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Masters Degrees (Contemporary Music)

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The MA in Music (Contemporary Music Studies) examines aspects of methodology, repertoire studies and cultural theory within a wide-ranging programme of investigation into the role of contemporary music in the society for which it is created. Read more

The MA in Music (Contemporary Music Studies) examines aspects of methodology, repertoire studies and cultural theory within a wide-ranging programme of investigation into the role of contemporary music in the society for which it is created.

You'll explore the key methodologies appropriate for scholarly study of the music of the present and recent past, such as oral history and contrasting approaches to musical ‘close reading’.

Musical repertoires, and notions of repertoire, are examined, and you are encouraged to ask such questions as whether the boundaries often considered to exist between, for example, ‘contemporary concert music’ and ‘popular music’ are still meaningful for practitioners, listeners and scholars today.

Various approaches to cultural theory are viewed in the light of what they might bring to the study of contemporary music of different kinds.

The understandings developed in your coursework culminate in the methods and approaches demonstrated in your dissertation.

This gives you the opportunity to address particular challenges of studying and writing about the music of our time arising from your own musical and theoretical enthusiasms.

The programme appeals to a wide range of students concerned to develop their understanding of today's music and keen to harness this to relevant intellectual skills.

While designed as an open-ended programme of study that can subsequently be applied in many ways within, and outside, the musical profession, it will be of special value to those preparing for further postgraduate research, and those considering careers in teaching, journalism, arts administration or the culture industries.

Modules & structure

Core module

Option modules

You choose three modules from a selection that currently includes:

Dissertation

Skills

You'll develop:

  • investigation and evaluation skills
  • intellectual skills in music
  • specific research skills

Careers

The programme is designed with careful consideration of the opportunities, challenges and intellectual demands presented by careers in music, such as:

  • journalism
  • teaching
  • broadcasting
  • librarianship
  • historically informed performance
  • contemporary composition
  • arts administration

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths



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This MMus builds on our international reputation in the popular music field, as seen in the success of our BMus graduates. Read more

This MMus builds on our international reputation in the popular music field, as seen in the success of our BMus graduates.

The programme offers you the opportunity to reflect critically upon your own creative practice – whether that consists of performance, songwriting, arranging, production, or collaboration – and to integrate theoretical perspectives from contemporary popular music studies.

You’ll also be able to extend your own practice through options in sonic and studio art, advanced music technology, exploration in audiovisual media, and ethnomusicology.

The MMus in Popular Music is intended for music creators who integrate these elements in the compositional, recording and performance work.

You’ll acquire graduate-level training in creative practice and subject-specific skills that could set you up for a career as a composer-performer or studio practitioner/producer, as well as other employment within the popular music sector.

This programme is distinguished by:

  • Quality - We have an international reputation and proven leadership in the field, evidenced in the success of our BMus Popular Music alumni
  • Innovation - The unique combination of theory and practice allows for forward-thinking, innovative practice-as-research through popular music
  • Industry links - You can benefit from our proximity to central London, our links with music industry professionals, and our record label, NX Records, run in collaboration with Matthew Herbert and Accidental Records.

Modules & structure

Core modules

Elective modules

You choose two modules from a list that currently includes: 

Skills & careers

Employability and cultural entrepreneurship is in our DNA

Graduates may progress to be composer-performers, studio practitioners/producers and music industry employees within the popular music sector. Older students who have returned to advance their knowledge and practice base will be better positioned in the job market. 

We are also able to offer a series of employability/placement/internship style opportunities to include:

  • the Music Professional Practice scheme - a departmental scheme supporting final year undergraduate and MMus/MA students with employability concerns
  • Music Management Course - specifically assesses students on cultural entrepreneurship and their own real world music projects
  • NX records - the departmental record label in association with Matthew Herbert and Accidental Records
  • PureGold festival - the annual departmental festival launched at the Southbank centre
  • Simon Says - showcase events in collaboration with Goldsmiths Students' Union
  • Goldsmiths Vocal Ensemble - recent performances at Glastonbury, the Southbank Centre and Shepherds Bush Empire

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths



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The Music Education MA will introduce students to research and research-informed practice at the forefront of music education. The programme will provide tools for interrogating musical and educational assumptions, values and practices. Read more

The Music Education MA will introduce students to research and research-informed practice at the forefront of music education. The programme will provide tools for interrogating musical and educational assumptions, values and practices. It will help students to expand their understanding of effective music teaching, evaluation and assessment across the lifespan.

About this degree

Undertaking the Music Education MA programme will allow students to develop their critical thinking and ability to interrogate current educational research, literature and practice in the overarching fields of music and music education. They will also have the opportunity to pursue specialist lines of enquiry that are related to their own professional and/or academic interests, working alongside prominent academics in the field.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (60 credits), and either two optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits), or three optional modules (90 credits) and a report (30 credits).

Core modules

The two core modules are founded on three strands in the study of music education: philosophy, psychology and sociology. These include historically-significant and cutting-edge contemporary approaches, theories and philosophies across a wide range of topics. 

  • Disciplines of Music and Music Education Part I
  • Disciplines of Music and Music Education Part II

Optional modules

The Critical Studies in Music Pedagogy and Practice module examines past and present music education research and practice across a range of social and cultural contexts. Music Technology in Education provides students with opportunities to engage with published commentary and also develop practical skills. Choral Conducting, Leadership and Communication develops the skills of effective choral conducting and rehearsing in educational contexts. 

  • Students choose from a range including:
  • Critical Studies Music and Music Education
  • Choral Conducting Leadership and Communication
  • Music Technology in Education

Please note: at the programme leader's discretion, a student might be able to import a maximum of 60 credits.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project, which culminates in a 20,000-word dissertation or 10,000-word report.

Teaching and learning

The main mode of delivery is through a combination of weekly lectures and seminars.

There are ten-week lecture courses for the two core modules, and also for Critical Studies in Music Pedagogy and Practice (optional module), with sessions held in the evenings at the UCL Institute of Education. However, the Choral Conducting Leadership and Communication optional module takes place over five full days at the UCL Institute, as well as through additional student-led sessions. Students are also required to engage actively with UCL's online learning environments across the programme. The Music Technology in Education optional module is delivered online. All students are entitled to face-to-face tutorials with their allocated tutors. 

