Ph D Hoved

Photo: Kjell Vassdal // (fra Nadja Lipsycs stipendiatprosjekt 'Lone Wolves Stick Together')

Text: Trond Lossius

The Norwegian Film School Applies for PhD program

Application for accreditation of PhD in film and related audio-visual arts

In January 2021 The Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences on behalf of The Norwegian Film School applied to NOKUT (the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education) for accreditation of "PhD in artistic research in film and related audio-visual arts". The new program will replace the current artistic research fellowship program, and ensure that the Film school can continue to offer PhD level education.

The PhD program relates to film in the expanded field. There is an active and dynamic two-way exchange between film and related audio-visual arts. Work on new technologies, formats, media, and platforms draws on and further develops film competencies and discourses. At the same time, film language reinvents itself in response to developments within the expanded field. Work on new formats leads to new expressive possibilities, insights and working methods that also apply to linear film.

From fellowship program to PhD

Higher education study programs in Norway generally are structured according to the three cycles of BA, MA and PhD. The Norwegian Film School offers BA and MA study programs. As part of the National Artistic Research Fellowship Program, the Film School since 2003 has provided PhD-level education. This program emphasises artistic processes, results, and reflections. In 2018, the program's success led the Ministry of Higher Education to introduce a formal PhD degree in artistic research. So far four arts educational institutions have established PhD programs in artistic research: Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo National Academy of the Arts, University of Bergen and Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

The transition to formal PhD poses some challenges for the Norwegian Film School. In general PhD programs are required to recruit and graduate a minimum of five candidates a year. It is beyond the capacity of the Film School to run a PhD program at this scale. Still, The Norwegian Film School and Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences holds national responsibility for film education. It is vital to secure film education on par with other arts disciplines. The Ministry of Education has granted a temporary exemption through 2024 from the requirements to the PhD program's volume, thus enabling the recent accreditation application. We hope that the application is processed and approved by the summer to establish the new program in the fall, ensuring continuity of third-cycle education.

So far, four research fellows have graduated from the Norwegian Film School. In recent years Centre for Excellence in Film and Interactive Media Arts (CEFIMA) has been vital to strengthen third-cycle education within the film school. Currently, we have seven research fellows, and two more will join in the spring. Furthermore, the film school recently appointed Trond Lossius as professor and PhD leader and Linda Tangen Bjørge as PhD coordinator.

In the longer term, The Norwegian Film School is in dialogue with the music and fine arts education at The University of Tromsø and Norwegian Theatre Academy at Østfold University College to set up a joint PhD program.

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