APD - Composition

The Advanced Postgraduate Diploma programme (APD) is a two-year training programme that qualifies the student as a composer or songwriter at the highest artistic level. The objective of the programme is to equip the student with further qualifications for the employment market by augmenting the student's Masters degree with comprehensive studies in one or more artistic areas of research chosen by the candidate her/himself.

During the programme, the student will get experience and insight into self-dependent artistic research (practice based research) work and having the capacity to identify and contextualize current dynamic issues in one’s field. Furthermore, the student will achieve the ability to transfer one’s artistic practice and research capabilities to other fields and recognize any associated career opportunities, locally and globally.

The programme’s core focus will be on the student’s capacity to extend our artistic understanding and to communicate those insights in a fully realized manner.

The programme is aimed at professional musicians who have completed a Masters programme in rhythmic music, or who possess equivalent qualifications of the same standard, such as an artistic career at a high professional level. 


You can read about this and much more under APPLICATION and ENTRANCE EXAMINATION below.


  • Deadline for online application: 1 December 2021 at 12:00  CET.
  • Call for entrance examination: No later than 13 January 2021 by email.
  • Entrance examination: 25-29 January 2021. You attend online.
  • Outcome of entrance examination: 18 February 2021 by email.
  • Start of study: 16 August 2021.

Read the general information about the application process HERE.



Applicants for the programme must have a relevant Masters degree in music from a music conservatory, or equivalent qualifications obtained by other means.


You must apply online through Studieoptag.
You must create a profile, fill in the online application form and upload relevant files. 


In the application form, you will be asked to describe your background and motivation for applying for the APD programme. A short description of your artistic and professional goals is also required. Finally, your application must contain an artistic research proposal.

You must upload:

  • Documentation for your Masters degree
    Degree certificate with Diploma Supplement or a Transcript of Record documenting your progress of studies and the content of the subjects you have passed, and confirming that your Masters programme will be completed before studies commence in August 2021.
  • 5 compositions, or extracts from these, for which you are artistically responsible.
    Total duration: 25-30 minutes.
  • Scores or other relevant work documentation.

If you do not have a Masters degree in rhythmic music from an academy, but have equivalent qualifications obtained by other means, you must also upload:

  • Documentation of equivalent qualifications (instead of documentation for Masters degree).
    Extended CV, documentation of musical/artistic work, reviews, etc.
  • 10 compositions, or extracts from these, for which you are artistically responsible.
    Total duration: 25-35 minutes.

NB! This material will solely be included in the conservatory's assessment of whether you possess qualifications equivalent to a Masters degree in rhythmic music, but acquired by other means.

Other submitted material will not be included in the assessment.


Applicants for an Advanced Postgraduate Diploma programme at RMC must pay an application fee of 500 DKK. The fee covers part of the costs associated with the entrance examination, and is non-refundable after the application deadline.


The deadline for applications is 1 December at 12:00 CET. If this date is a Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday, the deadline will be at 12:00 CET on the next weekday.

Entrance examination


All applicants who hold a relevant Masters degree in music from a music conservatory, or equivalent qualifications obtained by other means, will be invited to attend an entry audition at RMC. 


The entrance examination consists of an interview, which is conducted online.

The interview is carried out with the assessment panel and is based on the written application and the submitted compositions.
Duration: 20 minutes.


On the basis of the interview, the written application and the submitted compositions, an overall assessment is undertaken of the applicant’s qualifications for admission to the programme.

The following areas are considered during the assessment:

  • The artistic quality of the compositions, including their originality, creativity, emotionality and contemporary relevance;
  • The craftsmanship quality of the compositions, including such elements as form, instrumentation and arrangement;
  • The written application, including your motivation, academic and professional goals, and the artistic and academic qualifications of the project areas described in the application;
  • Your ability to reflect on your own works, practice and artistic and cultural context.

You will be assessed according to a 100 point scale, which is a subdivision of the Danish 7 step grading scale. A minimum of 40 points, corresponding to 02 in the Danish 7 step grading scale, is required to pass the audition.

The assessment is given, related to the level that is required to commence the programme.



One or two students are usually admitted to the programme. Due to the limited number of places, the RMC may be obliged to reject some applicants even if they have passed the entrance examination.

You will receive an e-mail informing you of whether or not you have been admitted.

All applicants, who are not offered a study place, are offered a short telephone feedback from the internal examiner.


A limited number of applicants who are qualified for admission, but who have not been admitted due to the limited number of places available, may be offered a place on a waiting list. In the period up to 1 June, applicants on the waiting list may be offered admission.


Illness must be documented by medical certificate, if you wish to have the opportunity to take a make-up entrance examination. RMC must receive the medical certificate no later than three days after the entrance examination was supposed to take place. RMC will determine the date of any make-up entrance examination, and you will be notified of this as soon as possible. It will not be possible to take the make-up examination at other times than those announced by RMC. You are responsible for paying the cost of the medical certificate.


The entrance examination is normally carried out in English. 

Programme structure

The Advanced Postgraduate Diploma programme corresponds to 120 ECTS points, equivalent to two years of full-time study at 1,620 working hours per year. A year of full-time study includes all work connected with the study programme, including classes, independent study, examinations and all other study-related activities.

