Master of Arts in New Media; Sound in New Media

Aalto University

Program Description
EFMD Equis Accredited
AACSB Accredited

Master of Arts in New Media; Sound in New Media

Aalto University

Goal of education

Sound in New Media is a Major Subject within the Master’s Degree Programme in New Media. The Major Subject combines art, design and media driven aspects of sound design in the digital era, covering a wide range of disciplines from concept design to live performance and from storytelling to programming. In addition to professors and teachers of the partner universities, teaching resources
are extended through our wide international networks in the field. The studies are targeted for students who have completed their BA, BSc or similar degree (e.g. in Polytechnic/ Applied Science) in sound design or music, or have gained basic
sound design skills on the side of their studies through other kind of activities. The courses are provided by several units and faculties in various universities in the Helsinki region. Curriculum-wise our main partners are the Centre for Music and Technology in the Sibelius Academy, and the Department of Media Technology in the Aalto University School of Science. Studies begin with an orientative starting block entitled Understanding Media, Art and Design. After completing that, through tutoring students choose their focus areas and start to participate in courses, digital media studio work, seminars, workshops and study projects. Individual study planning for new students is tutored by the teacher in charge of the Major Subject, face-to-face, in great detail. The programme is fully taught in English, and students can write their thesis in Finnish, Swedish or English.

The general learning objectives of the Major Subject are the following core competences which the students will gain during their studies: project management skills, design skills, transdisciplinary skills, musical competence and creative use of software.

Content outcomes

The education is project-oriented, combining practice with theory, hands-on with minds-on. The Major Subject combines art, design and media driven aspects of sound design in the digital era, covering a wide range of disciplines from concept design to live performance and from storytelling to programming.

Skill outcomes

The project modules in studies emphasise interdisciplinary and collaborative work, while individual skills are studied in the tools and skills modules, in workshops and through tutored studio work. The student will learn design skills, project management skills, prototyping skills, research skills, ability to work and communicate with a group of professionals with different competences, and will gain deeper skills in the student’s own area of expertise within the field of sound and music design.

Academic skills

The student will learn about theoretical aspects on sound design and music and will be able to reflect upon her/his own work from theoretical point of view.

Academic communication and writing are a part of the studies, and more research courses can be chosen if the student is planning to become a researcher. Students and researchers are encouraged to network internationally and have an option to spend a part of their studies abroad through any of our exchange programmes.

Education content

The studies are characterized by collaboration in an experimental and critical environment in which interaction and work in multidisciplinary and multicultural teams occurs on a wide scale between students and staff as well as with students of other faculties and institutions. By nature studying sound design and music in the context of ’new media’ is focused on emerging fields and practices and related tools and technologies for communication, creative production and distribution. In practice graduates of the Media Lab tend to become employed in ’new’ roles and ’emerging professions’ within the broad range of sound and music design, as well as in related research and development activities.

The curriculum of the Major Subject is designed and being constantly developed in co-operation with other academic institutions and the industry, which supports the students' career planning. The Master's Theses of the students are being co-advised by external experts from the academia, the field of independent art and the private sector.

The curriculum contains a number of software tools courses, but in general we expect students to be either proficient in using the tools of the trade, or willing to set aside time for self-study. For this, we provide a library of tutorials, as well as one-on-one coaching.

Career opportunities

During their studies, students will specialise according to their personal skills and motivation. Their future careers relate to the various fields of sound and music design, including game audio and music, sonic interaction design, sound design for animation and sound in media art. Students are encouraged to become independent professionals who have the capacity to not only follow, but responsibly lead and manage the development of their professional field internationally.

The students can also continue their studies to doctoral degree, e.g. by doing (part of) their research within the Sound and Physical Interaction research group at the Department of Media.


The graduates can find positions both in private industries, public sector (academia, museums etc.) or end up being self-employed entrepreneurs as Sound Designers, Game Audio Designers, Sonic Interaction Designers, or have careers as researchers in the field in question or as Sound Artists.


The Major Subject provides a sufficient basis for an international career. A significant number of the applicants, students, teachers and researchers are from abroad, and all the courses are taught in English.

Admission procedure

The selection to the MA in New Media, Major in Sound in New Media happens in the ARTS Aalto master's students admission process. Grounds for the selection of students include proven artistic/designer talent, motivation and personal development potential as well as the applicant's academic history, cultural activities and previous activities in the field of sound design, music, music technology, sonic arts etc. Deciding factors are demonstrated talent and suitability within the field of study. The selection is based on application documents, the applicant's personal aims and motivation as a student, an interview and possible entrance test assignments, prepared in advance, as well as work presented during the interview.

In addition, Sound in New Media Major applicants should have

  • strong professional interest towards sound design and/or music in the context of new media
  • insight into new media design and/or new media production and/or related research
  • some proven musical competence
  • fluent oral and written English language skills
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated April 21, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2017
2 years
Full time
Request Info
The application period is 1 December 2015 - 15 January 2016.
Start date Aug. 2017
Finland Espoo
Application deadline Request Info
The application period is 1 December 2015 - 15 January 2016.
End date Request Info
Duration 2 years
Price Free