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Masters Degrees (Music Culture)

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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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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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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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This MA allows you to build an individual, 'tailor-made' programme of study, which incorporates the intellectual concerns, skills and understandings that lead to a clearly focused research dissertation. . Read more

This MA allows you to build an individual, 'tailor-made' programme of study, which incorporates the intellectual concerns, skills and understandings that lead to a clearly focused research dissertation. 

You choose four modules, including at least one of two core modules, which provide you with specific research skills relevant to your interests.

This route is appropriate for those who have a particular interest they wish to develop not covered by one of our specialist pathways, or for those who are seeking a broadly based programme of music study at postgraduate level (taking both core modules, for example, would provide exceptional training for those going on to doctoral study).

Applicants should note that departmental timetable restrictions apply; consequently, part-time study offers the most flexible range of potential course combinations. This programme is not suitable if you're keen to take composition or performance modules – if this is what you'd like to do, please explore our MMus study options

The programme appeals to a wide range of students developing intellectual skills in music, perhaps as preparation for further postgraduate research, prior to entering teaching, or as a basis for a employment in arts administration, journalism, or other occupations in the creative and cultural industries.

Find out more about the MA in Music.

Modules & structure

Core modules

Core modules 

You choose three modules from a list that currently includes:

Dissertation



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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 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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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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Our MA in Culture Industry will allow you to explore the interface between contemporary economics and culture, from the scale of a start-up or artwork to that of governmental policy, a city, or the global marketplace. Read more

Our MA in Culture Industry will allow you to explore the interface between contemporary economics and culture, from the scale of a start-up or artwork to that of governmental policy, a city, or the global marketplace. It will also provide the approaches in critical and theoretical analysis that will enable you to conduct further academic research in areas ranging from art history to urban studies and critical theory.

Taking full advantage of the UK’s leading role in the creative industries, and London’s status as a world city, this course creates opportunities for you to:

  • make projects
  • go on field trips
  • do placements
  • carry out academic learning and research
  • meet leading creative practitioners and theorists

This will give you first-hand experience of the fast moving creative economy, as well as giving you indispensable skills in understanding that economy from a cultural, philosophical and political standpoint.

Engage with the cultural sector

Within the accelerated climate of digital networks and globalisation, the forms and behaviour of culture are mutating, converting the workshop into the handheld device and the cinema and gallery into the bedroom. This course is aimed at creative practitioners, entrepreneurs and theorists wanting to experiment with these changes, and set them into a historically and discursively rich framework.

Through participant observation, critical theory, and playful experiment, the course will not just prepare you for a career in the cultural sector, but help you to engage with it imaginatively, critically and tactically.

Placements

Placements are student-led and supported by the research and organisational network of the course leaders. Students on the MA in Culture Industry have undertaken placements at the BBC, Stephen Graham Gallery, White Cube gallerySHAPE ArtsChinatown Oral History ProjectMaximum Rock n Roll, the British CouncilBlack Dog PublishingResonance FMGlasgow BiennaleLondon Architecture WeekGlastonbury FestivalLondon Film Festival, the British MuseumSouth Bank CentreGrizedale Arts, the Japan Foundation, the London Anime and Gaming Con, and Sound and Music.

Students' projects

Our students’ projects are very diverse, and have included exhibitions, publications, websites, photographic projects, market stalls, travel guides, films, novels, app prototypes, ethnographies, and community resource projects.

Modules & structure

Core modules

Recommended option modules

You take option modules to the value of 30 credits. This could include:

Assessment

Essays; project report and documentation/placement report and documentation; research lab participation.

Download the programme specification. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.



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Join one of the UK’s leading institutions environments for the study of music, combining world-leading research, exceptional teaching and a vibrant musical community in the heart of global London. Read more
Join one of the UK’s leading institutions environments for the study of music, combining world-leading research, exceptional teaching and a vibrant musical community in the heart of global London.

Who is it for?

Students interested in extending their knowledge and develop critical and research skills in the broad area of music studies. The course provides a rigorous training relevant to a range of professional careers, including further study at doctoral level.

We welcome students from all over the world and from a range of backgrounds.

Objectives

Combining academic rigour with a flexible course structure, the MA Music offers a range of options and students are able to focus project work on areas of individual interest.

The course introduces students to a range of current issues and debates in the broad field of music studies and provides a rich creative environment in which to develop critical approaches to musical practice and study. Students engage with a diverse range of repertoires, including western art music art and popular music, world music, contemporary music and electronic music, and are encouraged to explore the complex interrelationships between music and other subjects and between theory and creative practice. The course also provides training in fundamental research skills.

