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:
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.
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.
You choose two modules from a selection that currently includes:
This MMus builds on our international reputation in the popular music field, as seen in the success of our BMus graduates.
The programme offers you the opportunity to reflect critically upon your own creative practice – whether that consists of performance, songwriting, arranging, production, or collaboration – and to integrate theoretical perspectives from contemporary popular music studies.
You’ll also be able to extend your own practice through options in sonic and studio art, advanced music technology, exploration in audiovisual media, and ethnomusicology.
The MMus in Popular Music is intended for music creators who integrate these elements in the compositional, recording and performance work.
You’ll acquire graduate-level training in creative practice and subject-specific skills that could set you up for a career as a composer-performer or studio practitioner/producer, as well as other employment within the popular music sector.
This programme is distinguished by:
You choose two modules from a list that currently includes:
Employability and cultural entrepreneurship is in our DNA
Graduates may progress to be composer-performers, studio practitioners/producers and music industry employees within the popular music sector. Older students who have returned to advance their knowledge and practice base will be better positioned in the job market.
We are also able to offer a series of employability/placement/internship style opportunities to include:
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
This innovative course introduces you to advanced level study of the various aspects of popular culture; principally that produced and consumed in Britain since the late nineteenth century
The programme consists of a broad range of modules from a number of academic disciplines, including History, English, Sociology, Cultural Studies, Religious Studies, and Film Studies
All modules are taught by experts in their respective fields, and informed by research at the forefront of the various disciplines. For your own independent research into popular culture, we can also offer supervision in a wide range of areas and approaches
You will experience a variety of teaching methods with a high level of input from students on the course. Assessment is largely by coursework, essays and presentations
Read more about the School of Humanities to find out further information.
Typical modules may include:
This is the only postgraduate course on Popular Culture in the UK, and the only one in the world to focus principally on the British experience, either as consumers of international culture, or through Britain’s unique contribution to youth and pop culture.
You will bring to your studies a rich and individual experience in the consumption, interpretation, dissemination and – perhaps – the production of popular culture. On the course you will encounter many more varieties of cultural experience, and you will study theories and approaches with which you can make a different kind of sense out of them. On this programme, more than most, where you are when you end the course will depend on what you bring to it, and what you choose to take from it. But you will inevitably encounter materials and analytical methodologies you have not previously had experience of, and you will be given a valuable opportunity to discover and experiment with alternative approaches to the field of popular culture.
Be part of a lively popular-music research community that embraces everything from metal music to film scores and work alongside performers, composers and studio producers.
You will join peers with backgrounds in cultural studies, sociology, music and the creative arts to explore today's local live music scene and its connection to the wider industry. From researching gigs and events to composing scores for film and television, you will discover how a variety of communities fuse together to create this vibrant and expanding scene.
Whether developing your songwriting and music editing techniques in our studios or organising events and liaising with artists at Leeds Festival, you will gain the hands-on experience employers are looking for while gathering evidence to carry through into your major research project.
With its combination of research and practice, your course will provide the perfect springboard to discover the interconnectivity of popular music and culture and engage with the vibrant and varied music scene in Leeds.
As well as having access to modern, professional music studios, you will 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 will 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.
Artist in Residence Programme
The Artist in Residence programme gives our students an opportunity to work with professional artists and gives them a taste of what is it like to work on a professional music project. So far we have welcomed artists Chris T-T, Ian Prowse, I Monster, Tom Williams and Utah Saints.
With more festivals and independent production companies than ever before, understanding the links between popular music, culture and the rapidly changing music industry is increasingly important, whether you are a researcher or practitioner. You could use the course to further your research interests by studying for a PhD or take up employment opportunities in sound engineering, performance, teaching, songwriting, production, music for film and television, music journalism, marketing and PR or events organisation.
Fantasy. Science fiction. Horror. Mystery. Young adult. Become a genre fiction author with our Online Master of Fine Arts in Popular Fiction Writing and Publishing. Our flexible graduate program allows you to work on your writing from anywhere in the world, with online workshops, literature seminars, and publishing courses that fit your schedule. Become a better writer, explore the history of your genre, and learn how to take the first steps toward publishing.
In this program, you'll have the chance to:
The MFA in Popular Fiction Writing and Publishing is one of the first online writing programs to prepare students to write professional-level stories and novels in the genres of fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, thrillers, and young adult. The program is an opportunity for students to read deeply, think critically, and discuss popular fiction with peers from various professional perspectives. Students will strengthen their writing and editing skills and learn contemporary practices for publishing their work or finding and working with literary agents, professional editors, and marketers to bring their vision to a wide readership. The program, which draws on the expertise of writers, literary scholars, and publishers, offers students the unique experience to take creative workshops and literature courses as well as hands-on publishing courses aimed at teaching them how to turn a completed manuscript into a polished, publishable work.
