Academy of Dance

From Classical Ballet's "Sommerforestilling" 2015. Photo: Jörg Wiesner.

The Academy of Dance (Balletthøgskolen) was founded in 1979 as the National College of Ballet and Dance (Statens ballettskole). Since 1996 it has been part of Oslo National Academy of the Arts (Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo), which brings students of different disciplines together to form a broad, international community of arts and artistic skills. The unique facilities at the National Academy of the Arts, including well-equipped stages and studios, mean that students at the Academy of Dance have excellent opportunities to develop in a state-of-the-art working environment.

The Academy of Dance offers Bachelor’s degree programmes in contemporary dance, jazz dance and classical ballet, Master’s programmes in dance and choreography, and a one-year practice-oriented teacher training course for dance teachers. Research fellows are affiliated with the Academy of Dance through its participation in the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme. The various study programmes enable students to develop their potential as performing and creative artists, refining their skills, knowledge and critical abilities in the field of dance and choreography.

The teaching staff at the Academy of Dance represent extensive and varied artistic and educational experience. The department also engages nationally and internationally renowned guest teachers and artists.

The Academy of Dance has the ambition to be a leading institution in the field of professional dance training. Its study programmes lay the foundations for solid artistry and an expertise in dance and choreography that can be applied in a range of aesthetic and social contexts – both in Norway and internationally.

Excellent follow-up with regard to physical health and the prevention and treatment of injuries is ensured by the skills of the department’s own staff members and a cooperation with the Norwegian Institute of Sports Medicine (NIMI).

Academy of Opera

The Academy of Opera is the highest-level institution for opera education in Norway. The Academy offers comprehensive, practice-oriented instruction in voice and acting skills, with special emphasis on stage productions. The Academy organises annual study tours and auditions abroad, as well as master classes and lectures with international guests.

The Academy cooperates with the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet and the Norwegian Academy of Music to provide training for opera singers. This collaboration gives the Academy access to projects involving orchestras and to present the Academy’s own performances on the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet’s stages. Students graduating from the Master’s degree programme may be offered an apprenticeship as a soloist with the National Opera following an audition.

Interaction with the other academies within the Oslo National Academy of the Arts creates an inspiring environment for students and employees alike, and offers the opportunity for enriching exchange between artistic genres.

Academy of Theatre

Since its founding in 1953, the Academy of Theatre has been Norway’s leading educational institution for the acting professions. The Academy offers a three-year Bachelor’s course for actors and directors and a two-year Master’s course in theatre, specialising in acting, direction, stage writing and stage design. The department also offers a practice-oriented teacher training course (PPU) for drama teachers.

The Academy embraces both traditional and experimental techniques. Our primary goal is to help our students develop all the skills they need for a career in theatre, uniting the traditional craft that has long underpinned our great theatrical institutions with the best of the more experimental and creative techniques coming from the independent field.

The Academy offers not only a valuable vocational education, but also a first-class arts education. We aim to encourage and develop our students’ artistic abilities, giving the theatrical world not only the supply of new talent it craves, but perhaps also some fresh perspectives it doesn’t yet know that it needs.


The Design department offers both Master’s and Bachelor’s programmes in graphic design, illustration, fashion design, costume design, interior design and furniture design.

The department has excellent workshop facilities, and its small classes are highly conducive to training independently-minded practitioners who do not simply regurgitate the academic discourse, but rather challenge it in ways that develop their discipline and society as a whole. This is an important role for a public institution in an educational landscape where the number of design courses is constantly growing.

The Design department started life as Statens håndverks- og industriskole (Oslo National College of Art and Design) (SHKS), founded in 1818. The department is constantly seeking to develop the legacy and craft traditions of the SHKS, and regards its various workshop facilities as central to this effort.

Art and Craft

The Art and Craft department caters to students specialising in textile art, printmaking and drawing, ceramic art, metal and jewellery art. Students choose to specialise in one of these fields, but also have opportunities to adopt an interdisciplinary approach to medium- and material-based art.

