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Norges musikkhøgskole Norwegian Academy of Music Search

Mas­ter Pro­ject – Spe­cial­isa­tion

  • Year of study: Year 2, over two semesters.
  • Final assessment: Two exam concerts.
  • Prerequisites: Admission to the Master of Music in Conduction Programme.
  • Language of instruction: Norwegian or English.

Course description

The Master Project is an independent concentration project that advances the student's artistic integrity and maturity.

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 Project
  • have acquired a personal artistic profile
  • show ability to manage artistic challenges in a determined and reflective professional manner
  • have developed a holistic, rigorous and purposeful method of ensemble rehearsal
  • demonstrate advanced skills in musical leadership and communication
  • show the ability to assess and apply artistic development and research material in practice


In the Master Project, the conducting student prepares and completes two exam concerts of which at least one must include a full concert programme. The student leads and conducts the exam concerts with the Academy’s Conducting Lab Choir/Orchestra, or, after special permission, with a professional external ensemble(s) in the second/final year of study.

The primary component of the Master Project consists of the student’s independent course work, involving

  • development of her/his Master Project Description
  • study of the exam concert repertoires
  • musical and technical leadership of ensembles in study and rehearsals of her/his exam repertoires
  • study of relevant literature (including artistic development and research materials)


Each student is assigned a supervisor (or two co-supervisors) from among the members of the Academy's faculty. The supervisor(s) provides individual advising and feedback regarding the student's goals, artistic choices, and core issues/questions set down in the student's Master Project Description. Through individual supervision meetings, conducting classes, and rehearsal sessions with the Academy's Lab Choir/Orchestra, the core repertoire is continually presented and reviewed. The Master Project demands a great deal of student autonomy.

Regular progress meetings between student and supervisor(s) monitor and assess the student's goals and achievements in relation to the progress plan set out in the student's project description. 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

Submission of Master Project Description and Supervision Agreement

Based on the Master Project Proposal submitted with the application to the programme, the student will develop a Master Project Description for approval in the first semester of study.

The description should include the following:

  • Discussion of relevant academic/artistic issues or research questions.
  • List of exam repertoires and other musical material that constitutes part of the Master Project.
  • A progress plan, including project goals/milestones; a schedule with an overview of rehearsals, classes, and supervision meetings.
  • A bibliography/reading list of relevant literature (including artistic development and research materials).

The Project Proposal Guidelines provide further details.

The project description must be approved by the supervisor(s), and signed by both student and supervisor(s) before submission. The submission deadline is 1 October in the third semester of study. It is the student's responsibility to contact her/his supervisor(s) and to ensure approval.

Once the Project Description is approved and signed, a Supervision Agreement between must be made. The Supervision Agreement is a contract between the student, supervisor(s) and the Academy, which outlines the student's responsibilities and rights, as well as the duties and responsibilities of the supervisor.

Deadline: 1 December in the third semester of the programme is the deadline for submitting the final approved and signed Project Description and Supervision Agreement, with a complete repertoire list/overview, to the Exams Office (delivered at the 3rd floor Administration reception).

Submission of documentation of first exam concert

After the first exam concert, a video and audio recording that documents the concert (in full) must be presented to the external examiner(s). The external examiner should receive this recording suitably in advance of the second exam concert. The student is responsible for organising the recording and all practical aspects of the performance(s), as well as covering the cost of recording, promotion (posters, programmes, etc.) and any other expenses related to her/his exam concerts.

The student must have obtained the approval of the exam concert repertoire from her/his supervisor(s) by the deadline and well in advance of the concert dates.

Final submission deadline: After each concert, and no later than 15 April in the fourth semester of studies, the student must submit 4 copies of the exam concert recording(s) (video and audio) along with a complete concert repertoire list/overview to the Exams Office.

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 two exam concerts and an interview. The Master's Project is evaluated as a whole, and all components are included in the final assessment.

The final assessments will be carried out by three examiners: the student's principal supervisor; one examiner from an external institution; and one internal examiner. The supervisor and the internal examiner must be present at both exam concerts. The external examiner assesses the first concert on the basis of the video and audio recording. The external examiner must be present at the second exam concert and at least one rehearsal.

The Examination Committee may consult a representative selected from the exam ensemble(s) who has been present at all rehearsals.

Exam Concert 1

The repertoire of the first exam concert is usually a full (or nearly full) concert programme. The conducting student is responsible for the preparations, repertoire study, and rehearsals with the ensemble performing at the concert. The concert must be video and audio recorded (see additional details under Coursework requirements). In the final assessment, the concert will be considered and assessed as a whole.

Exam Concert 2

The second exam concert is normally conducted in the fourth and final semester of the programme. The repertoire for the second exam concert must contain compositions for a soloist(s) and ensemble. In the final assessment, the concert will be considered and assessed as a whole.


An interview with the Examination Committee follows directly after the second exam concert. The student is asked to elaborate and discuss his/her Master Project, detailing the relationship between the exam concerts, the work progress throughout the project, as well as the artistic results of the Master Project, any academic challenges, research questions, and/or other relevant issues. The interview takes up to 20 minutes.

"Fail" and re-assessment procedures

If the student fails one or several exam component(s), he/she must repeat the failed component(s) before the Master Project can be finally assessed. The Examination Committee then gives a re-assessment of the Master Project as a whole.

Study component

Published: Apr 3, 2020 — Last updated: Feb 1, 2021