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Masters Degrees (Music Ma)

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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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The MA in Music (Popular Music Research) engages with scholarly debates and public controversies around popular music, while examining and developing both traditional and innovative ways of researching popular music. Read more

The MA in Music (Popular Music Research) engages with scholarly debates and public controversies around popular music, while examining and developing both traditional and innovative ways of researching popular music.

The Masters provides a grounding in the development of popular music research as a subfield of musicology, and encourages critical thinking about:

  • musical texts, artefacts and ecologies
  • audiences, reception and questions of interpretation
  • creativity, industries and production
  • repertoires broad in historical range and geographical scope

The course addresses contemporary issues of significance to academics, musicians, industries and organisations involved with popular music.

You'll develop research skills, critical thinking and rigorous methodological expertise with a range of applications both within the academy (at doctoral level) and outside (in music related industries, marketing, arts management, museums and archives, the sciences).

Although a knowledge of and passion for popular music is vital, it is not essential that your first degree is in music or popular music.

We welcome applicants from a wide range of disciplines: the course is designed to be of benefit not only to those wishing to continue their research at doctoral level, but also those wishing to reflect on their experiences as musicians, listeners, or media and arts industry professionals.

MA in Music student wins the 2015 Andrew Goodwin postgraduate essay prize

Ben Assiter, a student on the MA in Music (Popular Music Research) was awarded the prize by the International Association for the Study of Popular Music for an essay written as part of his coursework. Read his award-winning essay here.

Find out more about the MA in Music.

Modules & structure

Core module

Option modules

You choose two modules from a selection that currently includes:

Dissertation



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If you have a background in music or psychology, this programme will allow you to study existing research and theories in the psychology of music while continuing to follow your own musical interests. Read more

If you have a background in music or psychology, this programme will allow you to study existing research and theories in the psychology of music while continuing to follow your own musical interests.

You’ll develop your knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research methods, building your own research skills while learning to critically evaluate studies in the field of music psychology. Using real-world case studies you’ll explore areas such as music education, therapy, advertising, science and technology – but you’ll also be able to take optional modules in composition, performance, musicology, aesthetics, editing, electronic and computer music or other aspects of music.

Taught by experts in world-class facilities, you’ll gain an insight into the importance and role of research in music psychology to prepare you for further research or a wider range of careers.

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.

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.

Take a virtual tour of the School of Music.

Course content

Core modules that run throughout the year will develop your knowledge of music psychology, as well as your understanding of research methods. You’ll focus on case studies in different areas of the subject, gaining a sense of the key issues, debates and theories and becoming confident evaluating and using quantitative and qualitative techniques to collect data.

At the same time, you’ll select from optional modules that allow you to pursue your interests in different areas of music such as aesthetics, musicology, audience engagement, composition, performance, editing and archival studies, electronic and computer music or musicology. For some of these modules, we may need to see evidence of your ability before you begin – see ‘How to apply’ for more information.

By the end of the programme, you’ll be able to demonstrate the knowledge and skills you’ve gained when you submit your dissertation – an independent piece of research, with an empirical component, on a topic of your choice within music psychology.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

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

Compulsory modules

  • Professional Studies 30 credits
  • Dissertation 60 credits
  • Case Studies in the Applied Psychology of Music 30 credits
  • Research Techniques in the Applied Psychology of Music 30 credits

Optional modules

You’ll then choose one from the optional modules below.

  • Individual Project 30 credits
  • Short Dissertation 30 credits
  • International Research Project 30 credits
  • Composition Studies 30 credits
  • Instrumental or Vocal Recital 30 credits
  • Concerto/Song-Cycle/Extended Work 30 credits
  • Applied Performance Studies 30 credits
  • Editing and Archival Studies 30 credits
  • Issues in Critical Musicology 30 credits
  • Aesthetic Theory 30 credits
  • Electronic & Computer Music Practice 30 credits
  • Electronic & Computer Music Contexts 30 credits
  • Audience Engagement and Impact 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Applied Psychology of Music MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Applied Psychology of Music MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

You’ll benefit from a range of teaching and learning methods. These will include seminars, tutorials and lectures in some modules, as well as instrumental or vocal lessons with our expert tutors if you select performance modules. However, independent study is crucial to this degree, allowing you to develop your skills and pursue your interests at your own pace.