Assessment is predominantly through a written assignment for each taught module.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Music Education MA

Careers

Graduates of this programme are currently working as:

  • advocates for the arts
  • arts, health and wellbeing therapists
  • composers
  • doctoral and post-doctoral researchers
  • freelance music teachers
  • Further Education lecturers
  • music education hub managers
  • music teachers in primary and secondary schools
  • performers
  • primary music co-ordinators
  • producers
  • university lecturers

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Secondary School Teacher (Head of Music), St Michael's Catholic School
  • Primary School Class Teacher (Reception), Pinkwell Primary School and studying Doctorate in Music Education, University College London (UCL)
  • Secondary School Teacher (Head of Music Department), Pimlico Academy
  • Primary School Class Teacher (Music), St. Stephen's School and Children's Centre
  • PGCE Secondary Teaching (Music), Middlesex University

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Music Education MA at UCL is the only postgraduate programme of its type in the UK, and one of the largest recruiting in the world, that is dedicated to music education.

The programme is taught by leading academics with current and extensive expertise in externally-funded research. Research and publications from our lecturers have significant impact on educational policy and practice both in the UK and internationally. This informs learning and teaching on the programme whilst fostering the development of a research-based culture. Many of our students pursue further study at doctoral and post-doctoral level.

Our programme meets the needs of a wide range of professionals from across the international communities of music and music education. Our alumni have been and continue to be leading figures in education worldwide.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Culture, Communication & Media

78% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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Be part of a lively popular music research community that embraces everything from metal music to film scores with the opportunity to work alongside performers… Read more
Be part of a lively popular music research community that embraces everything from metal music to film scores with the opportunity to work alongside performers, composers and studio experts.This course is about the here and now - you will study everything from folk to jazz, right through to rock, hip-hop and dance, developing your knowledge of contemporary popular music.You'll join peers from backgrounds in cultural studies, sociology, music and the creative arts to explore today's local live music scene and its connection to the wider national and international industry. From getting out into the Leeds area and conducting ethnographic research into local gigs and events, to composing scores for film and television, you'll discover how a wide variety of communities fuse together to create what is recognised as a vibrant and expanding scene.Whether it's developing your music editing techniques in our studios, or organising events and liaising with artists at Leeds Festival, you'll gain the hands-on experience employers are looking for, gathering evidence for your major research project.This course is the perfect springboard to make contacts, help you discover the interconnectivity of popular music and culture, and really engage with a vibrant and varied scene which covers everything from metal right through to country.

Visit the website http://courses.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/popularmusicandculture_ma

Mature Applicants

Our University welcomes applications from mature applicants who demonstrate academic potential. We usually require some evidence of recent academic study, for example completion of an access course, however recent relevant work experience may also be considered. Please note that for some of our professional courses all applicants will need to meet the specified entry criteria and in these cases work experience cannot be considered in lieu.

If you wish to apply through this route you should refer to our University Recognition of Prior Learning policy that is available on our website (http://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/studenthub/recognition-of-prior-learning.htm).

Please note that all applicants to our University are required to meet our standard English language requirement of GCSE grade C or equivalent, variations to this will be listed on the individual course entry requirements.

Careers

With more festivals and independent producers and artists than ever before, the need for live music and industry professionals has soared.

Employment opportunities could be open to you in sound engineering, performance, teaching, song writing, production, music for film and television, music journalism, marketing and PR, and events organisation.

Alternatively you may wish to further your research by studying for a PhD.

- Performer
- Songwriter
- Sound Technician
- Events Organiser

Careers advice: The dedicated Jobs and Careers team offers expert advice and a host of resources to help you choose and gain employment. Whether you're in your first or final year, you can speak to members of staff from our Careers Office who can offer you advice from writing a CV to searching for jobs.

Visit the careers site - https://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/employability/jobs-careers-support.htm

Course Benefits

As well as having access to modern, professional music studios, you'll benefit from being taught by a highly skilled and experienced teaching team, including Professor Karl Spracklen who is Secretary of the International Society for Metal Music Studies and the Editor of Metal Music Studies. You'll also have the chance to network with industry professionals during our guest lecture series. Previous speakers have included Leeds Festival boss Melvin Benn and chart-toppers Rudimental. We also have fantastic links with local and national music, arts and festival organisations, which help ensure you get the most from your course.

Core Modules

Popular Music as Leisure & Culture
Examine the importance of popular music as a form of leisure and culture. You will explore music subcultures through sociology, cultural geography, cultural studies and leisure theory.

Researching Popular Music & Culture
Develop an understanding of the strategies used in the study of popular music and culture, drawing on advanced approaches from sociology, musicology, cultural studies, ethnography, leisure and other relevant areas.

Popular Music Analysis
Examine performance, record production, video and reception and the meaning of music for your small scale, individual research project which focuses on the analysis of popular music artefacts.

Popular Music in Contemporary Culture
Engage in debate and discussion of how, where and why certain strands of musical productivity and creativity remain constantly part of the vocabulary of popular music.

Final Individual Project
Combine your learning into a significant piece of work, the nature of which will be determined by yourself and the course team.

Option Modules

Studio Production Skills
Produce a series of sound design projects and create your own systems for the purpose of manipulating/processing sound which will demonstrate your understanding of the concepts behind the tools used for sound design.

Creative Music Production
Develop a broad understanding of the creative possibilities of the studio environment by investigating a range of theoretical, technical, and creative approaches to the production process.

Music Industries in Context
Develop a range of theoretical perspectives drawing on contemporary research into the ecology of the music industries and how different stakeholders across the music sector work together.

Music Industries in Practice
Investigate a host of contemporary issues affecting the practice of operating in the music industries, focusing on one key area determined by your own interests.

Facilities

- Library
Our libraries are two of the only university libraries in the UK open 24/7 every day of the year. However you like to study, the libraries have got you covered with group study, silent study, extensive e-learning resources and PC suites.

- Broadcasting Place
Broadcasting Place provides students with creative and contemporary learning environments, is packed with the latest technology and is a focal point for new and innovative thinking in the city.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/postgraduate/how-to-apply/

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Brunel University London's MA/MMus Experimental Music is the UK's first master's programme in Experimental Music and offers you the opportunity to develop your own programme of study, based around your particular interests in contemporary music-making. Read more

About the course

Brunel University London's MA/MMus Experimental Music is the UK's first master's programme in Experimental Music and offers you the opportunity to develop your own programme of study, based around your particular interests in contemporary music-making.

