Music Classical

The Bachelor in Music – Classical offers a solid foundation for life as a professional musician.

This degree programme:

  • Supports your individual learning journey through one-to-one teaching within the core subject (instrument, voice or composition) with internationally renowned lecturers,
  • expands your artistic practice in various musical formats,
  • deepens your reflective and analytical skills in the field of music theory,
  • can be adapted to your needs and interests through a range of elective modules,
  • enables you to collaborate with students from all fields of study at the HKB in transdisciplinary Y-modules, allowing you to broaden your own horizons.


  • Title/Degree Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Specialisations Instrument, voice, composition
  • Mode of study Full-time (6 semesters)
  • Start date Mon, 16.9.2024
  • Application deadline Fri, 15.3.2024
  • ECTS credits 180 ECTS credits
  • Teaching language German, French
  • Location Bern
  • School Bern Academy of the Arts

Structure + Content

Our bachelor’s degree programme in Classical Music is made up of theoretical and practical modules, designed to help you to acquire basic musical and artistic skills. The programme centres on training in your core subject (instrument, voice or composition).


During the programme, you will refine your instrumental, vocal or composing skills and work on your personal expression. You will study alongside approximately 140 other BA students from Switzerland and around the world. You will participate in various orchestral and chamber music projects, broadening your stylistic horizons. Our wide range of lectures and seminars is designed to provide you with a solid grounding in music theory and music history. The individualised curriculum caters to your qualities, needs and ambitions. Over the course of the BA programme, you will play and perform a great deal. You will learn to reflect on your artistic practice and will have the opportunity to experiment.

Learning outcomes

The aim of the bachelor’s degree programme is to develop your basic musical and artistic skills. Completing a BA qualifies you to take our MA.

Skills at the end of the degree programme

  • Advanced artistic abilities
  • Advanced instrumental/vocal, technical and creative skills
  • The ability to reflect on your own artistic/interpretative standpoint, to justify it in theoretical terms and to communicate it
  • The ability to participate in a transdisciplinary artistic environment and work on interdisciplinary projects

Core subjects

We offer all classical orchestral instruments, organ, voice, accordion and composition as core subjects (no harp).

Mode of study + Duration

The BA in Music – Classical is a full-time degree programme and comprises 180 ECTS credits. It is generally completed in six semesters.

Degree structure + Modules

The degree programme is made up of theoretical and practical modules, designed to help you to acquire basic musical and artistic skills, and is organised into seven theme-based and method-based module groups:

You will receive one-to-one tuition in your core subject (instrument, voice or composition) and individual mentoring. The programme centres on your core subject. We envisage that you will spend at least four hours a day practising.

The Theory module group makes up around a quarter of all modules. Optional modules provide you with the opportunity to tailor your studies to your needs and interests. See our current list of courses and lectures to discover the extensive choice available. The theory modules help you to develop your reflective and analytical skills, allowing you to adopt your own artistic stance and to understand your musical activities in a broader historical and social context. We also provide an introduction to music research.

Artistic practice covers practical, interactive forms of playing such as improvisation and chamber music, as well as applied compositional concepts and the physiological aspects of musicianship.

Optional modules provide you with the opportunity to tailor your studies to your needs and interests. See our current list of courses and lectures to discover the extensive choice available. The selection includes research opportunities, lectures at the University of Bern, mentality training courses and laboratories with live electronics.

The transdisciplinary Y-modules give you the opportunity to broaden your horizons in other arts disciplines (e.g. literature, theatre, design and fine arts), collaborating with other departments and exchanging ideas. Guests lecturers and students from all fields of study at HKB come together here to focus on a particular theme each academic year.

In the final year, there are two further module groups:

The master’s orientation modules provide students with an insight into our different master’s degree programmes, showing you the areas you might want to specialise in on completion of your bachelor’s degree. You will have the opportunity to meet students from the follow-on study programmes and to make contact with your future teaching staff and Heads of Degree Programmes.

The degree programme concludes with a bachelor’s thesis, comprising a recital and a written paper. You will work with your mentors to put together the recital programme and the written paper, the subject of which you can choose yourself. The bachelor’s thesis combines the skills you have acquired in artistic practice, theory and independent creativity.

Student mobility

Are you a Swiss student interested in living, working or studying in another country? Or do you want to spend a semester at another Swiss university? Or maybe you’re an overseas student who’d like to spend a semester at Bern University of Applied Sciences? Mobility opportunities offer unique and valuable experience. During your studies, you will have the opportunity to spend exchange semesters and experience work placements elsewhere in Switzerland or abroad.


