Popular Music (Master of Music)

Basic info & Application

  • Faculty: 1
  • Degree: Master of Music (M.Mus.)
  • Standard period of study: 4 semesters full-time (part-time study is possible)
  • Workload: 120 ECTS Credits
  • Language of instruction: German
  • Provider: Folkwang University of the Arts
  • Programme start: Each winter semester in October

Admission requirements

_First university degree, e.g. Bachelor. Official database on the equivalence of international educational achievements:

_Evidence of artistic aptitude by passing the aptitude test at the Folkwang University of the Arts


_Evidence of pertinent practical experience

Language requirements

_Applicants have to verify proof of language level A2 with enrolment.


_The required levels of language skills at Folkwang University of the Arts are in accordance to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).


_50 € application fee: For your application a fee of € 50 is due. The amount will be shown to you in the application form.


_No tuition fees are charged at Folkwang.


_Each semester all students have to pay a social contribution for the services of the Student Union, a student contribution for the work of the AStA (General Student Committee) and the VRR/NRW ticket. A breakdown of the amounts plus information on how to pay is available here.


Folkwang actively supports the call of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to train people with disabilities as artists and therefore particularly welcomes applications for the guest student programme, regular study courses and requests for inclusive cooperation projects. Prospective students should make use of the possibility of a counselling meeting with the  Representative for students with disability or chronic illness in advance.

Application documents

Applications must be submitted via the Folkwang Application Portal by the end of the application period on 15 March (for the following winter semester). The portal is open for applications from 15 January to 15 March. Submit your application as early as possible. Only applications that have been submitted in full by the application deadline will be considered. Academic certificates must be submitted in the original German or English language or with an official translation.

For the application you have to upload the following in the portal:


_Curriculum Vitae in tabular form (desired)

_Passport photograph (optional)

_School-leaving certificate from the last school attended (secondary school, e.g. high school); alternatively last school certificate

_If applicable, degree certificate, transcript of records and/or certificate of enrolment from the university(ies) attended to date

_If applicable, certificate of foreign university entrance examination such as APS certificate / American College Test (ACT) / College Scholastic Ability Test / University Entrance Examination Center Test or other international educational achievements that constitute a university entrance qualification for Germany such as completed periods of studies; country-specific information:

For the first stage of the aptitude test, i.e. the 'Digital Preliminary Round', you must also already upload a link. You can find more information below at the section "Aptitude Test".


_Proof of payment of the application fee (bank statement)

Aptitude test (two-stage procedure)

The aptitude test takes place as a two-stage procedure and consists of a 'preliminary round' and a 'main round'. The first stage is carried out digitally and consists of the timely submission of a portfolio of the applicant’s own works and an outline for an artistic development project (project plan) electronically (file link). The deadline for submission is identical to the application deadline. If the digital preliminary round of the aptitude test is passed, an invitation to the 'main round' will be issued.




Content: Applicants may submit their work in the form of sheet music, sound recordings, videos, etc. The project plan should describe the themes and intended outcomes of the artistic exploration to be undertaken during the course of studies.


Assessment criteria:

_Independence, intensity and relevance of the artistic conception

_Advanced technical and artistic skills

_Ability to present and create in the context of the chosen means of artistic expression




Part 1: Presentation


Duration: up to 15 minutes


Content: the candidate presents his/her skills and presents his/her own works (also different media).


Assessment criteria:

_Independence, intensity and relevance of the artistic conception

_Advanced technical and artistic skills

_Ability to present and create in the context of the chosen means of artistic expression


Part 2: Colloquium


Duration: up to 30 minutes


Content: a reflection on the applicant’s motivation for the study course, their plans and goals, their work and the perspective on pop-culturally relevant topics and issues


Assessment criteria:

_Relevant knowledge of popular music (theory, history, current affairs)

_Experience in dealing with relevant production methods of popular music 

_Ability to reflect on and perceive pop music concepts, productions, forms of presentation and modes of reception


Only after you have successfully applied for a study place is your last step in the application process enrolment. Enrolment takes place at the end of September for the start of studies in October and at the end of March for the start of studies in April. Please refer to your letter of admission for the exact period and information on the procedure.


You must provide the following document for enrolment:


_completed application for enrolment AND Folkwang Card (you received both applications together with your certificate of admission)

_Evidence of a German health insurance OR an exemption from the compulsory health insurance (i.e. recognition of your foreign health insurance by a statutory health insurance in Germany – refer to information provided by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in this regard)

_The original OR certified copy of the general university entrance qualification certificate (a certified German translation is essential for such certificates acquired abroad)

_If not already provided during the application procedure: Language qualification for the language entrance level required in the study course (only required if you did not acquire your university entrance qualification in Germany). The table provides you with an initial overview of all language requirements. Further information on language qualifications at Folkwang is available on the 'German as a foreign language (GFL)' page.

_Evidence of payment of the semester contribution