Assessment

You’ll also be assessed using a range of methods, including presentations, bibliographic exercises, essays and group project work. Specialised music modules will also use relevant methods of assessment, such as compositions, recitals, critical editions and commentaries on musical sources.

Career opportunities

This programme will allow you to gain a range of transferable skills in research, analysis, interpretation and oral and written communication. All of these can be applied in musical as well as non-musical contexts.

Recent graduates have gone on to launch careers within the fields of music education, music advertising, business development, marketing and administration, and artist management. Others have also continued with their research at PhD level.

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 (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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The Business of Classical Music MA is an exciting and unique programme for anyone interested in progressing their career in the classical music industry, or entering or developing a career in arts management. Read more
The Business of Classical Music MA is an exciting and unique programme for anyone interested in progressing their career in the classical music industry, or entering or developing a career in arts management. The MA includes a significant work experience dimension with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. The organisation includes the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the UK’s oldest professional symphony orchestra; the Grade II* listed Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and an extensive learning and education programme.

Because the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic is both a professional symphony orchestra and a venue presenting close to 400 concerts and events annually, the organisation has become fluent in the widest range of managerial specialisms. Students will be able to access this deep and rich body of experience in the lecture theatre and within the Liverpool Philharmonic, itself. In your first semester, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Chief Executive and Executive Team will be guest speakers and in the second semester they will supervise a period of internship within the organisation with the opportunity to become familiar with the operation, management and development of a professional symphony orchestra. You will enjoy privileged access to concerts throughout your study and meet members of the orchestra and administration team in ways not available to the general public or students on other programmes.

As a consequence of the unique placement opportunity, you will graduate from this master's programme with enhanced employment prospects. These prospects will be enriched not just by exposure to the best minds of an historic and thriving institution but by the support we give you to complete a dissertation in your chosen specialist field. A dissertation is an extended piece of work that involves the generation of new research data. With access to Royal Liverpool Philharmonic employees you have the opportunity to explore aspects of the organisation’s offer that especially intrigue you. The University’s Department of Music has a long history in music industry studies and our staff will be able to give you the detailed academic support you require to realise a substantial study that helps demonstrate your newly developed expertise to prospective employers. Your CV will be improved and your skill levels will be raised in substantial and rewarding ways.

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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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This flexible MA programme has pathways in Composition, Medieval Music, Musicology, Performance and Russian Music. Modules taken vary according to the pathway chosen, but all include basic music training such as Research Skills for Musicians, specialised units specific to the pathway, and a large menu of optional units. Read more
This flexible MA programme has pathways in Composition, Medieval Music, Musicology, Performance and Russian Music.

Modules taken vary according to the pathway chosen, but all include basic music training such as Research Skills for Musicians, specialised units specific to the pathway, and a large menu of optional units. These are followed by a major project: a musicological dissertation or edition for musicologists (including those on the Russian Music and Medieval Music pathways), a minor and a major recital for performers, and a portfolio of compositions for composers.

The content of this MA programme relates closely to the research interests of the academic staff.

Programme structure

Core units

All students take the Research Skills for Musicians unit (20 credits).

Optional units can vary each year but may include:

Composition Pathway
-Contemporary Compositional Ideas and Techniques (40 credits)
-Introduction to Professional Composing (20 credits)
-Two optional units (20 credits)
-Portfolio of Compositions (60 credits)

Medieval Music Pathway
-Readings in Musicology (40 credits)
-Latin (20 credits)
-Two optional units (20 credits each)
-Dissertation or Edition (60 credits)

Musicology Pathway
-Readings in Musicology (40 credits)
-Source Study, Palaeography and Editorial Techniques (20 credits)
-Two optional units (20 credits each)
-Dissertation or Edition (60 credits)

Performance Pathway
-Source Study, Palaeography and Editorial Techniques (20 credits)
-Four optional units (20 credits each)
-Performance (60 credits)

Russian Music Pathway
-Readings in Musicology (40 credits)
-Russian (20 credits)
-Two optional units (20 credits each)
-Dissertation or Edition (60 credits)

Careers

Students who completed the MA in Music have gone on to careers as musicians, senior music assistants, organ scholars and self-employed composers. A number of MA graduates have also become music teachers.

