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Norges musikkhøgskole Norwegian Academy of Music Search

Mas­ter­’s Pro­ject

  • Year of study: Year 2, one semester (spring).
  • Final assessment: Practical and Oral Exam.
  • Prerequisites: Admission to the Master of Music in Performance Degree Programme.
  • Language of instruction: Scandinavian/English.

Course description

The course is for students in the following degree programme and concentration: Master of Music in Performance – Nordic Master: The Composing Musician (NoCoM).

The Master’s Project is to be an independent project with a clear artistic focus.

Learning objectives

Upon completion of the course, the student is expected to

  • demonstrate artistic integrity and maturity in the musical presentation of her/his Master's Project
  • master technical composition skills and creative production methods at an advanced level
  • have developed a personal artistic profile, showing a reflective relationship between composition and performance
  • be able to initiate, develop, complete and direct an artistic project
  • be able to reflect critically about processes and issues in her/his artistic project
  • as a musician be able to contribute with new ideas and innovation
  • have knowledge of artistic development and research material, and be able to draw on such material in personal performance and compositional practice


In the Master’s Project, the student develops and completes an independent artistic project, acting as both composer and performer. The project must be presented as an independent and cohesive whole. The student chooses an area of concentration from a broad range, and the project plan is developed in close dialogue with the principal supervisor.

Joint start-up module

At the beginning of the fourth semester, all the students in the programme participate in an intensive (approx. 5 days) start-up module at one of the three participating institutions. The hosting responsibility for the start-up module rotates every year among the institutions.

Examples of content in the start-up modules:

  • Workshops with ensemble play for students and teachers, creative work etc.
  • Presentations of the students' ideas for the semester projects and Master's Project.
  • Presentation of research and artistic development work.
  • Presentation of the study opportunities at the participating institutions and external collaborators in various disciplinary/focus areas.

Master's forum

  • Forum/seminar for students in the course, for the practice of verbal presentation and critique of their own and others' projects.


Each student is assigned a principal supervisor, and normally one or two co-supervisors from among the members of the Academy's faculty. The supervisor(s) provide(s) individual advising and feedback regarding student goals, artistic choices and focus questions for the Master's Project.

The master's forum is organised as bulk sessions in the fourth semester of the programme. Instruction is provided by multiple teachers/supervisors.

It is each individual student's responsibility to ensure her/his study progress. The student must take administrative charge of scheduling regular appointments with principal supervisor and local advisors, in addition to performing and submitting required course material (sheet music, recordings, project description(s) etc.), in order to ensure the expected course progression.

The student is normally expected to present parts of their Master's Project at internal concerts, forums, etc.

The Master's Project demands a high degree of artistic/academic independence from the student.

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 programme plan.

Course requirements

1. Submission of Project Description and Supervision Agreement

Based on the Master's Project Proposal submitted with the programme application, the student will develop a final Project Description. The description should be approximately 2 000 words and contain details of the following: chosen focus area; project material and content; a progress plan; project supervisor(s). Find more information in the Project Proposal Guidelines. It is the student's responsibility to contact her/his supervisor(s).

The supervisor(s) must approve the project description before the deadline.

Deadline: 1 December in the second semester of the programme is the deadline for submitting the final approved and signed Project Description and Supervision Agreement to the Exams Office. The Supervision Agreement is a contract between the student, supervisor and the Academy, which outlines the student's responsibilities and rights, as well as the duties and responsibilities of the supervisor.

Any changes in Project Description during the progress of the study programme must be approved by the principal supervisor. If any such changes affect the progress plan, a new Supervision Agreement must be made and submitted.

2. Compulsory participation in the start-up module

At the beginning of the fourth semester of study, the student is required to participate in the intensive (approx. 5 days) start-up module.

3. Presentation of Master's Project

The student must give at minimum one presentation of her/his Master's Project in an appropriate forum.

4. Participation in Master's Forum

Final assessment

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

Students are assessed in relation to the learning objectives. The final assessment will be given as a pass/fail mark, which will be determined on the basis of a final artistic performance/presentation, an oral presentation and dialogue. The Master's Project is evaluated as a whole, including all components in the final assessment. The final assessments will be carried out by three examiners, out of which at least one will be from an external institution. One of the examiners is normally the student's principal supervisor.

Final artistic performance/presentation, oral presentation and dialogue

Conducted in the fourth semester of the study, in the presence of all examiners.

Final artistic performance/presentation: Normally, the candidate gives a concert. However, he/she may apply to give the presentation in another format. The deadline for such an application on 1 December in the third semester of the study programme.

Duration: 45 minutes.

Oral presentation and dialogue: After the final performance/presentation, the candidate gives an oral presentation of her/his Master's Project (10 minutes), which is followed by the evaluation committee's comments (10 minutes), and a dialogue session (10 minutes) in which the student responds to the committee and audience members (10 minutes). Issues and questions concerning the candidate's area of focus in the Master's Project, the consistency of the project work as a cohesive whole/independent artistic expression, and the final performance/presentation will be discussed during the dialogue.

Duration: 30 minutes.

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

Study component

Published: Apr 3, 2020 — Last updated: Mar 4, 2021