As a postgraduate student of MA/MMus Experimental Music you will be able to take advantage of the presence of the professional musicians who form Brunel University London’s tutoring staff, ensembles-in-residence and other musicians within Music at Brunel’s postgraduate community in your practice-based work.

Aims

You will develop a comprehensive and sophisticated understanding of a range of practical and theoretical approaches to contemporary musical materials, and of their historical and cultural contexts.

You will be encouraged to foster an advanced creative and critical engagement with issues in contemporary music practice whilst building the skills and knowledge necessary for employment in the music industry as a performer, composer, improviser and/or commentator.

Course Content

Typical modules available on MA/MMus Experimental Music are:

Locating Practice (30 credits)
Experimental Music Techniques (30 credits)
Experimental Music Portfolio (30 credits)
Major Project (90 credits)
Dissertation (90 credits)

Special Features

The MA/MMus Experimental Music programme is delivered by a team of tutors who specialise in contemporary music practice and theory. Brunel University London has the largest proportion of active music practitioners on its staff of any UK university or conservatoire, which makes it the ideal place to study for your master’s degree in the subject.

The majority of your contact time with tutors is through one-to-one tutorials where you will be guided through your work from inception to completion.

Through presentations, seminars and critical discussions you are encouraged to develop your communication and problem-solving abilities alongside other transferable skills such as prioritising, self-management and meeting deadlines.

As an MA/MMus Experimental Music postgraduate student, you will be encouraged to attend Brunel University’s regular Research Seminars. Organised by the Centre for Contemporary Music Practice they are led by invited composers, musicologists and performers.

Facts and Figures

The MA/MMus Experimental Music programme is taught by a team which includes composer and improviser Jennifer Walshe, sound artist Carl Faia, composer and writer Christopher Fox, and pianist Sarah Nicolls.

Teaching

MA/MMus Experimental Music at Brunel University London will be taught via tutorials, seminars and workshops. Students of the master's course will be required to deliver presentations, written assignments, learning journals, a dissertation (MA) or a practice-based project (MMus).

Assessment

As a full-time music student you will study all three 30 credit modules in the first two terms of the academic year, followed by a 90 credit Major Project module.

Part-time students will study Experimental Music Techniques and Experimental Music Portfolio in Year 1 and Locating Practice and the Major Project in Year 2.

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The Graduate Diploma programme combines modules from different levels of undergraduate study into a single year. Read more

The Graduate Diploma programme combines modules from different levels of undergraduate study into a single year.

If your first degree isn’t in Music but you have a high level of expertise, or if you’re an international student who isn’t confident in the English language or UK education system, this programme allows you to expand your knowledge of music and focus on the aspects that suit your own interests. It can bridge the gap between an undergraduate and Masters degree, but the GradDip is a respected qualification in its own right.

You’ll study core modules that build your research skills and give you a good grounding in music studies. Then you’ll also choose from optional modules in areas such as performance, composition, music technology, aesthetics, psychology of music or musicology.

This is a flexible programme, so contact us to find out about the level of knowledge and qualifications you may need for different module choices.

We have a variety of excellent facilities to support your learning, including rehearsal, performance and practice spaces, a lab for studying the psychology of music and studios for sound recording, software development and computer music composition. The Special Collections housed in our beautiful Brotherton Library contain significant collections of music manuscripts, rare printed music and letters from composers and critics to help inform your work.

We also have good working relationships with a range of prestigious arts organisations: we host BBC Radio 3 concerts, Leeds Lieder and the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition, as well as enjoying a close partnership with Opera North and many others in a city with a thriving music and cultural scene.

Course content

Throughout the year you’ll take a variety of modules that both lay the foundations of musical study and allow you to specialise in the topics that interest you.

You’ll start with a core module that develops your research skills in music, preparing you for the rest of your studies, and choose from introductory modules at Level 1 that give you a background in musical interpretation and the role music continues to play in society.

From this starting point, you’ll build your knowledge with your choice of Level 3 modules – you can take specialist modules where you’ll study different aspects of music in line with the research interests of our staff. Alternatively, you could focus on performance, composition, music technology, editing and source studies or the psychology of music. If there’s a musical topic that particularly interests you, the dissertation will give you the chance to undertake independent research to explore the subject in depth.

If you still need to take further credits to complete the programme after these choices, you’ll then be able to select from Level 2 modules offered across the School of Music.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Compulsory modules

  • Music Research Skills 10 credits

Optional modules

  • Understanding Music 20 credits
  • Music in History and Culture 30 credits
  • Composition 20 credits
  • Performance 20 credits
  • Ensemble Performance 20 credits
  • Sound, Technology, and Music 20 credits
  • Introduction to the Psychology of Music 20 credits
  • Interpreting Music 20 credits
  • Composition 20 credits
  • Performance 20 credits
  • Ensemble Performance 20 credits
  • Notation and Editing 20 credits
  • Aesthetics and Criticism 20 credits
  • Music in Practice 20 credits
  • Music in Practice 20 credits
  • Music in Practice 20 credits
  • The Psychology of Listening and Performance 20 credits
  • Special Study in Musicology A 20 credits
  • Special Study in Musicology B 20 credits
  • Individual Project 30 credits
  • Individual Project 30 credits
  • Individual Project 30 credits
  • Dissertation 40 credits
  • Composition 40 credits
  • Ensemble Performance 20 credits
  • Applied Project 20 credits
  • Performance 40 credits
  • Editing and Source Studies 40 credits
  • Contemporary Aesthetics 40 credits
  • Music Technology 40 credits
  • Music Psychology40 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Music GradDip in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Because this programme is so flexible, you’ll come across a range of teaching and learning methods depending on the modules you choose. These could include lectures, seminars and tutorials as well as vocal or instrumental lessons with our specialist teachers. Practical sessions and workshops may also be involved.

However, independent study is crucial to this degree, allowing you to build important skills and pursue your own interests more closely.

Assessment

You’ll also be assessed by diverse methods depending on your module choices. These may include essays, exams and presentations as well as compositions, performances, project work, critical editions and commentaries among others.

Career opportunities

This programme allows you to study undergraduate modules to develop your formal musical education. This means that it leaves you in a good position to progress to MA or MMus study in Music – and as a graduate of the University of Leeds, you will also be eligible for a 10% discount on postgraduate fees.