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This MA is an opportunity to challenge yourself academically and musically, while developing a specialism in a research-led university environment. Read more
This MA is an opportunity to challenge yourself academically and musically, while developing a specialism in a research-led university environment. We place an emphasis on flexibility and student choice and have designed a programme that allows you to personalise your course of study.

A significant proportion of module choices will be determined by your abilities and interests so that you can tailor your programme of study to best meet your career goals and ambitions.

This programme is ideal for performers, composers and music scholars with an interest in developing their area of expertise, learning valuable skills, and exploring a relevant course of study.

Distinctive features

• You will have the option to specialise in one of three main areas:

- Performance
- Composition
- Music Studies.     
    
• You will be taught by staff who are internationally-recognised experts in these subject areas.

• Our reputation for international research was recognised in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, the UK government’s assessment of research across all higher education institutions, where we are ranked 8th in the UK amongst music departments for research excellence and 2nd for the quality of our research environment.

Structure

The course can be completed in one year with full-time study or in two years by part-time study.

For a list of modules for the FULL-TIME route, please see website:

http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught/courses/course/music-ma

For a list of the modules for the PART-TIME route, please see website:

http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught/courses/course/music-ma-part-time

Teaching

Teaching of academic modules is delivered primarily through seminars and small-group tutorials, and you will have the opportunity to develop your own interests through fieldwork, interdisciplinary study, and other areas of work.

Our regular series of workshops and masterclasses allow you to work directly with distinguished composers and performers.

You will be expected to attend and participate in a weekly Postgraduate Forum and to attend the School’s research lecture series, which attracts visiting speakers from around the world

Career Prospects

Our graduates will have a broad spectrum of knowledge relating to the specialised subject and variety of skills, making them highly attractive both to potential employers and research establishments. Preparing for, and leading towards, the PhD in Music, the MA has been designed to provide graduates with advanced knowledge, understanding and skills in the chosen area of study.

93% of responding graduates between 2010 and 2013 reported that they are in full-time, part-time, self or unpaid employment and/or continuing study. Those graduates have entered a range of roles, including musicologist, administrator, music manager, freelance musician, research development officer and music teacher.

Our annual series of talks on Careers in Music offer a great chance to meet professionals active in a range of fields such as performance, music education, music journalism, arts and artist management, production and licensing, and composing for media.

Fieldwork

If you are on the Music Studies pathway you may choose to undertake fieldwork as part of your stage two Dissertation research. You will need to cover any fieldwork research costs.

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The course is available in Standard Track and in Special Track. Course Structure. Part 1 (Diploma). In addition to the Principal Subject, in which the student specialises; up to three additional subjects can be studied. Read more
The course is available in Standard Track and in Special Track

Course Structure
Part 1 (Diploma):

In addition to the Principal Subject, in which the student specialises; up to three additional subjects can be studied. Total of 120 credits.

Part 2 (MA):

Normally consists of a dissertation, composition portfolio, or critical edition (in the area of the Principal Subject). Total of 60 credits.

Course description
Standard Track:

The course combines specialisation in one area (including Historical Musicology, Editorial Musicology, Composition, Solo Performance) with further training in up to three complimentary areas.

The range of choice on this course makes it one of the most flexible MA programmes in the UK. Students can make their education as broad or narrow as they wish. For those with a single-minded interest in one area specialised degrees are available.

The programme is divided into two parts: two semesters of taught study (Part I, 120 credits) and a substantial independent piece of work in the main area, produced over the summer (Part II, 60 credits).

Part 1 is centred on the Principal Subject module (WMM4044, 40 credits) in the student’s main area of interest. It lays the foundations of a Part 2 project in the same area. The following subjects are available:

Historical Musicology
Editorial Musicology
Ethnomusicology
Celtic Traditional Music
Music in Wales
Music and the Christian Church
Composition
Electroacoustic Composition
Composing Film Music
Studying Film Music
Solo Performance
Sacred Music Studies
Early Music
20th-/21st-century Music
WMP4052 Preparing for the Part 2 project (10 credits) acts as a bridge between Parts 1 and 2.

