Denmark National Overview

Updated (in progress) in June 2018 by Keld Hosbond, Vice Principal and Head of International Relations at the Royal Academy of Music Aarhus.

Overview of Higher Music Education System

The present system of professional music training in Denmark has existed since 2004, when the old system of a Music teacher degree (4 years of study) and Diploma degree (1 year of study) was replaced with the 3-cycle system in accordance with the Bologna Declaration.
The educational system is comparable to the general higher education system with one exception: contrary to the universities, the music academies are not yet able to offer a third cycle (PhD) by themselves. Only in cooperation with a university (who formally will be the responsible partner) will music academies be allowed to offer such an education. The only formal postgraduate degree that can be offered by an academy of music is by the advanced postgraduate diploma.
It has been an important goal for the government, when implementing the new system, to make a better coherence in the educational system nationally and internationally. Most recently it has been a major concern for the musical training in Denmark to strengthen the pedagogical elements in the study programmes.
In order to strengthen the connection between education and labour market, all music academies have an advisory board.


Total number of institutions
There are four conservatories for professional music training in Denmark.
Total number of music students
1.200 full degree students and a number of professional master and diploma students.
The Conservatories are funded by the State, through the Ministry of Culture.
The curricula for professional music programmes are controlled by the State.
Genres Classical, jazz/pop/global, electronic, traditional/folk, church music, music business, sound production and engineering.
3-cycle system
1st cycle: Bachelor (3 years)
2nd cycle: Master (2 years)
3rd cycle: PhD (3 years) only in collaboration with Universities
NB Advanced postgraduate diploma (2 years after completion of Master Degree) is not part of the Cycle system.