The APD programme’s field of study is Artistic Practice and Research, as well as a course in Entrepreneurship. Hence, the composition programme has a focus on compositional specialization in which students primarily work to develop their artistic profile, the capacity to conduct self-dependent artistic research work, and skills to integrate and demonstrate original artistic insights in musical composition or songwriting.

The programme includes compulsory joint classes and courses as well as independent study and project work in combination with individual guidance. Students thus have ample opportunity to work on their own projects, both in Denmark and abroad. It is the student and the student’s own projects that are in focus. However, the student is also axpected to be engaged in his/her fellow students and to participate in student-initiated group activities.

The programme concludes with a public concert or the like at the end of the fourth semester, accompanied by a written report in which the student presents reflections on the content of and idea behind the concert, together with the student’s preparatory work. 

The programme is a full-time programme of study, and the language of instruction is usually English.

Career opportunities

A graduate of the Advanced Postgraduate Diploma programme is a creative and personal artist with a distinctive artistic profile, who typically works as the leader of his or her own bands and artistic projects, and will often work on a freelance basis in a market that is rapidly changing and highly competitive, but in which there is also a growing need for content providers who can supply original material of high quality. The study programme will help to strengthen the student’s artistic profile and equip the student with musical skills and experience at the highest educational level. The student will thereby be capable of obtaining employment in a broad range of areas. The employment opportunities depend on both market fluctuations in the industry and the priorities of cultural policy.

Graduates of the Advanced Postgraduate Diploma programme are typically employed as freelance musicians in bands, or as soloists, or in connection with theatrical, television or film productions. Some work as composers, songwriters and producers in their own projects, or those of other artists. Many graduate musicians also teach in music schools, folk high schools, continuation schools or day schools, or as private music teachers. Finally, some graduates establish their own businesses, for example in the fields of learning, computer games, sound design, film scores, etc.

Ditte Rønn-Poulsen, graduated 2018


What’s your job now?
I work as a composer and singer as well as teaching in singing, composition and creative processes. I am currently working on interdisciplinary projects with partners from stage performance, visual arts, painting and poetry.

Why did you choose the APD?
APD worked well for me to build on my Master’s degree from The Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus and gave me the opportunity to study and immerse myself after having been out of the education system for many years. I saw that as a fantastic opportunity. I specifically chose Composition because I wanted to integrate the composing methods from conceptual thinking and classical composition with my auditory approach to writing music.

What were your most important discoveries?
I had mostly classical composers as teachers during the programme and I explored how to use specific methods in developing an intuitive based songwriting process. As a way of opening my songwriting by getting into the process of composition from another angle. I have discovered how important is that your ideas are clear and simple because there are so many routes into the composition and so many ways of developing material.

What’s the best thing you got from the programme?
I gained a lot from the programme, both artistically and personally. Artistically I have reached a clearer understanding of processes, methods, tools and communication. The most important thing I’m bringing with me from the programme is the interaction between gathering inspiration from others and immersing yourself in your own material. And that is a circular process.
I also confirmed that my creativity develops best in a fine balance between challenge, openness and security – and what these notions specifically means to me.


Below you will find the list of teaching staff on the programme in the current study year, permanent academic staff as well as contract teachers.

RMC prioritizes diversity in terms of genre and fields of expertise when the entire group of teachers is composed.

As a student, you are offered a wide spectrum of professional impulses from permanent teaching staff as well as from contract and external teachers.

Within the core subjects of the programme, the teaching performed by the permanent staff will normally not exceed more than two thirds of the total number of teaching hours.

In relation to special courses, projects and similar activities, you will have the opportunity to meet a large number of external teachers.

Artistic Practice & Research:

Torben Snekkestad

Lotte Anker

Artistic Practice & Research - individual guidance:

Tom Blancarte

Timothy J. Hinman

Søs Gunver Ryberg

Sophie Ziedoy

Sidsel Endresen

Rune Glerup

Rasmus Kjærbo

Randi Pontoppidan

Peter Jensen

Nis Bysted

Morten Büchert

Michael Wolters

Katinka Fogh Vindelev

John Edwards

Jenny Hval

Enrique Enriquez

Dean Pinon Sui

Catherine Lamb

Casper Clausen

Sharon Phelan


Christian Taagehøj

Head of programme

Programme Coordinator

Claus Finderup


Study Programme (APD Comp)

About RMC

Rhythmic Music Conservatory (RMC) is an educational institution under the Danish Ministry of Culture and works on a non-commercial basis. RMC was founded in 1986 as the first music academy in Europe to specialize in contemporary rhythmic music.


RMC offers the highest education in contemporary rhythmic music - a multifaceted concept that embraces widely diverse genres such as rock, pop, jazz, urban, metal and electronic music.


Contemporary rhythmic music is a creative and performative art that builds upon a solid foundation in professional and cultural traditions.


At RMC contemporary rhythmic music means openness, curiosity, diversity and a critical position.

RMC Vision Statement 2019-2022

RMC is a pioneer in the study, practice and development of contemporary music.


At RMC, students and staff thrive in a creative atmosphere of inspiring exchange and inventive inquiry.


RMC educates future innovators in music who enrich artistic and cultural experience in the world.


Informed by deep knowledge and upon a foundation of highly developed skills, graduates install themselves in society and actualize potentials in a wide network of relations, both locally and globally.