We also offer additional support as you develop your career plans: the School of Music boasts a unique Alumni Mentoring Network, where students can be supported by past students as they start to plan their next steps.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.



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The flexible modular structure of our taught MA programme allows you to focus on a chosen area of specialism but simultaneously facilitates exploration of a wide range of research areas relating to music. Read more

The flexible modular structure of our taught MA programme allows you to focus on a chosen area of specialism but simultaneously facilitates exploration of a wide range of research areas relating to music. It will provide an excellent foundation for undertaking postgraduate research at doctoral level, but will also benefit the professional development of musicians intending to pursue careers in teaching, arts administration, broadcasting, and other domains.

Students on the taught MA programme join a vibrant international postgraduate community and study with scholars, composers, and performers who have achieved international recognition in their fields. The Music Department was ranked #1 in The Sunday Times University League Table 2016, and was in the top three music departments in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 and the Complete University Guide 2017.

The MA Music programme supports study of the following areas of specialism:

  • Musicology
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Composition (acoustic and electronic)
  • Performance

In addition, other options typically available have included:

  • British Music
  • Indian Music
  • Music, Mind, and Culture
  • World Music Analysis
  • Audiovisual Documentation and Analysis

Course structure

You will choose modules from sections A, B, C, and D below:

A. Major project, weighted at 60 credits (a dissertation, a public recital, or a portfolio of compositions/orchestrations and arrangements – depending on your chosen area of specialism)

B. A 30-credit module linked to your chosen area of specialism

C. Two compulsory core 30-credit modules embedding research training and engaging with major intellectual issues attendant on all subject areas

D. An additional 30 credits of Music undergraduate modules/selected undergraduate OR postgraduate modules offered by another department OR another related specialism-specific module from list B, subject to approval of the Board of Studies in Music.

Example: MA with specialism in Musicology

A. A 12,000-word dissertation on a musicological topic weighted at 60 credits

B. 30-credit module ‘Contemporary Musicology’

C. Compulsory core 30-credit modules, ‘Core Research Seminars’ and ‘Research Methods and Resources’

D. 30 credits of Music undergraduate modules/selected undergraduate OR postgraduate modules offered by another department OR another related specialism-specific module from list B

Core Modules

  • Research Methods and Resources
  • Core Research Seminars

And

the following specialism-specific modules will be offered every year: 

  • Contemporary Musicology
  • Ethnomusicology in Practice and Theory
  • Compositional Techniques
  • Music Performance 

Optional Modules

Optional modules in previous years have included:

  • British Music
  • Music Analysis
  • Practice and Theory of Choral Conducting
  • Electronic Music
  • Orchestration and Arranging
  • Indian Music
  • World Music Analysis
  • Music, Mind, and Culture
  • Audiovisual Documentation and Analysis. 

Course Learning and Teaching

The programme is delivered through a mixture of seminars, practical sessions and one-to-one supervision. Seminars provide opportunities for you to discuss and debate particular issues, and to present your own original work, informed by the knowledge that you have gained through independent study outside the programme’s formal contact hours. Practical sessions in areas such as studio or field recording techniques help to prepare you for your own independent work. All students must undertake an independent project (dissertation, composition portfolio, or performance), which is developed with the help of one-to-one expert supervision. Finally, optional modules can be drawn from the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of Music or of other departments –these free-choice modules may involve other forms of staff-student contact, depending on the subject area. The Department actively promotes interdisciplinary approaches to the study of music and you are encouraged to engage with other disciplines in the humanities and sciences.

The contact hours experienced by each individual student will vary considerably, given a high degree of flexibility in the programme. You will typically attend between 2 and 4 hours of seminars per week in term time, as well as additional practical sessions as appropriate. Individual supervision of dissertations, performance projects and composition portfolios amounts to an average of 6 hours spread over the second and third terms.

Outside timetabled contact hours, you are also expected to attend research seminars, both student-led and those involving staff or guest academic speakers (typically 1-2 hrs each week). You must also undertake your own independent study to prepare for your classes and assessments, to broaden your subject knowledge and to prepare your dissertations or portfolios. You are encouraged, as an integral part of your studies, to take advantage of other opportunities including participating in performance opportunities (including staff-led ensembles) and attending research and composition seminars, some of which are organised in conjunction with University research institutes.

There is a busy programme of musical performance, both within and outside the Music department, which complements your academic programme by providing opportunities both to listen to and to perform a wide variety of music. The many musical ensembles to which you can contribute includes both independent societies (including orchestras, choirs, opera and musical theatre as well as a Javanese gamelan) and department-run ensembles such as the New Music Ensemble and Korean percussion group.



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This multidisciplinary programme gives students the unique opportunity to develop critical understandings of the music industries and popular music, as well as gaining practical experience in a music industries-related organisation. Read more

This multidisciplinary programme gives students the unique opportunity to develop critical understandings of the music industries and popular music, as well as gaining practical experience in a music industries-related organisation.

Why This Programme

  • This programme is aimed at those wishing to work in the music industries and/or develop an academic interest in the music and wider creative industries.
  • Our approach is multidisciplinary: we employ a variety of academic approaches and draw upon the University's expertise in a range of disciplines including sociology, cultural studies, musicology and politics.
  • You will be studying in the City of Glasgow with its vibrant and exciting music scene – the UK’s first UNESCO city of music. There is access to a range of theorists and practitioners from within both academia and the music industries.
  • This MLitt in The Music Industries develops critical understandings of the music industries and the creative aspects of popular music.
  • It will give you the tools to develop your career or business in the music industries.
  • You do not have to be a musician to apply. The programme has been designed to appeal to students from a range of academic backgrounds.
  • You will benefit from access to our facilities including seminar and practice rooms, a small library, an audio lab, studios, and the University’s concert hall.

Programme Structure

The Music Industries programme aims to introduce and develop a critical understanding of the academic study of the Music Industries and Popular Music at postgraduate level.

The Music Industries MLitt is located within the broader academic area of Popular Music Studies - a relatively new area of academic enquiry which draws upon a range of disciplines including Sociology, Cultural Studies, Musicology and Politics. It is inherently multidisciplinary and a range of academic approaches will be adopted throughout the programme. This will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to critically evaluate the role of Popular Music and its attendant industries both historically and in contemporary society.