We have an outstanding reputation for dynamic, inspiring and rigorous postgraduate education and offer exceptional support to our students. Our students come from all over the world and benefit from our location in the heart of London, one of the world’s greatest cultural hubs.

Scholarships

We are offering one full fee-waiver scholarship for entry to any of our MA pathways in September 2017.

The Robert Anderson Scholarship provides a full-fee waiver at UK/EU rates. International students are also eligible to apply and if successful will have the equivalent UK/EU fee amount deducted from the international fee. The deadline for applications is Friday 5th May 2017.

In addition to your main application, scholarship applications should include:
-A CV indicating your studies and achievements to date.
-A statement indicating why you feel you are particularly deserving of such an award and outlining the contribution you will make to the Music Department.

Placements

The professional work placement is an elective module giving you the opportunity to work in the cultural sector to apply the skills you have gained from the programme so far.

When it comes to the organisation, it is totally up to you. Previous students have gained experience with the Southbank Centre, The British Library, IMG Artists, LIFT, Arts Council England and the British Film Institute.

Academic facilities

Music students can take advantage of our advanced recording and composition studios, a professional performance space, computer laboratories, rehearsal rooms, practice rooms and world music instruments.

Our composition studios include three surround (8.1/ 5.1) studios, one of which is dedicated to film and live electronics work, and three stereo composition studios. All of the studios are equipped for sound editing, processing and mixing. As well as general software such as Logic, Sibelius and Pro Tools, these studios are equipped with Native Instruments Komplete.

The recording studio is equipped to deliver multitrack recording and mixing to a professional standard.

As well as the excellent library facilities at City and close by, such as the British Library, as part of the University of London you can also become a member of Senate House Library for free with your student ID card.

Teaching and learning

Teaching is through lectures, small group seminars and one-to-one tutorials in which students receive supervision from world-leading researchers. In addition, we arrange off-site visits, such as to the British Library or to relevant conferences. Project work also often involves engaging with external organisations or local communities.

Assessment

We use a range of assessment types, including extended projects, portfolio submissions and written examinations. Assesment will depend on the particular modules chosen by students

We have a vibrant postgraduate community and there are plenty of opportunities for involvement in our many ensembles. We host a regular concert series and an annual summer music festival. In addition, there are regular workshops, visiting speakers and postgraduate research seminars, and we also host occasional conferences.

In addition to our many ensmbles at City, MA students are also eligible to audition for the University of London Symphony Orchestra.

Modules

MA Music students take two core modules (total 60 credits), two or three elective modules (total 30 or 60 credits), and also produce a 12-15,000 (60 credit) or 15-20,000 (90 credit) word dissertation.

A typical 30 credit taught module involves two hours of lectures/seminars per week over a 10-week teaching term, plus a total of one hour tutorial supervision over the course of the module (usually two half hour meetings). In addition, the MA involves a significant amount of self-directed study, including preparation between classes, and researching and writing projects, equivalent to about 18 hours per week over a 15 week period (from the start of teaching to the final assessment).

Core modules - students take two core modules in term one, followed by elective modules in term two (for part-time students the modules are spread over two years).
-Critical Readings in Musicology (30 credits)
-Researching Music in Contemporary Culture (30 credits)

Elective modules
-Music Special Project (30 credits)
-Interdisciplinarity and Collaborative Process (30 credits)
-Urban Ethnomusicology (30 credits)
-Historical Musicology (30 credits)
Plus a range of elective modules in the Departments of Sociology and International Politics:
-Professional Placement (15 credits)
-Audiences and Marketing (15 credits)
-Digital cultures (15 credits)
-Culture (15 credits)
-Cultural Policy (15 credits)
-Public Culture: the Politics of Participation (15 credits)
-Global Cultural Industries, Ethics and Social Responsibility (15 credits)
-Celebrity (15 credits)
-Global Ethics: Principles, Power and Politics (30 credits)

(NB: Elective module choices are subject to availability and timetabling constraints).

Dissertation
The MA culminates in a 12-15,000 (60 credits) or 15-20,000 (90 credits) dissertation, running through the spring and summer terms, which students complete by the end of August.

Career prospects

The MA Music has excellent employment statistics. Students have gone on to teach, compose and perform in a wide variety of settings and are also employed in areas such as music publishing, broadcasting, music management, arts administration and further musical study at MPhil or PhD level. Alumni are currently working in high-profile roles, including in organisations such as the Southbank Centre and the Halle Orchestra.

