Art Education

Art education studies art, its traditions and cultural roles, with a focus on the processes whereby individuals and communities create and experience art. We understand the arts as expressive, symbolic and communicative practices that exist in all human cultures in various forms and with different meanings, depending on their historical and social context. Students of art education familiarize themselves with traditions and theories of art as well as with contemporary art movements and art educational practices. Phenomena belonging to everyday and environmental aesthetics,re as well as the use of art in educational settings, cultural institutions, working life and hospitals are also taught and studied. Research and teaching in art education relates to all the department’s focus areas, but especially to artistic expression, experiencing and interpreting art, as well  as children’s and youth culture.

Our aim is to train broad-minded, visionary and competent people for responsible positions within the artworld and cultural field. Students can work with planning and administration in the arts and culture sector, as journalists or museum educators, cultural producers or researchers. Note: we do not train visual arts teachers for schools. The choice of minor subjects is important with respect to future career possibilities.

Art History

Art creates visual appearances to the operations of the human mind, feelings, beliefs, imagination, and reasoning. An art historian focuses on these operations, studying and interpreting those phenomena of art which can be visually observed. It can be a question of an artist’s life or profession, the ways of making art, its appearance and thematics, its social, ideological, cultural, religious, philosophical or scientific background, modes of reception, or the theories of art.

Art History takes into consideration the historical premises of making and thinking about art. Art historians also consider art history itself as being subject to historical change. Today, the field of study not only covers the traditional visual arts and architecture, the so-called “high art”, but also the phenomena of visual culture and cultural environments in a larger perspective. Furthermore, the history of art history, as well as the theories of art have also become a critically studied part of the discipline.

Contemporary Culture

The purpose of the Contemporary Culture is to represent and advance multi- and cross-disciplinary work in cultural studies, especially with a view to combine humanities and social science approaches. The focus of the research is on today's cultural phenomena. Starting from a broad definition of culture, the research is concerned with the relationship and interaction between the cultural and social spheres, the issues of everyday life and the meanings and functions of the media and the arts. Sociocultural modernization has affected the status and characteristics of culture and its relations to the social and economic spheres. As a consequence, identities and meanings in these terms have lost their former contours, and their constructions and changes pose new challenges for empirical research and cultural theory alike.

Empirical research has been concerned with the production, distribution, reception and use of cultural products. In particular, research has been targeting the reception and use of literature and audiovisual culture, especially the media culture for/of children and youth. Fandom studies have also been prominent in this area. Other important strands have been narrative and autobiographical studies and digital culture studies. Methodologically, discourse analysis, narrative approaches, the sociology of culture, and online methods have been strong in the discipline.

Creative Writing

Creative writing is a line of specialization in the advanced level of studies in Literature. It combines creative writing, the pedagogy of writing and research. The studies lead to the degree of Master of Arts (with literature as the main subject). It is also possible to complete a doctoral degree in creative writing.

The aim of the studies is to familiarize oneself with writing on a theoretical level, as well as to develop textual skills and artistic working methods. The studies on creative writing emphasize the student’s relationship with literature and the specialization on a particular theme in writing. The student may focus on a genre or the pedagogy of writing. Research can also be conducted on scriptwriting, translation, online writing or therapeutic writing.

A degree that emphasizes creative writing is the student’s specimen both artistically and research-wise. When conducting the master's thesis work, one can utilize new possibilities of research. The student may, for example, include artistic work as a part of the research.

Hungarian Studies

Hungarian Studies in the University of Jyväskylä ventures to teach Hungarian language and culture as well as to enhance and generate international research in the field.


The subject of Literature researches and teaches Finnish and comparative literature in interaction with each other. Literature fosters and develops national literary culture and aims to deepen the understanding of other cultures and internationality via foreign literatures. The research and teaching within Literature focuses on contemporary literature, modern trends in Finnish and European literature, narrative theory, theory of the novel, as well as on the interfaces between literature, philosophy, cultural studies, and technology.

Literature is also responsible for educating teachers of the Finnish language and literature. Furthermore, research and teaching under Creative Writing Studies is incorporated in Literature on the advanced and post-graduation levels.


Despite its name the main goal of museology is not the museum, because museums are only tools in the heritage process. The discipline is defined at Jyväskylä University as follows: ”Museology (heritology) explores the way in which the individual and the community perceive and control the temporal and regional environment through taking into possession pieces of evidence from the past and the present.” In this way the heritage and the process that produces it is the main interest of museology. The discipline also offers practical tools for working with cultural and natural heritage, as well as with art in museums or in other heritage organizations.

Music Education

In music education, the aim of the studies is to acquaint students with the contents and methods used in the field as well as to give them the knowledge and pedagogical and attitudinal skills required in teaching music in comprehensive and secondary schools. The students are also prepared to conduct scholarly research and follow current research in the field. Among other things, the studies also include both pedagogical and multicultural educational aspects.


As a scientific discipline, musicology seeks to understand musical activities on a cultural and personal level. Music itself is a rich collection of phenomena, which can be approached from various perspectives, including aesthetic, cultural, acoustic, social interactionist and music theoretical perspectives. At the University of Jyväskylä, musicological research has focused on Finnish art music and musical life, and society in general. Since the early 1990s, music cognition (cognitive musicology) has been a special area of expertise. Musicology has been taught as a major subject at the University of Jyväskylä since 1968

Music Psychology Training

Music plays an important role in every society and culture. It is an important part of all aspects of life, including various social, religious, recreational and cultural occasions. Many people spend a considerable amount of time daily listening to music or playing a musical instrument. Music can affect and regulate our mood and emotions, and can be used as a therapeutic medium.

Music Psychology Training focuses on how these issues can be investigated using scientific methods. It consists of two Master’s Degree programmes: Master's Degree Programme in Music, Mind and Technology (MMT) and Master's Degree Programme in Music Therapy (MT).