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Norges musikkhøgskole Norwegian Academy of Music Search

The PhD Pro­gramme in Music Research

  • ECTS: 180 credits – three years of full-time study.

Admission requirements

Applicants must hold a Master's degree (or equivalent as recognized by the Norwegian Academy of Music) with specialization in the proposed research area, and must normally have a minimum average grade standing of A- or equivalent. Applicants with other higher education relevant to the proposed field of study may be accepted to the programme after special consideration by the PhD Committee, Doktorgradsutvalget (DRU).

Applicants who wish to carry out a project that incorporates a performance/artistic component must account for the importance of this specific component and document their ability to perform at a high level.

Normally, application to the PhD programme is combined with application to a vacant PhD fellowship position at the Norwegian Academy of Music. In special cases, applicants with external funding may be accepted to the PhD programme after individual consideration. Note that the same application deadline applies to all applications, regardless of funding option. Whether applying to a research fellowship or externally funded PhD position, an applicant must be deemed qualified by an expert evaluation in accordance with the Academy’s PhD regulations (see section 5 in Forskrift for graden Philosophiae doctor (ph.d.) ved Norges musikkhøgskole) before she or he is admitted to the PhD programme.

Programme description

The PhD programme at the Norwegian Academy of Music is a three-year research education of 180 credits with specialisation in one of the following three areas:

  1. Performance Practice
  2. Music Education
  3. Music Therapy

The programme is comprised of a PhD training component of 40 credits (including doctoral courses in Philosophy of Science, Research Methods and Ethics), and an individual research project with a doctoral dissertation of 140 credits. Successful completion of the training component is a prerequisite for submission of the doctoral dissertation for evaluation.

Languages of instruction are primarily Norwegian, Swedish and/or Danish. Occasionally, the instruction may be given in English. The doctoral dissertation must be submitted in one of the Scandinavian languages (Norwegian/Swedish/Danish) or English.

Norwegian is the language of internal communication at the Academy. Students/research fellows enrolled in the PhD programme must demonstrate Norwegian language proficiency at a level suitable for participation in compulsory study courses and (for research fellows) employee activities.

If your primary language is not Norwegian, you must demonstrate your proficiency in Norwegian and in English using accepted documentation methods. Further information regarding language requirements and documentation can be obtained through the Academy’s website.

The PhD study programme is regulated by Forskrift for graden Philosophiae doctor (ph.d.) ved Norges musikkhøgskole, “Regulation for the degree Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the Norwegian Academy of Music” (hereafter referred to as “the PhD Regulation”). Note that the original Norwegian regulation document remains the official and legally binding version in matters related to the PhD programme at the Academy. Any translations should be regarded only as aids to non-Scandinavian applicants.

Learning objectives


Upon graduating with the PhD qualification, the candidate is expected to

  • deliver a significant contribution to the development of new knowledge through original research in a field encompassed by the PhD programme
  • be able to contribute to the development of new knowledge, theory, and methods in the field
  • document her or his extensive systematic knowledge at the highest level in accordance with standards of international peer institutions
  • have obtained systematic knowledge of and ability to assess methodologies, research design, and central science theory traditions as the basis of research and innovation within the field

Research skills

Upon graduating with the PhD qualification, the candidate is expected to

be able to formulate, design, initiate, and conduct research and development projects at a high international level, independently and in collaboration with others

be able to evaluate and critically analyse theories and methods within the field, and on scientific bases challenge established knowledge and practices

General competencies

Upon graduating with the PhD qualification, the candidate is expected to

  • be able to execute research with a high degree of ethical consciousness and academic integrity
  • be able to present research results through renowned national and international publication channels, and participate in academic discussions nationally and internationally
  • be able to present research to diverse user groups and contribute to the advancement of understanding of the application of scientific methods and results within the music field


The PhD education is organised as a full-time study programme over three years and is comprised of a PhD training component of 40 credits and an individual research project of 140 credits. The PhD training component includes doctoral courses in philosophy of science, methods, ethics, research presentation, and a relevant project concentration elective course/study.

The programme consists of lectures, individual supervision, independent research/study, and sessional research fora. Attendance and active participation are compulsory in the Introductory Course, ("Innføringskurs" in Norwegian) and the Research Fora (part of the Text and Presentation Forum, "Tekst- og formidlingsforum" in Norwegian), due to the unique character of these courses. The individual course descriptions specify whether class attendance is compulsory.

The scope of each course in the study programme is expressed as study credits (ECTS equivalent). One year of full-time study is equal to 60 credits. The complete PhD programme consists of 180 credits. One credit corresponds to 27-30 working hours, including classroom instruction and independent work.


All PhD course assessments are given as final marks of “passed” or “failed.”

A PhD diploma and transcript of records certifying the fulfilment of the degree requirements will be issued when the student has passed all the courses required for the degree. The title of the doctoral dissertation will be stated on the PhD 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.

Published: Apr 3, 2020 — Last updated: Jun 7, 2024