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About the programme
GPA 2018: All applicants admitted  
Language: Danish | Place of study: Aarhus  |  Commencement: August / september


This programme is only offered in Danish.

Music as a subsidiary subject

The subsidiary subject in music is an all-round study programme in which theory is mixed with practice, and where you study all sorts of music, from Beethoven to Count Basie. Are you considering a career as a music teacher? Would you like to work with music on a scientific basis? In the subsidiary subject in music studies, you listen, analyse and play music together with others. You study how music is structured and how it affects us.

From Mozart to Madonna

The subsidiary subject in music studies is a comprehensive programme that combines theory and practice. It qualifies you for a career as a music teacher at upper secondary schools, folk high schools, continuation schools, evening classes and music schools. You work with music from Western cultural circles – both past and present – from Mozart to Madonna, and with an ear for the growing exchange of music locally and globally.

Music – from history to ensembles

As a music student at the University of Aarhus, you concentrate on the historical, theoretical and practical aspects of music, from ensembles, singing and piano lessons to music history and theory. In brief, you spend your time as a student filling your brain with music history, with your feet on the pedals of the piano and your hands on the computer keyboard. A degree in music studies thus always involves something different, where old meets new and notes meet MP3 files.

Because the teaching comprises both practical musical disciplines and historical/theoretical disciplines, you have to pass oral and written entrance tests in singing, piano and listening skills.

Good questions about music:

  • Why is Mozart’s music so famous?
  • How do I warm up my voice and use it appropriately?
  • How did the field calls of the American slaves develop into blues?
  • What was the importance of the Reformation and Luther for European music?
  • How do I organise a salsa number and practise it with musicians?

Admission requirements

In order to be admitted to a supplementary subject, you have to be enrolled in a bachelor’s degree programme at a Danish university. Furthermore, the academic regulations of the bachelor’s degree programme have to allow for a combination with a supplementary subject.

You also have to meet the admission requirements for the supplementary subject in question. You can familiarise yourself with the requirements on the Danish version of this page by clicking on Danish in the top right corner.

Read more about admission to supplementary subjects.

Academic regulations

As a student it is important to know the regulations for the chosen supplementary subject: what is the content, how is it structured and what does it require from you.

You can find this information in the academic regulations. There is a regulation for both bachelor’s supplementary subject and master’s supplementary subject:


In the following graphical presentation of the subject you can see the different modules and courses that, in addition, link to the course catalogue where you can read the course descriptions.

Structure bachelor


Structure master


Student life

The academic environment

When you study music as a subsidiary subject, you attend classes with all the other students enrolled in your particular year, a total (including the subsidiary subject students) of approximately 50 students. In addition, each year is divided into two groups for conducting choirs and even smaller teams of 6–7 students for lessons in musical arrangements and knowledge of instruments. You also work in groups in connection with presentations for lectures.

Social environment

The Department of Musicology is based at the Kaserne – the former barracks in Langelandsgade – along with the other departments at the Institute of Aesthetic Studies: Dramaturgy, Art History, Aesthetics and Culture, and Comparative Literature. The barracks are a hive of activity, and you can always hear sounds coming from rehearsal rooms and stages – even on evenings and weekends.

Here are a few examples of what you can experience:

  • Concert cafes: These cafes are an opportunity to practise your Chopin or Incy Wincy Spider before your exam, in front of an audience of fellow students.
  • Project weeks: For two weeks every year, the teaching programme is interrupted by projects involving students from all year groups. These are the Cæcilia week in November and the debate week in March, where you may sing along with popular Danish stars such as Steffan Brandt (autumn 2005), form bands and take part in workshops with students from other year groups that you normally only meet in the corridors, or discuss subjects such as political music with people like the Danish singer and songwriter Tobias Trier (spring 2007).
  • Music students choir (conductor: Erling Kullberg).
  • Student Committee: This is the students´ political forum.
  • Visir: Paper for all students at the Institute of Aesthetic Studies, with study-related articles and information about current activities at the barracks.
  • The Department of Musicology’s annual Song Contest.
  • FIMS: FIMS is the Department of Musicology’s social committee, which organises several celebrations every term. FIMS is also responsible for organising the department’s impressive gala Christmas lunch, which is followed by dancing to the music of Sound of Swing. On that occasion, several guest stars in the form of teachers and students join the band.
  • A Friday bar for students at the Institute of Aesthetic Studies features live music every Friday in the foyer of the KaserneSceneN (the barracks theatre).
  • Fæstetik: The Social Committee organises events for students of all subjects at the Institute of Aesthetic Studies, including a spring party with a special theme, a Shrovetide celebration and a huge party in the Stakladen building for 350 guests.


Follow the student life at Aarhus University

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Music teacher

Music studies as a subsidiary subject qualifies you for a job as a music teacher at upper secondary schools, folk high schools, continuation schools, evening classes, etc.

For more ideas about how you can combine two subjects with a view to a job at an upper secondary school, see the University of Aarhus web site or gymnasiejob.dk.

Culture, education and IT

In addition to teaching jobs, you can work in the following sectors:

  • Cultural sector: As a coordinator, project manager, consultant, information officer, producer, critic or musician.
  • Music education and training: Education is a subject that receives focus in music studies, and some graduates find jobs as singing teachers, choirmasters and conductors, while other graduates get involved in development, coaching and team building, etc.
  • IT, media and music: These areas merge more and more. Some graduates of music studies therefore pursue careers as editors of music sections in publications, composers of music for computer games, developers of music programmes, consultants or company advisers.

Competence profile

Competence profile for Bachelor’s and Master’s degree graduates in music studies:

  • The many faces of music: You learn to look at music as a cultural, historical and theoretical phenomenon, and you acquire in-depth knowledge of the different genres that characterise different periods and parts of the world.
  • Management and communication: As a music student, you are “on” – whether as a conductor, key speaker, singer or musician. You therefore learn to communicate in a confident and lively manner, and you are trained to carry out management functions, participate in process management and creative problem-solving in connection with practical/musical work processes.
  • Structuring: You learn to work independently and to define, structure and implement projects and processes.
  • Collaboration: Collaboration and interaction are important parts of music – in connection with ensembles, musical accompaniment and conducting choirs, for example. You therefore learn how to work together as well as possible, and to understand your own role in an ensemble or conductor situation.