Examples include:
-Justine Fancy, PR Manager at MAMA & Company, live music company.
-Rachel Swindells, Gamelan & Community Projects Officer, Halle Orchestra.
-Meliz Serman, Head of Music, Davenport Foundation School.
-Javier Alvarez, International Award-Winning Composer.

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The Music MA is a flexible programme designed to cater for those with a wide range of interests and specialisms. It is conceived as a 'next step' after the undergraduate degree, either as a stepping stone to research, as a qualification for teaching in the FE sector or simply to satisfy a thirst for development. Read more
The Music MA is a flexible programme designed to cater for those with a wide range of interests and specialisms. It is conceived as a 'next step' after the undergraduate degree, either as a stepping stone to research, as a qualification for teaching in the FE sector or simply to satisfy a thirst for development. There are 12 specialist pathways that you can choose from; each includes a range of core and optional taught modules and you will complete the course with a dissertation, recital or composition portfolio.

Pathways

Music MA: British Music Studies pathway
Music MA: Choral Conducting pathway
Music MA: Critical Musicology pathway
Music MA: Early Music pathway
Music MA: Electroacoustic composition/sonic art pathway
Music MA: Global Popular Musics pathway
Music MA: Instrumental/Vocal Composition pathway
Music MA: Mixed Composition pathway
Music MA: Open Pathway with Performance
Music MA: Open Pathway without Performance
Music MA: Performance pathway
Music MA: Performance Practice pathway)

About the School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music

The School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music brings together a number of internationally renowned departments to offer an extensive portfolio of innovative and interdisciplinary programmes in an exciting and creative environment, underpinned by a vibrant research culture.

We received outstanding results across the School in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise, with at least 75% of our research judged to be ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ across all subject areas.

The Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies is located in the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, which houses the Barber Institute gallery and an exceptional Fine Art Library. The Department of Music is based in the Bramall Music Building, with state-of-the-art facilities including the 450-seat Elgar Concert Hall, a suite dedicated to the study and performance of early music, five electroacoustic studios and a large rehearsal room. We also have one of the best music libraries in the country, with special collections including materials on 20th-century English music, Baroque music and an extensive microfilm collection.

In addition to housing one of the UK’s largest groups of internationally renowned researchers in the national cultures of Europe, the Department of Modern Languages also hosts a Language and Media Resource Centre which specifically supports language learning through the latest interactive learning technology. We have a vibrant, international postgraduate community and offer excellent study and research opportunities in a supportive working environment.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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This Diploma is a Pre-Masters programme aimed at postgraduate students who need a year to develop or consolidate their language skills in academic English, to develop additional music skills (theoretical or practical)- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/diploma-music/. Read more
This Diploma is a Pre-Masters programme aimed at postgraduate students who need a year to develop or consolidate their language skills in academic English, to develop additional music skills (theoretical or practical)- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/diploma-music/

You'll also have the opportunity to familiarise yourself both with ways of working in British academic culture and in the standards required at Masters degree level.

You can take it as a self-standing Diploma or as an ideal preparation for further postgraduate study. The Graduate Diploma in Music is designed to lead on to the MA and MMus programmes in the Department of Music at Goldsmiths.

You can choose to specialise in an area of music that interests you, whether it be music performance, composition or musicology (including ethnomusicology, popular music studies, historical musicology or contemporary music studies).

- Progression
If you wish to go on to study either at Goldsmiths or elsewhere in Britain you'll be given help and support in finding an appropriate programme.

Successful completion at the required level will guarantee you a place on a relevant Masters degree programme in the Department of Music at Goldsmiths, as well as some of the other Masters programmes at Goldsmiths.

See the website http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/diploma-music/

Overview

Half of the programme is made up of English for Academic Purposes modules, concentrating on different areas of language development:
- Academic Writing and Grammar Development
- Academic Listening and Speaking

The other half of the programme is taught in the Music Department. You choose three music modules from a list of options in different areas of music study, including theoretical music studies, performance and composition.

You will have a personal tutor and will receive support in researching and considering various MA degree options for your future studies.

Assessment

Continuous assessment includes regular seminar presentations and researched essays. There will also be written, listening and oral examinations. For those students who choose music performance and composition options, assessments will include a recital and a portfolio of creative work.

Department: Music

From opera to electronica, and from Errollyn Wallen to James Blake, music studies at Goldsmiths are unique and different. Firmly rooted in the 21st century, our programmes entwine academic with practice-based study, and historical with contemporary repertories.

