Doctoral Program in Music

University of the Arts Helsinki
Swedish, Finnish
Student playing music. Photo by Veikko Kähkönen

About this program

Doctoral Program in Music

Doctoral studies provide the competence for a wide variety of artistic careers, for teaching, research, and development tasks, as well as for various sectors of societal activity. Our doctoral alumni work, for example, in the following positions: research project leader, academy research fellow, researcher, artist, provincial artist, musician, conductor, opera coach/collaborative pianist, singer, composer, professor, university lecturer, lecturer, teacher, rector and expert.

Doctoral students can choose between three specialisation areas:

  • Arts Study programs
  • Research Study programs
  • Applied Study programs.

Admission requirements

In order to be admitted as a degree student to the Uniarts Helsinki, applicants must have command of the language of instruction used in the program. Having sufficient language skills is, in principle, a requirement in order to be eligible to apply, and it ensures that the applicant has demonstrated educability and suitability for university-level education and has the communication skills needed as a student.

The academies determine the languages of instruction for each degree program. The languages are stated in the program’s admission criteria as well as the syllabus.

If a program has several languages of instruction, applicants are only required to prove their proficiency in one of the languages. If a degree program or e.g. joint program requires the demand of several languages, applicants may be required to demonstrate their language skills in several languages.

Applicants must demonstrate their skills with a language certificate or prior studies. Language skills may also be assessed as part of entrance examinations.

A number of our study programs is offered in Finnish, Swedish, and English. This means that the student has the right to use any of these languages in teaching and study attainments, unless it is otherwise stated in the curriculum or the character of teaching makes it impossible. Please notice that most of our group instruction is held in Finnish or English.

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

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Program content

The core content of the degree is called the development target. The demonstration of proficiency is comprised of outputs connected to the development target in such a way that is appropriate for the nature of the development target.

The scope of the demonstration of proficiency in the Applied Study Program is 165 ECTS credits for a doctorate and 75 ECTS credits for a licentiate degree. The demonstration of proficiency includes

a) A development project, which generates results that are

  • immaterial (views, knowledge and skills, know-how and capabilities) and
  • material (concerts, recordings, mold materials, teaching materials, online materials, methods, Programs)

b) A description of testing the results of the development project and the utilisation of the obtained information

c) A summary describing the phases of the development work

In addition, the Research Study Program includes research-oriented studies as well as other applicable university-level supporting studies comprising a minimum of 75 ECTS credits. The supporting studies in the Applied Study Program can be either artistic or research-oriented.

Students agree with their supervisor on which supporting studies, worth 75 ECTS credits, they will complete. The studies must cover the following topics:

  • Studies related to the doctoral project
  • General studies on application and development work
  • Studies related to readiness to enter the workforce

For more information, please check the course webpage.

Program delivery

The languages of instruction for this program are English, Finnish and Swedish.


There is no tuition fee in the doctoral program.


Target degree - Doctor

Arts Study Programs

The objectives of the Arts Study programs are to provide the student with

  • the ability to achieve artistically high-level and visionary expression
  • the ability to achieve conceptually clear production of information as well as
  • the ability for constructive interaction within the art community, the academic world, and the rest of the society.

Research Study Programs

The particular objectives of the Research Study programs are to provide the student with

  • the ability to produce high-quality information
  • the ability to interact in academic communities and beyond
  • the ability to integrate into the international research community, as well as
  • the ability to strengthen the status of academic research

Applied Study Programs

The particular objectives of the Applied Study Programs are to provide the student with

  • high-level academic/methodological/pedagogical/artistic/ technical skills,
  • the ability to develop new high-level methods, capabilities, materials and tools,
  • the ability to collect, critically evaluate, produce and apply information,
  • the ability to cooperate with Finnish and international partners in their field and also beyond, as well as
  • the ability to communicate the results of their work to different audiences.

About this institute

University of the Arts Helsinki

The University of the Arts Helsinki (Uniarts Helsinki) offers the highest education in fine arts, music, dance and theatre in an inspiring multidisciplinary environment. Uniarts Helsinki’s wide selection of programs in the field of arts and productive dialogue between teaching...

Read more about this school

Why study at University of the Arts Helsinki

  • The University of the Arts is one of the leading performing arts universities in the world: Uniarts Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy has ranked among the top 22 universities in the QS World University Ranking for five consecutive years (2016–2022).
  • We have unique facilities for creating arts with two campuses in Helsinki and a new building for fine arts which was opened in 2021. The facilities are in the use of the Academy of Fine Arts as well as students of light design, sound design, and design for the performing arts. We host over 1,000 public performances or exhibitions per year.
  • At Uniarts Helsinki you can study in an inspiring environment where different disciplines of art influence each other. The academies of Uniarts Helsinki;Academy of Fine Arts, Theatre Academy and Sibelius Academy, have roots deep within the Finnish arts education and history of art. The predecessors of all three academies were founded in the 19th century although then they operated under slightly different names.
  • The Academy of Fine Arts of Uniarts Helsinki is an international academy with a focus on fine arts. Students' personal aspirations and one-to-one guidance in teaching are at the heart of the academy.
  • The Sibelius Academy of Uniarts Helsinki is one of the largest music academies in Europe. It is the cornerstone of the Finnish music culture through its expertise in teaching, research and artistic activities.
  • The Theatre Academy of Uniarts Helsinki is a reformer of the performing arts and offer the highest education in theatre, dance and writing in Finland.

Contact info

University of the Arts Helsinki

Sörnäinen campus
Sörnäisten rantatie 19
00530 Helsinki

Phone no: +358294 47 2000


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