who want to deepen their understanding of the means of expression, history and theory of documentary film as a genre are selected for the major.

For more information on the application process, please visit the university website. 

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Program content

The major in Documentary Film allows the student to deepen his/her vision of directing a documentary film. The teaching consists of workshops and lecture modules built around different varying themes, where progressing in the diploma film process is integrated with advanced studies in various approaches to the genre and styles, traditions and history, new forms of the modern documentary and the theory of the genre. Directing the diploma film and the related written diploma work are the essential framework of the master’s program studies, a process that is supported by the other studies.

Teaching is offered in workshop format and as lecture courses, Master courses held by visiting teachers and independent project work.  The students familiarize themselves with the history of film and especially that of documentaries, and are comprehensively introduced to the new forms of modern documentaries. Film analysis, reflecting on the conditions of one’s own medium, writing and thinking are important forms of teaching that support practical activities. Knowledge of other arts and experimental and fictional film as well as familiarizing oneself with documentary expression in the fields of new media, visual arts and other media is vital. The students' ability to observe and interpret reality, their readiness to encounter people, critical thinking, willingness to experiment and ability to work in a team are developed through the above-mentioned teaching methods.

Studies in the master's program include departments joint courses (30 ECTS) which are obligatory. These courses deal with entrepreneurial and working life skills, analytical skills, and provide research skills.

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. For more information, please visit the university website. 


Upon completion of the program, students will graduate with a Master of Arts (Art and Design) degree. 

Career opportunities

The students graduate as independent film directors who have the opportunity to work as players, teachers, critics or event organizers who shape the future of the genre while working in organisations and at festivals and in the broader field of culture.  In particular, master’s degree studies are a requirement for working in teaching positions. Students who graduate from the program with a master’s degree are at the forefront of the field in our country and have an important influence as instructors or when working in other sectors. The works produced by graduates of Documentary Film studies are highly visible at various international festivals.

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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