- Performance opportunities
We’re committed to high quality, ambitious and innovative performance, and we have a wide range of ensembles that you can join, including:
- Goldsmiths Sinfonia
- Chamber Choir
- Contemporary Music Ensemble
- Lunchtime and evening recitals
- Music Collective
- Studio Laptop Ensemble
- Goldsmiths Vocal Ensemble
- Plus student-led ensembles: Chamber Orchestra, New Music Ensemble, Big Band and Film Orchestra

These culminate in our end-of-year degree show and public music festival PureGold, which in recent years has launched at London’s Southbank Centre.

- Facilities
We have excellent rehearsal and performance facilities including:
- Goldsmiths Music Studios
- Electronic Music Studio
- Sonics Interactive Multimedia Laboratory
- Council Chamber (with its Steinway Model D)
- Two suites of practice rooms

Skills & Careers

This programme will develop your skills in:
- Critical reasoning
- Textual interpretation
- Oral and written communication

Successful completion at the required level will guarantee you a place on a relevant Goldsmiths degree programme.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/apply/

Funding

Please visit http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/fees-funding/ for details.

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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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The Department of Arts Education and Physical Education in association with the Department of Music offer this specialised MA degree in Music Education. Read more
The Department of Arts Education and Physical Education in association with the Department of Music offer this specialised MA degree in Music Education. The degree involves an exploration of music teaching and learning processes from a range of social science perspectives and involves interdisciplinary studies in Education, Music and other related fields.

Who the course is for?

Anyone with an interest in music education including:

• Teachers (at primary, post-primary and music school/college levels)
• Policymakers
• Community/outreach workers
• Curriculum support personnel
• Professional/community musicians

What is the programme?

Taught modules will include guided studies in the following areas:
• Foundation Disciplines of Music Education
• Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Music Education
• Theories of Music Performance
• Psychology of Music
• Creativity and Music
• Music and Culture
• Developmental Theories of Music
• Sociological Perspectives on Music Education
• Principles and Practices of Research in Education
• Conceptions of Music Education
• Critical Perspectives on Music Teaching Methodologies
• Programme and Curriculum Design for Music
• Assessment and Evaluation in Music Education
The MA programme includes a student-directed Practicum module that caters for the professional and artistic interests of course participants.

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Come and study with the pioneer of Music Industry Studies at MA level within the UK. This MA will give you an advanced and discerning knowledge of music industry practices, drawing on our international research and the experience of our tutors. Read more
Come and study with the pioneer of Music Industry Studies at MA level within the UK.

This MA will give you an advanced and discerning knowledge of music industry practices, drawing on our international research and the experience of our tutors. On it you'll investigate current music industry practices in-depth.

The programme is taught alongside the Masters programme in Popular Music Studies, which will broaden your theoretical understanding and opportunities for research. We anticipate class sizes to be between 15 and 20 students.

All postgraduates also have access to the department's programme of research seminars and performances.

Key Facts

REF 2014
In the latest Research Excellence Framework, we increased the proportion of 4* research from 10% (in the RAE 2008)to 32%, with 40% of impact rated 4* (outstanding) and 50% of environment rated 4* (world-leading).

Why School of Music?

Strong research culture

Across the School, our research activity has a strong interdisciplinary nature and is concentrated in three cross-cutting areas:-

Critical and Contextual Approaches
Creative Practice
Media and Industry Studies.

We're at the forefront of research and postgraduate teaching. Our Institute of Popular Music (IPM) was the first academic centre created specifically to study popular music – and where better than in the home of the Beatles? It also boasts an enviable archive of donated recorded material.

Staff and students contribute fully to our research areas, which are informed by the broadly defined fields of:

Critical theory
Musicology
Music Analysis
Music and the moving image (including new media)
Ethnomusicology
Composition
Music industries
Media and cultural studies.

Research students participate fully in our research activity. They present papers at the School’s research seminars, work as Teaching Assistants within the School (with pedagogical training and support provided). There are also weekly research, career, and teaching seminars for all postgrads.

As a postgraduate student you'll be able to attend research seminars involving guest speakers from many disciplines and subdisciplines. You'll also be closely involved in classical, traditional and popular music concerts performed by professional musicians and students.

Composer Kenneth Hesketh and conductor Vasily Petrenko from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic - neighbours with whom we have launched a partnership - have recently been made honorary professors of Music at Liverpool.

Career prospects

Students from the taught postgraduate programmes in the School of Music have gone on to a wide range of careers, including various positions in the music industries, museums, arts administration, journalism, publishing, and teaching. PhDs from the School of Music are in full-time lectureships around the world (e.g. Canada, Sweden). The MMus and MA in Popular Music and Music Industry Studies have been recognised by the AHRC as appropriate training for advanced research and all three pathways prepare students for a level of further training equivalent to doctoral study.

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