Head of Degree Programme





Violin: Corina Belcea, Philip DraganovJonian Ilias KadeshaBartek Niziol, Monika Urbaniak, Tianwa Yang
Second instrument baroque violin: Meret Lüthi
Viola: Patrick Jüdt, Gertrud Weinmeister
Cello: Conradin Brotbek, David Eggert, Job ter HaarAntonio MenesesChiara Samatanga, Denis Severin (Bachelor only)
Double bass: Ruslan Lutsyk, David Sinclair


Flute: Martin FahlenbockAdam Walker
Oboe: Matthias Arter, Jaime Gonzàlez
Clarinet: Olivier Vivares
Saxophone: Christian Roellinger
Bassoon: Valeria Curti
Recorder: Michael Form (no new admissions)


French horn: Christian LampertChristian Holenstein (Natural horn)
Trumpet: Giuliano Sommerhalder
Trombone: Ian Bousfield
Euphonium: Thomas Rüedi
Tuba: Rex Martin

Harmony instruments

Piano: Antoine Françoise, Tomasz Herbut, Wilhem Latchoumia, Patricia Pagny
Piano as second instrument: André Lottaz, Pawel Mazurkiewicz, Barbara SandmeierAlbert Sidler
Fortepiano: Edoardo Torbianelli
Cembalo: Takashi Watanabe
Organ: Pascale van Coppenolle, Christian Barthen
Guitar: Elena Casoli
Lute: Peter Croton (no new admissions)
Accordion: Teodoro Anzellotti


Brian Archinal, Christian Hartmann, Jochen Schorer


Tanja Ariane Baumgartner, Malin Hartelius, Christian HilzMarcus NiedermeyrClaude Eichenberger

Voice contemporary music / Creative Practice

Daniel Gloger, Franziska Baumann


Xavier Dayer, Simon Steen-Andersen

Wind/brass conducting 

Rolf Schumacher, Corsin Tuor, Florian Ziemen, Philippe Bach, Oliver Waespi, Stephan Hodel


Rie Aikawa, Igor Andreev, Tamara Chitadze, Dzianis LinnikMonika Nagy, Maria-Barbara Nytsch, Alissia Rafaelian Lüthi, Eriko Wakita, Eva Mira Wollmann, Kyrylo Zvyegintsov

Vocal coaching and Collaborative piano

James Alexander, Manuel Bärtsch, Tatiana Korsunskaya


Wanja Aloe, Xavier Dayer, Christian Henking, Marc Kennel, Peter Kraut, Michael Lehner, Dennis Mayer, Nathalie Meidhof, Claire RobertsRajiv SatapatiMartin Skamletz, Stephan Zirwes

Theory in Church Music

Luigi Collarile, Marc Fitze, Emanuele Jannibelli, Christine Oefele, Kurt Meier


Thomas Gartmann, Kai Köpp, Manuel Bärtsch, Martin Skamletz

Music in Context

Barbara Balba Weber, Irena Müller-Brozovic


Franziska Baumann, Christian Kobi, Marc Unternährer


Cooperation with gifted pupil scheme at Hofwil School

Highly gifted pupils at Hofwil School have the opportunity to complete part of the bachelor’s degree programme with our teaching staff. 

Eligibility + Entry

Candidates for our bachelor’s degree programme must be able to demonstrate advanced instrumental/vocal skills or potential in the field of composition.

Entry requirements

The number of places available on our programme is limited (‘numerus clausus’). We administer an entrance examination to review your aptitude for our programme. We look for motivation, stamina, resilience and independence in our students as well as a readiness to participate actively in university-level projects.

Academic requirements

To be admitted to the entrance exam, we generally require that you hold a baccalaureate or equivalent qualification (vocational baccalaureate, specialised baccalaureate, Abitur). Candidates with exceptional artistic talent may be eligible for ‘special admission’.

Knowledge + Abilities

You must be able to demonstrate an appreciation and understanding of music. You will also have knowledge of practice techniques and experience of ensemble playing. Further requirements include a basic knowledge of music theory and its application, plus general cultural knowledge.

Language skills

To be admitted to the BA programme in Classical Music, you must speak good German or French (preferably level B2). Your language skills will also be tested.

Applying from abroad

Foreign nationals require valid travel documents recognised by the Swiss government. A visa is often required. Exchange students must also apply for a residency permit and purchase health insurance before their studies begin. Please research your specific entry requirements carefully.

PreCollege Bern HKB

The PreCollege Bern HKB prepares you professionally for the entrance exam the following year. This is not a prerequisite to applying to the BA Music Classical.

Qualification + Career prospects

The bachelor’s degree is designed to lead on to a master’s degree. It is not a professional qualification. However, the broad training it provides enables graduates to work in related fields.

Title + Degree

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in «Music Classical»

You will graduate with the title Bachelor of Arts in Music Classical. Over the course of your studies, you will have developed your personal profile and may wish to follow up your studies by specialising in a master’s degree.

Career prospects

Graduates who are not planning to take a master’s degree will be able to put what they have learned to good use in a music-related professional field – for example, music journalism, music management or music retail. They may take on temporary work in the music business (substitutes and assistants, project work, work in a semi-professional field).

Practicalities + Application

Please note the dates and deadlines below, plus the documentation and information required.

