The Art Schools – the higher arts educations in Denmark

The Ministry of Culture’s higher education institutions are art and cultural institutions that form a framework for the creation of works of art, execution of artistic research, pedagogical research and not least various forms of dissemination activities in the form of concerts, performances, exhibitions, exhibitions, etc. Therefore, the educational institutions also play an important role in the arts and cultural life at both local, regional and national level.

At the art schools, the students receive practice-based and artist-based education and within some subject areas research-based education up to the highest level. Unlike most of the other higher educations in Denmark, the Ministry of Culture’s higher artistic educations are characterised by the fact that there is a very limited admission to the educations and that the number of students at the institutions is politically determined. The art schools admit students on the basis of the applicants’ artistic abilities and talent, and as a general rule there is no requirement for an entrance-granting upper secondary school examination.

The art schools collaborate on a number of common goals. These are entrepreneurship, interdisciplinary teaching programs, internationalisation, artistic development (KUV) and research, the schools as cultural institutions and quality. You can see the steering groups for the common focus areas in the info boxes on this page.

Below you can read more about the individual art school and be guided on to the schools’ websites.


The National Film School of Denmark (DDF)

The National Film School of Denmark is a state school, supported by the Danish Ministry of Cultural Affairs.

The school was founded in 1966 by Theodor Christensen and is beautifully situated on the small island of Frederiksholm in the harbour of Copenhagen, next to The Rhythmic Music Conservatory, and The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation.

The National Film School of Denmark has 8 programmes: Script writing, sound, editing, fiction directing, documentary directing, animation and games directing, cinematography, and film producing. The number of students is approximately 100. All lines of study are 4-year programmes, except animation and games directing which is a 4 a half years program.

Students learn the craft of filmmaking to ensure their future employment in the professional film and media industry. The teaching also aims to develop and support each student’s unique, personal, artistic talent.

The teaching programme is a mixture of theoretical and practical training and includes a large number of exercises and productions. The students’ final project is a film produced on a professional level and presented to the public.

No diploma or former education is in itself a guarantee of admission. All students must pass an entrance test including both practical exercises and interviews. The programs are all in Danish, so in order to be admitted to the National Film School of Denmark you must be able to speak and understand Danish.

Danish National School of Performing Arts (DASPA)

The Danish National School of Performing Arts is an artistic educational institution governed by the Danish Ministry of Culture. The school provides a modern artistic learning environment that nurtures new modes of thinking, artistic expressions, and social engagement. 

With higher education at bachelor, master, and diploma level on campuses in Aarhus, Fredericia, Odense, and Copenhagen, the school educates pioneering artists who hold solid practical and theoretical knowledge about their own subject matter and a critical awareness of the role of art in society. 

Through research and the development of new works of art, knowledge, and methods covering a broad spectrum of disciplines within performing arts, the school’s faculty and students develop its subject areas and make an impact on art and cultural life, nationally and internationally.

The Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus/Aalborg (RAMA)

Together with the other conservatories in Denmark, The Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus/Aalborg is charged with responsibility for the further education courses in music, and for otherwise contributing to the promotion of musical culture in Denmark.


The programmes have been given the highest status, both nationally and internationally. This means that they measure up to the best comparable courses on offer abroad. We train students for careers as professional musicians, and, depending on the course taken, students graduate either as solo performers or as music teachers.


The emphasis of the teaching is on solo work with an instrument or the voice, but there is also ensemble playing and a number of supplementary subjects. For those studying to become music teachers, particular importance is attached to music pedagogy and communicative subjects.

Our corps of teachers is active and committed, and we expect our students to exhibit the same qualities. We are flexible, but we attach importance to discipline and cooperation as important elements in the training of professional musicians and music teachers.

Concert Activities

Concert activities at The Royal Academy of Music spans widely – from small practice concerts in the academy classrooms i both Aarhus and Aalborg over larger concerts on the stages of Musikhuset Aarhus and Musikkens Hus to the grand RAMA Festival that represents the best of what students and teachers at both addresses of the academy have to offer. Furthermore, the academy is part of a long line of local and regional collaborations with e.g. SPOT Festival, Live Music in Schools, Aarhus Jazz Festival and many more.

International profile

The Academy has a very active international profile with a strong focus on international exchanges and a global mindset amongst students and staff. Read more about student exchange here.

RAMA is involved in a wide range of international collaborations with a strong base in the Nordic/Baltic Region and the EU. However, RAMA is also heavily engaged in global collaborations through the GLOMUS network with member institutions in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas.

The collaborations range from music performance and composition over educational training to distance learning based activities and capacity building of partner academies.

The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Visual Art (RAFA)

The Schools of Visual Arts offers a three-year BFA study programme and a three-year MFA study programme. Students will benefit from Basic Studies, four Schools of Visual Arts, an Institute for Art, Writing and Research and laboratories for ceramics, construction, wood, plaster, 3D, graphics, colour, photography, video and sound.

