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Mas­ter­’s Pro­ject

  • Course type: Concentration.
  • Year of study: Years 1 and 2, over three semesters (spring-autumn-spring).
  • Final assessment: Final artistic presentation, reflection paper and meeting with examinations committee.
  • Prerequisites: Admission to the Master of music in performance degree programme.
  • Language of instruction: Norwegian/English.

Course description

This course is for students enrolled in the Master of Music Performance program in the following concentrations

  • classical solo instrument/chamber music
  • traditional Nordic folk music
  • accompaniment and chamber music for classical pianists

The master project is a performative project that should demonstrate the student’s independence and artistic maturity in musical performance. The project should concentrate on a limited topic and focus on a defined artistic problem.

Learning objectives

On completion of this course, the student is expected to

  • have developed a clear profile
  • demonstrate artistic integrity and maturity in musical performance
  • be able to articulate and discuss artistic questions
  • be able to initiate and execute their own artistic projects
  • be able to use material from artistic development work and research


During the master project the student will complete an independent artistic project. The project should concentrate on a limited topic and focus on a defined artistic question. The repertoire should normally last 90 minutes, of which at least 45 minutes should be performed in public prior to the artistic final presentation. All or parts of the repertoire may be performed as part of an ensemble.

The main elements of the master project involve

  • the development, execution and management of the student’s own artistic project
  • learning and interpreting the repertoire covered within the master project
  • giving public performances of the master project
  • using relevant material from artistic development and research
  • reflection and discussion on the student’s own master project and those of others


Most of the course involves independent work on the master project. The students is are responsible for their progression and should make regular appointments with their tutor(s).


During the first year of studies the students initiate and develop their master projects under the supervision of their teacher in the subject Repertoire and Interpretation, optionally in cooperation with the leader of the Master Forum. In the second year of study each student is assigned a principal supervisor. The supervisor will usually be the student’s teacher in the subject Repertoire and Interpretation. An alternative supervisor may be considered if the nature of the project dictates it, and it is possible to appoint co-supervisors if necessary. The supervisor(s) should give the student advice and feedback on artistic decisions and otherwise help the student develop and complete the master project. An alternative principal supervisor may only be appointed subject to a justified application. The application should be submitted alongside the first draft of the project description by 15 March in the second semester of the programme. It will be considered by the head(s) of department(s) and programme leader.

Project description

The student should prepare a project description for the master project comprising 1,200–2,000 words (3–5 pages), including a title, topic, topic research question, reasoning and progress plan. For more information, see the guidelines on project descriptions. The project description may be amended along the way. Amendments must be approved by the supervisor and reported to the academic advisor.

Supervision agreement

A supervision agreement must be entered into by the student, supervisor, any co-supervisors and the Norwegian Academy of Music. The supervision agreement should indicate which and how supervisors should contribute to the master project and how the overall supervisory resources should be distributed between different supervisors. The supervision agreement describes the student’s rights and obligations as well as the supervisor’s rights and obligations. The agreement should be amended in the event of any changes that will affect the planned progress of the master project. Download the supervision agreement here.

Master Forum

In the Master Forum the students meet in smaller groups for student presentations and discussions. They are also offered one-to-one meetings with the head of the Master Forum between every forum event.

Structure and recommended scope of instruction are further outlined (under Organisation) in the programme curriculum.

Students are registered automatically for instruction/supervision and assessment in the course in accordance with the study progress requirements set out in the individual education plan.

Course requirements

Project description and supervision agreement

  1. The student should submit the first draft of their project description no later than 15 March in the second semester of studies. The draft will be reviewed by the heads of the Master Forum who will provide feedback by 15 April.
  2. The student should submit their supervision agreement and project description as approved by the heads of the Master Forum by 15 May in the second semester.

Master Forum

  1. Attendance and active participation in the Master Forum is mandatory. This usually means that if the student has an absence rate above 20% they will not be enrolled for the final assessment. The students are expected to present their own projects and share their reflections and feedback on their peers’ projects.
  2. The students will present their master project to students in their own discipline, e.g. in the instrument forum or other relevant settings.

Public performances

  1. Before the exam recital the student should perform a repertoire lasting at least 45 minutes, taking the total performed repertoire in the subject to 90 minutes. The repertoire may, if desirable, be split up into multiple performances.
  2. The performance(s) should be documented in the form of audio or video recordings which should be made accessible to the examiners electronically on the reporting form.

Reporting form

The student should submit a reporting form containing:

  • repertoire covered in the subject
  • summary of public performances and repertoire performed
  • link to audio/video recordings of public performances
  • repertoire, venue and presentation format of final artistic presentation


15 March in the second semester of the programme: First draft of the project description with preliminary repertoire to be submitted. Last chance to request an alternative principal supervisor

15 May in the second semester of the programme: Supervision agreement and approved project description to be submitted

15 April in the fourth semester of the programme:

  • Completed public performances of at least 45 minutes of repertoire included in the master project.
  • Submit reporting form.
  • Completed presentation of master project to students in their own discipline or other relevant settings.

All course requirements must be approved by the principal supervisor and head of the Master Forum.

Final assessment

All course requirements must be met and approved in order for the student to be enrolled for the final assessment.

The student will be assessed on the basis of the learning objectives for the course. The student will be given a pass/fail mark, based on the final artistic presentation and interview. The examiners will have access to the student’s project description, reporting form and audio/video recordings of the public performances, and the master project will be assessed comprehensively as a whole.

The master project will be assessed by three examiners. At least one of these will be an external examiner.

Final artistic presentation

The master project concludes with a final artistic presentation, normally in the form of a concert at the Academy in the fourth semester of studies. The master project may be presented in a different format subject to application. Such applications must be submitted to the examinations office by 1 February in the fourth semester of the programme.

Duration: 45 minutes


After the final presentation the candidate will take part in a public interview with the examination committee. Matters relating to the candidate’s master project and the coherence within the master project will be covered during the interview. Feedback from the audience may form part of the interview.

Duration: 30 minutes.

The examination committee should provide an explanation of their assessment of the student.

New assessment

In the case of re-assessment, the same procedures apply.

Study component

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