The programme includes a placement which has been designed for those seeking to work in the creative industries, and more specifically, the music industries including record companies, management companies and promoters. This programme is unique in the UK, offering the only postgraduate placement involving a tailored research project within a music industries-related organisation. You will spend part of semester two on placement within one of a number of music industries employers.

Career Prospects

The programme opens up opportunities to enter and develop your career or business in the music industries, as well as in related creative areas such as the games industry.

Graduates have combined the degree with other studies to pursue careers in areas such as law and education.

Positions held by recent graduates include working as a Service Delivery Manager at PRS for Music, Manager at ATC Management, Lecturer in Commercial Music and several self-employed artists and music entrepreneurs.



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Writing music for the moving image requires a unique combination of technical and creative skills. You will gain a solid grounding in the theories, techniques and practices essential for contemporary film and television music production. Read more
Writing music for the moving image requires a unique combination of technical and creative skills. You will gain a solid grounding in the theories, techniques and practices essential for contemporary film and television music production.

You will work with award-winning composers from the film and television industry on real-life projects. After developing your composition skills in a range of genres, you will also have the chance to work with colleagues from other media courses to develop your portfolio of work.

You will have access to a suite of high-quality professional music studios approved by JAMES, the accrediting body of the Music Producers Guild and the Association of Professional Recording Services.

We also have links with local and national music, arts and festival organisations as well as our very own Northern Film School, ensuring you have plenty of opportunities to sharpen your practical skills.

- Research Excellence Framework 2014: our University demonstrated strength in five emerging areas of research which it entered into the assessment for the first time, including in music, drama, dance and performing arts.

Visit the website http://courses.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/musicmovingimage_ma

Mature Applicants

Our University welcomes applications from mature applicants who demonstrate academic potential. We usually require some evidence of recent academic study, for example completion of an access course, however recent relevant work experience may also be considered. Please note that for some of our professional courses all applicants will need to meet the specified entry criteria and in these cases work experience cannot be considered in lieu.

If you wish to apply through this route you should refer to our University Recognition of Prior Learning policy that is available on our website (http://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/studenthub/recognition-of-prior-learning.htm).

Please note that all applicants to our University are required to meet our standard English language requirement of GCSE grade C or equivalent, variations to this will be listed on the individual course entry requirements.

Careers

Your course will give you the skills you need to help you create high-quality music for the moving image, film, television and media industries.

- Television Music Composer
- Film Score Composer
- Music Technologist

Careers advice: The dedicated Jobs and Careers team offers expert advice and a host of resources to help you choose and gain employment. Whether you're in your first or final year, you can speak to members of staff from our Careers Office who can offer you advice from writing a CV to searching for jobs.

Visit the careers site - https://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/employability/jobs-careers-support.htm

Course Benefits

You will have access to a suite of high-quality, professional music studios, approved by JAMES, the accrediting body of the Music Producers Guild and the Association of Professional Recording Services.

We have links with local and national music, arts and festival organisations, as well as our very own Northern Film School, which ensures that you get the most from your course. We also provide regular visiting speakers from the music and film industries and a highly-skilled and experienced teaching team.

Core Modules

Collaborative Practice
Experience the collaborative working environment and develop your skills in fulfilling complex briefs.

Composing to Picture
Address the challenges of producing music for the moving image.

Film Music Analysis
Develop analysis techniques to enhance your understanding of historical, musical, stylistic and functional developments in film music.

Creative Sound Design
Gain the knowledge and skills you need to develop audio-based artefacts in the fields of electro-acoustic music, sonic art and sound design.

Research Practice
Examine the methods and skills which are required in order to carry out research into the ideas and practice of music technology.

Sound, Music & Image
Evaluate the relationships between sound, music and image, and devise and create examples of audio-visual media to a professional standard.

The Major Individual Project
This major project gives you the opportunity to engage in research and advanced practice in an area of your own choosing.

Negotiated Skills Development
Work closely with your tutors, researching and applying current theory and practice alongside a learning plan that meets your own aims and objectives.

Electro-acoustic Music
Explore the techniques and methods employed in electroacoustic composition and use those techniques and methods to create an original composition.

Orchestration Arrangement & Programming
Study contemporary approaches to orchestration and arrangement of music for the moving image and create scores and MIDI realisations to a professional standard.

Facilities

- Music Studios
"Being able to work in such good facilities gave me a buzz – I loved working in the studios." Piers Aggett of chart-topping, MOBO award-winning Rudimental

- Library
Our libraries are two of the only university libraries in the UK open 24/7 every day of the year. However you like to study, the libraries have got you covered with group study, silent study, extensive e-learning resources and PC suites.

- Headingley Campus
Our historic Headingley Campus is set in 100 acres of parkland with easy access to Leeds city centre.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/postgraduate/how-to-apply/

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The MA in Music (Ethnomusicology) introduces a range of methodologies in relation to the study of music in its cultural contexts. Read more

The MA in Music (Ethnomusicology) introduces a range of methodologies in relation to the study of music in its cultural contexts.

As well as engaging with musical practices in various geographic or cultural areas, the programme acknowledges the importance of urban ethnomusicology and the usefulness of applying ethnomusicological approaches to Western art and popular music.

You have the opportunity to engage with key ethnographic methodologies, such as interviewing, videoing and video editing, and musical performance as a research technique.

The innovative structure of the programme allows you to specialise in one of these areas if you wish, leading to a final project that itself may have a significant practical component, and you have the opportunity to undertake fieldwork projects as part of your studies.

A written dissertation option is also available, allowing you to engage in depth with an issue that interests you.

The programme appeals to a wide range of students hoping to develop their intellectual skills in music, particularly those with interests in music as a cultural phenomenon.

It's exceptionally useful, for example, for students preparing for further postgraduate research, or for those considering careers in teaching, journalism, arts administration or the culture industries, or working with government agencies or charities abroad.

Find out more about the MA in Music.

Modules & structure

Core module

Option modules

You choose three modules from a list that currently includes:

Ethnomusicology Major Project

Skills

You'll develop an awareness of key ethnographic methodologies, investigation and evaluation skills, intellectual skills in music and specific research skills.

