The MAS in Organ offers trained pianists the opportunity to acquire qualifications in Church Music and Organ. Find out more here!

The programme:

  • is designed for pianists who have completed an MA in Performance or MA in Pedagogy,
  • offers you the opportunity to develop a stylistically broad repertoire,
  • teaches you how to musically accompany the liturgy in a way that is appropriate for a given situation,
  • teaches the most important subjects in the field of church music.
MAS Orgel


  • Degree/Certificate Master of Advanced Studies (MAS)
  • Duration One year
  • Schedule The lessons are scheduled individually
  • Application deadline 15 May 2024
    Aptitude auditions: 6 June 2024
  • ECTS credits 15 ECTS credits
  • Costs Tuition fee: CHF 6'450
    Application fee: CHF 250
  • Teaching language German
  • Location Bern Ostermundigenstrasse. The core subject lessons take place in a church, depending on the lecturer.
  • School Bern Academy of the Arts
  • Next session Autumn 2024

Structure + Content


With the completion of the CAS Basic and CAS Intermediate, a Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) can be earned, which is classified as a reduced vocational qualification for church employment. The Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) programme in Organ is equivalent to a regular MA degree. 

Learning outcomes

With the successful completion of the programme, you will have the following skills at your command:

  • Instrumental competence on the organ
  • Development of a stylistically broad repertoire
  • Musical accompaniment of the liturgy appropriate for a given situation
  • Familiarity with the church as a field of work

The core subject lessons in organ playing comprise 45 minutes per week and are supplemented by liturgical organ playing (20 minutes) and a seminar that is conducted jointly with the students in the BA/MA degree programmes.

The additional subjects in the field of church music are divided among the three CAS courses (Liturgy/Hymnology, Gregorian Studies, Organ Studies and Organ Literature, History of Church Music), together with the BA students and the part-time education courses.

The distribution of these subjects among the DAS and MAS programmes depends on the lessons offered in these courses.


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 MAS in Organ. This includes participation in face-to-face lessons in accordance with the study regulations, demonstrating the relevant practical application 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 or the lecturers. 

Title + Degree

Master of advanced Studies (MAS) in «Organ»

Team + Network

Head of Studies

Nina Wirz: Principal organist at Burgdorf town church, concert organiser, head of studies at HKB Church Music 

Lecturer pool

  • Organ: Pascale Van Coppenolle, Daniel Glaus, Antonio Garcia
  • Choral Conducting: Johannes Günther
  • Liturgical Organ Playing: Antonio Garcia
  • Vocal Conducting: Katrin Günther
  • Organ Studies: Marc Fitze
  • Organ Literature: Emanuele Jannibelli
  • Organ Playing in Special Areas: Antonio Garcia
  • Liturgy & Hymnology (German): Christine Oefele
  • Liturgy & Hymnology (French): Benoît Zimmermann
  • History of Church Music: Luigi Collarile
  • Gregorian Studies: Kurt Meier
  • Popular Music: Samuel Jersak


The HKB church music courses and degree programs are offered in partnership with the Reformed Churches of the Bern-Jura-Solothurn regions.

Eligibility + Admission

Pianists who have completed an MA in Music Performance or MA in Music Pedagogy

Admission requirements

Pianists who have completed an MA in Performance or an MA in Pedagogy or an equivalent degree in Switzerland or abroad (e.g. a degree in teaching, concert performance or solo performance). Musicians with excellent piano skills who have studied other core subjects may also be admitted to the programme.

Application documents

The Head of Studies makes the final decision on admission based on the application documents submitted (CV, letter of motivation, copies of degree) and a personal interview. In case of a large number of applicants, the Head of Studies reserves the right to make a selection.


Admission “sur dossier” is possible in consultation with the Head of Studies. This admission procedure requires a thorough evaluation of existing skills and an admission interview.


German and French

Practicalities + Application

The MAS programme takes two semesters with 14 instruction weeks each and comprises 15 ECTS credits. One ECTS credit is equivalent to 30 working hours, divided between face-to-face lessons and self-study.

Instruction days are individually scheduled.

Application deadline: 15 May 2024
Aptitude auditions: 6 June 2024
Beginning of studies: Autumn 2024

Tuition fee: CHF 6'450
Application fee: CHF 250

For members of the Reformed Church of Bern-Jura-Solothurn, the tuition fees are CHF 4'200 plus a registration fee of CHF 250.

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.

Location(s) + Facilities

The division also offers courses on behalf of the Reformed Churches of Bern-Jura-Solothurn for practising church music as a secondary occupation: Organ Certificates I & II and the course in Choral Conducting.

This degree programme is offered in German. For detailed information, go to the German page.