KMD Moves

KMD promotes art, music and design, as crucial to both individual and societal change and development.

KMD is a dynamic meeting place for artistic and scholarly research and education; it builds upon long-standing traditions for art, music and design education in Bergen.

KMD is an innovative and fearless academic community
where discourse is encouraged.

KMD educates artists, designers, curators, performing musicians, composers, music therapists, music scholars, music and art teachers for the future.

KMD shall:

  • play a leading role in our fields nationally and internationally
  • challenge conventions where they are strong and preserve them where they are challenging
  • advocate diversity and equality in society and culture
  • be a renowned and sought-after partner in national and international artistic and academic environments, the university community, business partners/enterprise and society at large



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Mari Nordahl - The Actual Versus the Potential Photo: Jane Sverdrupsen

Knowledge moves
– Artistic research, scholarly research and innovation

KMD has strong disciplinary environments with a broad range of knowledge and research traditions. This forms the basis for interdisciplinary experimentation.

At KMD, artistic research joins forces with scholarly research in joint focus areas. In this way, new knowledge and understanding are developed.

KMD shall:

  • build a strong environment for artistic and scholarly research where different approaches meet and develop
  • offer a PhD programme with good national and international recruitment to all KMD’s disciplines
  • strengthen researcher training and advance doctoral supervision in all disciplines
  • develop and contribute/participate in thematic research environments
  • contribute in the development and implementation of UiB’s strategic focus areas
  • improve the quality of research by developing and being a partner in research projects, particularly projects funded by the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme, the Research Council of Norway and the EU
  • strengthen permanent documentation
  • of peer-reviewed artistic research
  • encourage more publication of scholarly research
  • develop prioritised research themes/research foci through strategic
  • allocation of PhD positions
  • take responsibility and contribute
  • actively to the national environment
  • for artistic research
  • develop infrastructure that is adapted
  • to suit KMD’s disciplines


Photo: Magne Sandnes

The students move
– Education

KMD educates graduates with distinctive expertise for a diverse field of practice and varied professional roles. KMD’s study programmes are based on artistic and scholarly research.

The students develop artistically and personally through varied forms of teaching that allow room for experimentation and critical reflection.

KMD shall:

  • stimulate professional inquisitiveness, curiosity and in-depth study
  • recognise students as valuable contributors to the faculty’s research activity
  • assure the quality of the education through participation in decision-making, a climate for discussion and constructive criticism
  • further develop varied forms of teaching and learning, supervision and assessment that are well-suited to KMD’s disciplines
  • support innovative teaching and learning and recognise accomplished and dedicated teachers
  • stimulate learning through cross-disciplinary projects
  • develop courses that can be included in several study programmes
  • facilitate an international student environment through inbound and outbound exchanges and binding collaboration with institutions all over the world
  • take steps to establish a Centre of Excellence in Higher Education
  • develop attractive and relevant continuing and further education programmes in close contact with the faculty’s diverse fields of practice


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Thomas Ramberg Sivertsen - Varighet gjennom variasjon Photo: Jane Sverdrupsen

External interaction
– Communication and Dissemination

KMD is a leading international professional arena for sharing knowledge and experience.

KMD shall:

  • disseminate the full breadth of its artistic and scholarly activities through concerts, exhibitions, events, shows, projects and publications
  • provide insight into its artistic and scholarly processes and results
  • be an active part of the internationally oriented culture scene of Bergen
  • encourage students and staff to participate
  • actively in public debates
  • develop long-term cooperation with relevant
  • partners in the cultural scene and the business
  • and public sectors
  • develop digital communication platforms
  • adapted to our activity
  • use motivated alumni as ambassadors for KMD

Room for movement
– Organisation and premises

KMD has a learning and working environment that gives students and staff good opportunities for artistic and professional development. At KMD, there is room to pursue deeper understanding, cooperation and outreach activities. Students and staff contribute to a living democracy at the departmental and faculty level that is characterised by openness, dialogue and diversity.

KMD shall:

  • encourage critical reflection, expression and debate and welcome constructive criticism through inclusive and open/transparent decision-making processes
  • practise ethical thinking in everything we do
  • be clear about the rights of, and obligations
  • as students and staff
  • develop good procedures for internal communication
  • ensure equality and diversity in the student
  • and working environment
  • ensure quality through precise and targeted recruitment, and facilitate an international environment
  • ensure professional administration through systematic competence development
  • focus on sustainability in KMD’s day-to-day activities
  • give high priority to Health and Safety (HSE) during the strategy period
  • bring together all disciplines in Møllendal in order to fully realise the potential of the faculty
  • endeavour to ensure the best possible working conditions for staff and students until the new building is in place
  • manage resources efficiently and create flexibility through increased digitalisation
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Tova Fransson - Untitled (Ten meter forest) Photo: Jane Sverdrupsen

Artistic Research

Since 1995, artistic research has been given equal status with scholarly research in the Act relating to Universities and University Colleges. The wording of the Act has been followed up in regulations issued by the Ministry of Research and NOKUT and the National Qualifications Framework.

