This is SKH

SKH is a unique higher education environment with groundbreaking artistic research, resting on centuries-old traditions. Here we summarise where SKH is, where it came from and where it is going.
A circus student wearing a black plastic bag, from the performance Under the bridge, 2011
Photo: Eos Karlsson

This is Stockholm University of the Arts

Stockholm University of the Arts (SKH) provides education and conducts research in circus, dance, film, media, opera, and theatre. Through pioneering education and research we create conditions for the arts as dynamic, challenging and independent forces in society. SKH’s students, teachers and researchers together contribute to a university environment that dives deeply into specific art practices while encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration.

Read about our visions and goals

One of Stockholm's oldest higher education institutions…

At the end of the 18th century, king Gustav III established academies for opera singers and actors, that in the 19th century were brought together under the roof of the Royal Theatre in Stockholm. Combined with new impulses and organisations that have emerged over the years, these programmes form the start of what has become SKH today. Interwoven in our history are many historic educational environments that have played an important role in Stockholm's cultural life.

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…and one of the youngest

SKH, as it exists today, was established in 2014. The stated goal was to create a higher education institution large enough to support an ambitious artistic research environment, where education and research could interact and support each other. The former Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts, the University College of Opera and the School of Dance and Circus merged under a single organisation – thus once and for all reuniting the training academies started 250 years ago!

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A unique research environment

SKH is at the forefront of artistic research in Sweden, and in 2016 became the first artistic research institution in Sweden to start admitting doctoral students. Research is closely woven into everything done here. There are currently over 20 doctoral students, over 50 ongoing research projects, several recurring conferences and a research journal in VIS – Nordic Journal for Artistic Research.

Read more about research at SKH

Programmes of excellence and breadth

Being admitted to a study programme at SKH should always be special. Many programmes are only available here nationally, and some are unique in the whole world – narrow specialist programmes on the international cutting edge, bachelor's programmes with student productions embedded in the heart of the arts world, master's programmes that challenge professional practices in new ways. There are currently around 500 students at SKH.

See our programmes

Towards the future of the arts

SKH graduates enter an arts world that is constantly changing, where old truths are questioned and new methods are required to deal with reality. For SKH, it is important to adapt our education for the present and the future – to make them more flexible and allow students to take on a wide range of expressions, tools and art forms, supported by research. With this goal in mind, SKH is aiming to move into a single, joint building from 2030, where all art forms are invited to both further specialise and collaborate.

At Stora Bollhuset on Slottsbacken in the Old Town, to the left, the very first performing arts classes were held in Sweden, the embryo of today's SKH. Drawing by Martin Rudolf Heland from the 1780s.
At SKH's modern facilities, students work with professional tools, but also push the boundaries and explore possibilities in their artistic creation. Photo: Bengt Söderström
Facade picture of our future building
In 2022, an architectural competition was held for the design of SKH's new building in Slakthusområdet. The winning entry, To See and Be Seen, is intended to be built extensively using recycled materials. Conceptual image: 3XN Architects

Short facts about SKH

Short facts about SKH, from the annual report 2023.


  • Bachelor and teacher training programmes, 3–5 years: 9
  • Master programmes, 1–2 years: 8

In addition, SKH held 67 independent courses.

Students and Doctoral Students

  • Applicants: 1017
  • Admitted: 166
  • Students, full-time equivalents: 456
  • Doctoral students: 28


  • Employees, full-time equivalents: 188 (including 97 teachers)


  • Allocation for education: 225 million SEK 
  • Allocation for research: 58 million SEK 
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