Are you passionate about discovering and widening the scope of sound design in the digital era? Welcome to study Sound in New Media Major Subject. The education is project-oriented, joining a practice with theory. It combines art, design and media-driven aspects of sound, covering a wide range of disciplines from concept design to live performance and from storytelling to programming. Teaching is fully in English, and students can write their Master's thesis in Finnish, Swedish or English.
The general learning objectives of Sound in New Media are the following core competencies, which the students will develop during their studies:
- Project management skills
- Design skills
- Transdisciplinary and teamwork skills
- Musical competence
- Creative use of software
Language of instruction
Teaching is fully in English, and students can write their Master's thesis in Finnish, Swedish or English.
The tuition fee is €15 000 for non-EU/EEA students per academic year. More information on Scholarships and Tuition Fees page (aalto.fi).
Content of the studies
The education is project-oriented, joining a practice with theory. It combines art, design and media-driven aspects of sound, covering a wide range of disciplines from concept design to live performance and from storytelling to programming.
The studies at Media Lab emphasise interdisciplinary and collaborative work, while individual skills are studied in workshops and through tutored studio work according to a personal study plan. You will also learn the theory related to sound design and music culture.
Academic communication and writing are a part of the studies, and more research courses can be chosen if you are planning to become a researcher. Students are encouraged to network internationally and have an option to spend a part of their studies abroad.
The curriculum contains some essential software and programming 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.
The Major Subject provides a sufficient basis for an international career. A significant number of applicants, students, teachers and researchers are from abroad, and all the courses are taught in English.
We work in close collaboration with the best units and faculties in various universities in the Helsinki region, for example, Centre for Music and Technology in the Sibelius Academy, as well as the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Acoustics and Signal Processing in Aalto University. The curriculum is designed in co-operation with other academic institutions and the industry, which supports the students' career planning.
Postgraduate study options
The programme gives a good foundation to continue doctoral studies.
During your studies, you can specialise according to your personal skills and motivation. Your future careers can relate to the various fields of sound and music design both in private industries and public sector (academia, museums etc.), including game audio and music, sonic interaction design, sound design for animation and sound in media art. Aalto University supports entrepreneurship in various ways, and many graduates work as entrepreneurs. Across the wide range of positions, Sound in New Media graduates are independent professionals who have the capacity to lead and manage the development of their field internationally.
Programme-specific Admission Procedure and Evaluation Criteria
Applicants meeting Aalto’s general eligibility criteria for master's studies will be evaluated and ranked according to the evaluation criteria that have been decided in advance for each study option.
The applications to the Master's Programme in New Media - Sound in New Media will be evaluated based on the following criteria.
|Assessed area||Applicant’s further suitability to the study option, motivation, and commitment to studies/communication skills|
|Admission requirements||Applicants are expected to have strong motivation, good co-operative skills and capacity to commit to studying full-time. We also expect the applicant to understand the potential of sound in applicable fields of art and design.|
|Method of demonstrating competence||Motivation Letter|
Other areas of competence
|Assessed area||Work experience and other acquired knowledge/achievements e.g. publications and exhibitions/ performances, non-formal education, competitions, grants, residencies, teaching experience etc.|
|Admission requirements||We expect a CV (curriculum vitae) from applicants for background information.|
|Method of demonstrating competence||Curriculum vitae|
Artistic and/or design practice
|Assessed area||Demonstrations of artistic and/ or design work related to sound, e.g. artistic or commercial projects, publications, performance/ exhibition documentation or other works of art and/ or design in the audible domain. Proven musical competence of any kind (e.g. violin playing, DJ’ing etc) is a plus.|
|Admission requirements||We expect our applicants to have artistic and/ or design vision and development potential as well as to be goal-orientated and able to adopt new perspectives and working methods.|
|Method of demonstrating competence||Portfolio|
|Assessed area||Applicant’s further suitability to the study option, motivation, and commitment to studies/communication skills/assessment of second-phase assignments.|
We require good skills in written expression and ability to conceptually reflect on questions related to the audible domain.
We also expect our applicants to have a good understanding of the sound as medium and sound culture, as well as personal artistic/ designer’s insight.
|Method of demonstrating competence||Second-phase assignment(s), interview|
- Evaluation process
The applicants will be first evaluated based on Aalto’s general eligibility requirements. Applicants meeting the general eligibility criteria for master's studies will be evaluated and ranked according to the evaluation criteria that have been decided in advance for each study option.
The selection process for applicants who meet the general eligibility criteria comprises of two phases.
In Phase I, the applications are evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Suitability/Motivation letter
- Other areas of competence
Only the applicants who fulfil the requirements and are ranked highest in Phase I will be invited to Phase II in the selection process. However, the scoring and/or ranking of Phase I doesn’t affect the final, Phase II scoring.
In Phase II, the evaluation is based on the following criteria:
- Artistic and/or design practice
- Suitability/Second-phase assignment(s) and interview
Part of the applicants are invited to Phase II. The invitation to Phase II will be sent to the applicants at the latest 7 days in advance.
In the second phase of the admissions procedure, applicants complete one or more assignments within the given time. The assignment(s) can be written or audible and is (are) based on the provided material and/ or given topic. The assignment(s) is (are) submitted in electronic form as a text file(s) with possible supporting graphs and images and/ or as an audio file(s).
Phase II also includes a 30-minute interview. The interview can also be carried out remotely.
The final decisions will be made based on an evaluation conducted in Phase II.
It is important to understand that from the Program’s point of view the application process aims at a balanced group of different kinds of students. In other words, even exceptional skills and talent in one field don’t automatically guarantee that the applicant would be selected. Furthermore, the more there are applicants with a similar profile, the harder the competition is (against similar applicants). In other words, if there are lots of applicants interested in game audio it is harder to get accepted with a game audio profile.
Study-option-specific documents requested
The documents requested from all applicants are listed on the Aalto University website (https://www.aalto.fi/en/study-at-aalto/applying-to-masters-programmes). In addition, applicants to this study option are requested to provide the following study-option-specific documents:
Applicants provide a written motivation letter (maximum 4,000 characters, single PDF file) explaining why they wish to apply to the degree programme in question, what their particular areas of interest in this field are, and what their objectives and hopes are regarding the studies at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Applicants should specify their personal strengths and areas of interest, artistic/ designer’s visions and objectives.
Lack of this application document will adversely affect the evaluation of the application.
The portfolio is presented and discussed during the application interview. The form and format of the portfolio is free; however, the portfolio should be online so that it can be accessed via the Internet with a common web browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Safari). The access to the portfolio might be password protected on the responsibility of the applicant.
The portfolio may consist of individual art/ design works, documentation of exhibitions and/ or performances etc. The portfolio must showcase the applicant’s previous academic, professional and/or scientific activity in a diverse and comprehensive manner. The applicant should be able to present the portfolio in 10 minutes.
Lack of this application document will adversely affect the evaluation of the application.
Maximum size of the file is 1.0 GB. Name the file Portfolio-lastname-firstname.pdf. If your portfolio contains password protected video links, include the password(s) in your portfolio. If a portfolio is not uploaded to the online application form by the deadline, the application will be rejected.
The applicant’s curriculum vitae (single PDF file) with personal data, educational background, work experience, exhibitions, possible published literature and articles, awards and grants, study trips and positions of trust must be included in the application.
Lack of this application document will affect the evaluation of the application.
Language of application documents
The application documents must be submitted in English.
About the School
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