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Do you want to become a photographer?

Welcome, you’ve come to the right place. This is the photography programme of Novia University of Applied Sciences, Finland. The education will lead to a vocational degree called Medianom YH, which corresponds to a Bachelor of Media degree. The study program consists of 240 credits and will take four years to complete. The main subjects of the photography programme are art photography and photojournalism, but other subjects, such as studio photography, film, fashion and studio photography, are also part of the course. During your studies you will do internships for work experience in the field, meet guest teachers, learn to work both independently and in groups, and develop your visual communication skills.

We are located in Campus Allegro in Jakobstad. The language of instruction is mostly Swedish, but there will sometimes be Finnish- or English-speaking guest teachers. Among our students there are both Finnish speakers and Swedish speakers, and we have students from many different parts of the Nordic countries. We are also happy to regularly welcome exchange students from different photography schools all over Europe.

If you have any questions, please contact us. Applications are made through

Photography, like many other fields, is constantly changing. Communicating through pictures is steadily becoming a more important, and more common, part of our everyday communication. We are surrounded by pictures and many people produce photographs. Jobs that have traditionally been seen as work opportunities for photographers may no longer exist in the same form. But the need for high quality photographs and professional visual communication remains high. We at the photography programme at Novia University of Applied Sciences are focusing on technical competence and the development of a strong personal visual language, in combination with entrepreneurship. We want to create the foundations that will let every student become a unique photographer.

Photography is a very wide field of business. With a degree in photography, you will be able to work with many different things, depending on what you choose to focus on during your studies. Our photography programme is comparatively small, and this makes it possible for us to adapt our teaching to the needs and wishes of the individual. We work closely with companies, institutions and networks outside of the school context. We strive for internationalisation and encourage our students to start building their professional network as a part of the education. We aim to set up the study program in a way that makes the step from studying to working professionally as short as possible. Your life as a student at the photography programme is going to be very similar to the life of a working photographer. This means that we demand a lot of responsibility from our students and ask them to always keep in close contact with the professional photography market. We will encourage entrepreneurship at an early stage, and do everything we can to help our students to build the networks they will need.

One of our areas of specialisation is art photography, which includes familiarity with national and international art scenes. Another area we specialise in is photojournalism. Interior photography, studio photography, portrait photography, film and fashion photography have also become more frequent parts of our study programme over the last few years. In addition to these fields of specialisation, all of our students will become highly qualified in digital image processing and entrepreneurship.

The education will give every student the option of creating an individual study program that fits his or her needs. In addition to photography courses, it’s possible to take courses from the other study programmes within the field of visual arts. With photography as your main degree, you will have every option to take courses in graphic design, fine art, and interior design in order to create the education of your dreams.

As an aspiring professional photographer, you will be able to use your time at the photography programme of Novia University of Applied Sciences to learn to visualise your own ideas as well as the ideas of others through pictures. Our study programme does not demand any particular previous knowledge of photography, but during your education you will find that you must have a talent for visual expression and a genuine interest in aesthetic forms of expression. Previous studies in photography, media or graphic production will be considered a significant merit.
A new group of students will be accepted every year and the study programme will start in late summer/early autumn.

The studies will lead to a degree, Medianom YH, which corresponds to a Bachelor of Media degree. The study programme consists of 240 credits over the course of four years. This four-year degree can not be compared to the one-year vocational degree that in Sweden is called by the same name, yrkeshögskola. Unfortunately there will be confusion from time to time about this difference in the educational systems Sweden and Finland.

Recommended course of study

Studying photography with us is free of charge but the students will have to cover their own costs for materials used during the studies.
After completing your studies you will be able to work as a photographic artist with your own visual practice, as a studio photographer, as a photojournalist, or as a commercial photographer.
Novia University of Applied Sciences is the only school in Finland to offer this education in Swedish.

In addition to students from Finland, The Novia photography department has had students from Sweden, Norway and Germany, among other countries. Courses are mostly taught in Swedish, but there are regular guest lectures in Finnish and English.

Included in the vocational studies are art photography, photojournalism, photographic technique (analogue/digital), lighting, image analysis, imagery and media ethics. The basic studies also include 40 credits of language studies, marketing, art history and cultural studies. Novia University of Applied Sciences has a student exchange program with photography programmes in Belgium (Karel de Grote-Hogeschool), Portugal (Lusofona University) and Germany (Fachhochschule Bielefeld and Universität Hildesheim) but there are also opportunities for exchange studie at other photography schools around the world.
Your studies will also include 30 credits of work experience. In most cases you will work on your own to find an employer where you would like to do your internship, in order to get the best possible experience of what it’s like to work as a photographer. You can get your work experience anywhere in the world, there is no need to restrict yourself to Finland.
You will be studying in Jakobstad (Pietarsaari in Finnish). Within 100 km there are two airports with regular flights to Stockholm and other cities. Jakobstad has good bus and flight connections.

For further information, see On this website you will also find information about the other study programmes offered by Novia University of Applied Sciences, as well as information about the application process.