Careers

The programme will be exceptionally useful for, for example, students preparing for further postgraduate research, or for those considering careers in teaching, journalism, arts administration or the culture industries, or working with government agencies or charities abroad.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths



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This course offers intensive training for composers and provides excellent preparation for doctoral work or a career in the professional world. Read more

This course offers intensive training for composers and provides excellent preparation for doctoral work or a career in the professional world. With a strong focus on practical music making and supported by an outstanding programme of workshops and performances by professional musicians, it offers an invaluable opportunity for composers to hone their skills and develop their personal voice.

What makes us distinctive?

  • Links to ensembles as an integral part of the course.
  • Interaction with the music profession, including the BBC Philharmonic and Manchester Camerata.
  • Opportunities to develop professional skills, for example through collaborating, rehearsing and networking with professional musicians; learning to arrange/orchestrate; undertaking outreach opportunities; and collaborating in the creation of performances.
  • Flexibility to develop your own compositional and research interests.
  • Close ties with electroacoustic composers in NOVARS, and the flexibility to combine electroacoustic course units with those for instrumental and vocal composition.
  • Integration into the active research culture of the University of Manchester, through research seminars, performance workshops and concerts.

In addition to the submission of a final Portfolio of Compositions , all instrumental and vocal composition students take the core course unit Composition Project and the further compulsory taught course unit, Compositional Etudes. Optional course units normally include Contemporary Music Studies , Advanced Orchestration , Fixed Media and Interactive Music , Aesthetics and Analysis of Organised Sound , Historical or Contemporary Performance (subject to audition). For further information about the content of individual course units, see Course Unit Details below.

SALC Placement offers students the opportunity to spend a minimum of 20 days over a period of up to 12 weeks with an arts and cultural organisation, business or service provider. Placements will be established in Semester 1 to take place early in semester 2; they will be supervised by a work-based mentor and overseen by an academic staff member. The placement may take the form of an investigation of a specific business idea, development strategy or management proposition to resolve a problem or particular issue, and will result in a placement report, proposal or essay.

Aims

This programme aims to:

  • Enable students to develop compositional techniques and professional skills appropriate to their creative needs.
  • Enable students to work with both student and professional performers toward the performance of recently composed prices.
  • Develop awareness of aesthetic, analytical and technical issues relating to contemporary Western art music.
  • Encourage students to discuss with clarity and conviction issues relating to contemporary music.
  • Enable students to compose several works worthy of public performance.
  • Equip students with skills appropriate to the development of further postgraduate study on MPhil and PhD programmes.

Special features

Our close links with in-house and Manchester-based ensembles allow us to guarantee that every student taking the MusM Composition programme will have their music performed and/or workshopped by professional ensembles, including the Quatuor Danel, Psappha, Trio Atem and the Manchester Camerata.

  • The Quatuor Danel enjoys a huge international reputation and their repertoire seemingly knows no limits. From early Haydn through Beethoven and Schubert, to neglected masterpieces from the Soviet Union, to white-knuckle rides through Ligeti, Xenakis and Lachenmann and premieres of new works by Manchester composers, our intrepid String Quartet-in-Residence regularly scales the summits of chamber music. Their visits to Manchester form a backbone of the university's concert series.
  • Psappha is one of this country's leading contemporary music ensembles, specialising in the performance of music by living composers and that of the 20th and 21st centuries . The ensemble has an extensive repertoire and a reputation for technical assurance and interpretive flair. Psappha has commissioned and premiered works by a wide range of composers, achieving particular notoriety for their performances of music by Peter Maxwell Davies.

In addition, MusM students frequently have their work performed by   the University of Manchester's new music ensemble.

Teaching and learning

The MusM degree consists of 180 credits in total, made up of four 30-credit taught course units and a 60-credit portfolio. Full-time students take two course units per semester; part-time students take one. Most course units are delivered via regular seminars and/or tutorials, supported where appropriate by practical workshops. The composition portfolio is supported by one-to-one supervision and is submitted at the beginning of September. (Part-time students may submit in either September or December following their second year of study.)

Each student meets regularly with their supervisor (for full-time students usually on a weekly basis during term-time, less frequently during vacations), allowing for in-depth exploration of ideas and intensive support for the various course units offered. Other members of the academic staff are also available for individual consultation during designated office hours.

Alongside their taught units, students have access to a range of non-assessed seminars, workshops and training sessions offered by the Graduate School of the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. All postgraduate students are expected to undertake their own programme of self-directed learning and skills acquisition. This may also involve wider reading, language work, computer training and attendance at research seminars in other parts of the university.

Coursework and assessment

There are no formal examinations. Taught course units - all of which must be satisfactorily completed - are assessed by submission of compositions, coursework essays or other tasks, normally submitted at the end of each semester (January and May). The Composition Portfolio is created over the entire duration of study and is submitted at the end of the academic year (after the summer vacation). All work is double-marked internally and moderated by the External Examiner.



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The MA in Music offers advanced training in either musicology or composition. The modular structure allows students to pursue a broad generalist programme or to specialise in a particular area of their choice. Read more
The MA in Music offers advanced training in either musicology or composition. The modular structure allows students to pursue a broad generalist programme or to specialise in a particular area of their choice. Within the field of musicology, students can slant their studies towards one or several of the following: music in nineteenth-century culture, opera studies, popular music studies or film music. The composition pathway, meanwhile, provides a practice-based contemporary composition curriculum that encourages students to push the boundaries of their practice and develop a voice as an engaged and creative composer.

This course is unusual in combining a rigorous academic education with the opportunity to acquire vocational skills through our innovative Professional Experience module. Students take up work placements with a wide range of external arts organisations or undertake a project with one of our specialist research units. The course therefore offers rich opportunities for career development and can pave the way for further study at PhD level if so required.

Why choose this course?

-The flexible structure of the MA Music allows you to tailor the course to your particular interests. The course is one of very few Music MAs in the UK to offer professional experience as part of the course; you can undertake a work placement with an external organisation such as a radio station, opera house, museum, music publisher, magazine, concert promoter or school. Alternatively, you can undertake a project with one of our specialist research units. Recent students, for example, worked at the Handel-Hendrix House Museum, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Audiograft festival.

The course is taught by experts who are internationally renowned in their fields. Our research informs the content and methodology of our modules, ensuring that teaching is at the cutting edge of the discipline. Following REF 2014 Music has been singled out as an area of particular research strength within the University.Our staff disseminate their research to wider audiences via appearances on BBC Radio 3, articles in the national press and talks for major performing organisations. The activities of our research units in opera (OBERTO), popular music (PMRU), or sonic art (SARU) complement the programme of formal study. MA students can contribute to the research units' activities, for instance by participating in listening groups and helping to organise study days and conferences. Student composers have an opportunity to showcase their work through the annual Audiograft festival. Opera students go on a field trip to hear a live opera, usually in London.