An additional 40 credits will be gained through submissions in other fields through either one Major Open Submission (WXM4046, 40 credits) or two Minor Open Submissions (WMP4047 and WMP4048, 20 credits each). Students can select from a number of subject areas, including, but not restricted to, those listed above. Additional offerings include modules in Arts Administration, Music in the Community, Ethnomusicology and Analysis.

Depending on the main area of specialism, students will attend a core module in musicology (WMP4041 Current Musicology, 30 credits) or composition (WMP4042 Contexts and Concepts in Composition, 30 credits). During these modules students will became familiar with up-to-date research and creative techniques and methodologies in the selected disciplines.

Subject-specific teaching is provided through a combination of individual tuition and seminar session in small groups. Within each of the chosen subject areas, students can identify their own projects, for which they will receive expert supervision.

Special Track:

The MA in Music (Special Track) allows students to specialise in any one of the following areas: Historical Musicology, Editorial Musicology, Celtic Traditional Music, Music in Wales, Studying Film Music.

All the training will be centred on the student’s main area, aided by a broader look at the methodological foundation of the discipline as a whole (through the core module in musicology).

The programme is divided into two parts: two semesters of taught study (Part 1, 120 credits) and a substantial independent piece of work in the main area, produced over the summer (Part 2, 60 credits).

Part 1 is centred on the Principal Subject module (WMM4045, 60 credits) in the student’s area of specialism. Another aspect of the same area will be explored in the Independent Special Study (WMP4049, 20 credits).

WMP4052 Preparing for the Part 2 project (10 credits) acts as a bridge between Parts 1 and 2.

Depending on the main area of specialism, students will attend a core module in musicology (WMP4041 Current Musicology, 30 credits) or composition (WMP4042 Contexts and Concepts in Composition, 30 credits). During these modules students will became familiar with up-to-date research and creative techniques and methodologies in the selected disciplines.

Subject-specific teaching is provided through a combination of individual tuition and seminar session in small groups. Within each of the chosen subject areas, students can identify their own projects, for which they will receive expert supervision.

Compulsory modules:

Standard Track

Principal Subject, to be chosen from the published list for that Academic Year (40 Credits). Study areas currently offered are: Historical Musicology, Editorial Musicology, Ethnomusicology, Celtic Traditional Music, Music in Wales, Music and the Christian Church, Composition, Electroacoustic composition / Sonic arts, Composing Film Music, Studying Film Music, Solo Performance, Music in the Community, Sacred Music Studies, Early Music, 20th-/21st-century Music.
Compulsory Core Module: either Current Musicology (for musicologists) or Concepts of Composition (for composers) (depending on the Principal Subject) (30 Credits).
Open submissions: to be chosen from the optional modules (40 credits).
Preparing for the Part Two Project (10 credits).
(Total of 120 credits)

Special Track

Principal Subject, to be chosen from the published list for that Academic Year (60 Credits). Study areas currently offered: Historical Musicology; Editorial Musicology; Music in the Christian Church; Celtic Traditional Music; Music in Wales; Studying Film Music).
Compulsory Core Module: either Current Musicology (for musicologists) or Concepts of Composition (for composers) (depending on the Principal Subject) (30 Credits).
Independent Special Study (must be in the same area as the Principal Subject) (20 credits)
Preparing for the Part Two Project (10 credits)
(Total of 120 credits)

Optional modules:

Standard Track

Open Submissions (40 or 20 credits) may be chosen in any of the following study areas (but have to be different from the Principal Subject): Historical Musicology; Editorial Musicology; Ethnomusicology; Celtic Traditional Music; Music in Wales; Music and the Christian Church; Composition; Electroacoustic Composition / Sonic Arts; Composing Film Music; Studying Film Music; Solo Performance; Sacred Music Studies; Early Music; 20th-/21st-century Music; Analysis, Arts Administration, Music Studio Techniques, Popular Music Studies, Techniques and Practice of Instrumental or Vocal Teaching (20 credits only), Performance Practice (20 credits only), Music for Instruments and Electronics (20 credits only), Supporting Studies (20 credits only), ELCOS Language Skills (20 credits, international students only.ded study (e.g. portfolio of compositions, performance recital).

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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 programme offers a variety of stimulating and contemporary academic pathways with a range of theoretical and practice-based modules. . Read more

This programme offers a variety of stimulating and contemporary academic pathways with a range of theoretical and practice-based modules. 

