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MA in Music

Course Description

This fascinating introduction to the methods and materials used for music research will suit professionals working in a wide range of music-related settings, and is also applicable if you have a leisure interest in music. Your studies will be firmly based in the digital humanities – using creative technologies to develop your research skills and critically analyse different musical sources. You will encounter a number of musical topics, themes and repertoires from different periods and styles, as you engage with Western, non-Western and popular music.

Key features of the course

•Introduces essential music research skills
•Explores a range of sources including text, music criticism and performance
•Investigates different musical styles and genres from across the world
•Concludes with a dissertation on a subject of your choice

This qualification is eligible for a Postgraduate Loan available from Student Finance England. For more information, see our fees and funding page.


You must study the modules in the order shown below.

To gain this qualification, you need 180 credits as follows:

Compulsory modules

• MA Music part 1 (A873)
• MA Music part 2 (A874)

The MA in Music is taught and assessed entirely online. To get a flavour of studying the MA in Music, try up to 16 hours of free sample material on OpenLearn, our free learning site.

The modules quoted in this description are currently available for study. However, as we review the curriculum on a regular basis, the exact selection may change over time.

Credit transfer

If you’ve successfully completed some relevant postgraduate study elsewhere, you might be able to count it towards this qualification, reducing the number of modules you need to study. You should apply for credit transfer as soon as possible, before you register for your first module. For more details and an application form, visit our credit transfer website.

Visit the MA in Music page on the Open University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Nicholas Logie

2945.jpg I played the viola from the age of six and went to a specialist music school where I was very laid back about anything academic. I left with just four O-levels, as they were then, and not very good ones at that. I then spent my working life playing in orchestras. But around my thirties I started to think that maybe I should get some academic qualifications. I remembered The Open University starting in the late Sixties as my parents were very socially minded and keen advocates of it.

When I enrolled for a BA I took a wide variety of courses. It was a bit of a struggle but I did pass. Then ten years later I decided to apply to do the Masters in Music as it looked like an absolutely brilliant course.

However when I first applied I was rejected because my marks weren’t very good in my BA. So I appealed and sent some attachments with my CV and research proposals for the MA. Two weeks later I was accepted onto the course. I was then told that given my levels of professional and relevant experience, I was very welcome onto the MA course. They were right to accept me - I got a distinction! And then I decided to progress onto a PhD, also with the OU.

What I like most about The OU though, and what leads me to really recommend it, is the complete lack of discrimination. When I applied to do my PhD I didn’t just apply to the OU but also to the Royal College of Music. Both places accepted me. I chose The OU partly because of the amazing online library and academic journals which I could access from home. But the bigger reason was that I knew I would not be a fish out of water due to my age, whereas at the RCM I’d be among much younger people and, whilst that might not be a problem for them, I thought I’d feel uncomfortable at times and out of place. At the OU that’s simply not an issue. Which meant I could just concentrate on my studies and not worry about anything else.

To those worried about the costs, I would say it’s all about investing in your life.


Entry Requirements

You must hold an honours degree to study for our MA in Music. Although your degree need not be in music, you must have the basic skills expected of a graduate in that area. A degree of at least 2.1 or equivalent will greatly increase your chances of successfully completing the MA. It is expected that your spoken and written English will also be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If you would like help to assess your readiness you can contact us for advice. Please visit our website for more information on entry requirements.

Last Updated

13 January 2017

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