The department seeks to explore and increase knowledge about the relationship between art and life, issues relating to art materials, the relationship between design and architecture, and artistic practice in a social and political context. The department emphasises creative research in crafts in the broadest sense and in an expanded field, the use and integration of art in public spaces, discipline-specific and interdisciplinary artistic practices, and the workshop as venue for artistic activity and research. The department has access to advanced and well-equipped workshops.

Both academically and historically, the department was established in response to the British Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th century and the German Bauhaus tradition, and their ambition to integrate art with the social, public and private spheres.

The Art and Craft department offers medium- and material-based art education programmes in which the social, cultural, global and political significance of materials are considered just as important as their essential or intrinsic properties.

Academy of Fine Art

Artist: Ottar Karlsen
Title: Uten tittel (burned sticks)
Year: 2012
Photographer: Solveig Lønseth

Artistic practice is at the heart of studies at the Academy of Fine Art. We work across media, disciplines and approaches, exploring questions of form and material as well as post-conceptual, social and political issues.

We like to think of the Academy of Fine Art as a unique collective: artists from a variety of backgrounds, countries, fields, genders and generations who have come together to create what they consider an ideal space for the development of their artistic practices.

As part of the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Norway’s largest educational institute for a broad range of art forms, the Academy of Fine Art is the perfect environment for collaborations with dancers, choreographers, actors, stage writers and theatre directors, not to mention graphic designers, fashion and interior designers, specialists in ceramics, textiles, graphics, metalwork and various other fields. Our Media Lab, one of the school’s many workshops, offers unique facilities for 8mm and 16mm film processing, analog and digital photography and digital 3D printing. Full overview of our workshops.

The Academy of Fine Art cooperates with a number of national and international institutions. One of our most important partner institutions is Kunstnernes Hus, which is home to our project space, Akademirommet (The Academy Space), and the venue for our lecture series Åpent forum (Open Forum). It also has studio spaces for eight newly graduated artists. Other partner institutions in the Oslo area include Henie Onstad Art Centre, Kunsthall Oslo, Cinemateket, Ny Musikk, several artist-run exhibition spaces, Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO), and the Norwegian Academy of Music (NMH), while in Fredrikstad we cooperate with the Norwegian Theatre Academy.

Outside of Norway, our closest partner institution is the International Academy of Art in Ramallah, with collaborative projects between Palestine and Norway organised on an annual basis. The Academy of Fine Art also maintains a studio residence in Paris and an extensive network of partner institutions under the KUNO, Erasmus, Share and other academic exchange schemes.

«The academy provides time and space to ask questions: What does my dream have to do with that of others?»*

*Jan Verwoert in «Tell Me What You Want, What You Really, Really Want», Sternberg Press/Piet Zwart Institute, 2011.

Continuing education

Do you need an academic top-up? The Oslo National Academy of the Arts runs a programme of continuing education classes in the performing arts, fine art and design. The programme can be followed either full- or part-time and includes lectures, practical classes, workshops and seminars. Many of the courses are open to everyone.

Each course description specifies the target group and explains the previous experience participants are expected to have. See course descriptions.

You can keep up to date about new courses and activities by subscribing to our newsletter, which is issued several times a year.


Student exchange

Studying abroad as part of a degree will give the students an opportunity to gain new academic perspectives, establish an international network, return motivated and independent, improve their language skills and discover a new culture.

The Oslo National Academy of Arts has an extensive student and staff exchange programme with Art and Design schools across several continents. We are part of the Erasmus+ and Nordplus programmes and also have bilateral agreements with institutions outside of Europe.

Nordplus Higher Education is the Nordic Council of Ministers’ programme for supporting cooperation between higher education institutions in the Nordic and Baltic countries. Exchange between institution in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia mainly takes place via the Nordplus networks Cirrus and KUNO.

Erasmus+ is a programme for student exchange within the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA).

The Oslo National Academy also has bilateral agreements with Art and Design schools in USA and Asia.