The MA in Music programme introduces you to the fundamental principles of research in music. It provides a unique and creative approach to musicology, valuing intellectual curiosity and musical diversity.

Awards available are:

The Masters 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, and arts administration.

The programme addresses the challenges of an evolving subject. It encompasses many repertoires of music, offering pathways that reference Western art music and popular music, the music of other cultures, sound art, contemporary music and electronic music.

  • You develop systematic, critical and creative approaches to study and research, exploring musical practice and discourse in historical, social and cultural contexts
  • You investigate research ideas and methods in contemporary musicology, to develop an independent and original approach to current questions and debates
  • You explore the complex interrelationships between music and other subjects, between theory and practice, and between performance and structural interpretation

The programme helps you understand and evaluate current trends and traditions, and appreciate how we, like others before us, reflect the time, place and attitudes of the milieu within which we work.

Modules & structure

Each Masters degree is awarded after the accumulation of 180 credits. You take

  • Core module(s) (30 credits each)
  • Optional modules (30 credits each)
  • Dissertation or Major Project (60 credits)

The topic of your dissertation or project relates closely to the programme outcomes of your pathway and its core modules, and is agreed with your pathway leader.

The options provide you with a choice of modules relevant to your chosen pathway. We will offer advice at interview and/or enrolment about your options. Please note that the availability of options may depend upon the department timetable.

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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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 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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The MA Music Industry Entrepreneurship combines traditional business practice with specialised tools, techniques, approaches and case studies unique to the music and entertainment industries. Read more
The MA Music Industry Entrepreneurship combines traditional business practice with specialised tools, techniques, approaches and case studies unique to the music and entertainment industries.

Modules in Creative Music Management, Economics, Lean Business Planning, Marketing, Legal and Business Affairs, Live Event Management and New Media Technology combine generic industry practice with a specialised focus on the music and entertainment industries.

The programme is designed to prepare students for a future as label owners, publishers, managers, promoters, new technology pioneers and creative business specialists and is jointly delivered by UWTSD and Tileyard Studios. Tileyard Studios is the largest professional music community in Europe featuring 82 recording studios and 110 entertainment businesses, based in King’s Cross, London.‌‌‌

Course Overview

The MA Music Industry Entrepreneurship is delivered on the UWTSD London campus and at Tileyard Studios, King’s Cross, London. Tileyard Studios is the largest professional music community in Europe featuring 82 recording studios, 110 entertainment businesses and the new Tileyard Education Centre.

The programme is designed to prepare students for a future as label owners, publishers, managers, promoters, new technology pioneers and creative business specialists. In addition to the UWTSD London Campus facilities and resources, Tileyard Studios provides students with direct access to more than 1000 creative industry entrepreneurs, while developing cutting edge thinking and insight into the management and growth of independent record labels, music publishing, artist management, promotion, marketing and new technology entrepreneurship.

The course provides a critical understanding of music and entertainment management and organisations in a global context both on and offline. The core of the programme focuses on digital and independent entrepreneurial skillsets and practice as well as more traditional business methods within the context of the new mixed media economy. The course consist of six taught modules in Part I and an industry-related major business project in Part II.

Alongside specialised modules in Creative Music Management, Marketing, Live Event Management and New Media Technology, MA Music Industry Entrepreneurship students will develop a major business plan project for presentation to a panel of seed and incubation investors and business angels, curated by Tileyard Studios, seeking to invest in new creative business opportunities and IP.

Students will have access to the new Tileyard Education Centre featuring a professional recording studio, audio-visual tech lab and writing production rooms where they can collaborate with other creative MA students such as Commercial Songwriting and Production.

This industry-centric course also includes regular, large-scale industry networking events, held at Tileyard Studios in partnership with Notting Hill Music and sponsors, an unrivalled masterclass series, a one-to-one electronic mentoring program, work-based learning projects and access to the annual calendar of industry-centric events held on site at Tileyard Studios.

