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Norges musikkhøgskole Norwegian Academy of Music Search

Mas­ter­’s Pro­ject

  • Year of study: Years 1 and 2, over four semesters (autumn, spring, autumn, spring).
  • Final assessment: Final artistic presentation, theory-based thesis and meeting with examinations committee.
  • Prerequisites: Admission to the Master of Music in Performance Degree Programme.
  • Language of instruction: Norwegian/English.

Course description

This course is for students in the Master’s Degree Programme in Music Performance – Performance with Thesis.

The Master’s Project is to be an independent project that reflects artistic and scholarly maturity. The performance and the theoretical parts of the Master’s Project comprise almost equal parts which elucidate each other and represent a cohesive whole.

Learning objectives

On completion of this course, the student is expected to

  • demonstrate artistic integrity and maturity in the musical presentation of the Master’s Project
  • have developed a clear profile
  • be able to articulate and discuss issues related to their 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 Master’s Project, students will acquire advanced knowledge of a self-selected thematic area or repertoire. The project must link performance and musical expression with theoretical and academic documentation. The project must demonstrate the student’s ability to pursue in-depth study through independent insight and contribute to the reflective interpretation of the topic. The repertoire must constitute a cohesive whole. The Master’s Project may be structured in different ways, and the students may choose to work with a topic in one of the following areas

  • a composer or a special repertoire
  • a specific area or musical milieu
  • interpretation studies
  • musical presentation and communication

Following an individual assessment, other areas may be approved. The repertoire may normally not be included as part of the course Repertoire and Interpretation.

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
  • rehearsing and interpreting the repertoire for the Master’s Project (duration: 90 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 interpretation classes
  • Master’s Forum, an interdisciplinary forum across the concentrations in which students present and discuss their current work
  • writing a reflection paper on the Master’s Project


Each student will be assigned a principal supervisor, and as a general rule 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 for the Master’s Project. Masterclasses, lectures/dialogues and interpretation classes and Master’s Forum will be held as well. The masterclasses, lectures/dialogues and interpretation classes are organised in a common group for all students at the graduate level. The interpretation classes are arranged in the respective academic areas. 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 Master’s 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 Master’s 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.

Performance 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 Master’s 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 Master’s 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 project description with an attached preliminary repertoire list must be approved by the supervisor no later than 15 October in the first 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 Master’s Project must be submitted to the Exams Office no later than 1 December in the first 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 Master’s Project, a new supervision agreement must be drawn up.

2. Master’s Forum

At a minimum, a presentation of the student’s own Master’s 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.

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 learning objectives. The final assessment will be given as a pass/fail mark, which will be determined on the basis of a final artistic presentation, a theory-based thesis and a meeting with the examinations committee. The Master’s Project is assessed as a whole, and equal weight will normally be given to the final artistic presentation, theory-based thesis and meeting with the examinations committee, although the performance portion will take precedence should there be doubt about the final mark. Importance will be attached to the student’s innovative capacity. A single assessment will be given for all three parts.

The Master’s 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 Master’s Project.

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

Final artistic presentation

The Master’s Project concludes with a final artistic presentation which is usually held as 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 February in the fourth semester of studies. The presentation must take place in the fourth semester of studies.

Duration: 45 minutes

Theory-based thesis

The theoretical part of the Master’s Project is documented with a theory-based thesis, normally 50 pages in length. If parts of the Master’s Project are suitable for presentation in a concert lecture, this may constitute part of the documentation. The concert lecture is held in connection with the final examination concert.

Deadline: The thesis (seven copies and an electronic version) must be submitted to the Exams Office no later than 15 April of the fourth semester of the course.

The thesis must be approved before the student can complete the final artistic presentation and meeting. Evaluation of the thesis will be available three weeks after it has been submitted. Students whose thesis is not approved must revise and submit it by the stipulated deadlines.

Meeting with the examinations committee

After the final artistic presentation, the student must meet with the examinations committee. Topics to be discussed include academic issues related to the student’s Master’s Project, work methods, the internal cohesion between the various elements of the Master’s Project and the tie between the final presentation and the student’s thesis, the literature the student has used, etc.

Duration: 20 minutes.

In the case of re-assessment, the same procedures apply.

Study component

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