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3rd Cycle in the Arts

This is an international database of 3rd cycle awards in the European Higher Arts Education Area, developed within the Creator Doctus project (2018-2021), to identify possible examples of practice in developing and supporting artistic research.


Norwegian Academy of Music (NMH), Oslo, Norway



Research Policy & Strategy

NMH’s mission statement “Engaged and Engaging 2025” notes:

Integrating doctoral research in core activities:

We ensure that the research being carried out by our doctoral students is an integral part of our core activities. We deploy our doctoral fellowships to strengthen our priority research areas. Our doctoral students are, and will remain, vital to our development as a knowledge-based institution.

Artistic research is the core of our academic activity. The interplay between art and research produces knowledge and insights that challenge our understanding of music as an art form and as a form of expression. NMH facilitates this interplay and makes sure that our research results set the agenda for further development in music education.

The ambition emphasizes defining and designing a structure for research activities, improving research competence of the faculty and administrative staff, and stimulating dialogue between disciplines. Our strategy also encourages active dissemination of research results nationally and internationally.

Principal aim:

  • NMH’s research generates insight and innovation.


  • Generating internationally acclaimed results
  • Sharing research results to relevant audiences
  • Stimulating interaction between art and scholarship
  • Using our research resources systematically
  • Creating flexible and dynamic environments
  • Integrating doctoral research in our core activities

NMH has organized its research activities in three research centres covering the institution’s research areas. These centres organize inhouse research activities, international conferences, workshops, seminars, etc. They are very important arenas for developing a research culture at NMH. Additionally, NMH has a formal “Research committee” discussing institutional research matters.

The three research centres are:

  1. CREMAH – Centre for Research in Music and Health
  2. CERM – Centre for Educational Centre in Music
  3. NordART – The Arne Norheim Centre for Artistic Research

In addition, NMH has a Centre of Excellence in Educatio, CEMPE – Centre of Excellence in Music Performance Education.

Interaction between art and scholarship will be a theme of great relevance in the near future. NMH encourages this interaction with our knowledge, academic diversity, experience and results.

Awards Offered

Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) in Artistic Research

3 years Full Time

NMH allows some students to extend this to four years (75% position).

In 2019 NMH hosts 15 artistic research fellows.


Annual reports (progress reviews) submitted by the student and their supervisor.

Additionally, NMH organizes mandatory mid-term evaluations taking place in the third (or fourth) semester.

Final Assessment and the delivery of results:

Artistic results presented in an appropriate form concert, etc., + critically reflective documentation. There are two stages in the assessment process: 1) assessment made by the assessment committee which consists of two experts in the field. 2) If passed, viva voce (public defence). The committee assess the delivered results and has the role as opponents in the public defence.

Insofar as possible, the viva should take place no later than two (2) months after the programme committee for the Ph.D. in Artistic Research at the NMH has approved the examination panel’s confirmation that the project has been accepted and should be defended.

The public defence shall be conducted in English or Norwegian unless the NMH agrees to another language being used.


Forms of Output

The artistic doctoral project consists of an artistic result and a material that documents artistic reflection. The artistic doctoral project will be at a level that allows it to contribute to the development of new knowledge, insight and experience in the field.

The result should be an artistic work at a high level when it comes to:

  • originality
  • expression
  • coherence and
  • dissemination

The artistic reflection must be documented in the form of submitted material, especially when it comes to process with regard to artistic choices and turning point, use of theory and methods, dialogue with various networks and academic environments, etc., placement and description of one’s own artistic standpoint and work in relation to the relevant subject area, nationally and internationally, and contribution to the subject development in the field, including any professional innovations.

Programme Structure

3 years full-time

Study and includes a mandatory component worth at least 30 credit.

The mandatory part consists of these three subjects:

20 credit: National research in artistic research

5 credit: Artistic research in music

5 credit: Project specific topic

Research methodologies are introduced in the first semester and continues to be a component in the mandatory part all through the research training. Research methodologies are introduced with lectures and with students presenting their project with focus on methodology in the classes.

Ethics are introduced to the fellows in the topic “National research school for artistic research” with a two day seminar with lectures, presentations and discussions about the topic.

Undergraduate & Masters Research

Artistic research is embedded in topics for the performing and composition students at MA levels. The music therapy and pedagogic students has scientific research training as a component in their training at both BA and MA level. NMH will be focusing on embedding artistic research on both levels in the coming years.

Qualification Framework

National framework

Quality Assurance & Enhancement

NMH has a well-developed Quality Assessment & Enhancement (QAE) policy and strategy for arts 3rd cycle programmes comprising formal procedures, guidelines and regulations for all parts of the programme: admission, supervision, reporting, examination, etc.

The programme is evaluated annually, and every fourth year the programme undergoes an extensive evaluation under the leadership of an external leader.


All students are assigned a minimum of two supervisors.

The Director of Studies (main supervisor) must hold an artistic qualification at associate professor level or above or demonstrate equivalent experience, in the relevant field.

All supervisors must hold a doctorate or equivalent qualification and be active in their respective fields. The candidate should normally have one lead supervisor but is free to choose more than one co-supervisor.

Supervision is stated in the contract at the beginning of the project.

One Director of Studies (main supervisor) max 60 hours per year,

One or more co-supervisors max 40 hours per year.

If the candidate has more than one co-supervisor, the allocated man-hours will be shared between the two.

 All supervisors must participate in annual supervisor seminars organised by the National Programme for Artistic Research. The seminars last for two days and are mandatory for all supervisors of artistic research fellows.


Professors and Associate Professors whose fractional contract is 37.5% or more has research time accounted for in their contract.

About 70% of the lecturers are employed as arts rather than scientific practitioners. Therefore, a significant number of lecturers with research time at NMH conduct research in the arts (in music).

Lecturers with a PhD are qualified to be supervisors on 3rd cycle.

Six members of the staff at NMH have PhDs in artistic research.

Lecturers with research time can also apply for extra research time.

Student Admissions

Open announcement.

Application is accompanied by project proposal.

Interview by a committee in the appropriate area.

Position can also be integrated in a project application external funding.

Currently there are 14 in the PhD programme in artistic research.

Over the past 5 years there have been 9 completions NMH.

Student Funding

The students are employed at NMH and are in receipt of a salary.

The student is granted a salary and project budget for the study period.

Student Support

Mandatory national artistic research school with seminars and conferences, accredited at 30 ECTS. Demand for presentations included.


3rd Cycle in the Arts

This is an international database of 3rd cycle awards in the European Higher Arts Education Area, developed within the Creator Doctus project (2018-2021), to identify possible examples of practice in developing and supporting artistic research.