Oxford is a fabulous city in which to study music, with a very lively concert scene and excellent research facilities. You will have access to the world-famous Bodleian Library and the new Brookes library also offers substantial collections centring on the specialist areas of the MA.

The course provides an excellent foundation for doctoral study for those who wish to continue into a career in academia.

This course in detail

Students studying for the MA/PG Dip in Music are required to complete the following compulsory modules* (30 credits):
-Research Skills and Applied Research
-Professional Experience

MA students are also required to complete the following (60 credits):
-Dissertation / Major Project

You will then take two of the following modules depending on your chosen specialism (30 credits each):
Composition Pathway
-Approaches to Experimental Composition and Sound Arts
-Electroacoustic and Live Electronic Composition

Musicology pathway
-Advanced Musicology 1: 19th-Century Music Studies
-Advanced Musicology 1: Film Music Studies
-Advanced Musicology 2: Popular Music Studies
-Advanced Musicology 2:Opera Studies

*As our courses are reviewed regularly for quality assurance purposes, course content and module choices may change from the details given here.

Teaching and learning

The MA in Music is taught through a combination of seminars, tutorials and skills-based workshops. Those taking a work placement will also receive mentoring and formative feedback from an individual at the placement organisation.

During your time here you will engage in lively discussions and original research. We aim to give you an in-depth understanding of recent critical debates, scholarship and practice in your chosen field, as well as to broaden your knowledge of musical repertoire.

Our pathways are original, exciting and flexible and one of the most striking features of the Music Department is its breadth of subject expertise. All staff members in Music are actively engaged in research and we have published our work in top journals and with the most highly respected publishers: our research in popular music, opera and sonic art was identified as 'world-leading' in the 2014 REF.

You will have an opportunity to work closely with staff members not only through the course modules but also through our specialist research units in popular music, opera and sonic art. Membership of these units allows you to attend conferences, workshops and talks by visiting speakers that will complement your formal studies.

Careers and professional development

Having an MA will make you stand out from the crowd, whether you are joining the course straight after graduating from undergraduate study or returning to study after a break of several years.

Our MA will provide you with the skills and knowledge to embark upon a career in music or to improve your current position. The transferable skills you acquire through studying for an MA in Music can also lead to careers in many other sectors, including management, law, journalism, media and the heritage industry.

Career destinations of our recent graduates include:
-Professional composition
-Performance
-Sound engineering
-Arts administration
-HE administration
-Teaching (secondary and FE)
-Retail management
-Youth work

Our programme provides the necessary research training for doctoral work and many MA students continue on into further research and pursue careers in academia. Our students have an excellent success rate in securing funded PhD places.

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Your programme of study. University of Aberdeen has been a creative hub of musicians since the Middle Ages. Music at Aberdeen was introduced by Bishop Elphinstone who founded the university in 1495. Read more

Your programme of study

University of Aberdeen has been a creative hub of musicians since the Middle Ages. Music at Aberdeen was introduced by Bishop Elphinstone who founded the university in 1495. Since this time the University has provided the world with a wealth of global performers and composers of note, some of whom are in the current classical and other music charts and sought after globally with a packed diary. If you want to develop your musical interests at Master's level  as a new graduate or returner, or if you want to improve and challenge your musical skills as part of your professional development the Mmus Music is an ideal programme of study for you. You are taught by known world renowned performers and composers within the music world including Professor Paul Mealor, and you are encouraged to start performing immediately to then start to specialise and find out what you most enjoy. If you are a highly creative individual with lots of talent this programme will ensure you progress and deepen your creative specialism.

Find out more about music at Aberdeen:

You can study orchestration and composing for choirs, and renaissance music, words and music, contemporary opera. These areas may help you advance your musical career within teaching, performing, advising and working for specific musical productions as a freelancer. Classical areas are also very useful for more contemporary approaches to musical creativity. You may decide to write music for choirs and help them perform your works or you may decide to work internationally within opera companies.  With Words and Music you can study any composers and genres to then go on to work in the West End, a specific niche area of music or as an individual performer.

You develop your skills in composition, musicology and performance with further specialising to allow you to continue to develop research in the department. Career progression includes global musical outlets across the musical creative industries such as freelance performance work, composition, collaborations and more.

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

  • Music Research Skills

Optional

  • Renaissance Counterpoint
  • Vocalisation

Semester 2

  • Music Research Seminar Series

Optional

  • Words and Music
  • Contemporary European Opera
  • Electroacoustic Composition: the Voice and the Machine

Semester 3

  • Extended Project

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • You get expert tuition across the musical spectrum from voice to instrumental areas, drawing from well known composers and researchers in their field such s Royal Wedding composer Professor Paul Mealor
  •  You can join a Symphony Orchestra, Choral Society, Chapel Choir, String Ensemble, Viol Consort, Recorder Consort, New Music Group, Baroque Ensemble, Concert Band, Big Band, Chamber Group and many others

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Full Time and Part Time
  • 12 Months or 24 Months
  • September

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about fees

*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

  • Your Accommodation
  • Campus Facilities
  • Aberdeen City
  • Student Support
  • Clubs and Societies

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs



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This MA has two strands. Modernism and Contemporary Literature. These are two areas in which the department has particular research strengths. Read more
This MA has two strands: Modernism and Contemporary Literature. These are two areas in which the department has particular research strengths. The programme has two core courses: one on Modernism, both classic modernism and late modernism, and one on the contemporary. Students take both core courses.

In Term 1, the Modernism core course is ‘Modernism, Modernity and History’, while the Contemporary core course is ‘Contemporary Literature’.

In Term 2, the Modernism strand consists of ‘Modernist Special Topics’ and the Contemporary strand consists of ‘Contemporary Special Topics’. Each of these courses in Term 2 is made up of two five-week ‘Special Topic’ units, each of which reflects a particular departmental research interest.

For 2014-15, the modernist special topics will be ‘1930s, Politics and the Avant Garde’ and ‘Postcolonial Modernism: Crises and Experiments in the African Novel’, while the contemporary special topics will be ‘The City in Contemporary Fiction;’ and ‘Contemporary Women’s Poetry and Poetics’. The special topics are likely to change from year to year.

