The Master’s Degree Programme in Semiotics at the University of Helsinki


The Master’s Degree Programme in Semiotics is a new graduate programme
hosted by the Insti-tute for Art Research at the Faculty of Arts.
Participating partners at the University of Helsinki are the Department of
Sociology, the Department of Slavonic and Baltic Languages and Literatures,
and the Christina Institute for Women’s Studies. Close co-operation through
exchange agreements is carried out with nine European universities and
research institutes.

Thematic focus and the aim of the programme

The interdisciplinary programme brings together approaches from such related
fields as gender studies, musicology, and philosophy. Teaching is largely
based on research and it benefits from the Institute of Art Research’s high
profile in semiotics research. At the Institute of Art Research, the
emphasis in semiotics has traditionally been in the analysis of music,
literature, cinema, as well as on the elaboration of the different
theoretical paradigm, most notably those of American pragma-tism,
continental structuralism, existentialism, hermeneutics, zoosemiotics, and
the theory of cul-tural semiotics.

The aim of the programme is to provide students with the knowledge and
research skills that are necessary in analyzing and negotiating problems of
signification, interpretation and communication in today’s world. Students
enrolled in the programme follow lecture courses, participate in workshops
and seminars and write at the end of their studies a 100 page master’s
thesis under the professor’s supervision. The lecture courses, workshops and
seminars are scheduled so as to enhance international mobility. Teaching in
the programme is given fully in English.

Applying and the degree

The application period opens in November 2008, and closes in January 2009.
The programme begins in the autumn 2009. The applicant should have finished
a Bachelor’s degree, or be about to finish it before the start of the
programme. The applicant should also already have elementary knowledge of
semiotic theories and concepts, and be proficient in English.
The programme is comprised of 120 ECTS credits, and the optimal duration of
studies is 2 years. Upon successful completion of the programme, the
graduate will be awarded the degree of Master of Arts. For research oriented
graduates there are possibilities for continuing the studies on a
post-graduate level at the University of Helsinki or abroad. Graduates with
a job-market oriented profile can successfully look for careers in wide
variety of fields, from media to public administration.

Further information

The programme’s coordinator Ville Vaara ( ville.vaara(at)helsinki.fi ) is
happy to provide more information and answer any questions.

Further information on the programme is available at the following address:
http://www.helsinki.fi/semiotics

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