Major studies

Advanced major studies 60 op

Thesis 30 op

Elective studies 30 op

Code: ARTS27

Credits:  90 cr of studies of the programme, 30 cr elective studies

Responsible professor: Marjaana Kella

Aims of the Master of Arts (Art and Design) degree

The aim of the degree is to provide students with:

  1. good theoretical and general knowledge of as well as artistic and practical expertise in their field of study as well as a general knowledge of the field of arts;
  2. knowledge and skills needed for independent and demanding artistic work and for multidisciplinary collaboration as well as knowledge and skills needed to apply scientific knowledge and scientific methods;
  3. knowledge and skills to perform, both independently and collaboratively, demanding expert, development and management duties of the field, and to cooperate internationally;
  4. knowledge and skills needed for education leading to a Doctor of Arts (Art and Design) degree and for lifelong learning;
  5. good language and communication skills for work in the field of arts and for international operations and cooperation.

The education shall be based on scientific research and artistic activity and professional practices in the field.

Learning Outcomes of the Master's Programme in Photography

Content Outcomes:

  • Studies give the opportunity to explore different forms of expression and ways of working, and give tools to develop the student's own artistic work
  • The student deepens his/her earlier expression skills, artistic vision and vocational competence
  • The student gains a general understanding of contemporary art and the field of visual culture and can relate his/her activities to it
  • Graduates of the Master’s Degree Programme in Photography understand the many different uses and special characteristics of a photograph and can work independently and professionally on the field of visual culture and photography

Skill Outcomes:

  • The student masters techniques and ways of working that support their own expression
  • The student knows different photography publication processes and platforms
  • The student is able to network nationally and internationally and present his/her competence to actors in the photography field
  • After completing their studies, the student has the capabilities to life-long learning

Academic Skills:

  • He/she knows the trends and methods in photography research and, more broadly, in visual culture research and the related knowledge theory backgrounds.
  • He/she can read, analyze and write academic reseach text and use different information sources
  • The student understands different research and writing methods and can apply those for example to artistic research
  • After completing a master’s degree, the student has the capabilities studies in photography.

Education Content

The studies emphasize photography as a means of independent and multidisciplinary arts expression as well as the development of artistic and research thinking.

The staff and students in the Master's Degree Programme in Photography form an academic and creative community. Studies require independent working and full-time participation. Studies include courses on professional development, artistic expression and research activities. Courses consist of workshops, study projects, theoretical studies, lectures, seminars and personal guidance. Student can supplement their studies for example with courses from the Aalto ARTS course catalog or courses in humanities, business or technology offered by other Aalto University schools and other universities. International student exchange programmes are recommended as part of the degree programme on the second year fall semester. The student also has the opportunity to learn about current international activities in photography research at the Helsinki Photomedia Conference that is held in even years.

A strong artistic vision and the ability to think conceptually are key objectives of the studies. Results of the studies get visibility yearly in several domestic and international exhibitions, photography publications, Helsinki Photomedia Conference and Helsinki School activities. Studies enable the life-long development of advanced professional competence, expressive skills and theoretical thinking.

The languages of instruction in the master’s programme are Finnish and English. Students may write their Master’s thesis in Finnish, Swedish or English.