Programme structure (2022–2024)
The structure and content of the programme
The master's programme consists of 10 courses that are all mandatory. With the exception of the master's thesis, which confers 30 ECTS credits, the other courses in the master's programme are worth 10 ECTS credits each. The programme is organised within the subject areas Theory and Methods, Laboratories and Productions for the first three semesters, and the Master's Thesis is completed in the fourth semester.
1 Theory and Methods
This subject area consists of an individual and a common theoretical component, and it is taught over three courses Theory and Methods 1-3, with one course in each of the first three semesters.
Theory and Methods is intended to give students an in-depth historical, technical and critical understanding of their discipline through the development of skills and tools for the analysis of different forms of performing arts and other spatial art forms, using text, images and film material. The students will develop methods for analysis and continuous critical reflection on their own work and shall, during the course of the programme, develop the competence required to express themselves in writing by submitting reflective papers, project descriptions, applications, critiques and essays.
Among other things, the subject area will focus on improving students' writing skills through a writing course and through the identification and application of source material, and the correct use and citing of sources. The subject area also includes an internal student-organised and student-run seminar in the second semester at which the students present important aspects of their artist research and theoretical development work in the form of lectures, and, in the third semester, a student-organised artistic-academic seminar with guests (see the course descriptions).
The subject Theory and Methods organises teaching and supervision in three forms:
1) Lectures on theory and history (based on academic research developed for art students) will present perspectives on the history of scenography, architecture, the performing arts and art, genre history, epochs and paradigms. Students are given an introduction to theoretical topics such as conception and aesthetic positions. The course emphasises the presentation of analytical methods.
2) A course in theory-based skills, which consists of theory-based skills training that addresses the tasks students are expected to perform as practising artists or in further studies in the Norwegian Artistic Research Fellowship Programme, such as a writing course, artistic research, the formulation of an artistic concept and position
3) The group applied project is designed so that students, under supervision, jointly carry out an extensive resource and competence-based group work or seminar, such as an internal seminar on conception, and a seminar with external guest presenters on a relevant topic, preferably related to their master's production
Progress in Theory and Methods (T&M) 1-3
The courses in the subject T&M and the progress schedule are shown in the table below:
T&M I: Perspectives:
(ordered by tuition from)
Lectures and tutorials in theory and history: Perspectives on the 20th century and contemporary art
Course in theory-based skills: How to write as an artist
Group project: Analysis / preparation of an individual syllabus
T&M II: Concepts:
(ordered by tuition from)
Lectures and tutorials in theory and history: About conception
Course in theory-based skills: How to carry out artistic research, formulate concepts as an artist
Group project: internal seminar
T&M III: Positions:
(ordered by tuition from)
Lectures and tutorials in theory and history: About aesthetic positions
Course in theory-based skills: Formulating an artistic position
Group project: seminar with external guest presenters
In cooperation with a supervisor and the student group, the student is expected to prepare an individual theory curriculum as part of T&M 1-3. The plan for the theory curriculum and the individual syllabus prepared in T&M 1 is based on the reading list for this Master's programme and will be further developed during the programme.
This subject area is taught in three courses Laboratories 1-3; one course in each of the first three semesters.
The students shall develop their artistic and technical knowledge, competence and skills through tuition by guest artists in order to study in depth scenography-related subjects in a limited field, such as lighting, sound and multimedia, spatial analysis, construction, composition principles and spatial design. The laboratories will be experimental and transdisciplinary and will conclude with an internal presentation. The students will successively study the different elements of scenography in depth (see the course descriptions).
This subject area is taught in three courses Productions 1-3, one course in each of the first three semesters.
In Productions, the students acquire experience and develop an understanding of scenography through independent practical work. The students will develop and implement scenographic concepts in diverse production processes during independent and organized periods of study that are discussed and agreed upon with the programme leader through the updated MA project plan for each term. The students gain experience of concept development, testing, project management and execution in collaboration with other involved parties including by studying technical drawing/CAD and gaining basic understanding of light equipment. Through the practical implementation of projects, students will develop an understanding of the distinctive nature of scenography and of the professions of other involved parties (see the course descriptions).
4 Master's thesis
The Master's Thesis is completed in the fourth and final semester of the Master's programme. It consists of the components: Master’s Production and Critical Reflection
The artistic production component of the Master's Thesis is executed and/or presented to the public in its final form in the fourth semester at an agreed external or internal exhibition/performance venue. The Master’s Thesis can consist of one spatially and temporally clearly demarcated project or of various entities, spatially and temporally dispersed, given that coherence of all components shaping a unity clearly is brought forward. Master’s Thesis/Productions in collaboration with external partner (institutions) can be accomplished in their final form after the end of the studies, then the student must present the project within the deadline of the studies and present it to the jury in a comprehensible way, allowing all its qualities to be evaluated. This happens at the risk of the student.
The critical reflection component is submitted no later than two weeks before the final assessment. Work will be done on the Master's Thesis in all four semesters, and all the courses in the first three semesters will require the submission of portfolio documentation containing critical reflection on the topic and progress of the Master's Production in the form of a text and documentation consisting of collected material, sketches, models etc.
Teaching, learning methods and forms of assessment
The programme is based on independent individual work and joint work in the different subject areas and the pertaining individual courses in the first to the third semesters, when work on developing the Master's Thesis will have a central place. The Master's Production will be reflected in the first semester as portfolio documentation submitted as required coursework in Theory and Methods 1; it will be reworked and approved in the second semester as updated project description and portfolio documentation submitted as required coursework in Laboratories 2, while it will be prepared, tested in practice, verified and initiated in the third semester as updated project description and portfolio documentation submitted as required coursework in Productions 3. Implementation of the project and the final assessment will take place in the fourth semester (see the description of the individual courses).
Research and development work
The teaching in the programme is based on artistic research. Academic staff in the programme engage in artistic research and in disseminating the results of their research. The students will be invited to take part in the internal and external R&D/artistic research work of the academic staff, and, if applicable, of guest artists.
In the professional theatre, practical, reflective development work is essential in connection with professional collaborations. The diversity of artistic and theoretical research carried out by academic staff, in which students, research fellows, guest artists, curators, producers and theoreticians take part, is a prerequisite for and forms the basis for students' progress and for their attainment of the learning outcomes of the programme. Artistic research of a high national and international level is carried out by academic staff both within and outside the institution. The students' active participation and contribution can take different forms, such as major or minor practical and theoretical contributions to artistic productions and publications.
The Norwegian Theatre Academy has an international faculty employed in permanent and fixed-term positions and with different expertise in and experience of the international arts field, artistic research and teaching.
To be able to offer a topical and relevant education of good quality, HiØ is dependent on feedback from the students and on their participation in the evaluation. This study programme is regularly evaluated in order to assure and develop its quality.
An annual national student survey is conducted among second year students on all bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes under the auspices of the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT). The results of the survey are published on the website studiebarometeret.no.
HiØ conducts periodical programme evaluations.
Evaluations will be carried out of the individual courses; see the individual course descriptions.
Here is how you can influence the quality of your programme:
References to relevant literature, video material, websites, theatrical productions and exhibitions, art catalogues, films, music, art and theatre criticism in the media and other relevant references are provided by the Programme Coordinator and the subject lecturers.
An individual syllabus is provided in the first semester that is relevant to the work on the student's master's production and critical reflection. It is based on the general literature list for the programme. The individual syllabus is developed further during the course of the programme until submission of the Master's Critical Reflection in the fourth semester.
A list of recommended readings is published through NTA’s web pages: Internal information. A more detailed list of mandatory readings will be presented in semester plans.