Our postgraduate degrees in music stand apart from similar courses due to the breadth of musical genres that they will expose you to. From rock and pop, to classical, jazz, electronic and other world styles, each genre is given equal precedence, and you will have a great opportunity to learn from each tradition.
During your time with us, you will also have the opportunity to collaborate on projects with other students and you will learn from academics who are all practicing professional musicians at national and international levels.
On this exciting and challenging music course, you will have the opportunity to follow one of four specialist pathways:
If you are keen to broaden your musical knowledge, you can also combine your specialist pathway with other pathways.
This course begins with a shared 30-credit plenary module, you would then take another module dependent upon your specialist pathway. Semester 2 allows you to choose one 30-credit option outside of your chosen pathway alongside another 30-credit module from your specialist pathway. Semester 3 sees you working on a single 60-credit module; your Negotiated Final Project.
The course is delivered by way of lectures, seminars, masterclasses, supervision tutorials/instrumental lessons
After completing the MA in Music people will find their professional skills to be considerably enhanced. We have found that this has enhanced career prospects in Music Education (Teachers/Lecturers), Arts Administration and as freelance Performers and Composers.
PGR options in Composition, Performance, Technology and Musicology
MUSIC TECHNOLOGY FACILITIES
The Music Directorate houses 5 fully equipped professional recording studios with access to a variety of recording/performance spaces. We have created a creative and educational environment which aims to mirror contemporary professional studio practise. Our general philosophy is to facilitate the use of both analogue and digital recording platforms, software and hardware signal processing. All studios centre around a large format mixing desk which can feed hard disk recording systems and 24 track analogue tape machines. All studios make use of professional level outboard and software plugins as well as comprehensive balanced patch bays, giving students the opportunity to fully explore traditional signal routing, a skill vital to ones progression into professional practice.
The Music Directorate houses six 'amplified rehearsal rooms', each containing a vocal PA system, stage piano / keyboard, drum kit and back-line amplifiers for guitars, bass and keyboards / electronics. The equipment is sourced from a wide range of manufacturers such as Sonor, Sabian, Roland, Mackie, Yamaha, Line 6, Fender and many more. All of the equipment is maintained by our team of both full time and evening / weekend rehearsal suite supervisors.
We also encourage students to use their own equipment for rehearsals. To facilitate this we have an instrument storage facility where students can leave their equipment to avoid having to constantly transport it between lectures, seminars and accommodation. Students are free to store instruments, amplifiers, drum kit accessories on a short/mid term basis.
'The Band Room' is a large double height space with a modifiable acoustic characteristic. It is mainly used for large acoustic ensemble rehearsals, catering for our Big Band, Brass Bands, Adelphi Contemporary Music Group and Wind Band. It is also used for performance master classes and small concerts (capacity approx 80 - 100) with a two tier stage and 5kw PA system.
Specialist rooms for drum / percussion tuition and bass guitar tuition are located in this area. When these facilities are not in use by teaching staff the rooms can be booked for individual student practice.
In addition to the facilities housed in the University we have a partnership with 'Blueprint Recording and Rehearsal Studios' (http://www.blueprint-studios.com). This world class facility is located just 10 minutes walk from the Adelphi campus and caters for any overspill from our own rehearsal rooms. Many students take 'block bookings' at Blueprint whilst working towards ensemble musicianship performance exams.
We also have a range of equipment for loan to students to enable them to put on their own events both inside and outside the University. This includes PA systems, amplifiers and drum kits.
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:
In addition, other options typically available have included:
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
the following specialism-specific modules will be offered every year:
Optional modules in previous years have included:
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.