Cultures, communities and change (KUMU)

KUMU (Cultures, communities and change ) studies people, communities, and cultures from ethnological, anthropological and cultural policy perspectives. We learn by interviewing and observing people, by examining archival documents, internet and the media as well as texts, speech and statistics.

We are interested in a wide range of cultural phenomena, including traditions, rituals, art, media, everyday life, groups and lifestyles, as well as how policy decisions are made about cultural life. KUMU doesn’t  shy away from the current topics challenging society such as inequality, discrimination, poverty, addiction, dispossession, violence and conflict. 

Graduates from KUMU are experts in cultural, social and policy issues. They find jobs in Finnish and international organizations, firms, museums and archives. Jobs are increasingly opening up for KUMU graduates in the areas of migration and administration. Many of our graduates work as researchers, journalists, teachers and media specialists.

    Our degree programme recognizes that a rapidly changing world poses new challenges for cultural studies, and KUMU was established to answer that challenge. For this reason, KUMU combines ethnology, anthropology and cultural policy – the only combination of its kind in the country!

KUMU in a nutshell:
1.  KUMU brings together research and teaching in the humanities and social sciences to create a program that is uniquely suited to student’s current needs. Our students gain the knowledge and skills to become versatile experts in culture-related fields.

2. KUMU is a pioneer in developing public outreach and social engagement, as well as the necessary research foundation for these in Finland. In our teaching, we strongly emphasize career life relevance and learning through project-based work. We also strive to stay current with the trends, models and practices that characterize today’s fast-paced working life. KUMU plans to ensure that students have optimal working-life skills and synergic interaction with potential employers already during their studies in order to facilitate rapid workplace recruitment after graduation.

3. We use student-centered learning methods and connective learning pedagogy, which guide faculty, students and communities to interact in new ways. Research-based education, multidisciplinarity, public engagement and internationalisation are our guiding principles. Interaction with alumni helps students envision and plan their future careers.  

4. The teaching organized by KUMU balances qualitative and quantitative research methods in order to give our students an exceptionally broad skills base in research methods.

5. KUMU approaches the concept of culture in a inclusive fashion, encompassing socio-cultural research, critical thinking, and the arts.

6. KUMU is the only programme in Finland, and one of few in the world, that offers teaching and research in the field of cultural policy. It combines innovative cultural policy research with perspectives and methods gained from traditional cultural studies disciplines (ethnology, anthropology, folklore studies) to offer students and researchers new and effective insights into cultural life.  

Accept the challenge and come learn with us!

KUMU is a new degree programme combining ethnology, anthropology and cultural policy.

KUMU is administered jointly by the Dept. of History and Ethnology and the Dept. of Social Sciences and Philosophy . Teaching begins in 2019 and the new degree programme will be phased in gradually. 

Apply for a place in KUMU during the Spring 2019 Joint Application for Higher Education !

Please note that studies in KUMU degree programme are in Finnish. Hela has a separate international studies programme in English.