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Norges musikkhøgskole Norwegian Academy of Music Search

Artist Dip­loma Pro­ject

  • Year of study: Years 1 and 2, over three semesters (spring, autumn, spring).
  • Final assessment: Final artistic presentation, reflection paper and conversation with examinations committee.
  • Prerequisites: Admission to the Artist Diploma – Master of Music Performance Degree Programme.
  • Language of instruction: Norwegian and English.

Course description

This course is for students in the Artist Diploma – Master of Music Performance degree programme.

The Artist Diploma Project is to be an independent project that reflects artistic maturity in musical performance at a high international level.

Learning objectives

Upon completion of the course, the student is expected to

  • show artistic integrity and maturity in the musical presentation of her/his Artist Diploma Project
  • have developed a clear profile
  • be able to meet the requirements of the profession as an independent performance artist at a high international level
  • be able to articulate and discuss issues related to her/his own artistic project
  • be able to initiate, develop, implement and manage an artistic project
  • be able to use material from artistic development activity and research


In the Artist Diploma Project, students will acquire advanced knowledge of a self-selected thematic area or repertoire. The repertoire must constitute a cohesive whole. Students may choose from a wide range of thematic areas and they must plan their Artist Diploma Project in cooperation with their main supervisor. The repertoire may normally not be included as part of the course Repertoire and Interpretation.

Most of the Artist Diploma Project is comprised of the student’s work with

  • developing a project description /proposal for the Artist Diploma Project
  • implementing and managing his/her own artistic project
  • rehearsing and interpreting the repertoire for the Artist Diploma Project (duration: 90 minutes)
  • developing and preparing public presentations of his/her own Artist Diploma Project
  • relevant literature (including material from artistic development activity and research) masterclasses, lectures/dialogues and interpretation classes
  • Master’s Forum, an interdisciplinary forum across the concentrations in which students present and discuss their current work
  • writing a reflection paper about the Artist Diploma Project


Each student/each ensemble will be assigned a principal supervisor, and one or two co-supervisors, from among the Academy’s permanent teachers. The supervisor(s) will give the student(s) advice and feedback on their artistic choices as well as on the objectives and issues in the proposed project description. Masterclasses, lectures/dialogues and interpretation classes will be held as well. The masterclasses and lectures/dialogues are organised in a common group for all students at the Graduate level. The interpretation classes are arranged in the respective areas of concentration. The Master’s Forum is organised as block instruction in the third and fourth semesters of studies. Instruction is given by several different instructors/supervisors.

Students are responsible for their own progression in the Artist Diploma Project and must make regular appointments with and submit materials to the supervisor(s) (scores, recordings, project description, etc.) so that they maintain their progression as agreed. A high degree of independence is expected of students in the Artist Diploma Project.

Structure and recommended scope of instruction are further outlined (under Organisation) in the programme curriculum.

Students have registered automatically for instruction/supervision and assessment in the course in accordance with the study progress requirements set out in the individual education plan.

Achievement reviews are held between the student and the programme coordinator/teachers’ team in which, among other things, the student’s goals and progress in the course are followed up. For more information, please see the section under Organisation in the general part of the programme description.

For an overview of the expected study progression, please see Organisation under the description of the individual study programme.

Course requirements

1. Submission of the Supervision Agreement and Project Description

Students will develop the project description partly in the course Artist Diploma Project and partly in Music in Perspective. The project description must be three to five pages in length and state the topic, contents, progress plan and supervisor(s) for the Artist Diploma Project. For more information, please see the guidelines for the project description. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the supervisor(s).

Deadline: The proposed project description with an attached preliminary repertoire list must be approved by the supervisor no later than 15 May in the second semester of studies. The project description must be signed by both the student and the supervisor.

When the project description has been approved and signed, a supervision agreement must be entered into between the student, the supervisor and the Academy. The supervision agreement states the obligations and rights of the student as well as the responsibilities and obligations of the supervisor.

Deadline: The supervision agreement and an approved project description with a repertoire list for the Artist Diploma Project must be submitted to the Exams Office no later than 1 June in the second semester of studies.

The project description may be changed during the process. All changes must be approved by the supervisor. If changes are made that affect the student’s planned progression with the Artist Diploma Project, a new supervision agreement must be drawn up.

2. Master’s Forum

At a minimum, a presentation of the student’s own Artist Diploma Project.

Deadline: The chair of the forum must submit a record of minutes to the Exams Office no later than 15 April in the fourth semester of studies.

3. Implementation and Documentation of public performances

Public performances of the Artist Diploma Project with a repertoire of at least 45 minutes in duration. If so desired, the repertoire may be divided among several performances, e.g. of 30 minutes each. The performance(s) are usually held at an external location and must be completed no later than 15 March in the fourth semester of studies. The choice of the form of presentation should be appropriate for the self-selected topic or repertoire area. Examples of presentation forms: concert, media production, web project, performance, etc.

The performance(s) must be documented with an audio or video recording. The students are responsible for choosing the form of documentation and the format. The student is also responsible for organising the practical aspects of the performance(s) as well as for the recording and promotion costs (posters, programmes, etc.) and other costs. Within four weeks of the performance, the student must

  • submit the audio/video recording to the principal supervisor/internal examiner
  • submit a report form documenting that the performance has been completed

The forms must be signed by the student and the examiner who has assessed the recording.

Deadline: Report forms must be submitted to the Exams Office within four weeks of the performance (no later than 15 April of the fourth semester of studies).

Final assessment

All course requirements must be fulfilled and approved before the student is given a final assessment.

Students are assessed in relation to the course objectives. The final assessment will be given as a ”passed”/”failed” mark, which will be determined on the basis of a final artistic presentation, reflection paper and meeting with the examinations committee. The Artist Diploma Project is assessed as a whole. A single assessment will be given for all three parts.

The Artist Diploma Project will be assessed by three examiners, of which one is external. The supervisor usually serves as one of the examiners. The examinations committee will give the student an oral opinion on the Artist Diploma Project.

In the case of re-assessment, the same procedures as for an ordinary assessment will be followed.

Final artistic presentation

The Artist Diploma Project concludes with a final artistic presentation which is usually held as a concert with orchestra/chamber music ensemble performing a selected repertoire appropriate for the concentration:

  • Soloists: Solo performance with orchestra of repertoire corresponding with a Classical or Romantic soloist concert.
  • Chamber music ensembles: Chamber music concert performed by the established student ensemble. For parts of the concert programme, the ensemble may be expanded to include other performance students. For instance, a string quartet may be expanded into a piano quintet.

On application, the Artist Diploma Project may be presented in another form. Applications must be submitted to the Exams Office no later than 1 February in the fourth semester of studies. The presentation must take place in the fourth semester of studies.

Repertoire duration: 60 minutes.

Reflection paper

On the basis of the project description, the student must write a minimum 500-word reflection paper that discusses the work and artistic process involved in the Artist Diploma Project.

Deadline: The reflection paper must be submitted to the Exams Office no later than 15 April in the fourth semester of studies.

Conversation with the examinations committee

After the final presentation, the student must meet with the examinations committee. Topics to be discussed include academic issues related to the student’s Artist Diploma Project, the internal cohesion between the various elements of the Artist Diploma Project and the tie between the final presentation and the student’s reflection paper.

Duration: 20 minutes.

Study component

Published: Apr 3, 2020 — Last updated: Sep 20, 2022