The Doctoral Programme is linked to both the Masters programme in music therapy at Aalborg University, and the Music Therapy Clinic – centre for treatment and research – at Aalborg Psychiatric Hospital. The Music Therapy Clinic specialises in empirical clinical research, and is established as a collaborative project between Aalborg Psychiatric Hospital and Aalborg University. The music therapy researchers in the clinic collaborate with the research department of the psychiatric hospital.
During the first three years of development (1994-1996), the PhD. training programme had a close connection to the Nordic Research Network Group in music therapy (supported by NorFA), which focused on research in clinical music therapy practice. The NorFA network was established with the title "Exchange, Evaluation and co-ordination of treatment strategies, models of analysis and research methods within the empirical clinical music therapy practice in mental health", and fostered a collaboration between researchers from Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark, as well as guest researchers and guest professors from the USA, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Germany. The Network was officially closed in 1997 but informal collaboration continues, with occasional seminars at international conferences.
The full staff of researchers connected with the PhD programme include the three full time and two part time staff in the Music Therapy department in the Institute for Communication and Psychology, AAU. A Professor of Music Science (Oslo University), and an Associate Professor of music therapy and Director of the National Australian Music Therapy Research Unit (Melbourne University) are involved in research supervision, as well as many involved in the Consortium mentioned above. In addition there is a network of Danish and international experts within different relevant programme areas. The Doctoral Programme was established on the foundation of the Masters programme in music therapy at Aalborg University, and as this is the only education of its kind in Denmark, there are more links internationally that nationally.