Artistic research is thereby a well-established concept in the plans and framework for higher education.

Artistic research is creative, systematic and experimental work aimed at developing knowledge and insight. The term artistic research is also used internationally.

Artistic research:

  • generates knowledge development on an artistic basis
  • articulates and addresses academic questions through artistic practice and reflection
  • develops and challenges a broad spectrum of forms of expression and documentation
  • establishes arenas for sharing both processes and results
  • qualifies reflection in the institutions through academic contextualisation and critical discussion
  • contributes to and challenges artistic practice and the art field’s discourses
  • strengthens artistic competence in society

From Research and development in the subject area of art. 1995–2015: Twenty years of artistic research, the National Council for the Development of Performing Arts Education / Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions, 2015.


KMD was originally three independent institutions. Its history can be briefly summarised as follows:

Bergen Music Academy was founded. It later became Bergen Music Conservatory. Taken over by the state in 1981.

Bergen School of Applied Art was founded. From 1988 the National College of Art and Design.

Studieeatelieret (a private visual arts education) was founded. From 1973: The National Academy of Fine Arts. Taken over by the state in 1981.

Bergen Music Conservatory became part of the University of Bergen (UiB) and was renamed the Grieg Academy – Department of Music.

The National Academy of Fine Arts and the National College of Art and Design were merged to form Bergen National Academy of the Arts (KHiB). It changed its name to Bergen Academy of Art and Design (still abbreviated KHiB) in 2012.

KHiB merged with UiB and forms KMD together with the Grieg Academy.


Photo: Alric Ljunghager


The Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design (KMD) at the University of Bergen was established on 1 January 2017. The faculty’s responsibilities are education, artistic research, scholarly research and dissemination within the discipline area of the arts, which here comprise art, music and design.

KMD’s activities are organised in three departments:

The Art Academy – Department of Fine Art
The Grieg Academy ­– Department of Music
Department of Design


The Art Academy – Department of Fine Art offers an active and international learning environment where students’ own artistic practice and reflection are in focus. It is possible for the students to explore a wide range of artistic forms of expression and to develop through production, supervision and critical discussion.

The department has core expertise in eight focus areas: painting and drawing, sculpture and installations, ceramics and clay, time-based art and performance, new media, textiles, printmaking  and photography.

The Art Academy also has a separate theory programme at both bachelor’s and master’s level. The department’s bachelor programme has students from the whole of Scandinavia. The master’s programmes in art and curatorial practice recruit students from all over the world.


The Grieg Academy – Department of Music offers great variety and multidisciplinary strength through its wide-ranging study programmes and research in performance, composition, musicology, music therapy and music education. Activities range from music as autonomous artistic expression within a number of different genres to inclusive music practices.

The department’s profile within music performance is based on strong, internationally recognised environments in jazz, classical and traditional music. The department offers an education in traditional music in cooperation with the Ole Bull Academy at Voss and it administers the Arne Bjørndal archives.

Knowledge about music and health is developed at the Grieg Academy’s Centre for Music and Health (GAMUT). GAMUT is a collaboration with NORCE and is an internationally leading research environment. Musicology at the Grieg Academy is an interdisciplinary field of study that includes methods from both the humanities and social sciences. 



‘We think with our hands.’ The Department of Design has study programmes and conducts research in furniture design, spatial design / interior architecture and visual communication. By experimenting and exploring materials, tools, processes and methods, new, challenging designs are created that cross professional boundaries and develop new forms of expression. We cooperate internationally and have an international environment of staff and students.

We have three unifying values:

  • Sustainable development and an understanding of global relations
  • People-friendly and environmentally friendly structures and materials
  • Humanistic and ethical communication

The department promotes values that prioritise the environment and equality as the basis for culture, social systems and institutions. Design is a tool for diverse discussions and the department asks critical questions about established truths. Our education aims to encourage experimentation and an open attitude to development, as well as respecting students’ ideas and interests within the framework of subject courses and context.


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I Chih Lu - Mat i det urbane paradiset Photo: Jane Sverdrupsen