Norges musikkhøgskole Norwegian Academy of Music
No En
Search

PhD Dis­ser­ta­tion and Disputation

  • Course type: Concentration / Primary research area.
  • Course level: PhD.
  • Year of study: All semesters.
  • Final assessment: Adjudication Committee of at least three members.
  • Prerequisites: Admission to PhD programme and approved PhD training.
  • Language of instruction: Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Course description

Work conducted in the development and completion of the doctoral dissertation constitutes the primary coursework. This work is conducted under the supervision of the supervisor(s) appointed by the PhD Committee. The doctoral dissertation may be presented as a monograph or as a collection of smaller, scholarly works and a précis (also referred to as “article based dissertation”). With special approval, another permanent format may be accepted. The research project is completed with a PhD exam, consisting of a trial lecture and disputation. The disputation is the public defence of the dissertation.

The dissertation and publication format must be approved by the PhD Committee if divergent from general guidelines.

Transitional arrangement: For candidates enrolled in 2013 or earlier, the course constitutes 144 credits.

Learning objectives

On completion of the course, the candidate is expected through her/his original research to

  • document significant and original contribution to the development of new knowledge of relevance for activity in historical and contemporary performance practice, music education, or music therapy
  • document contribution to the development of knowledge, theory, and methods within the field
  • document extensive systematic knowledge at the highest level in accordance with international standards of the field
  • document systematic knowledge of and ability to assess methodologies, research design, and central traditions of theory and philosophy of science relevant to her/his doctoral project
  • document his/her ability to pose, design, initiate and conduct research at a high level in accordance with standards of international peer institutions
  • document extensive systematic knowledge at the highest level in accordance with standards of international peer institutions
  • have obtained systematic knowledge of and be able to assess methodologies, research design, and central science theory traditions as the basis of research and innovation within the field
  • be able to evaluate and critically analyse theories and methods within the field, and on scientific bases challenge established knowledge and practices
  • be able to execute research with a high degree of ethical consciousness and academic integrity

Overview

The course is comprised of

  1. Doctoral dissertation
  2. PhD exam

1. Doctoral dissertation

The doctoral dissertation is an independent research project involving the study of a specific problem within one of the PhD programme areas, chosen and specified by the PhD candidate. Work conducted in the development and completion of the doctoral dissertation constitutes the primary coursework.

The doctoral dissertation may be presented as a monograph or as a collection of smaller, scholarly works (also referred to as “article based dissertation”). A dissertation of multiple scholarly works must include a minimum of three texts and a précis. At least one of these texts must be published (or accepted for publication) in a recognized peer-reviewed scholarly journal at the time of submission.

The doctoral dissertation should not exceed 300 pages in length.

Supporting materials in the form of recorded audio, video, image (or other lasting formats) for the purpose of documenting performance/practical activity may be included. However, such supporting materials are accepted only as illuminative documentation and must be discussed in the dissertation text. Auditory components will not be considered independently but assessed in relation to the scholarly dissertation text.

See guidelines for PhD dissertations at the Norwegian Academy of Music.

2. PhD exam

The PhD exam is comprised of a trial lecture and disputation, to be completed after the dissertation has been accepted and deemed suitable for disputation. See further details under “final assessment.”

Structure

The dissertation is an independent work completed by the PhD candidate under individual supervision. Each candidate is appointed one or two supervisors. It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure the progress of the dissertation and to schedule meetings and submit materials in a timely manner in accordance with the project plan.

Course requirements

The course requires the completion of three assignments:

1. Project Description

During the first semester of the PhD programme, the candidate must complete and submit a project description. The project description is a revised version of the project proposal that constituted the basis for her/his admission to the programme. The appropriate length of the project description is approximately 3000 words (i.e. somewhat longer than the proposal submitted with the application), providing detailed descriptions of the problem/hypothesis, theoretical framework, materials and methods, and progress plan. The completed project description is presented at the Research Forum in the first semester.

Project descriptions may be changed as required in the progression of the study. Any such changes must be approved by the supervisor. If considerable changes are made, a new supervision agreement is required.

2. Midterm evaluation

All PhD candidates are subject to a midterm evaluation. The research centre to which the candidate belongs does the evaluation. The evaluation will normally be included in a centre seminar or gathering. The evaluation opposition will be one or more internal or external senior researchers.

The midterm evaluation is compulsory for the class of 2017 and optional for earlier classes. See also course requirements for DRFORMID90.

3. Trial Disputation

All PhD candidates must undertake a trial disputation 6-12 prior to the expected date of dissertation submission. A trial opponent is appointed based on suggestions made by the supervisor(s) and candidate. A total of 2 hours are allowed for the three (3) segments of the trial disputation:

  1. Presentation of the dissertation.
  2. Opposition and defence (60-80 minutes).
  3. Questions from the audience (up to 20 minutes).

100 pages of dissertation text are submitted and made available to peer candidates and supervisor(s) no later than 3 weeks prior to the trial disputation.

The PhD training component must be fulfilled and approved before the trial disputation.

