Skip to main content
Norges musikkhøgskole Norwegian Academy of Music Search

Mas­ter of Music in Com­pos­i­tion

  • Leads to qualification: Master of Music in Composition.
  • ECTS: 120 credits – two years of full-time study.

Admission requirements

Admission to the programme requires completion of a Bachelor of Music degree (or equivalent as recognised by the Norwegian Academy of Music) with a minimum of 80 credits (ECTS equivalent) in Composition.

For applicants to the Jazz Composition concentration, the prerequisite 80 credits in Composition may be substituted with 80 credits in Jazz/Improvised Music Performance subjects or 80 credits in Musicology.

During entrance examinations, the applicant must demonstrate a high degree of artistic achievement through their original compositions. The applicants found most qualified will be admitted.

Programme description

The Master of Music in Composition programme trains composers within three concentration areas: Composition, Film Music Composition, and Composition for Large Jazz Ensembles. Students advance their creative and practical skills, engage in mature artistic reflection processes, and develop individual autonomy as composers. The development and completion of an individual creative Master Project and its supporting projects constitute the primary study component. The project proposal submitted with the student's application to the programme is refined and finalised as a Master Project Description in the first semester.

Film Music Composition students receive part of their training at The Norwegian Film School at Lillehammer University College, and the course structure of this concentration, therefore, differs somewhat from the others.

Specific requirements for each concentration are further detailed in the course descriptions.

Learning objectives

Students graduating from the Master of Music in Composition Degree Programme demonstrate:

  • mastery of advanced technical composition skills and creative work methods in the creation of a cohesive aesthetic expression and artistic integrity
  • ability to conceptualise their own artistic expression in a reflective manner regarding musical art and its functions within historical, cultural, art disciplinary, and social perspectives
  • ability to apply their knowledge to expand their musical perspective and conduct independent, artistic development activity
  • ability to contribute to the development and innovation of expressions and practices within the music field
  • independence and autonomy when meeting demanding artistic challenges, as well as by initiating, implementing and directing a variety of projects
  • ability to analyse and critically assess material from artistic development activity and research and to use this in their own work
  • ability to articulate and discuss issues of their discipline in a critical, reflective, and purposeful manner, both within the music community and in the public sphere
  • understanding and skills for a critical assessment of ethical norms and issues within music research and professions


The programme is organised as a seminar-based full-time study. Course work consists of teacher-led classroom instruction, academic supervision and independent study in connection with this instruction.

As a general rule, class attendance at the Academy is not compulsory. However, there are certain courses in which attendance is required. The individual course descriptions specify whether class attendance is compulsory.

Read regulations on absences and leaves of absence (in Norwegian).

Study credits (ECTS equivalent) are used as the unit of measure to express the scope of the courses in the study programme. The complete Master's degree programme is 120 credits. One year of full-time study is equal to 60 credits. One credit corresponds to 27-30 hours of work, including classroom instruction and independent work.


Courses at the Academy use one of the following two grading systems (with the exception of non-credit courses):

  • A final mark of “passed” or “failed”.
  • The final mark is on a scale of A to F, where E is the lowest passing mark.

The individual course descriptions must state which system of marking will be used.

Additional provisions on assessment and examination are laid down in Chapter VI of the Regulations Governing the Programmes of Study at the Norwegian Academy of Music.

A diploma will be issued when the student has passed all the courses required for a degree. All courses which are part of the study programme, as well as the marks and number of credits, will be stated on the diploma. The title of the Graduate Diploma Project will also be stated on the diploma.

Education quality assurance

The Academy has a system for educational quality assurance and development that applies to all aspects of the education provided. Students play a vital role in these efforts by, among other things, participating in student evaluations of courses and programmes.

Read more about educational quality at the Academy.

Published: Apr 3, 2020 — Last updated: Mar 30, 2022