School of Arts, Design and Architecture at Helsinki’s Aalto University aims to improve the living environments by using artistic means. Careers360 tells you the eligibility, documents, tuition fee, scholarships etc. required to take admission into the University.

Last year, the students of Aalto University’s School of Arts, Design and Architecture built a house meant for refugees arriving in Europe seeking asylum. Kokoon house project came under the Department of Architecture of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture. The project by the students, part of the Wood Programme of the department focusing on wood and wooden architecture, was aimed at building affordable housing to migrant populations.

All about admission into School of Arts, Design and Architecture at Helsinki’s Aalto University


“Our task was to design a transportable house,” says Tomoyo Nakamura, an international student of architecture from Japan. “Kokoon can be moved around by truck and stacked in various configurations. Each unit has a big skylight which lets the sunlight in,” says Nakamura. Kokoon was designed to meet the needs for temporary accommodation, and it could offer a place for living for asylum seekers, students, residents displaced by building renovations, and others.


Legacy of Alvar Aalto

The Kokoon project fits the creative ambitions of the Aalto University. Situated in the Finnish capital of Helsinki, the Aalto University is one of the top international universities specialising in art, design and architecture. Named after iconic Finnish designer Alvar Aalto, who created the famous Aalto Vase or the Savoy Vase with his wife Alino, the university is much sought after by international students, including from India. The School of Arts and Design was founded in 1871.


The university campus is a place where science and art meet technology and business. The School of Arts, Design and Architecture is an integral element in the university’s aim to challenge technology-driven thinking and put greater emphasis on a human and user-centred approach in the creation of new environments. The school has active links to the surrounding society, business and industry, besides the culture sector. The key areas of research are design, digital media, audiovisual representation, art, visual culture, well-being architecture and emerging technologies, and urban planning and design. Instruction is provided in the different departments: Department of Architecture, Department of Art, Department of Design, Department of Film, Television and Scenography, and Department of Media.


Aalto University ranked 13th in the Art and Design category of top universities in the QS World University Ranking for 2017. According to the university, these outstanding achievements are down to people – distinguished students and inspiring educational staff. At the School of Arts, Design and Architecture, the new initiatives and areas of research include the construction of human-centered living environments and the digital society, as well as new solutions developed at the intersection of mobile technologies, services, media, games, and entertainment.


All the Bachelor’s degree courses of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture are conducted in Finnish. The medium of instruction at the Master’s and Doctoral levels is in English and suited to Indian students.


The Master of Arts and Master of Science in Architecture or in Landscape Architecture are two-year degrees. The doctoral courses are Doctor of Arts and Doctor of Science (Architecture).



Degree from a university or institution, giving eligibility for Master’s level studies in that particular country.


Application Documents

  • A printed and signed covering letter

  • An officially certified copy of degree certificate used as basis for eligibility

  • Official & original transcript of study records (or officially certified copy)

  • Portfolio

  • CV

  • Statement of Purpose

  • Programme-specific documents

  • Photocopy of the applicant’s passport

  • For degree awarded in India, in addition to the attested copies of your degree certificate and transcript of records, attested copies of individual mark sheets from each semester are required.

Tuition fees

Aalto University attracts talented students from across the world and seeks to recognize successful non-European Union students across the world by awarding academic excellence. Tuition in Master’s programmes taught in English from August 2017 onwards is subjected to annual fees for non-European Union citizens. Programmes taught in Finnish or Swedish are free of charge for all students. The tuition fee is about 15,000 Euro per academic year, depending on the programme.


How to apply

The application period for Master’s Programmes is between December and January. Prospective candidates can register on the online application system, fill in the application and send it. Check the admission results and see if you have been accepted. After you receive the letter of acceptance, accept the study place offered by the given deadline. Read through all the material you have received from your school and enroll to the university. More details @



There are several ways to fund your studies at Aalto University. Prospective non-European Union students are eligible to apply for scholarships awarded from the Aalto University Scholarship programme. Certain international joint degree programmes have their own tuition fees and scholarship schemes.


Visa requirements

Schengen Visa applications are submitted in VFS Global Visa Application Centres in Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai.

Select Master’s Programmes:

  • Design for Theatre, Film and Television - Costume Design

  • Design for Theatre, Film and Television - Design for the Performing Arts

  • Design for Theatre, Film and Television - Production Design

  • Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design

  • Film and Television - Film Sound Design

  • International Design Business Management

  • New Media - Game Design and Production

  • New Media - New Media Design and Production

  • Product and Spatial Design

  • Visual Communication Design




Soujanyaa Boruah

Second-year student,
Master’s in New Media Design and Production, School of Arts, Design and Architecture


Where There’s unity In diversity


Alto is an amazing university. Our campus is full of forests and there is even a bird sanctuary inside. The school takes in students from all over the world. Our class is very multinational and multicultural. There is a unity in diversity.


Our teachers are very enthusiastic and open. Even if you have a very crazy idea, they will say, ‘Go ahead, do it’. Our batch is almost like a family. If I have some problem, all students will try to help. We are around 20 students in our programme and I am the only one from India in our batch. The Finnish education system is incredible. But it is a tough path towards getting the admission.


The whole admission process is three-folded. In the first phase, you have to fill in an application form and apply for the chosen course with your CV, Statement of Purpose, transcripts, documents, and portfolio. Since I was applying for New Media, I was supposed to have my own website and upload it and the published project documents on cloud share for the school to see


In the second phase, candidates will be given a design test and a written test. For my design test, I was supposed to read A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking and make an artwork or a product based on space and time. I made a pedagogical narrative to teach the concept of space and time to children sitting in a kitchen through a story made with edibles and food. In the written test, I was asked to write an essay on data privacy in the Internet age.


In the third phase, the candidates selected in the second phase were interviewed on Skype by the Department of Design teachers.


When I joined the university in 2015, there were no tuition fees for international students in the Master’s courses. But from this year, the university has introduced a tuition fee. However, international students could apply for scholarships to fund their tuition fee.


The living expenses in Finland are minimum because of subsidised boarding and transport. A student’s card will get you discounts in many shops. There is 50 per cent discount for transport. Since Finland lies in the Arctic Circle, there is less sun. If you can adapt to the weather, it is great. Everyone must take Vitamin D supplements throughout winters. But the summers are very nice.


Students are allowed to work during their academic tenure. There are also a lot of job opportunities within the university during summers. Finnish government gives a six-month extension of residence permit for international students after their graduation for them to find job in Finland.

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