See guidelines for the midterm evaluation and the trial disputations at the Norwegian Academy of Music (also at Canvas).

Final assessment

All course requirements, as well as the PhD Training Component, must be fulfilled and approved before the candidate is given a final assessment and the PhD degree can be conferred.

1. Dissertation

Evaluation of doctoral dissertations submitted at the Norwegian Academy of Music is regulated by sections 14-17 of the PhD Regulation ("Forskrift for graden philosophiae doctor (ph.d.) ved Norges musikkhøgskole").

A PhD Adjudication Committee evaluates the dissertation and produces a Dissertation Evaluation Report, which is submitted to the Academy. The Committee has a minimum of three members, of which at least one member is not affiliated with the Norwegian Academy of Music. Supervisors and other dissertation contributors shall not be accepted as members or administrators of the PhD Adjudication Committee.

See special guidelines for submission of the PhD dissertation and final assessment.

A PhD dissertation evaluation must conclude with one of the following adjudications:

  1. The dissertation is deemed acceptable for disputation without revisions.
  2. The dissertation is deemed acceptable for disputation subject to minor revisions.
  3. The dissertation is deemed unacceptable.

If (a) the dissertation is deemed acceptable for disputation without revisions, the candidate may proceed with the PhD examination (i.e. the trial lecture and disputation). The examination is normally scheduled to take place within 5-8 weeks succeeding the dissertation evaluation.

If (b) the dissertation is deemed acceptable for disputation subject to minor revisions, the candidate is given maximum three (3) months to revise the dissertation in light of the comments made by the committee. The revised dissertation must be reviewed and deemed acceptable by the PhD Adjudication Committee before the candidate may proceed with PhD examination (as in point a.)

Re-evaluation of Dissertation

Where (c) a dissertation is considered unacceptable, the candidate may resubmit his/her dissertation no sooner than six (6) months succeeding the first dissertation evaluation. The candidate must complete major revisions pertaining to the theory, research questions, materials/documentation and/or methodology before the dissertation can be resubmitted for re-evaluation. The Academy reserves the right to determine whether the second Adjudication Committee shall be made up of none, one, or several members of the original Committee.

If the dissertation is resubmitted after such major modifications/revisions and again deemed unacceptable, the assessment will be considered final and the proceedings concluded. A second major revision/modification is not permitted.

2. PhD Examination

The PhD examination is comprised of the trial lecture and disputation:

Trial lecture

The trial lecture is an independent part of the PhD examination. The purpose is to test the candidate's ability to acquire knowledge of matters beyond the dissertation topic and to impart this knowledge in a lecture setting. The theme should be within the general subject area from which the candidate's doctoral work originates, but the topic shall not be directly related to the central issues of the candidate’s dissertation. The title of the trial lecture will be decided by the Adjudication Committee and announced to the candidate 10 working days before the trial lecture. The duration of the trial lecture should be 45 minutes.

The trial lecture shall be delivered after the dissertation has been submitted and before the disputation, normally on the day before or the day of the disputation. In special circumstances, where the trial lecture and disputation are assessed separately, the Academy reserves the right to appoint a special committee for assessment of the trial lecture. In such cases, at least one member of the Adjudication Committee must be appointed to the Trial Lecture Assessment Committee.

The trial lecture is normally delivered at the Norwegian Academy of Music, and in the language of the dissertation, unless the Academy approves the use of another language.

The Adjudication Committee shall report to the Academy whether the trial lecture merits a pass. The Committee's recommendation must be substantiated if the Committee recommends a fail. The trial lecture must be passed before the public disputation may take place.

Disputation – Public Defense

The disputation is the candidate’s public defence of the thesis presented in her/his dissertation and takes place after the trial lecture has been approved. The time and place of the disputation shall be announced at least 10 working days in advance.

The Adjudication Committee that evaluated the dissertation shall also evaluate the candidate’s disputation. There shall normally be two opponents. The two opponents shall be members of the Adjudication Committee, appointed by the Academy. In special circumstances, external opponents may be appointed.

The disputation must be held in the language of the dissertation unless the Academy approves the use of another language.

The Adjudication Committee delivers its recommendation to the Academy as to whether the defence should be approved. The Committee's recommendation must be substantiated if the Committee does not recommend approval of the defence.

The defence must be approved before the degree can be conferred.

Fail

Section 20 of the PhD Regulation.

If the trial lecture is not approved, a second trial lecture must be given, within 3 months of original lecture, and on a different topic than that of the failed trial lecture. The second trial lecture must be passed after evaluation by the original Adjudication Committee (unless otherwise decided by the Academy) before the disputation. A third trial lecture is not permitted.

If the disputation is not approved, the candidate may defend her or his dissertation a second time, no sooner than three (3) months after the original disputation date. The second disputation shall be evaluated by the original Adjudication Committee (unless otherwise decided by the Academy). A third defence of the doctoral dissertation is not permitted.

Published: May 19, 2020 — Last updated: Jun 13, 2021