The course will explore a range of twentieth and twenty first-century British, North American and post-colonial literature and will reflect on some of the historical, intellectual, cultural and technological changes of this era. You will have the opportunity to study with scholars who have international reputations in their fields and develop advanced skills in literary study and research.

There is also scope to work on individual authors, on various topics in literary and cultural theory, as well as a variety of literatures in English for your dissertation.

This course is ideal if you intend to progress to advanced research or simply wish to develop your knowledge of modern literature and your critical skills beyond first-degree level.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/english/coursefinder/mamodernismandcontemporaryliterature.aspx

Why choose this course?

- All members of staff are actively engaged in major research projects: the Department was awarded a 4* rating in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). This commitment to scholarly research means all our postgraduate courses are informed by the latest developments in literary studies.

- The Department has major research strengths in twentieth-century and twenty-first-century literature and in contemporary critical theory.

- The College provides all the IT facilities and training that students need in order to access the burgeoning resources for study on the Internet.

- Our excellent library resources span the full range of English studies and you will also have access to the University of London Library at Senate House as well as the British Library and the many specialist libraries located in central London.

Course content and structure

Full-time students will take 2 courses in each Terms 1 and 2; and write a dissertation in Term 3 and across the summer vacation. Part-time students normally take the 2 course units in terms 1 and 2 of their first year, 2 more in the second and also write their dissertation during the second year.

Course units:
Modernism Strand
Term 1: Modernism, Modernity and History
This unit comprises a series of seminars on such topics as Modernism and the avant-garde; modernity, mass culture and technology; race, gender and primitivism; modernism and politics. You will be introduced to various modernist movements (Futurism, Imagism, Surrealism) and to the ways in which Modernism has been conceptualized in relation to modernity.

Term 2: Modernist Special Topics
The course for 2014 contains two five-week components. The first provides an advanced introduction to the relationship between avant-garde prose and politics in the 1930s. The second will explore the re-appropriation and re-tooling of modernist aesthetic strategies by a range of contemporary African writers to address the crises of the post-colonial state and of post-colonial subjectivity. You will engage with the work of a number of post-colonial theorists and investigate a range of key texts by African writers.

Contemporary Strand
Term 1: Contemporary Literature
The course will address a range of literary works which engage with such topics as globalisation, transnationalism, and global terror as well as magic realism, postmodernism and Conceptual Writing. You will consider contemporary fiction, poetry, post-colonial writing and writing across media as part of an exploration of the contemporary.

Term 2: Contemporary Special Topics
The course for 2014 contains two five-week components on contemporary fiction and contemporary poetry respectively. The first provides an advanced introduction to the fictional writings about globalisation and mobility.

The second provides an advanced introduction to the work of selected contemporary women poets. You will read these texts in the context of current debates in innovative poetics and in relation to modernist strategies of avant-garde practice by previous women writers. You will explore how these contemporary poets have utilised, adapted and/or transformed modernist strategies of practice and to what ends.

Dissertation
You will write a dissertation of 12-15,000 words on an approved topic, during the summer term and summer vacation, with support from a tutor.

On completion of the course graduates will have:
- achieved an understanding of the intertwined issues of modernity, modernism and the contemporary as they are reflected in literary and theoretical writings in the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries

- improved their literary, analytic and research skills at an advanced level

- shown themselves able to work independently on an extended research project

- provided the platform for further postgraduate work, should they wish to undertake it.

Assessment

Assessment is carried out by essays and a dissertation.

Employability & career opportunities

The Department has an impressive record for placing graduates in academic jobs and in prominent positions outside academia. In the field of twentieth-century literature our postgraduates have recently secured positions at Queen Mary, University of London, the Universities of Wales, Nottingham, Lancaster, Newbold College and elsewhere; and have published academic books with Cambridge University Press, Palgrave, Berg and other publishers; as well as popular books on gay studies, music and other topics.

The English Department also prepares postgraduates for successful careers in a variety of other areas, such as teaching, writing and journalism, curating, administration and marketing.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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Research profile. The Reid School of Music offers an exciting research environment that combines the theory, history, composition and practice of music with the scientific study of sound. Read more

Research profile

The Reid School of Music offers an exciting research environment that combines the theory, history, composition and practice of music with the scientific study of sound. We engage with a broad range of genres and traditions, including classical and popular music, Western and non-Western music, professional and amateur music making and music for screen. Our research is highly interdisciplinary, with centres and groups spanning other Colleges and Departments within the University of Edinburgh, from Physics and Neuroscience to Informatics, the Humanities, Divinity and the Social Sciences.

We have a large community of postgraduate students undertaking independent research in music.

If you are interested in undertaking a small independent research project in music, the 12-month MSc by Research is ideal. This programme is offered in any area served by the expertise of our music staff. In consultation with your supervisor you will develop an individual programme of coursework and research training over two semesters. You will submit a dissertation, or portfolio of projects equivalent to 30,000 words.

Candidates for larger-scale, doctoral research are normally admitted as probationary students for the first year of study, and on satisfactory completion of this first year are approved for registration for either MPhil (normally two years full-time, dissertation of 60,000 words) or PhD (maximum four years full-time, dissertation of 80,000–100,000 words).

All our research degrees may be studied part-time (for example, MSc by Research may be studied part-time over two years).

Staff have a wide range of research interests, engaging in research clustered around four main themes:

  • Music, Sound and Technology, including musical acoustics and organology
  • Musical Practice, including composition (electroacoustic, algorithmic, computer music and music for screen), and historical and contemporary performance research
  • Music and the Human Sciences, including music psychology and cognition, and music in the community
  • Music and Social Institutions, including 19th and 20th century musicology, popular music, and music sociology

Some of our current hubs of research activity include:

  • Acoustics and Audio Group
  • ECA Digitals
  • Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments
  • Institute for Music in Human and Social Development
  • Live Music Exchange

Please consult our staff profile pages to see our interests and availability; you may propose projects in any area for consideration.

Training and support

All of our research students benefit from ECA’s interdisciplinary approach and all are assigned two research supervisors. Your second supervisor may be from another discipline within ECA, or from somewhere else within the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences or elsewhere within the University, according to the expertise required. On occasion more than two supervisors will be assigned, particularly where the degree brings together multiple disciplines.



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