Orchestral Conducting

The CAS qualifies graduates for conducting positions in amateur orchestras and choirs. It also qualifies graduates for the professionally oriented DAS.

The programme:

  • is designed for musicians with qualified experience in conducting who wish to broaden their skills and work in professional contexts,

  • broadens and perfects your baton skills,

  • involves studying musical works and systematically developing an interpretation concept, 

  • trains your inner and outer ear and teaches methods for rehearsal planning and strategies,

  • imparts detailed knowledge about working with orchestras, singers and choirs, 

  • includes projects with orchestras and ensembles – to allow you to apply and refine the skills you have acquired.

DAS Dirigieren


  • Degree/Certificate Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS)
  • Duration 2 semesters
  • Schedule Wednesday and Sunday
    Monday and Tuesday by arrangement
  • Application deadline 1 June 2024
    Aptitude auditions: 6 June 2024 in the afternoon
  • ECTS credits 15 ECTS credits
  • Costs Tuition fee: CHF 7'250
    Application fee: CHF 250
    Examination fee: CHF 150
  • Teaching language German
  • Location Bern Ostermundigenstrasse 103, Papiermühlestrasse 13 as well as orchestra projects at various locations
  • School Bern Academy of the Arts
  • Next session Autumn 2024

Structure + Content


DAS in Orchestral Conducting: You will expand and perfect your baton skills and study musical works in depth as you systematically develop an interpretation concept and try it out in professional settings.

Learning outcomes

With the successful completion of the DAS in Orchestral Conducting, students have the following skills at their command:

  • Professional baton and movement technique for both hands
  • Complete mastery of the score, development of an in-depth concept for the desired sound and interpretation
  • Extended and in-depth knowledge of the orchestra and singing voices; knowledge of instruments, playing techniques and styles, tactics and strategy in practical orchestral work
  • Flexible and efficient handling of various forms of musical leadership, experience with professional ensembles
  • Practical experience with professional orchestras
  • A qualification for conducting and directing positions across the entire spectrum of musical life.

The DAS in Orchestral Conducting includes the subjects: Conducting in group and private lessons, Score preparation (score playing, listening, coaching) as well as practical workshops with guest lecturers and/or various ensembles.

The methodology and didactics are aligned with the principles of current university and further education teaching. The face-to-face lessons are designed to permit students a high degree of involvement so that you can contribute your own knowledge and experience. A balance is maintained between professional input and practical work. The development of new ideas and solutions is promoted through methodological diversity, discussions and critical observations. Self-study includes preparation and follow-up for face-to-face lessons, script and literature studies, reflection on and documentation of your own learning processes, and practical application.

Assessment + quality control

The Head of Studies offers extensive learning support and tries to ensure a uniform approach to teaching, course design and practical relevance. Each course is evaluated by the Head of Studies and the students. The students’ concerns are acknowledged as concrete suggestions for the constant optimisation of the course design. The final assignments are graded according to transparent assessment criteria.

The Head of Studies assumes that all participants will fulfil the requirements for certification in the DAS in Orchestral Conducting. This includes participation in face-to-face lessons in accordance with the study regulations, demonstrating the relevant practical applications and presenting their own project at the final event.
Depending on the skills to be acquired, you will receive a selection of assignments during the programme that will allow you to apply what you have learned to your own field of practice in an individual way and to reflect on this implementation. You will document this practical application and receive feedback from the Head of Studies.

Title + Graduation

Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) in «Orchestral Conducting»


Head of Studies

Florian Ziemen: lecturer in Orchestral Conducting, since 2016 Head of Studies for the CAS/DAS in Conducting. Since the 2017/2018 season he has been General Music Director and Opera Director of the Theater für Niedersachsen in Hildesheim.


Eligibility + Entry

The DAS is designed for musicians who have already earned a degree (at least a bachelor’s or the equivalent) and have qualified conducting experience (CAS in Fundamentals of Conducting, comparable training or equivalent practical experience as a conductor) who wish to broaden their skills and embark on a successful career as a conductor in professional settings.

Entry requirements

The Head of Studies grants admission to the CAS in Conducting and the DAS in Orchestral Conducting based on an aptitude assessment and the submitted documents.

Aptitude assessment

The aptitude assessment consists of the following components:

  • Conducting two pianists: Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 1, 4th movement
  • Performance of a self-chosen short piano piece (to determine current abilities)
  • Short test in sight-reading and hearing

Application documents

The application must include a CV in tabular form and a copy of the relevant degree certificate (incl. matriculation number for university degrees) as well as a letter of motivation. In case of a large number of applicants, the Head of Studies reserves the right to make a selection.


"Sur dossier" admissions are possible, based on a consultation with the Head of Studies regarding the candidate’s interest in music projects for and with different social groups and in various concert formats.

Language skills


Practicalities + Application

Each programme takes two semesters and comprises 15 ECTS credits 

Wednesday and Sunday
Monday and Tuesday by arrangement

Application deadline: 1 June 2024
Aptitude auditions: 6 June 2024 in the afternoon
Beginning of studies: Autumn 2024

Tuition fee: CHF 7'250
Application fee: CHF 250
Examination fee: CHF 150

The fees are tax deductible. 

The Continuing Education Regulations of Bern University of Applied Sciences, as well as the Implementation Provisions for the Continuing Education Regulations apply. The right to make changes is reserved. In case of doubt, the wording of the legal provisions and regulations shall prevail.


Student advisory service

Head of Studies: Florian Ziemen
Telephone +41 31 848 39 33

Secretarial Office: Secretariat HKB Continuing Education
Telephone +41 31 848 38 15 

Location + Facilities