921 Traditional Arts, Master’s Degree, master


In the Master’s degree programme, Traditional Arts, students may choose to study folk music or folk art. They will be given the opportunity to explore tradition-based art or music, through practising traditional arts and different theoretical perspectives.

Target Group and Admission Requirements

In order to be admitted to the Master’s degree programme, students must hold a Bachelor’s degree that includes at least eighty ECTS credits in folk art or folk music subjects. Students may also be admitted to the study programme with other relevant backgrounds, for instance, within music or arts, crafts and design. In such cases, the student will be required to familiarise himself/herself with key topics in the traditional arts; in some very special cases, a special entrance examination may be given for those students who are not able to demonstrate a formal practical-aesthetic expertise in folk art or folk music.

Aim of the Programme

The aim of the Master’s degree programme is to strengthen both practical and theoretical competence:

  • Through independent practice of traditional arts, students will experience how practicing and performing is an important source of knowledge. The study programme provides students with the opportunity to develop as performers, and the result of the performance part of the study programme is very important for the overall assessment of the Master’s studies.
  • Students will acquire insight into the cultural background of traditional arts. They will also be able to evaluate the characteristic nature of traditional arts, and to critically assess the ways in which they are cultivated, practiced, renewed and interpreted in various contexts.
  • Students will also acquire methodological expertise, which is required for their Master’s studies and further research work.

Learning outcome

The student will:

  • Acquire general knowledge of traditional arts and the cultural context of traditional arts, as well as knowledge of a topic within traditional arts which he/she will select as a focus for his/her Master’s project.
  • Acquire skills which will enable him/her to perform at a high level and as a researcher.
  • Acquire general competence that will enable him/her to understand their own and other’s aesthetic practice as part of a larger cultural context.

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 Master’s degree programme is divided into two components: the Joint Introduction and the individual Master’s Project.

The Joint Introduction

In the Joint Introduction lectures will be given in the three main topics:

  • Art Theory and the Traditional Arts
  • Tradition, Culture and Identity
  • Fundamental Topics and Documentation

Further, the Joint Introduction will include the following seminars:

  • Writing seminar
  • Practical-aesthetic seminar
  • Text seminar

The Master’s Project, including the Preliminary Project and a Prospectus

Students will complete a major project that includes a performative component and a written component. The components included in the project may be given different emphasis, but it nevertheless is a requirement that the performative and the theoretical parts constitute a whole. Students may choose which overall emphasis to give their projects, for instance, in relation to documentation, art theory, culture, tradition, performance or dissemination. However, students will not have their projects approved if the practical component of their project is not clearly evident, or conversely, if the theoretical component is not clearly evident.

Work on the Master’s Project starts in the first semester through the Preliminary Project. Students are required to attend several mandatory seminars that will focus on approaches, methodology and project plans. The final prospectus must be approved before the students may continue with the topic and plan for their final Master’s Projects in the second semester.

On the basis of the prospectus, the student will continue with work on the Master’s Project in the third semester. The Project consists of performative and written components.


Students may study at a foreign institution during parts of the second year, if this is appropriate in relation to their Master’s Project. The Department of Folk Art and Folk Music has entered into cooperation agreements with a number of institutions abroad and may also be able to help students with periods of study at other institutions.

Teaching and Learning Methods

The Joint Introduction component:

This component includes lectures and seminars given by the college’s teachers, as well as by guest lecturers. Usually, the teaching will be given on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Some of the teaching sessions will take the form of seminars, which will consist of practical performance workshops. Further information will be given during the course of the studies.

The Master’s Project and Preliminary Project:

The Preliminary Project, and work on the Master’s Project, will be organized as seminars, and students will receive individual tutoring. Work on the Preliminary Project is designed as a process activity in which students prepare for their Master’s Project.

Theory and Practical Training

The Master’s degree programme in Traditional Arts has as its starting point the student’s performative practice. Through the study of relevant traditional material and a theoretical approach, students will be able to place their own performative practice into a wider cultural context. A successful Master’s Project will be characterized by an effective integration of theory and practice.

Assessment Methods

The Master’s degree programme in Traditional Arts comprises 120 ECTS. The Joint Introduction (30 ECTS) includes two mandatory written assignments (first semester: mid-term and end-of-term). The first assignment will be assessed on the basis of fail/pass, and the second will be given a letter grade.

The Preliminary Project includes several mandatory seminars with the completion of a final prospectus in the second semester. Active seminar participation, three presentations and an approved prospectus in the 2 semester constitute 30 ECTS; which will be assessed on the basis of pass/fail. The prospectus must be approved before the student will be allowed to continue with his/her Master’s Project.

The Master’s Project (60 ECTS) consists of a two-part examination: a practical performance and a written thesis. Each part will be assessed:

1) Performative component: This component may be completed by live performance or documented by means of a video with commentary; DVD, audio recording; images; exhibitions and concerts, etc.

2) Written component (thesis):

It is possible to emphasise the performative and theoretical components differently. If the project has a performative objective, this will be given greatest weighting in the final assessment, and conversely, if the theoretical perspective is given the greatest emphasis in the project. It is nevertheless important for the overall evaluation that the practical and the theoretical components constitute a whole.

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

The assessment of the oral examination may be used to adjust the final grade. On the basis of assessment of the performative and theoretical components in the Master’s Project, and the result of the oral examination, the final grade for the Master’s Project will be determined by the examiner.

The diploma for the Master’s degree programme will include a main grade which consists of several part-grades:

  • Written examination in the Joint Introduction component – this grade counts for 25% of the final grade.
  • The Preliminary Project: pass / fail
  • The Master’s Project counts for 75% of the final grade

No separate grade is given for the oral examination (which is not entered on the diploma).

The title of the Master’s Project will be entered 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. 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 - 12/07/2012