Application (per application) and aptitude assessment*  

CHF 250


CHF 100

Tuition fees (per semester) 

CHF 750

Tuition fees for international students*** (per semester)

CHF 950

Examination fee (per semester)  

CHF 80

Fee for social, cultural and sport offerings (per semester)  

CHF 24

Membership fee for the Bern University of Applied Sciences Student Association (VSBFH) (per semester)

CHF 15

Leave of absence fee (per semester) 

CHF 100

* The application fee can be paid by credit card or by deposit slip / paper invoice (+ CHF 10.– processing fee). There are no waivers or refunds for withdrawn or abandoned applications. The application is processed after payment has been received.
** If the application leads to matriculation, the matriculation fee is covered by the application fee.
*** International students are defined as persons of foreign citizenship who at the time of obtaining their university entrance qualification were domiciled under civil law neither in Switzerland nor the Principality of Liechtenstein.

There is also a fixed fee for materials whose amount depends on the degree programme as well as additional costs for teaching materials, specialist literature, supplies, etc.

Financial aid is available through grants and loans. Grants are one-off or ongoing payments that don’t usually have to be paid back provided you complete your course. Loans are one-off or ongoing payments that must be paid back after you finish your course. There are also numerous private foundations and funds that offer financial support to students. The electronic foundation directory administered by the Federal Department of Home Affairs offers a comprehensive summary of these organisations and can be searched by keywords (e.g. student, research, financial aid, etc.).

HKB scholarship fund

Many HKB students live in precarious financial circumstances. The opportunities to earn money while undertaking demanding and time-consuming studies are limited. And the cost of living in Switzerland is one of the highest in all of Europe. A doctor’s bill, a healthy diet, and paying the rent or semester and examination fees can become pressing problems. To help in such cases, the HKB scholarship fund provides targeted support by covering the tuition fees from CHF 750 up to CHF 950. To apply for support, you need to take the following steps:

  1. Fill out the online application form in full and print it out
  2. Send the application online
  3. Submit the printed form to the secretariat for your degree programme

The deadline for applications for a semester fee waiver is 15 May to 15 June (for the following autumn semester), or 15 November to 15 December (for the following spring semester).

Applications for a waiver of the semester fees will only be considered and included in the selection process once the course offer has been.

Application form (link valid as of May 15 2024)

Other grants

Cantonal grants

Grants and loans for Swiss students and overseas students are generally paid out by the canton where the students’ parents are tax residents. Students who have been tax residents in the Canton of Bern for at least two years are able to apply for cantonal grants and loans. Applications should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office at the Department of Education.

Other grants

Further information

The websites EDK – Stipendien, and European Funding Guide cover all the key information about grants in Switzerland and overseas.

Your contact persons for questions about scholarships and loans


If you have any questions regarding scholarships and loans please contact Claire Brawand.

At Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH, we promote balance between study, work and family.

A limited number of nursery places are available to BFH staff and students. If you’d like to take advantage of this offer, the relevant documents can be found on the BFH Intranet. The fees are income-based and in line with the cantonal rates described in the Verordnung über die Angebote der sozialen Integration (Decree on Social Integration Offer ASIV) issued by the Canton of Bern. You can apply for a nursery place using the online form on the BFH Intranet. If you’re a new student or member of staff and don’t have access to the Intranet, please contact Sarah Gross. There is no legal entitlement to a nursery place.

Students must fulfil their military service obligations during their studies. Plan and coordinate studies and service obligations well in advance.

We strongly recommend that you complete the military training programme and your first period of civil service before starting your studies. Completing them during your Master will result in absences and may prolong the duration of your studies.

General information about military and civil service

Advisory service

If you wish to get advice on how to co-ordinate your studies and your compulsory service, please contact HKB Student Administration (+41 31 848 49 49).

Start date: Mon, 16.9.2024
Application deadline: Fri, 15.3.2023
Aptitude assessment: Mon–Thu, 15.4.-25.4.2024

Online Application

You should have the following documents available in electronic form
(passport photo: JPG / remaining documents: PDF). No document should exceed 1 MB. 

  • ID card or passport
  • Passport photo
  • Bachelor`s diploma or equivalent university degree
  • Transcript of records of current and/or terminated studies
  • A diploma qualifying you for university studies (such as A-Levels, Matura from a Gymnasium, "Berufsmaturität", "Fachmaturität", Abitur)
  • A CV in tabular form
  • A personal statement about your motivation for these studies and for your professional aspirations
  • A confirmation of your exmatriculation (If you were already matriculated at another university)

For foreigners, in addition:

  • Residence permit (if available)

If you do not yet have one or more of the required documents, please state why in the Comments section. 

Application deadline: 15.3.

Core Subject Composition

Applicants for the Core Subject Composition should also submit documentation of original pieces, demonstrating their talent. Labelling the portfolio: Top right corner: Name, First Name, «Aufnahmeverfahren 20xx» and «Studiengang BA Musik (Core Subject Composition)».


At HKB, you can expect an open mindset and a friendly, informal atmosphere. Come and see us.

Student advisory service

If you have any questions about the degree programme, please contact Beatrice Vogt (Administration) or Elise Tricoteaux (Assistant).

Location(s) + Facilities

The Music Division at HKB has cutting-edge facilities at its disposal at various locations, including 60 practice rooms, 80 teaching rooms, auditoria of various sizes, an outstanding music library, a recording studio, research facilities and instrument hire. Students can reserve many of the rooms online. We operate an open door policy.