921 MA Traditional Arts, master

Target Group and Admission Requirements

In order to be admitted to the Master’s degree programme, the student must hold a Bachelor’s degree comprising 80 ECTS in folk arts or folk music. Individuals with a relevant and closely-related background, such as music or arts and crafts, may submit a special request to be admitted to the Master’s programme. In this case, the university college will expect the student to familiarise himself/herself with the basic approaches to traditional arts. Those who are not able to demonstrate formal practical-aesthetic skills within the field of folk arts or folk music may, under very special circumstances, be subjected to a specialised admission test.

Aim of the Programme

The Master’s degree programme has both performance and theoretical aims:

  • Through practicing the traditional arts, students will experience how practice is an important source of knowledge. The study programme provides students with the opportunity to develop as performers and the result of the practice component will be very important in the assessment of the Master’s Project as a whole.
  • Students will acquire insight into the cultural background of traditional arts. They should be able to evaluate the particular nature of traditional arts and to critically evaluate the ways in which they are cultivated, practiced, transmitted, renewed and interpreted in various environments.
  • Students will gain insight into scientific methods, which will prepare them for research work.

Further Education opportunities

Students who complete the Master’s degree programme will acquire the title of Master’s Degree Candidate in Traditional Arts. Students who also complete their post-graduate teacher’s education will become qualified lecturers, and will be able to apply for teaching posts at various levels within the education system. The Master’s degree may also prove useful in a number of other fields; for instance, it may provide a solid platform for various career opportunities in the media and cultural sectors, or in private and public institutions which disseminate culture and the arts. Master’s degree candidates may also find employment as consultants. In addition, some candidates will be able to use the skills and knowledge provided by the Master’s degree as a basis for establishing themselves as practitioners of the arts in which they have specialised, and be able to produce folk art or practice as folk musicians.

Students will also be able to continue with doctoral studies after completing the Master’s degree.

Curriculum and structure

Obligatory courses
Code Course title Credits O/V *) Credits pr. semester
  S1(A) S2(V) S3(A) S4(V)
30MASTFD Joint Theoretical Component 30.00 O 30,0      
30MASTFP Preliminary Project 30.00 O   30,0    
60MASTPR Master’s Degree Project 60.00 O     30,0 30,0
Total: 30,0 30,0 30,0 30,0
*) O - Mandatory course, V - Optional course

The subject material of the Master’s degree programme falls into two components: the Joint Theoretical Component and the individual practical-theoretical part: the Master’s Degree Project and Preliminary Project.

The Joint Theoretical Component:

The Joint Theoretical Component covers 3 topics, which to a certain extent will overlap and influence each other; the 3 topics are:

  • Art theory and traditional arts
  • Culture and identity
  • Traditions, communication and scientific theory

Master’s Degree Project including the Preliminary Project and Prospectus


Students will complete a large project which will include a practical part and a theoretical part (written presentation). The various components included in the project may be of varying size, but it is a requirement that the practical and theoretical parts comprise a whole. It follows from the characteristics of the study programme that the projects may be of various types, depending on what the student decides to place emphasis on; for instance, documentation; theory related to art, culture, or tradition; practical execution; or dissemination. However, a project will not receive approval if practical aspects are not made clearly visible, or if it does not include theoretical aspects.

The Master’s Degree Project is started in the second semester through students’ work on the Preliminary Project. The Preliminary Project comprises 3 obligatory seminars with focus on, amongst other things, methodology and plan of completion. The final prospectus must be approved before the student will be given permission to start on the course and work on the final Master’s Degree Project.

Teaching and Learning Methods

The Joint Theoretical Component:

The programme includes lectures and seminars with both regular teachers and guest lecturers. Teaching usually takes place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Some of the teaching sessions each semester will be subject seminars which also will include practical performance workshops. Assignments and information will be handed out during the course of the programme.

The Preliminary Project and Master’s Degree Project:

The Preliminary Project and the work on the Master’s Project is organised into seminars and students will receive individual tutoring. Work on the Preliminary Project is designed as a process which will enable students to prepare for the Master’s Project.

Assessment Methods

The Master’s degree programme in Traditional Arts comprises 120 ECTS. The Joint Theoretical Component (30 ECTS) includes a 6-hour written examination and an obligatory midterm assignment.

The Preliminary Project consists of 3 obligatory seminars and submission of the written prospectus in the second semester. The three presentations and prospectus in the 2nd semester comprise 30 ECTS credits. Theses will be assessed with “pass” or “fail” grades. The prospectus must receive a passing grade before students can continue with the Master’s Project in the 3rd semester.

The Master’s Degree Project (60 ECTS) examination is divided into two parts, both practice and theory; both will be evaluated:

1) Practice: Performance and dissemination component. This component may be completed by live performance or documented through video including commentary, DVD, audio recording, images, exhibitions and concerts, etc.

2) Theory: Written component.

Ideally, the two components should be equal, but it is also possible to emphasise one of the components more than the other, if the project’s problem approach calls for such a solution. The weighting will be determined by the supervisors in collaboration with the student in the final phase of the counseling process. If the project has a practical performance focus, the grade for the performance component will be given the greatest weighting; and if the project has a theoretical focus, then greatest weighting will be given to this component. It is nevertheless important for the evaluation that the practical and the theoretical components constitute a whole.

The Master’s Degree Project will be concluded by an oral examination, where the student will be examined in both the practical and the theoretical components.

The oral examination may influence the component grades. On the basis of assessment of the performance component and the theoretical component in the Master’s Project, and the result of the oral examination, the final grade for the Master’s Project will be calculated and determined by the examiner.
The diploma for the Master’s degree programme will include:

  • Written examination in the Joint Theoretical Component – grade counts for 25% of the final grade.
  • The Preliminary Project: pass / fail
  • The Master’s Degree Project counts for 75% of the final grade
  • Performance component: part-grade
  • Written theoretical component: part-grade

No grade is given for the oral examination (not included on the diploma).

The grade given is on a scale A-F, where E is the lowest passing grade, and F is a failing grade.

If the student passes all parts of the assessment he/she will receive a grade from A to E. Each part of the assessment must receive a passing mark in order to receive a final passing grade.

Please refer to Telemark University College’s examination regulations.

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

Publisert av / forfatter Frode Evenstad <Frode.EvenstadSPAMFILTER@hit.no>, last modified Ian Hector Harkness - 26/08/2010