The Schools of Visual Arts offers all aspects of a superior fine art education: teaching, professional growth, and research within all aspects of the visual arts.   

For more than 260 years now, the academy has fulfilled this function against a backdrop of changing views of art’s role and function. Concepts and roles whose status and significance might have been taken for granted in the past – the artist, the work of art, art exhibitions, the art market – are now subject to ongoing discussion and negotiation. Those discussions are an integral part of fine art education and research today, and The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts reflects this.

The academy continues to evolve – thanks in part to the experimental development and research conducted at the schools as they push back boundaries within their respective disciplines.

The Academy of Fine Arts offers a three-year bachelor’s degree as well as a three-year master’s degree in one of the four Master of Fine Arts departments, colloquially called schools.

Kunsthal Charlottenborg is one of Europe’s most beautiful exhibition venues for contemporary art. It presents an ambitious array of exhibitions as well as a wealth of related events such as artist talks, performances, concerts and film/video screenings. 

In 2012 Kunsthal Charlottenborg returned to its roots as it once again merged with The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.

The Royal Danish Academy of Music (RDAM)

The Royal Danish Academy of Music is a higher education institution that provides music education at the highest artistic level. The academy benchmarks itself against a number of the foremost conservatories and music academies in the world, while at the same time collaborating with these institutions to provide students with quality music education.

The academy offers bachelor, master, and advanced postgraduate diploma study programmes taught by a highly specialised faculty in the fields of music performance, composition, music production, and music education. The advanced postgraduate diploma programmes give students an opportunity to hone and refine their technical skills and artistic mastery, preparing them for prominent and meaningful careers as soloists, ensembles, composers, opera singers, or conductors.

The study environment is highly international and is characterised by a healthy competition-accentuated interaction between the students, Danish as well as international. The pedagogical approach in the teaching activities focuses on each student’s individual development and progress, and this is supplemented with projects that allow students to gain valuable real-life experience, both as individual musicians and as music industry professionals.

As a metropolitan academy, RDAM has a comprehensive network of national and international cooperation partners in the field of performing arts and related academic disciplines. The academy actively collaborates with a number of leading Danish cultural institutions, including Copenhagen Phil, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and The Royal Danish Opera. Additionally, RDAM also collaborates with the other artistic higher education institutions under the Ministry of Culture. International cooperation partners include highly regarded artistic networks and education institutions from all over the world. Through these collaborations, RDAM enriches teaching and learning activities and the students’ artistic development.

Rhythmic Music Conservatory (RMC)

Rhythmic Music Conservatory (RMC) offers the most advanced education available in rhythmic contemporary music – a multifaceted concept that embraces widely diverse forms of expression in such genres as rock, pop, jazz, urban, metal and electronic music.

Rhythmic contemporary music is a creative and performative art form that builds upon a solid foundation of professional and cultural traditions. At RMC, rhythmic contemporary music means openness, curiosity, diversity and a critical position.

In addition to providing music education at the highest level, RMC also operates research and development projects in the Conservatory’s core areas. The Conservatory also helps to promote musical culture in Denmark in general, and acts as a meeting-point for all of the stakeholders in the music industry. RMC provides a framework for a diverse range of public artist meetings, concerts, seminars, conferences and symposia.

RMC is located in Holmen in Copenhagen, amid beautiful waterside surroundings, and in the heart of a vibrant artistic educational community that also includes the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ Schools for Architecture, Design and Conservation, the National Film School of Denmark and the Danish National School of Performing Arts.

The Conservatory’s unique physical setting offers all the facilities one would expect of a modern academy of music of the highest international standard.

Rhythmic Music Conservatory offers bachelor’s, master’s and soloist educations in contemporary music – a multifaceted concept that encompasses wide-ranging forms of expression in areas such as rock, pop, jazz, urban, metal and electronic music.

The Danish National Academy of Music (SDMK)

The Danish National Academy of Music is a higher educational institution under the Ministry of Culture Denmark offering music and music educational study programmes at the highest level. Furthermore, SDMK is tasked with developing and promoting its artistic area and the associated cultural life, among other things through artistic and pedagogical innovation.

From its bases in Odense and Esbjerg, respectively, the Danish National Academy of Music constitutes a main cultural actor in southern Denmark – both as a place of study and as a cultural institution, but also very much as an active contributor to the region’s musical growth segment and professional music scene. Finally, SDMK, due to the approx. 200 concerts it organises each year, is one of the leading providers of musical events for citizens in the region. In addition to their studies, the academy’s approx. 260 students play a significant and active role in the region’s cultural life – both as performing musicians, organisers and instructors.


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