The online MFA program provides a chance to understand the nature of story-telling from a personal, historical and market perspective. Online writing workshops serve as the core of the curriculum and are designed to allow writers of different genres to work together to gain a deeper understanding of the art and craft of writing popular fiction. To complement the workshop experience, our online program also requires you to take literature courses on the history and current trends in specific genres as well as publishing course that explore the different paths to publications.
The online program is convenient and flexible, allowing students from anywhere in the world to work on their fiction writing, including working adults, parents, or those who are unable to attend a traditional college. The program is designed to work around students’ schedules, and there are no residency requirements. Our online workshops, literature seminars, and publishing courses give students the ability to participate in class discussions with ease and to plan their study time around family, work, or other life commitments. The program provides a comfortable learning environment for writers.
The Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College is home to one of the longest running creative writing MFA programs in the country and one of the only Masters programs in publishing in North America. Based in the heart of downtown Boston, Emerson sits at the crossroads of intellectual inquiry, creative endeavor, and innovation. The College has fostered a community of writers, editors, publishers, and teachers for several decades. The online program in Popular Fiction Writing and Publishing promotes a space for fiction writers who want to focus on working in the areas of speculative fiction, crime novels, or young adult literature.
With rolling admissions in Fall, Spring, and Summer, our online program offers students online workshops where they can learn how to build their worlds and develop their skills. Students will take writing workshops, literature classes that will provide a framework for understanding the tradition of their genre, and publishing courses that will instruct them on the various options for publishing genre fiction. Students will also work one-on-one with a faculty advisor to craft a thesis to send out to agents or be self-published.
This programme builds on one of the department’s newest areas for research and teaching.
Uniquely, it focuses on popular music in global, diasporic, transnational, and linguistically diverse forms, reflecting emerging trends in popular music scholarship. It moves beyond the traditional focus on album recordings and stage performances to include significant forms of ‘ubiquitous music’, including music in film/TV/advertising/video games. For those wishing to study Anglophone popular music, this approach will enhance the cultural relevance of your work.
This programme uniquely focuses on popular music in global, diasporic, transnational, and linguistically diverse forms, reflecting emerging trends in popular music scholarship.
It moves beyond the traditional focus on album recordings and stage performances to include significant forms of ‘ubiquitous music’, including music in film/TV/advertising/video games. For those wishing to study Anglophone popular music, this approach will enhance the cultural relevance of your work.
You will study three core modules:
You will also choose one optional module from a range which typically includes:
Full descriptions are available below.
Modules are typically assessed by written assignment, and some also require a presentation. You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation on a subject of your choice.
Support with academic writing
As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.
International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).
Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.
The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.
You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.
You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.
Postgraduate employability: Music
Birmingham's Music postgraduates work in a wide range of careers within and beyond the music world. A postgraduate degree in Music develops a broad base of skills including general skills such as communication, problem solving and research, and also specific skills developed by practice and performance such as self-management, team work and presentation.
Over the past four years, 91% of Music postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation. Whilst some graduates pursue music-related careers, or go on to teaching and lecturing roles, others choose to use their transferable skills to follow career paths in fields including finance and the public sector.
The Audiovisual Translation and Popular Culture postgraduate course is for you, if you:
The Masters course aims to make students fit for the market as properly trained and highly qualified translation experts.
The Audiovisual Translation and Popular Culture degree:
There are no course-based placements on this course. Literary translation does not offer placements, while audiovisual companies offer internships which are competitive.
We support and guide our students through the application process for audiovisual translation internships and have a very good record of achievement. Each year, several of our students win one of these very competitive internships and they tend to be offered full time work on completion.
The course is very industry-oriented and we work closely with the translation industry. Industry professionals teach on the course, supervise students or give guest seminars and lectures.
Academic staff have run Translation Development courses, for example in genre translation for professional translators for the Chartered Institute of Linguists, and they are involved in running Continuing Professional Development courses in specialised translation.
We run a preparatory, distance learning course for the professional Diploma in Translation examined by the Chartered Institute of Linguists.
We organise a Literary Translation Summer School each July which is taught by professional, literary translators and with lectures by prestigious translators, academics or writers.
The Translation department runs the John Dryden Translation Competition for the British Comparative Literature Association. The competition is sponsored by the British Centre for Literary Translation and the Institut Français. We offer one internship per year in working on this Translation Competition, interacting with translators, translation judges, managing competition entries and learning about the judging process.
