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Norges musikkhøgskole Norwegian Academy of Music Search

The Artist­ic PhD Pro­ject

  • Course type: Part of the research training component.
  • Course level: PhD.
  • Year of study: Years 1, 2 and 3.
  • Final assessment: Examination panel.
  • Prerequisites: Qualified for admission to the PhD programme in Artistic Research and passed the research training component.
  • Language of instruction: Scandinavian or English.

Course description

Work on the artistic PhD project constitutes the main part of the PhD programme and should take place under the supervision of the supervisor or supervisors appointed by the programme committee for the PhD in Artistic Research. All projects must be documented in a permanent format. The artistic PhD project concludes with a viva voce. The viva is the public defence of the artistic PhD portfolio.

Learning objectives


Upon completing the artistic PhD project, the candidate is expected to

  • be able to identify complex problems in artistic research in music performance and composition
  • have provided a notable contribution to developing new knowledge of significance to music performance and composition through their PhD work
  • be able to help develop new knowledge, new theories, methodologies, interpretations and forms of documentation in the field of music performance and composition
  • be able to deal with complex professional issues and challenge established knowledge and practice in
  • the field of music performance and composition


Upon completing the artistic PhD project, the candidate is expected to

  • be able to identify what the project contributes to the field and to discuss and argue in favour of it
  • be familiar with and able to evaluate the efficacy of various tools and methods to document reflection on their project

General skills

Upon completing the artistic PhD project, the candidate is expected to

  • be able to conduct artistic research with a high degree of ethical awareness and professional integrity


The PhD portfolio shall comprise an artistic production as well as material documenting artistic reflection. The artistic production shall be an independent work that meets international standards in respect of excellence and ethical principles in the field. The PhD portfolio shall be of such quality that it can make a contribution towards developing new knowledge, insight and experience in the field in question.

The artistic production may comprise one or more parts or a collection of works forming a whole. If the artistic production consists of multiple smaller works, the candidate must give an account of the correlation between them. In principle, only works produced after admission to the PhD programme should be included, but in exceptional cases previous works may be used if their inclusion was a prerequisite in the project description.

The artistic production shall be an artistic work of a high standard in terms of originality, expression, coherence and presentation. The artistic production shall be presented in public, cf. Section 18.

The artistic reflection shall be documented in the form of submitted material, especially with regard to artistic choices and turning points, the use of theory and methodology, dialogue with various networks and professional communities etc., definitions and descriptions of the candidate’s artistic outlook and work within the field in question – both nationally and internationally – and contributions made to developments in the field, including any innovations.

The candidate is free to choose the medium and form for the reflective component and for any other documentation.

The programme committee shall decide which languages should be used for reflection and documentation.

The artistic PhD portfolio shall be documented in a permanent format.


The artistic PhD project is an independent piece of work carried out under individual supervision. Each candidate will be assigned one or two supervisors. The candidate is responsible for the progression of the PhD work and must make regular appointments with / submit material to their supervisor(s) in order to maintain the agreed pace of progress

Course requirements

Midterm evaluation.

Final assessment

Submitted artistic production and reflection assessed by an examination panel. Please also refer to the detailed description provided in the Regulations.

Published: May 19, 2020 — Last updated: Feb 10, 2021