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Are you fascinated in early music - not just the music of a particular period, but also the approach to performing and thinking about music?

Are you interested in learning how the music performance of the past can be used to enhance our understanding today? 

The University’s £16m Bramall Music Building has a world-leading Centre for Early Music Performance and Research (CEMPR), with state-of-the-art facilities. Those wishing to write a dissertation on early music will benefit from access to these facilities, as well as the expertise of staff on a wide range of topics in early music, from the Middle Ages to c.1800.

You will receive specialist supervision as well as training in specific critical and analytical skills to equip you for further study. You will also have the opportunity to participate in one or more of our CEMPR ensembles and receive tuition from the professional performers on our staff, providing an invaluable context for your work.

Course details

Early Music studies have always been a centrepiece of Birmingham’s offerings, and the department includes two early music specialists:

Amy Brosius, specialist in seventeenth-century vocal music; and Andrew Kirkman, scholar of late medieval music and director of early music projects from the fifteenth to the early nineteenth century. In addition, CEMPR has some twenty professional early music performers of international standing on its staff who not only teach early vocal and instrumental techniques and repertoire, but also engage in practice-led research.

You will study two core modules:

  • Introduction to Musicology
  • Advanced Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Music

You will also choose two optional modules from a range which typically includes:

  • British Music Studies
  • Contemporary Music Studies
  • Special Study in Music
  • Studies in Performance Practice

Full descriptions are available below.

Assessment

Modules are typically assessed by written assignment, and some also require a presentation, examination or practical component. You will also complete a 15,000-word musicology dissertation.

Learning and teaching

Your learning will be enhanced by our extensive facilities, including the Bramall Music Building.

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).

Employability

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.


Visit the Music: Early Music pathway - MA page on the University of Birmingham website for more details!

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