The course is taught by academics, industry professionals (for example, audiovisual translation project manager) and translation professionals (for example, award winning literary translators, experienced subtitlers).
Teaching is delivered in a combination of lectures, seminars, practical workshops and lab-based sessions for audiovisual translation. In workshop sessions students work individually, in pairs, group work or plenary forum in a multilingual and multicultural environment.
In all translation modules, there is also a translation project prepared in independent guided study under the supervision of a translation professional in the student’s language pair and language directionality. You can expect some on-line learning, supported by seminar sessions, and industry visits to audiovisual translation companies.
In the Translation project management module, students work in project groups performing real-life translation roles and tasks in a collaborative environment.
Assessment is 100% coursework – there are no examinations.
Coursework assignments are a mixture of essays, translation projects, translation commentaries, subtitling and voice over files or project work.
The dissertation is 12,000 to 15,000 words long and can either be a research project on any topic relevant to Audiovisual Translation or Popular Literary Translation / Culture or it can be practice oriented: a translation of an extended text or AV clip with critical introduction to and analysis of the translation.
Coursework assignments: 66.6% (120 credits)
Dissertation: 33.3% (60 credits)
There are five compulsory taught modules plus three elective taught modules, selected by the student from a pool of module choices, plus a dissertation which can be a research dissertation or a practice-oriented dissertation of an extended translation with critical introduction and analysis.
Each taught module is an estimated 150 hours of study. Teaching consists of lectures, seminars and workshops plus independent individually supervised work.
The first part of the translation modules is taught in three-hour sessions (lecture + seminar + practical workshop). In the second part of each translation module, students work on a translation project which is individually supervised by a translation professional who gives written feedback on drafts and provides tailored advice and guidance in individual supervision sessions.
Students can expect between ten and 12 hours of classroom-based study per week, plus time spent on preparatory reading, independent study and research, preparation of assignments.
The dissertation is 60 credits and an estimated 600 hours of study. There are four two-hour research method seminars guiding students through the process of writing a dissertation, plus individual supervision sessions.
All taught modules are in term 1 and term 2 (January – April). Term 3 is dedicated to the dissertation (and completion of assignments from term 2 modules).
All our MA programmes are designed to provide knowledge and skills in practice-based research, as well as giving you experience of current research practices in various areas of critical and analytical thinking. The MA in Popular Music (Research, Production or Performance) offers a high level of flexibility enabling you to choose a pathway that best suits your key interests.
The MA Popular Music at the University of Kent gives you the opportunity to develop an area of specialism alongside rigorous training in key professional and academic skills. In studying for the MA you will choose one of three pathways:
- Research (Popular Musicology, Popular Music Studies or Ethnomusicology)
Each pathway allows you to undertake two large-scale projects (Specialist Project and Dissertation) in areas of your choosing. Regular one-to-one tutorials and work in small seminar groups will help you to gain new levels of confidence and expertise in both theoretical and practical work.
Option modules support the development of your specialism. Studies in areas such as audio engineering, music programming, critical musicology, popular music, group performance and advanced acoustics, delivered through our team of world-leading researchers and practitioners, will provide an important grounding in relevant fields of inquiry and creative practice.
Assessment is by a range of coursework, including individual projects, skills-based tasks, seminar presentations and written work.
A postgraduate degree in the area of music and audio arts is a valuable and flexible qualification, which can lead to career opportunities within the creative industries, music recording and production, audio software development, sound for film, composition and academic careers.
These possibilities are augmented by work in video games, the Internet, live sound for theatres and festivals, audio installations for museums, sonic arts and computer music. Postgraduates interested in a research career are supported by the University’s Graduate School Research Development Programme. The University’s Employability Weeks can also provide valuable support in terms of planning future careers.
How to apply: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/
- Kent is ranked 21st in the Times Higher Education (THE) ‘Table of Tables’ 2017.
- Kent is ranked 22nd in The Guardian University Guide 2018.
- Kent is ranked 25th in The Complete University Guide 2018.
- Of Kent graduate students who graduated in 2016, 98% of those who responded to a national survey were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).
- For research quality, Music at Kent was ranked 13th in The Complete University Guide 2018 and 16th in The Times Good University Guide 2018.
- For graduate prospects, Music at Kent was ranked 14th in The Times Good University Guide 2018.
Find out more: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/why/
We have a scholarship fund of over £9 million to support our taught and research students with their tuition fees and living costs. Find out more: https://www.kent.ac.uk/scholarships/postgraduate/
If you need to improve your English before and during your postgraduate studies, Kent offers a range of modules and programmes in English for Academic Purposes (EAP). Find out more here: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/international/english.html