Modules

-Creative Music Management
-Economics, Planning and Finance
-Legal and Business Affairs
-Entertainment Marketing
-New Technology in Music and Creative Entertainment
-Live Music and Event Management
-Creative Business Project

Key Features

-Industry-led, academically robust programme
-Direct involvement and access to industry networks
-One-to-one contact mentoring and supervision
-Co-learning opportunities with other students and creative practitioners to support discussion, sharing of ideas, innovation and practice
-Access to academic and professional facilities and resources

Assessment

The course assessment consist of a range of coursework including portfolios, essay, reports and presentations.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the MA Music Industry Entrepreneurship can expect to find employment with or set up in business as:
-An independent (or major) record label
-A music publisher
-An artist / composer / songwriter producer manager
-A live agent or agency
-A live music or entertainment promoter
-A live events venue, company, promoter or music / cultural festival organiser
-A creative designer for music and entertainment
-A music marketing consultant or agency
-A music PR consultant or agency
-A new media creative entertainment business, platform, application or online community
-An independent or national TV broadcaster
-An independent or studio film production company
-A games development company
-A music synchronization business
-A creative songwriter / producer / artist brand / entrepreneur
-A lifestyle, entertainment or youth focused brand or agency
-A music and entertainment education practitioner or business
-A music legal, licensing and/or music accounting business
-A music product and merchandise creator, licensor or platform

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Combine your knowledge and skills in music with managerial training with this distinctive and diverse degree. Read more

Combine your knowledge and skills in music with managerial training with this distinctive and diverse degree.

Taught by the School of Music and Leeds University Business School, this programme will allow you to specialise in an aspect of music that suits your interests and talents while gaining an insight into the principles and strategies of management across the creative industries. You’ll also study modules designed specifically for this programme which bring music and management together, giving you the chance to connect with professionals in the music industry.

You could specialise in music management and promotion, performance, composition, music psychology, electronic and computer music or source studies while exploring strategic management, marketing and entrepreneurship. Whether you’re looking to launch a management career in the music industry or you want to enhance your skills and promotion prospects, you’ll learn from experts in both subjects to gain the diversity of skills to succeed.

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. 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.

Leeds University Business School is internationally recognised for the quality of its teaching and research. It’s among just 1% of institutions offering business degrees to be triple-accredited by the world’s best-known accreditation bodies.

Read more about Leeds University Business School

Course content

The focus of the degree will be a major project: working with a tutor, most of our students devise a music and management project to combine and reflect upon music management theory and practice. This could include, for example, organising an event, acting as a consultant during a work placement you organise, or managing a musical group. Alternatively, you can complete a dissertation on a topic of your choice.

A core module throughout the year will introduce you to research methods in music, equipping you with the skills to support the rest of your studies. You’ll also choose from optional modules to specialise in one of computer music, aesthetics, musicology, editing, psychology of music, performance, composition, artistic management or live music promotion.

In both semesters you’ll study core modules run by Leeds University Business School. These will introduce you to strategic management, marketing for managers and how businesses in the creative industries are actually run and managed, applying concepts and theories to understand the business models of media companies, as well as the impact of digital technologies and the rise of exciting new markets.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

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

Compulsory modules

  • Creative Industries Management 15 credits
  • Professional Studies 30 credits
  • Music and Management Project 60 credits
  • Live Music Management and Promotion 30 credits

Optional modules

You will choose 15 credits from Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Creation, and Intellectual Property Management, and complete your enrolment by choosing one module from the list below.

  • Individual Project 30 credits
  • Short Dissertation 30 credits
  • Instrumental or Vocal Recital 30 credits
  • Applied Performance Studies 30 credits
  • Audience Engagement and Impact 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Music and Management MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Music and Management MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Because this programme is so diverse, you’ll come across a range of teaching and learning methods. These will include lectures, seminars and tutorials as well as group learning. You’ll also take instrumental or vocal lessons in some modules, depending on your choices. Independent study is also vital to this programme, allowing you to build a variety of skills and express your creativity

Assessment

You’ll also be assessed using a range of methods, including presentations, bibliographic exercises, essays and group project work. LUBS modules may include written exams. Specialised music modules will also use relevant methods of assessment, such as compositions, recitals, critical editions and commentaries on musical sources.

Career opportunities

This programme will equip you with in-depth knowledge of economic and management issues, both within and beyond the music industry. It will also equip you with transferable skills in research, analysis, interpretation, communication, cultural and commercial awareness that are valuable to a wide range of employers.

All of this will put you in a great position to succeed in the music industry, as well as other related areas of arts and creative industries management .

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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