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.
Students studying for the MA/PG Dip in Music are required to complete the following compulsory modules* (30 credits):
MA students are also required to complete the following (60 credits):
You will then take two of the following modules depending on your chosen specialism (30 credits each):
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.
Assessment methods include essays, student presentations, literature reviews, concert or gig reviews, professional projects arising from work placements, dissertations, and compositions using scores, recordings, software patches or live electronics, performances and installations.
The module Approaches to Opera includes attendance at a live opera performance. The cost of attendance is included in tuition fees.
Music staff have a wide network of contacts within the music industry, the media and academia, and can advise students on potential placements. However, an important aspect of the module is that the student takes the initiative to set up his or her own placement. There are many opportunities to take up local placements in Oxford or to do an in-house placement with one of our research units. Some students may wish to take up a placement further afield, for example with an arts organisation in London. Travel costs cannot be covered by the University but some external organisations may be willing to cover or contribute towards them.
Visit the MA/PGDip/PGCert Music page on the Oxford Brookes University website for more details!
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