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Course content

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.


Visit the Applied Psychology of Music MA page on the University of Leeds website for more details!

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