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Doctoral Programme in Music

Doctoral students can choose between three specialisation areas: Arts Study Programme, Research Study Programme and Applied Study Programme.

Musiikintohtoreita promootiokulkueessa sinisissä musiikintohtorin hatuissaan Musiikkitalon ulkopuolella.

Why study here?

Our graduates are experts who are capable of high-level creative and critical work and who operate in demanding art, research, development and educational positions independently and in collaboration with others. Doctors of Music also act as social influencers for an ethically sustainable future.

About the studies

Doctoral studies provide the competence for a wide variety of artistic careers, for teaching, research, and development tasks, as well as for various sectors of societal activity. Our doctoral alumni work, for example, in the following positions: research project leader, academy research fellow, researcher, artist, provincial artist, musician, conductor, opera coach/collaborative pianist, singer, composer, professor, university lecturer, lecturer, teacher, rector and expert.

Doctoral students can choose between three specialisation areas: Arts Study Programme, Research Study Programme and Applied Study Programme. 

If you are interested in creative music performance, composition, music theory or church music and if your doctoral project relates stylistically to the tradition of Western art music ranging from ancient music to the latest contemporary music, we recommend that you complete your doctoral studies at the Sibelius Academy’s Doctoral School DocMus. If you are interested in jazz, folk music, music education, music technology or arts management and entrepreneurship, you should complete your doctoral studies at the Sibelius Academy’s Doctoral School MuTri.

Arts Study Programme

The main focus of the degree is a themed series of artistic productions that is supported by a thesis that is related to the topic or that reflects on the doctoral student’s artistic work.  The main resource of the internationally well-connected Sibelius Academy is the diversity of music and artistic disciplines and their interaction.

The objectives of the Arts Study Programme are to provide the student with

  • the ability to achieve artistically high-level and visionary expression
  • the ability to achieve conceptually clear production of information as well as  
  • the ability for constructive interaction within the art community, the academic world, and the rest of the society.

In the Arts Study Programme, the main focus of doctoral study is on independent artistic work, which is complemented by studies to support the student’s conceptual understanding of the field. The demonstration of proficiency combines artistic and research-oriented approaches. The demonstration of proficiency in the Arts Study Programme is a coherent whole in terms of its theme and content. Its scope is 165 ECTS credits, and it includes

  • at least 5 concerts and a thesis as part of an instrumentalist’s degree
  • compositions for at least 2-3 concerts and a thesis as part of a composition-related degree
  • at least 5 concerts, liturgies or similar performances and a thesis as part of a liturgical music related degree

The scope of a licentiate degree is 75 ECTS credits, and it includes at least 2 concert programmes, liturgies or similar performances and a thesis or (relating to a composer) compositions for 1-2 concerts and a thesis

In addition, the Arts Study Programme includes artistic and research-oriented studies as well as other applicable/suitable university-level supporting studies of a minimum of 75 ECTS credits.

Students agree with their supervisor on which supporting studies, worth 75 ECTS credits, they will complete. The studies must cover the following topics:

  • Working as an artist
  • In-depth musical education and necessary research skills
  • Key career skills, such as communication and interaction skills, as well as self-knowledge and communality

Research Study Programme

The particular objectives of the Research Study Programme are to provide the student with

  • the ability to produce high-quality information
  • the ability to interact in academic communities and beyond
  • the ability to integrate into the international research community, as well as
  • the ability to strengthen the status of academic research

The demonstration of proficiency in the Research Study Programme is a dissertation.  It is a coherent presentation based on the student’s own independent research with new academic information in the field of research represented at the Sibelius Academy. In addition, the doctoral studies in the Research Study Programme include university-level studies on knowledge and skills that support the training of researchers.  

The scope of the doctoral dissertation is 165 ECTS credits and it can be either a monograph or an article dissertation.  The licentiate degree’s demonstration of proficiency is a licentiate thesis comprising 75 ECTS credits. It can also be a monograph or consist of articles.

The article dissertation / licentiate thesis consisting of articles must include a summary that states the objectives, problem, method and results of the research. In addition to the summary, it must include 3–7 (dissertation) or 2–5 (licentiate thesis) articles that have been reviewed by referees and that deal with the same set of problems and that are published in a scientific publication series or have been approved for publishing. The researcher must be the primary author of each article and they must be able to prove their independent contribution to the topic. The number of articles depends on the nature of the research project and the amount of work required to produce the articles. The researcher must provide written evidence of their participation in joint publications when the research is submitted for preliminary examination.

In addition, the Research Study Programme includes research-oriented studies as well as other applicable university-level supporting studies comprising a minimum of 75 ECTS credits.

Students agree with their supervisor on which supporting studies, worth 75 ECTS credits, they will complete. The studies must cover the following topics: 

  • Studies on the topic of the student’s own work       
  • General research studies in the field 
  • Studies focusing on the researcher’s profession and readiness to enter the workforce

Applied Study Programme

The Applied Study Programme offers a unique opportunity to develop music-related practices and tools through research. The need for development is based on personal experience and interest, as well as the needs of the changing operational environments of music. This development work results in innovation and new ways of working.

The particular objectives of the Applied Study Programme are to provide the student with 

  • high-level academic/methodological/pedagogical/artistic/ technical skills,       
  • the ability to develop new high-level methods, capabilities, materials and tools, 
  • the ability to collect, critically evaluate, produce and apply information, 
  • the ability to cooperate with Finnish and international partners in their field and also beyond, as well as       
  • the ability to communicate the results of their work to different audiences. 

Doctoral students in the Applied Study Programme can complete either a research-oriented or an artistic degree. 

Content of the programme

The core content of the degree is called the development target. The demonstration of proficiency is comprised of outputs connected to the development target in such a way that is appropriate for the nature of the development target. 

The scope of the demonstration of proficiency in the Applied Study programme is 165 ECTS credits for a doctorate and 75 ECTS credits for a licentiate degree. The demonstration of proficiency includes 

a) A development project, which generates results that are  

  • immaterial (views, knowledge and skills, know-how and capabilities) and 
  • material (concerts, recordings, mold materials, teaching materials, online materials, methods, programmes) 

b) A description of testing the results of the development project and the utilisation of the obtained information  

c) A summary describing the phases of the development work 

In addition, the Research Study Programme includes research-oriented studies as well as other applicable university-level supporting studies comprising a minimum of 75 ECTS credits. The supporting studies in the Applied Study Programme can be either artistic or research-oriented. 

Students agree with their supervisor on which supporting studies, worth 75 ECTS credits, they will complete. The studies must cover the following topics: 

  • Studies related to the doctoral project 
  • General studies on application and development work
  • Studies related to readiness to enter the workforce 

Teachers

Our teachers are some of the best experts in their respective fields. In addition to the permanent teaching staff, the programme welcomes international top professionals as guests on a regular basis.

Teachers in the Doctoral Schools (to be updated in December)

Applying

The next application period begins in January 2020.

Doctorates can be completed in classical music, church music, music history, music theory, composition, folk music, jazz, music technology, arts management, or music education.

Doctoral education takes place in two Doctoral Schools, DocMus (Department of Classical Music) and MuTri (Department of Music Education, Jazz and Folk Music).

How to apply to the Arts Study Programme (to be updated in November)
How to apply to the Research Study Programme (to be updated in November)
How to apply to the Applied Study Programme (to be updated in November)