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Norges musikkhøgskole Norwegian Academy of Music Search

Mas­ter­’s Pro­ject

  • Year of study: Years 1 and 2, over three semesters (spring-autumn-spring).
  • Final assessment: Reflection paper, practical and oral exam.
  • Prerequisites: Admission to the Master of Music in Performance programme.
  • Language of instruction: Norwegian/English.

Course description

This course is for students in the Master of Music in Performance degree programme – Improvised Music/Jazz.

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

Learning objectives

On completion of the course, the student is expected to

  • show artistic integrity and maturity in the musical presentation of her/his Master’s Project
  • have developed a clear artistic profile
  • be able to initiate, develop, manage and complete an artistic project
  • be able to reflect critically on processes and issues concerning her/his creative project
  • contribute to new ideas and innovative production through her/his role as a musician
  • have knowledge of and be able to use material from artistic development work and research in her/his work


In the Master’s Project, the student develops and completes an independent artistic performance project. The project must have coherency as an independent work. The student chooses an area of concentration from a broad range, and the project plan is developed in close dialogue with the principal supervisor.

Most of the Master’s Project is comprised of the student’s work with

  • developing a Project Description for the Master’s Project
  • implementing and managing his/her own artistic project
  • planning, rehearsing and implementing four-concert projects (total playing time: 180 minutes)
  • developing and preparing public presentations of his/her own Master’s Project
  • relevant literature (including material from artistic development work and research)
  • masterclasses, lectures/dialogues and project forums
  • keeping a log of various processes involved in the project
  • writing a reflection paper on the Master’s Project

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, normally a member of the Academy's faculty. The principal supervisor provides individual academic and artistic advice and feedback throughout the study programme. Supervisory resources (set down by the Academy in advance) are made available to the principal supervisor. In addition, the distribution of the student's project resources is determined in the dialogue between student and supervisor.

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 (if applicable) co-supervisors, 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

The student develops a Project Description of approximately 3 000 words, containing 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) for appointments.

Deadline: 1 March in the second semester of the programme is the deadline for submitting the proposal for the Project Description to the Exams Office.

Deadline: 1 May 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 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. Submission of a detailed plan for the Master’s Project

The plan must contain a description of the practical planning and execution of the various projects included in the Master's Project. The plan must be submitted to the principal supervisor prior to the semester in which the projects will be completed.

Deadline: The plan must be submitted to the principal supervisor no later than 1 June for the subsequent autumn semester and 1 December for the subsequent spring semester.

3. Participation in Master’s Forum (normally 3 in total)

Final assessment

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

Student assessment is based on the learning objectives. The final assessment will be given as a pass/fail mark, which will be determined on the basis of documented public performances, a reflection paper, a final artistic presentation, and a meeting with the examinations committee. The Master’s Project is assessed as a whole. A single assessment will be given for all of the parts.

The Master’s Project will be assessed by three examiners, of which one is external. The principal supervisor usually serves as one of the examiners. The external examiner(s) attend(s) the final artistic presentation and the meeting with the examinations committee, and assesses the other public performances on the basis of audio/video recordings. Each student is assessed individually. The examinations committee will give the student an oral opinion on the Master’s Project.

Public performances and reflection paper

Public performances: Public performances of the Master’s Project of at least 120 minutes in duration. 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 related to the presentation(s). Within four weeks of the performance, the student must

  • submit the audio/video recording to the principal supervisor
  • submit a repertoire report (form) documenting that the performance has been completed. The forms must be signed by the student and the internal examiner who has assessed the recording.

Reflection paper: On the basis of the project description and the public performances of the Master’s Project, the student must write a final reflection paper of a minimum of 1200 words that discusses the work and artistic process involved in the Master’s Project.

Deadline: Report forms with documentation of the public performances in a suitable format (e.g. audio/video recording) and reflection papers must be submitted to the Exams Office no later than 15 April of the fourth semester of studies.

Final artistic presentation and meeting with examinations committee

Held during the fourth semester of studies. All the examiners must be present.

Final artistic performance/presentation: The Master’s Project concludes with a final artistic performance/presentation (usually a concert at the Academy). On application, the Master’s Project may be presented in another form. Applications must be submitted to the Exams Office no later than 1 December in the third semester of studies.

Duration: 60 minutes.

Meeting 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 Master’s Project, the internal cohesion between the various elements of the Master’s Project and the tie between the public performances, the final presentation and the student’s reflection paper, etc.

Duration: 20 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). Disciplinary issues and questions concerning the candidate's Master's Project, the consistency of the project work as a whole/coherent 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 apply.

Study component

Published: Apr 3, 2020 — Last updated: Feb 18, 2022