Research Overview » Finland » Aalto University School of Arts and Design

Aalto University

School of Art and Design

(previously TaiK, University of Arts and Design Helsinki)

Helsinki, Finland

Postgraduate studies since 1981, graduate schools since 1995.

Fine Art, Design, Film and Television, Graphic Design, Photography, Media Art, Art Education

Doctor of Arts (DA)

4 years

Number of third cycle students

The Doctor of Arts degree consists of courses (philosophy of science and arts, aesthetics, research methods, argumentation skills, academic writing skills) and a doctoral dissertation. Complementary to this, doctoral studies may include writing scholarly papers, participating in seminars and conferences, as well as artistic or design work, exhibitions and performances and curatorial work.

Applicants should have an accredited master’s degree. The School of Art and Design also admits an art or design production or a series of connected art or design productions to be part of the dissertation.

Publications and conferences
By 2010 78 dissertations have been published by the School, 8-10 dissertations are published on a yearly basis. The School of Art and Design’s Research Institute publishes working papers (F-series) on average twice a year. A full directory of publications and researchers can be found at the research database:

135 supervisors in total, 1 to 2 per student.

Embedding within the institution
Aalto University resulted from a merger of University of Art and Design Helsinki with the Helsinki School of Economics and Helsinki University of Technology in 2010.
The School of Art and Design has about 1,900 students and consists of five departments: Art; Design; Media; Motion Picture, Television and Production Design; Art and Media. The Department of Art and Media is located in Pori.
Research is either carried out as individual degree work within the departments as well as in research groups and teams, often interdisciplinary, in partnership or in graduate schools and R&D units.
There are two graduate schools: ELOMEDIA – graduate school of audiovisual media and The Design Connections graduate school that house 18 and 13 students respectively. There are two independent R&D units: Future Home Institute focuses on future living, and Designium, Centre of Innovation, aims to promote the development of a national design policy and the internationalisation of Finnish design.

Study fees
In Finland students study free of charge.

Funding and Stipendia
Funding for research projects mainly comes from the Academy of Finland and Tekes - Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation. 5-7 students of the two national doctoral schools funded by Ministry of Education can do their studies as fulltime students and receive a salary for 3-5 years. The School has minor grants for projects, especially for studies abroad (mobility money) or for finalizing the thesis.
The Academy of Finland and some private foundations finance researchers’ mobility. Private foundations grant scholarships for 1-3 years of study.

More information
25 years of postgraduate education and research at the University of Art and Design Helsinki

Reseda (TaiK research database):

Research in Art and Design in Finnish Universities.