Structure + Content
You will improvise, interpret, arrange, compose and play in various ensembles. Over the course of the Jazz degree programme, you will acquire the basic technical skills, build up a stylistically varied repertoire and develop an overview of the tradition, the contemporary practice and the context of jazz. A BA in Jazz is a requirement for admission to the professional MA in Jazz, whether in Performance, Music Pedagogy or Composition and Arrangement.
The three-year bachelor’s degree programme in Jazz involves intensive study of your main instrument and playing in various ensembles with different repertoires and styles. It also includes subjects such as ear training, jazz harmony, music history (social, political and musical), notation, sequencing and sound aesthetics. In other words, the course provides all-round individual encouragement and support.
At HKB, we train students to become jazz musicians. This not only involves honing your instrumental or vocal skills but also developing your own artistic profile and acquiring the tools that will allow you to find your place in the music world. As a musician, you will also need to be adept at self-management and communication.
The third year of the bachelor’s degree programme offers ample opportunities to build up your profile. For example, you can opt to focus on composition, and you can choose from over 30 themed ensembles (from Django Bates’ Belovèd to Benny Golson and from The Music of John Coltrane to Zero 7). The master’s orientation courses offer you an idea of the follow-up master’s degree programme, focusing on Performance, Pedagogy or Composition and Arrangement.
Mode of study + Duration
Our bachelor's degree programme is offered on a full-time basis only and comprises 180 ECTS credits. It is typically completed in six semesters.
Curriculum + Modules
The 180 ECTS credits you need in order to be awarded a BA in Jazz come from seven separate areas:
- Core subject 74 ECTS credits
- Practical work/ Projects 28/23* ECTS credits
- Theory 48/53 * ECTS credits
- Optional modules 0–20 ECTS credits
- Y-modules (interdisciplinary) 10 ECTS credits
- Master’s orientation course 10 ECTS credits
- Bachelor’s concert + written thesis 10 ECTS credits
*with specialisation in composition
The programme concludes with a public concert and a written thesis.
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.
Additional classical instruments
Piano: Manuel Bärtsch
Guitar: Christoph Borter
Double bass: David Sinclair
Voice: Claude Eichenberger
Trombone: Stanley Clark
Trumpet: Stephan Geiser
Flute: Magda Schwerzmann
Clarinet: Ernesto Molinari, Bernhard Röthlisberger
Music in Context
HKB is affiliated with a number of universities in Switzerland and abroad and frequently collaborates with international partners on various projects. The university is also a member of several international networks.
In recent years, masterclasses have been held with the likes of Jim Black, Evan Parker, Sidsel Endresen, Mark Turner, Chris Potter, Dave Douglas, Aki Takase, Ralph Alessi, Ray Anderson, Steve Coleman, Craig Taborn, Ben Monder