NoVA studies

NoVA Symposium at Aalto University in March 2019, photo: Eija Mäkivuoti

Master’s Programme in
Nordic Visual Studies and Art Education


Nordic Visual Studies and Art Education (NoVA) educates contemporary art and visual culture professionals and researchers, to achieve understanding of the best Nordic practices and traditions in art education and visual communication. Through the NoVA education, you achieve relevant competencies and pedagogical interaction skills for working in cross-cultural and international educational situations and environments. As a student, you may direct yourself toward teaching, producing, designing, guidance and consultant tasks on different levels of schooling, or in the fields of art and visual and media culture, social sectors and corporate life. Teaching is provided by faculty from three Nordic universities, and the program is open for international students. NoVA builds on Nordic competences and expertise, which are related to current discussions in the field of international art education. Each partner university has their own characteristics of NoVA studies.

Find NoVA online

Follow us on social media and get to know us better! Find information on NoVA faculties, courses, events and people. Take a sneak peak at NoVA students’ daily life in take over weeks in Instagram and Facebook. NoVA blog will give you more insight on study projects and research. 

Ask us!

If you hae questions don’t hesitate to contact us on different social media channels or drop us
an email nova-arts(at)

Focus areas of the studies

Between and among the NoVA partners, a broad range of study areas include:

Visual culture developed in the Nordic region
This incorporates exploring creative and critical approaches to design and art making, coupled with a deep responsibility for openness, caring, and equality.

Critical pedagogy with social and cultural awareness
This stems from aspects of the highly valued Nordic education systems, emphasising democratic societies, egalitarianism, socially just pedagogical skills and practices, human rights and social and cultural sustainability.

Digital technologies in learning
Social and cultural competences in ICT & online communication are included to the programme as content and as pedagogical methods.

Contemporary art education
This includes project and problem oriented teaching, and collaborative and participatory based learning based on contemporary methods, and theories of art, pedagogy, and mediation.

Project management
Engaging with communities, institutions and productions provide practical experience in project management, administration, entrepreneurship and finance of cultural and educational initiatives.


NoVA courses are mapped around three concepts: sights, sites, cites
Throughout the NoVA programme, students focus on the significance of “sight” in relation to theories, practices, and networks of visual studies. With the concept of ”site,” students investigate the geo-political and pedagogical dimensions of space, place, the public sphere, and private realms. And, students are provided with opportunities to critically reflect upon and synthesize previous experiences and knowledge as well as generate new knowledge through “citational” practices that draw upon existing social and cultural texts, theories, artworks, and research.


Career Opportunities

Students that graduate from NoVA will have strong intercultural understanding and experiences, and knowledge of teaching practices and theories in different Nordic countries. Students may direct themselves toward teaching, producing, designing, guidance, and consultant tasks on different levels of schooling, or in the fields of art and visual and media culture, social sectors and corporate life. The degree alone does not qualify as teacher competency. Through NoVA, students are prepared for doctoral studies and for the possibility to continue their research profession.

Our Students' Stories

An aspect I appreciate most about being an exchange student at Konstfack University of Arts, Design and Crafts is the support and encouragement we receive from our professors regarding community involvement. Our studies here prompt us to explore an organization or event locally to apply to the material we are covering in our readings to relevant experience. I feel this local involvement is an especially important component of having an enriching exchange semester. The organizations I was advised to work with were so inspirational, truly a great fit for my interests, and have really helped to guide my future thesis project. Being on exchange at Konstfack has developed my research and networking skills and instilled the courage in me to continue pursuing international projects.


Rose Allard
NoVa Master student from Aalto University

Read more student’s testimonials here.

Scroll to top