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Course content

The Music Education MA will introduce students to research and research-informed practice at the forefront of music education. The programme will provide tools for interrogating musical and educational assumptions, values and practices. It will help students to expand their understanding of effective music teaching, evaluation and assessment across the lifespan.

About this degree

Undertaking the Music Education MA programme will allow students to develop their critical thinking and ability to interrogate current educational research, literature and practice in the overarching fields of music and music education. They will also have the opportunity to pursue specialist lines of enquiry that are related to their own professional and/or academic interests, working alongside prominent academics in the field.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (60 credits), and either two optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits), or three optional modules (90 credits) and a report (30 credits).

Core modules

The two core modules are founded on three strands in the study of music education: philosophy, psychology and sociology. These include historically-significant and cutting-edge contemporary approaches, theories and philosophies across a wide range of topics. 

  • Disciplines of Music and Music Education Part I
  • Disciplines of Music and Music Education Part II

Optional modules

The Critical Studies in Music Pedagogy and Practice module examines past and present music education research and practice across a range of social and cultural contexts. Music Technology in Education provides students with opportunities to engage with published commentary and also develop practical skills. Choral Conducting, Leadership and Communication develops the skills of effective choral conducting and rehearsing in educational contexts. 

  • Students choose from a range including:
  • Critical Studies Music and Music Education
  • Choral Conducting Leadership and Communication
  • Music Technology in Education

Please note: at the programme leader's discretion, a student might be able to import a maximum of 60 credits.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project, which culminates in a 20,000-word dissertation or 10,000-word report.

Teaching and learning

The main mode of delivery is through a combination of weekly lectures and seminars.

There are ten-week lecture courses for the two core modules, and also for Critical Studies in Music Pedagogy and Practice (optional module), with sessions held in the evenings at the UCL Institute of Education. However, the Choral Conducting Leadership and Communication optional module takes place over five full days at the UCL Institute, as well as through additional student-led sessions. Students are also required to engage actively with UCL's online learning environments across the programme. The Music Technology in Education optional module is delivered online. All students are entitled to face-to-face tutorials with their allocated tutors. 

Assessment is predominantly through a written assignment for each taught module.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Music Education MA

Careers

Graduates of this programme are currently working as:

  • advocates for the arts
  • arts, health and wellbeing therapists
  • composers
  • doctoral and post-doctoral researchers
  • freelance music teachers
  • Further Education lecturers
  • music education hub managers
  • music teachers in primary and secondary schools
  • performers
  • primary music co-ordinators
  • producers
  • university lecturers

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Secondary School Teacher (Head of Music), St Michael's Catholic School
  • Primary School Class Teacher (Reception), Pinkwell Primary School and studying Doctorate in Music Education, University College London (UCL)
  • Secondary School Teacher (Head of Music Department), Pimlico Academy
  • Primary School Class Teacher (Music), St. Stephen's School and Children's Centre
  • PGCE Secondary Teaching (Music), Middlesex University

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Music Education MA at UCL is the only postgraduate programme of its type in the UK, and one of the largest recruiting in the world, that is dedicated to music education.

The programme is taught by leading academics with current and extensive expertise in externally-funded research. Research and publications from our lecturers have significant impact on educational policy and practice both in the UK and internationally. This informs learning and teaching on the programme whilst fostering the development of a research-based culture. Many of our students pursue further study at doctoral and post-doctoral level.

Our programme meets the needs of a wide range of professionals from across the international communities of music and music education. Our alumni have been and continue to be leading figures in education worldwide.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Culture, Communication & Media

78% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.


Visit the Music Education (MA) page on the University College London website for more details!

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