628 Norwegian Folk Art I, 1 year programme, årsstudium

Target Group and Admission Requirements

The one-year study in Norwegian Folk Art is designed for people who are interested in practicing a traditional craft and in mediating Norwegian folk art. Admission to the programme is based on general admission requirements or prior experiential learning accreditation.

Aim of the Programme

The study programme will provide students with an introduction to Norwegian folk art. On the basis of this, they will be able to preserve, continue and renew the artistic cultural traditions, through practice, dissemination and teaching. Students will receive thorough introduction to various techniques, knowledge of materials and forms, within the area they choose to study. The study programme focuses on both conservation and renewal of traditional arts.

Further Education opportunities

The one-year and specialisation study programmes in Norwegian Folk Art may form part of a Bachelor's degree in Norwegian Folk Art. This study programme may be combined with other higher education qualifications, for example in cultural field, education, or may be included as part of a 4-year general teacher education programme; it may also form part of a subject teacher programme in the arts.

Curriculum and structure

Code Course title Credits O/V *) Credits pr. semester
  S1(A) S2(V) S3(A) S4(V) S5(A) S6(V)
FKUN1 Folk Art 1 60.00 O 30 30        
Total: 30 30 0 0 0 0
*) O - Mandatory course, V - Optional course

The study programme includes 3 major course units:

Historical Subjectswill provide an overview of the diversity which may be found within the field of folk art and places material objects within cultural, social and cultural historical contexts, and considers how the concept of folk art has developed historically.

Aesthetic Subjects will provide students with experience in working with aesthetic tools. The course includes, amongst other things, colour theory, drawing and the study of form.

Workshop Subjects aims at providing students with the practical skills regarding production processes within the field of traditional folk art. Basic knowledge of materials, tools, working methods and techniques will be emphasised. Students may choose between working with wood, metal or textiles.

The programme includes a general part for all the students, and a specialisation part. The general part includes Historical Subjects and parts of the Aesthetic Subjects.

The various components are weighted thus:

Historical Subjects


Aesthetic Subjects


Workshop Subjects



In a historical perspective be said to have a rich and varied folk art, in part due to various natural and cultural conditions in a long and narrow country. The conditions for practising trades and crafts have changed from place to place, from one period to another and from one social class to another. There is a lush diversity of materials, techniques, forms, colours and decorations in artefacts related to everyday life and festive occasions.

An overview of this diversity will be given. In particular, the so-called Golden Age of Folk Art from the beginning of the eighteenth century to the end of the nineteenth century will be examined, i.e. in textiles, metal, wood and painting.

Focus will be given to examining folk art in the context of the period in which it emerged. Key questions will be: How was the home tradition influenced by impulses from abroad? How did the social, economic and communication conditions affect the formation and development of Norwegian folk art? What are the differences and similarities between the folk art forms of different areas? How have old customs and beliefs formed Norwegian folk art? Students will examine the relationship between the expressions of folk art and the community, and the traditional artist’s role in various communities and different historical epochs. Students will discuss the content of the study programme and the role that the study programme and folk art has is in modern society.
Course units:

  • What is Folk Art?
  • Local, National and Global Aspects
  • Theoretical Perspectives
  • Historical/Cultural-Historical Background
  • Building Traditions
  • Guilds - Rural Crafts – Crafts
  • Folk Art using Different Materials and Techniques
  • Daily Life and Festive Occasions
  • History of Styles
Major course unit AESTHETIC SUBJECTS

The aim of Aesthetic Subjects is to develop students’ sense of aesthetic qualities and make them aware of how they may work with form, colour, decoration and materials. A good deal of the teaching in Aesthetic Subjects serves as preparation for work done in the workshops. An attempt will also be made to make students aware of aesthetic practice in folk art.

In the Aesthetic Subjects, students carry out work that involves visualising their own thoughts and ideas. By practising visual awareness, students will become more skilled at expressing their ideas. By studying form, students will gain experience of various aesthetic tools, in both two and three dimensions. An important aspect concerns the interaction between form and materials.

Students will gain knowledge of colour as an aesthetic tool, and how it is possible to use colour in artistic expression.

Course units:

  • Drawing
  • Colour
  • Form/Function
  • Formal Aesthetics



This subject area concerns the practical acquirement of production processes within the field of traditional folk art, and work with the renewal of folk art traditions in relation to actual forms and functions. Students will acquire basic technical and formal knowledge based on traditional techniques and basic formal principles. This will enable them to develop their own projects independently under supervision.

Students will through their own work learn about the culture of utility objects and gain experience of a selection of practical production processes. Students will gain knowledge of the work processes involved producing objects from raw material to the finished product. In Workshop Subjects, students will, for practical and professional reasons, utilise relatively processed and modern materials. Students should be capable of viewing form culture in a historical context, become aware of the basis of design and through this gain an understanding of their own culture and that of others.

Further, the study programme will provide students with skills so they will be able to register and analyse traditional materials and plan and produce their own products with roots in local or traditional form culture.

Workshop Subjects will provide students with the basic knowledge of materials, the knowledge of the use of various tools and the working methods that will enable them to carry on the traditions of folk art.

The teaching of the foundation programme must be viewed in connection with the specialisation programme, because it is not possible to provide sufficient teaching of techniques and various other aspects in a 1-year foundation programme.

Workshop Subjects includes the following 2 major course units:

  • Materials, Tools and Techniques
  • Form, Function and Construction

Year-assignment, exhibition and written account

The year-assignment holds an important place in the study programme. For the assignment the student should acquire the material from the various components of the study programme, such as Historical Subjects, Workshop Subjects and Aesthetic Subjects.

The work should include both a written part and one or several practical pieces of work carried out on the basis of a problem approach chosen by the student. In addition, there is a requirement that local traditional material should be used in a new form-creative work. The problem approach/topic must be approved by the supervisor before the student may start the work on the year-assignment.

Students will throughout the academic year be given guidance in report writing, development of problem approach, use of source materials, documentation and presentation of work assignments.

Teaching and Learning Methods

The study programme in Folk Art alternates between practical and theoretical studies. In the Workshop Subjects, students will acquire knowledge and skills within various traditional techniques and work on their own design of objects.

In order to provide students with a comprehensive understanding, through theory and practice, an attempt will be made to integrate the various subjects in the programme and structure the academic year to support this aim. The academic year has consequently been divided into longer assignment periods, study blocks, which make this possible.

On the whole, teaching is given on fixed weekdays, but can also for periods be more concentrated, for instance, course weeks, seminars or special topics when it is advantageous to concentrate the teaching.

Teaching forms vary between lectures, project work, individual guidance in the workshop, seminars, courses and excursions. Course and seminar activities will vary from year to year, dependent on funding and consideration to the subjects taught. A substantial obligatory study trip for all the students will be arranged. In addition, there will also be shorter excursions within each material group.

In addition to the planned teaching, it is expected that students make considerable efforts. This is necessary if students are to require a high technical skill as a basis for continuing folk art traditions.

In the last study block, regarding work with the annual assignment, exhibition with a written account, time will be set aside for individual field work/excursion. Individual guidance.

Aesthetic Subjects is closely tied to design in the three material areas wood, metal and textiles. An attempt will be made as far as it is possible to integrate the individual subjects in Aesthetic Subjects to the work and assignments in the workshop. Technical drawing is a topic which will be taught in the workshop.

Audiovisual aids will be used in the lectures and various topics will be considered for discussion. In order to achieve the aims of the study programme, active student participation is crucial.

The year of study is concluded with an arrangement of exhibitions, display and concerts. The final year-assignment and other work will be assessed and then exhibited to the public.

Assessment Methods

There should be some agreement between aims, content and assessment in the study programme. The assessment should be ongoing during the course of the programme, and provide students with feedback on how assignments have been executed, and what they should focus on further in the programme. The assessment of assignments, examinations, and programme requirements which must be completed in order to be allowed to take the examination, will be collected in the students’ portfolios and be assessed by the subject teacher in consultation with the programme team. The majority of these pieces of work will be formally assessed.

Programme requirements / assessment of the individual major course units

Content of the student portfolio:

The course assignments from the Aesthetic Subjects will be included in the portfolio. For each course assignment, an assignment text will provide information on the goals, content and assessment of the assignments.
Introduction of new topics (both practical and theoretical), theme weeks and seminars with joint reviews of assignments require mandatory participation.

  1. The course unit Materials, Tools and Techniques: The student will complete exercises which must be submitted together with written documentation of the working process. The assignment requirements will be described in the assignment text.
  2. The course unit Form, Function and Construction: The student will carry out exercises and the product will be submitted with different types of documentation of the work process. The assignment requirements will be described in the assignment text.
  3. Examination in Workshop Subjects theory, 4 hours.
  4. Course assignments in the various course units in Aesthetic Subjects.

Written examination in Historical Subjects, 5 hours
Multipart year-assignment (approximately 10 weeks)
The examination covers course assignments, Workshops Subjects examinations, a written examination in Historical Subjects and a year assignment.
The grading of various parts of the study programme is weighted in the following manner:

  • Year-assignment, exhibition with written account 2
  • Written examination in Historical Subjects 1
  • Portfolio 2

Students will receive a grade on their final certificate, graded A to F, where A is the highest grade and E the lowest passing grade. Each course unit must receive a passing mark in order to achieve a final passing mark.

Minor adjustments may occur during the academic year, subject to the decision of the Dean

Publisert av / forfatter , last modified Ian Hector Harkness - 20/07/2009